Posted by: Pamela Kalivas | May 6, 2015

“Gadgets”: Powerful Tools or Tiny Distractions?

It’s Monday morning, you just got to work, and yet all you can think of is how much you can’t wait for the day to already be over. It is easy to feel restless and confined to your work space especially when a deadline is approaching and your stress levels begin to rise.

Luckily, researchers at New York University’s Polytechnic School of Engineering have found that playing with different desk gadgets could help combat stress and induce physical stimulation. According to the Wall Street Journal, certain kind of hand movements help with cognitive functioning. This field of research is known as “embodied cognition” and although it is still new, it may be the very thing you need to boost your brain power in what otherwise would be a dull workday. Here is a list of 5 easy to find objects that can help you think more creatively, improve focus, and alleviate stress.

1. Smooth is Soothing: Running your hand over a smooth surface, such as stones, can help hit specific pressure points on the palms of your hands and send signals through your nervous system that it’s time to relax and let go.

2. When it All Clicks Together: Repeatedly clicking a retractable ball point pen stimulates your mind and can aid in sustaining your attention especially when the task at hand is tedious and mundane.

3. Help! I’m Stuck: Sticky tack (adhesive putty) is easy to roll and can create different shapes. Fiddling with this can ironically help many get “unstuck” and promote brain stimulation.

4. Tighten and Fasten Your Seat Belt …Coat Toggle?: Playing with a toggle on your coat by tightening and fastening it provides a satisfying tactile experience that can aid with creative problem solving.

5. Blast From the Past: Believe it or not, certain toys and gadgets that you once played with can help alleviate a tense situation and spark conversation in your workplace. For example, by squeezing a rubber duck, you can vent out pent up frustration and help lighten the mood. Also, Brookstone’s ‘Executive Sandbox’ is the perfect way to stash sand on your desk at work for a little fun and relaxation between mind-numbing tasks and important meetings.

So help yourself beat the Monday morning blues by incorporating these handy dandy gadgets into your office space!


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