If it was a New Year’s resolution of yours to stay organised, focused and productive in 2024, it can be easy to lose your initial enthusiasm as January comes to an end. Your pledge can go the same way as your exercise and diet-related promises to yourself come February.

That’s especially true in today’s fast-paced world, in which demands and distractions seem to come at us unrelentingly from all sides. It’s often a challenge to keep on top of everything, prioritise and concentrate.

Of course, there are things you can do – from turning off email and phone notifications to making sure you switch off properly at the end of the day and taking regular breaks, perhaps by using the Pomodoro technique, in which you work intensely for 25 minutes then stop for five.

Equally, make the effort to block out time in your diary or calendar for specific jobs, and have clear priorities for each day. Focus on each task (and nothing else) while you’re doing it.

It’s worth having your to-do list of most urgent jobs with you at all times, and reviewing it constantly – perhaps start each day with an updated version, either electronically or on paper.

Have the right office supplies to hand

Office supplies are a key part of any effective workplace, and although they’re often taken for granted, they play an essential role in maximising efficiency and productivity.

Equally, not having the right supplies often leads to wasted time, frustration and demotivation. After all it’s pretty hard to stay focused while you’re scrabbling around for a sticky note or pen, or can’t print a vital document because the printer’s out of paper.

Top office items you need to stay on track as we move through 2024.

  • Desk organisers

Those signs saying ‘a tidy desk is a sign of sick mind’ are a bit 1990s. But don’t waste time searching for stuff you need to get through the day – keep it all together, from paperclips to scissors and pens, with a desk tidy.

  • Notepad

Research has shown that writing stuff down on paper can help you pay attention, focus and better engage with a topic than if you took notes on screen. In fact, taking physical notes causes more brain activity when remembering the relevant information an hour later. Retain key details from meetings, jot down ideas and create to-do lists. Don’t even try to get through the day without a notebook at your elbow!

  • Multi-coloured pens

Did you know that colour can also help memory? Use multi-coloured pens and you’ll find you hold on to information for longer.

Consider colour-coding your to-do lists, or making notes in varied hues. Look for something which won’t smudge, and which is comfortable to hold and write with.

  • Water bottle

It can be easy to forget to drink enough water while working. But the Association of UK Dieticians says that poor hydration can lead to daytime fatigue, headaches and poor recall. Drink water throughout the day and have a good bottle for doing so – ideally made from durable materials and with a leak-proof lid.

  • Planners

You and your team can stay on track and organised day after day with a decent planner allowing you to look ahead and see at a glance what everyone’s doing. Magnetic whiteboards work well, or you could choose a paper-based version.

Diaries and calendars are also invaluable. Choose a layout that best suits what you need and like – ideally there’ll be plenty of room to capture everything. Post-it notes are great as temporary reminders, but don’t make your desk a blizzard of the things, especially if they have vital date or meeting details on them.  

At Octopus Office, we’re office products suppliers in Greater Manchester and beyond, and we have plenty of the things you need daily. Browse and order online or collect your order from our trade counter in Stockport if you prefer. We also deliver UK-wide.

Get in touch if you have any queries.

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