Creativity and innovation flow when we make things easier for ourselves. Cutting out unnecessary jobs or time-wasting habits is something that the world’s most successful entrepreneurs have in common. That’s not to say they aren’t hard-working or committed, they just know their time and energy is an immensely valuable resource. Whether it’s delegating repetitive tasks, automating processes, or even just using tools that make their daily routines more efficient, they are always on the lookout for ways to maximize their productivity and keep themselves happy and healthy.
No matter how much we enjoy our work, I’m sure we could all use a helping hand somewhere. Here’s a roundup of products that can help reduce distractions, save you time, or simply eliminate a few niggles to help your day run more smoothly.
For tidy and functional workspaces
Our devices and screens are the only things that need covers, right? Wrong! A slippery, messy, or uncomfortable workspace can be a big source of distraction and frustration.
Protect your work surface from scratches and spills with a waterproof and oil-proof desk mat, which also doubles as an extended mouse mat. There’s a large range of desk mats to choose from in different materials, textures, colors, and even some diverse extra functionalities, like a wireless charger for your phone!
For a more natural energy boost
It’s 2 pm. You’ve hit a slump. Coffee or an energy drink would perk you up and help you carry on working, but the caffeine jitters will be waiting to pounce. Your other choice is to persevere through the rest of the afternoon to avoid the anxiety or potential sleep problems later on, but can you perform at your best when your brain is battling just to stay awake?
If you’re fed up with compromising your productivity against your physical well-being, Neuro have got the answer. Their Energy & Focus gum and mints offer a “smarter way to refresh body and mind”, combining a low dose of natural caffeine (less than half of a cup of coffee), L-theanine, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12 to give you a burst of energy, alertness, and focus without the jitters.
The gums and mints come in a range of flavors, are vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, aspartame-free, and are approved by the FDA and WADA.
For less stress
What do Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Richard Branson have in common? They all meditate, and they all believe that it can help them work better, be more creative, and be happier. We’re not saying that you should meditate just because they do, but in today’s world, it’s not difficult to see why many entrepreneurs would benefit from meditation. Reduced stress and anxiety to improved focus, memory, and quality of sleep are just some of the reasons why companies like Apple and Google are offering meditation classes to their employees.
Luckily there is no shortage of resources for those who are keen to give it a try, but Calm is one of the top-rated apps for meditation. Each time you open the app, you can choose from a variety of options, including “Daily Calm” (10 minute guided meditation sessions), “Sleep Stories” (calming stories to help you sleep, with some read by celebrity narrators like Stephen Fry, Kate Winslet, and Matthew McConnaughey), and “Music” (a selection of instrumental and lo-fi music, plus lower tempo remixes of popular songs). Its vast library of audio content, combined with its user-friendly interface, makes it a favorite among the Time etc team!
For better planning
According to author and CEO Mark Murphy, writing your goals on paper “is strongly associated with goal success, and people who very vividly describe or picture their goals are anywhere from 1.2 to 1.4 times more likely to accomplish their goals than people who don’t.” Even if you’re using digital solutions for task management, a paper planner might still be worth your while.
Any planner can be useful in staying organized and keeping track of your daily tasks, but if you struggle with motivation and procrastination, this planner by Intelligent Change uses productivity and time-tracking techniques to help you get the most out of every day and week. There is even the option to score your productivity and monitor your improvements.
The Productivity Planner is available in daily and weekly planners with undated pages so they’re perfect to buy any time of the year, lasting for up to six months of daily planning.
For saving time and space
Tired of the mess of charger cables on your desk or nightstand? We know we are!
The solution? A wireless charger, like the Wireless Charger Trio by Samsung. Despite being a Samsung product, you can charge any device with wireless charging capabilities.
Also available in a standard, single-device size, the Samsung Wireless Charger Trio allows you to charge up to three devices at once, meaning that at the end of a busy day you don’t have to waste time looking for all your different charging cables or finding spare power outlets.
For keeping your hot drinks perfect for longer
It happens all the time — you’ve made yourself a hot drink, put it down, forgot about it among the business of everyday life, and picked it back up only for it to be stone cold. What if you could keep that cup of coffee or tea at the ideal temperature for up to 80 minutes?
