8 Weird Desk Supplies That Could Transform Your Work

What's on your desk? According to Adam Rich, co-founder of Thrillist, hot sauce, scotch and a letter from the mayor can help elevate your workspace.
March 06, 2013
Your desk may be where the magic happens, but you’re going to need more than Post-its and a few random pens to make the most of it. As co-founder of the men's digital lifestyle site Thrillist, I've found eight things elevate my desk from being simply a tall table that keeps my computer off the ground to a physical locus of industry disruption and innovation. Note, there's not a stapler or binder clip among them.

Notepad: Very 20th century, sure, but even the most talented multitasking juggler benefits from having a dedicated, auxiliary place to get thoughts down at a moment’s notice.

Emergency toiletries: It's crucial to be able to refresh every element of yourself at a moment’s notice. Maybe you landed an important sit-down and you have seaweed salad in your teeth. Did you get asked to be on TV last minute on a bad hair day? Fill a drawer with duplicates of everything you use in your medicine cabinet.

Incandescent light source: Nothing says menial toil like the pallid shine of a fluorescent light strip. A simple lamp goes a really long way toward making your desk feel like a civilized, comfortable place where you’re happy to spend 10 hours.

Chopsticks: This goes beyond an aesthetic preference for the appropriate utensils for a given cuisine, and is about maintaining the respect of your workforce. If your employees catch you eating your tonkatsu with a fork, you will lose them forever.

Protein powder: Lunch is an unmissably important meal, but if you find you’ve always got time for it, you’re not working hard enough. Buy a gigantic tub of protein powder and slide it under your desk. In a pinch, you’re seconds away from a nutritious, if heartbreaking, meal.

Photo credit: Michael Toulon 
Hot sauce: Somewhere along the continuum near "not getting lunch" lies “getting gross lunch,” and that’s when you’ll be glad you have your hot sauce of choice on hand. If you're playing at a very high level, you will also have Bacon Salt.

A good bottle of scotch: When you’re hosting someone at the office, it’s critical to be a gracious host and put him or her at ease. It’s a proven fact that the type of person who appreciates a drink in the office is also a person who likes scotch, so get a nice bottle and a pair of tumblers. If you think the office coffee mugs will do the trick, see the entry on chopsticks.

A letter of congratulations from former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for an article on your company you have never been able to find: (How anyone succeeds in business without one of these things, I’ll never know.) If you don't have one of these letters, an interesting personal item along these lines will also do the trick.

Read more articles on how to be productive.

Photo: Getty Images