Thursday, 22 October 2020



6 products for guaranteed productivity


Image: Georgie Cobbs / Unsplash

Dealing with procrastination is a life-long struggle but as with any problem, when in doubt, throw money at it. Add these six products to your virtual shopping cart for a boost in productivity.

The life of a journalist is no easy feat: rolling deadlines, flaky interviewees and the perpetual cat-and-mouse chase with the accounts department who swear they never received the invoice. Between that and the grey walls and musty carpet of your average newsroom, one is tempted to throw in the dictaphone and procrastinate.

For a guaranteed boost in productivity, we’ve gone to the expert in all things shopping: Ailbhe Malone, the senior editor of The Strategist UK, NY Mag’s wing of commerce-related content, to help you shop the internet.

Here are six of Ailbhe’s favourite products to help you get to the bottom of your to-do list.

1) A little bit of joy

A toy Paddington bear
Image courtesy of Amazon

As much as overworked journalists need file dividers and pencil pots, like anyone else we also need a cheerful distraction every now and then. Sometimes looking up from your work and seeing something that sparks even a little happiness is enough to get you through an otherwise unbearable day. This mini-Paddington bear (£8), gifted by her husband, is Ailbhe’s own personal smile-maker permanently perched on her desk.

2) Monthly Flat Planner

Picture of a weekly diary planner
Courtesy of Papersmiths

It’s a way to set deadlines and plan ahead in a more visual way than an actual diary where you’re forever having to flick back and forth. No more double-booking, no more missed phone meetings, no more all-nighters to meet forgotten deadlines buried at the bottom of a pile of post-it notes. Plus, there are few things more satisfying than crossing something off a list. Ailbhe’s pick is this minimalist style from Papersmiths (£12).

3) Calculator

Image courtesy of Amazon

Instead of secretly opening your iPhone calc app to work out 7.8 x 3, purchase a big, extremely conspicuous desk calculator. Ailbhe’s giant pink Casio (£8) one sits on her desk proudly, an unabashed testament to bad mental maths.

4) The perfect pen

Courtesy of Amazon

Whether scribbling down shorthand in court or interview notes with a high-profile celebrity, a bad pen can be any journalist’s downfall. When searching for the right pen, we’re looking for three things: the thickness, the grip, and of course, the smudginess factor. Muji’s gel ink pens check all the boxes. Of course, a pen that makes you smile is also important, hence the pink pom-pom one (£2) which is Ailbhe’s weapon of choice.

5) Hot water bottle

Image courtesy of Boots

It’s a mainstay in most people’s homes, so why not the office? There is nothing worse (or more distracting from your work) than when you’re shivering so much you can’t even type. Save bringing in your duvet, a hot water bottle is the next best thing. Do as Ailbhe does, and rather than lugging your bottle back and forth from home, pick up a cheap one from Boots (£13) on your lunch break. It doesn’t need to be chic, it just needs to be warm.

6) Plant life

Image courtesy of Prick

Studies prove that plants improve concentration and productivity by up to 15 per cent, reduce stress levels and even boost your mood. While pretty, delicate flowers are unlikely to be able to survive the artificial heat and general stifling environment of your office, there are some hardy plants that can and will tough it out – just like you. House plants are pretty much as zeitgeisty as you can get, so there are plenty of places to get them (see Prick, Patch, Ikea). Do a little research and find the perfect indoor office plant for you. Or follow Ailbhe’s lead and opt for the safe option that will survive even the blackest of thumbs: a cactus (£5).