Today, we’re taking a peek behind the curtain (or computer screen, if you will) to get a glimpse of which office desk essentials our Human Resources Manager, Ryley Stout, can’t live without. Whether you are a creative looking to get “in the zone” or a leader looking to shift perspective with a boost of positivity, Ryley shares ten work lifesavers that are guaranteed to help you increase productivity and be more efficient in the office. Let’s clock in and check them out!
1. Soul Sister Mug and Masala Chai Tea
I always have a big mug of tea on my desk, especially once the weather turns cooler. My go-to mug is this great big one from Paper Source in my favourite mustard yellow with dancing women and inspirational phrases. It makes me smile and reminds me that I work with an incredible team of women (and men!) at ttcInnovations. It is often filled with rich and spicy Masala Chai tea with a splash of almond milk and honey, or anything minty — both give me a mood and motivation boost when I’m starting to drag.
2. Family Photos
They don’t really need an explanation because look at their beautiful faces — who wouldn’t want to see them while working all day? And really, this probably shouldn’t be on the list as it does not add to my productivity when I get distracted staring at them…but having a picture handy keeps me balanced and reminds me of what’s important.
This is the only iPhone case I will ever repurchase (and already have, in fact). It’s flexible, durable, and shock absorbent, which is important to me since it regularly takes a beating from my toddlers. It is also completely compostable — made of plant materials, it will break down in under three years! Having my phone well protected without a bulky case is critical since I do a lot of my work from it.
Whether on my desk, in my backpack, in my wallet, in my car — I am never without an over-abundance of Bic Cristal black ballpoint pens. In my opinion, there is no other pen. While this may seem dramatic, I am 99% certain that I take better notes and cross things off my to-do list faster when using these pens. They never fail, are never scratchy or faded, and write incredibly smoothly without smudging.
This “Great Thought a Day” notepad sits right beside my keyboard (along with a handful of my trusty Bic pens) for quick notetaking and list-making, as well as a pick-me-up of encouragement and inspiration. It’s big enough to get my thoughts down, but not so big that it takes up valuable real estate on my desk. I’m a believer in a clear desk for a clear mind. I try to get through all the tasks on my to-do list and then recycle the sheet or file my notes away for later reference so a fresh, blank page awaits my next note.
6. Aromatherapy Must-Haves
Before I sit down to work, I take a couple minutes to get my atmosphere set. This includes lighting a candle — lately I’m enjoying my Homesick candle in the ‘Australia’ scent, though any candle will do. I also turn on my essential oil diffuser, usually with something citrusy or minty to energize me and get my wheels turning. Orange is always my go-to oil. It’s so fresh and uplifting!
At this time of year, I wrap myself up in a king-sized micro plush blanket like this one from Target. I tend to lean extreme in my temperatures — when cold, I am very cold — and this removes the distraction! It makes me feel like I am cozy on the couch, but still have the productive posture prompted from sitting at my desk.
If you see me without any of the other items listed here, you can still bet that I will have my wireless mouse. On an airplane? Yes. On the couch? Yes. Standing with my laptop on the kitchen counter? Yes. The track pad is the thing that slows me down the most, so I always, always have my mouse with me. I also have a wireless keyboard when seated at my physical desk at home with dual monitors set up.
I have a laminated copy of this culture infographic posted right above my desk to remind me of “the why.” Whether I’m feeling frustrated, sluggish, or demoralized, I read a couple of the blurbs on here to reframe my perspective. And with it being laminated, I can fill in my answers to the questions “Which core value are you representing well?” and “Which core value do you need to focus more energy on?” with a dry erase marker!
There is nothing worse than dry hands when trying to get stuff done, so I always have this rosemary mint lotion from my hometown on Vancouver Island within arm’s reach. It’s smooth, creamy, and light so it doesn’t leave my hands feeling oily or slimy. The fresh scent is a lovely bonus!