An uncomfortable office environment can be the death of your productivity. When you don’t have the tools you need to work efficiently, there’s a tendency to lose your concentration, work in short spurts, and generally get less done.
If decreasing productivity is a concern for you, you might want to look into acquiring office accessories that make working easier and more comfortable. Here are a few tools for office productivity on you may want to look into:
1. An Ergonomic Keyboard
You deserve a keyboard that offers all of the technical capabilities you need to get things done. For the sake of your comfort, however, we’re focusing on ergonomic keyboards that support the wrists and hands, and offer a comfortable position for typing and working.
Here are a few favorites to consider:
+ Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard: This split-key design will probably take some getting used to, but after a week or so of typing on this, you may never go back to the standard keyboard. The Sculpt is equipped with a cushioned palm rest to reduce soreness and strain on the most tender parts of your hands. Plus, the optional bundle comes with a separate number pad and ergonomic wireless mouse. The Sculpt features a USB receiver for wireless connectivity.
+ Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard: Microsoft’s newer Surface model is like the high-end version of the Sculpt. It features a more streamlined fit and a palm rest made of a suede-like material called Alcantara. The Surface also features Bluetooth connectivity, and the gray color is said to hide dirt and dust.
+ Logitech K350 Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard: Logitech is known for their quality keyboards, and the K350 is a perfect specimen. A padded wrist rest and keys positioned in a wave pattern — plus hotkeys — make typing comfortable and convenient. It’s also wireless, and last up to 3 years on a single set of batteries.
2. An Ergonomic Mouse
If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, it’s worth investing in a quality ergonomic mouse. A great mouse allows you to surf and scroll more efficiently, with less strain on your wrist and hand. These are some of the best-rated ergonomic mice on the market:
+ Logitech M570 Wireless Trackball: This Logitech mouse is the top-rated ergonomic mouse, based on customer reviews. Logitech’s best-selling mouse also happens to be the best-selling mouse on the market. Its sculpted design fits into the palm of your hand and allows the user to access buttons with ease. Plus, this mouse can last for up to 18 months without changing the batteries.
+ Anker Vertical Wireless Mouse: This affordable vertical mouse is packed with features, including five buttons that are perfect for users who spend a lot of time in front of a computer. The vertical, ergonomic design imitates a “handshake” wrist and hand position, minimizing strain on the wrist and arm. This mouse also enters power saving mode if it’s idle for 8 minutes.
This time management software is an excellent way to stay accountable during the work day. RescueTime helps you map out your day according to tasks and time limits. It also helps you keep track of which websites you spend the most time on, and the average amount of time it takes you to complete certain projects.
And the insights don’t stop there. RescueTIme also shows you during which hours of the day you are most productive… and in which times of the day there is a dip in your productivity. Armed with this useful information, you’ll be able to modify your day to your strengths, tendencies, and weaknesses.
News feeds never stop refreshing, making it difficult to stop scrolling. The Internet can lead to major distractions, especially if you find yourself consistently getting caught up in reading lengthy articles around the web.
Pocket is a handy smartphone app and browser plug-in that allows you to save content lets you save any content you find online and is integrated with more than 1,500 apps, including Flipboard, Twitter, and Zite.
With Pocket, you won’t feel pressure to read articles immediately or save them to a never-ending bookmarks folder. Just save them for later and read when you’re waiting in line, commuting, or whenever. Pocket can even be accessed offline.
Being comfortable and efficient can give you a leg up in the productivity game. You’ll have more time to focus on projects and work more continuously without an uncomfortable device holding you back. If you’re looking to upgrade your productivity, these tools are a fantastic place to start.
*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in July 2015 and has since been updated to reflect the most accurate information.