That’s precisely what Ember Mug² does. Calling it a smart mug isn’t an exaggeration. Set the desired temperature for your drink, and the Ember Mug² will keep your drink at exactly that temperature.
While you don’t need an app to use it, downloading the companion app will give you access to more features, like creating presets for different drinks. It’s also available as a travel mug for when you’re on the go.
For keeping active while working
It’s no secret that sitting too much can cause health problems. Leading a sedentary lifestyle has been linked to a broad range of medical issues, from obesity and cardiovascular disease to low mood and energy levels. But what can you do to increase your step count and heart rate when you have to spend most of the day sitting at your desk?
Why not kill two birds with one stone? If you can’t find the time outside of work to go to the gym, you can bring the gym to work! While a treadmill or stationary bike with a desk sounds like a fantastic idea, they take up a lot of space and are not the easiest to transport to and from the office. However, portable workout equipment like the Stamina 55-1602 Inmotion Elliptical allows you to get all the benefits of exercise without having to leave your desk.
It’s small and quiet to help you work out without disturbing your coworkers or downstairs neighbors, and you can use it sitting or standing. You can even pedal forward or backward to target different muscle groups.
For an enhanced sound experience
The Amazfit Powerbuds Pro are not just any wireless earbuds. Together with their custom app, they offer four different noise-canceling modes (perfect for eliminating distractions) and the option to adjust the equalizer settings to suit 10 different music genres to maximize the sound quality of your music.
If you listen to music while walking, running, or cycling, the Powerbuds can also detect changes in movement and track your speed, distance, calories burned, heart rate, and more. As an extra cool feature, the earbuds can adjust the bass and beats of your music to make them stronger and clearer during your session.
And the Powerbuds aren’t just useful when you’re moving, they can also provide reminders to correct your posture if you haven’t moved your spine in over 40 minutes.
For increased comfort
If you’re left feeling achy and uncomfortable at the end of your workday, chances are your body is just tired of sitting down for so many hours. Experts say that our spines are designed for movement, and sitting for too long can cause its ligaments, muscles, and joint structures to fatigue over time, which can result in pain and irritation.
If you suffer from back pain or worry about your posture when working, a standing desk may be just what you need. In previous years, standing desks were a considerable investment, but now there are many more options to suit every budget. For instance, Harmoni’s table-mounted offerings are perfect for people with limited space who also care about beautiful designs, and Fully offers high-end, eco-friendly motorized desks for a fully customizable experience.
But if you are used to sitting at your desk for most of the day, it’s recommended to ease into using a standing desk by starting with 30-60 minutes a day and gradually increasing it.
For making your notes more accessible
Yes, we’ve mentioned that handwriting has clear benefits for learning and retention when planning, scheduling, journaling, and studying. But let’s be honest, how often do you go through meeting notes, annotations you’ve made on the side of a page in a book, or maybe a quick note you jotted down in a hurry? It’s more than likely that those notes are gathering dust in a drawer or at the bottom of a bag, never to be seen again.
When most of the information we use for work is digital, integrating paper notes can be tricky. But if you want to leverage the benefits of handwriting at work, the reMarkable 2 tablet offers the best of both worlds.
Unlike other tablets, its unique textured surface makes it feel just like writing on paper, but with the digital benefits of being able to undo, move, copy, and paste. You can jot down notes on new documents or annotate PDFs and other documents. You can easily convert your hand-written or hand-drawn notes and integrate your notes with services like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft One to keep all your information in one place. Also unlike other tablets on the market, its lack of glare or backlight makes it easier to use in sunlight and reduces the strain on your eyes, and only allows for writing, reading, and visualizing, meaning you won’t be able to be distracted by messages or social media notifications while you use it.
With every passing year, the range of new and exciting products to make work easier and more comfortable only grows. Whatever you need to make your day a little easier, a little better, a little more comfortable—chances are, it’s out there now. But don't just take our word for it, take a look at what’s out there now to help you improve your day-to-day.