Many gadgets/products are designed to entertain and offer very few personal benefits, however, this set should improve your productivity and therefore the amount you earn now or in the future.
1) An alarm clock that wakes you up gently
Waking up to an annoying alarm noise probably isn’t the best way for your body to wake up, research from Chronobiol Int. 2013 Oct;30(8):988-97. states that from their research “that exposure to an artificial morning dawn simulation light improves subjective well-being, mood, and cognitive performance” and another study (Acta Psychiatr Scand. 1993 July;88(1):67-71) showed that “A slow, gradual sunrise taking 45 minutes was much more effective than one lasting just a few seconds and subjects had better scores for energy, mood, social interest, productivity, quality of sleep and quality of awakening.”
One review says:
“I am not a morning person, and usually can’t wake up while it’s still dark. I can sleep through any alarm tone no matter how loud or harsh. I also suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder which only makes me more likely to sleep the day away, especially in winter.
I have had this alarm for a little over a month at this point, and have not slept through it once. It allows me to wake up naturally and stress free. I only use the sunrise function, but there is an alarm tone as well. I was worried about whether it would be worth paying for an expensive alarm like this, but it was definitely worth the money.”
2) A decent set of noise-cancelling headphones
If you work in an office, commute to work/uni etc each day your brain will thank you after you’ve purchased a set of noise-cancelling headphones, seriously you need to try a set for a day, no more screaming children, noisy trains, honking traffic, looking at the door everytime you hear it open or people loudly talking on their phones on the train!
Steven Orfield, president of Orfield Laboratories Inc., who told the WSJ that they “can screen out as much as three-fourths of office noise”, however, be careful as listening to certain types of music can have the opposite effect and wearing headphones can cause uncomfortable office etiquette issues!
One review said:
“Thank you Sony; the people who conceived, designed and built this must love what they do – they have made my world a much better place than I found it. They should be proud.”
3) A decent reusable water bottle
I’m sure you’re already aware but drinking enough water (8 glasses) per day is important to your:
- Energy levels
- Overall alertness
- Brain functions
- Body to help remove toxins
- Receptiveness to learning
- Weight loss
- Digestion process
- Organ functions
4) A well organised digital calendar or a paper version
Pretty simple really, write down the important tasks of the day, use Pomodoro time tracking to keep you focused and mark them off once complete.
5) A meal planning kit
In a study by the British Journal of Heath Psychology, adults who ate more healthily over a 13-day period had greater wellbeing and also demonstrated more feelings of meaning and purpose at work.
Eating the right food has clear links to improved productivity and reducing fatigue, eat well and your reward could be a future job promotion or landing the next large contract. A good way of eating well is to plan what you’re going to eat.
6) Post-It Notes
Phone reminders are all well and good but sometimes you need something in front of your face that shouts at you to do something!
Buy: Post-It Notes
7) A robot hoover
“The average Brit spends 208 hours [nearly 9 solid days or a total of 2 solid years of their life] a year doing household tasks, and more than two thirds of us think that’s too much” – Airtasker Research
We’ve had robot vacuums for several years now and whilst they’re not perfect (e.g. they don’t clean the stairs) they’ve massively reduced the amount of time we spend cleaning our house/work.
One positive reviewer said: “Wow, just wow! The Eufy 11s has way exceeded my wildest expectations. It is utterly amazing and everyone should have one issued with their first house! In a nutshell it does what it says, it’s super quiet, gets itself out of tight spots, cleans like a dream and returns to its base to charge.”
8) A smartwatch with the ability to track your fitness/activity etc
A dedicated activity tracker or smartwatch can help you to push the amount of exercise you do per day and researchers at the University of Georgia found that even 10 minutes of exercise promotes wakefulness better than caffeine!
Smartwatches can also help you track and remind you of water & calorie intake as well, just be cautious that the notifications don’t drive you to the point where it’s not useful anymore and becomes a burden!
9) ‘Self-watering’ plant pot or HEPA air filter
Plants create Oxygen, we need Oxygen to breathe and function but often most offices and homes don’t have the best air quality because windows are often kept shut to avoid outside car/city fumes from entering and we fill these spaces with plastic, heavily treated fabrics/surfaces, fumes from cleaning products and dust etc.
“Outdoors, when [the air is] very polluted, you can see and taste and smell it. But indoors, you often can’t detect what’s there. When people can’t see something, they dismiss it,” – Cath Noakes, a professor at the University of Leeds’ School of Civil Engineering who has researched indoor air quality
According to The Lancet, 800,000 people die every year due to poor air quality in their workplace. “In addition, ‘sick building syndrome’ can cause headaches and loss of productivity,” Matthew S Johnson, chief science officer at Airlabs tells the BBC.
10) Standing desk
Standing desks will improve productivity says a study by the University of Leicester in the British Medical Journal, the study also concluded: “improvements in job performance, work engagement, occupational fatigue, presenteeism, daily anxiety and quality of life, but no notable changes were found for job satisfaction, cognitive function, and sickness absence.”
In June 2019, Apple chief executive Tim Cook revealed all workers at the company’s new California headquarters had been given standing desks, describing sitting as “the new cancer”.