9 to 5 Survival Guide: 11 Desk Essentials to Get You Through the Day

May 10, 2018 • Live Well / Career

Leave the office with your sanity and lipstick (mostly) intact.

Even if you are a master meditator, some days there is just not enough zen in the world to get you through another day at work. But with the right supplies, you can power through that case of the Mondays you’ve had since 2016. Here are the desk essentials we can’t live without:

For Your Sanity

Sometimes, you need a bit of caffeine – and by ‘sometimes’ we mean all the time. No one should have to endure Janice from accounting without at least one cup of joe… Trying to cut down on the coffee? A green tea infuser shaped like the Loch Ness Monster will get you hopped up on caffeine and make you giggle. Win-win. And since you likely spend more time at your desk than anywhere else, why not make it a little more ‘you’? Whether it’s a sentimental souvenir you picked up on a recent trip or a random object from the Target dollar bin, surrounding yourself with things you love can make all those spreadsheets seem a little brighter.

For Your Health

Chances are, you’re not drinking enough water – join the club. But hydration is key to keeping a clear mind and clear skin, so stash a water bottle at your desk and sip the day away. And speaking of a clear mind, the average 10 hours of screen time we’re getting each day might be the reason it’s such a challenge to wind down at night. So I keep a pair of Spektrum blue light blocking glasses at my desk to reduce my exposure.

For the Hanger Monster Lurking Within

If you want to have enough strength to endure another HR seminar or resist that pack of Tim Tams getting passed around the office, you’ll need sustenance. Healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruit, or these yummy Emma & Tom’s Life Bars are easy to keep on hand for whenever hunger strikes.

For Your Face

Oil blotting papers are a must-have when it comes to desk essentials – especially with summer lurking around the corner. Things are about to heat up on your daily commute, and that means increased sebum production. (Hot tip: these babies will also work on your hair if you’re low on dry shampoo.) And once you arrive to the office, the assault continues – nothing washes a girl out faster than fluorescents. So, I tossed one of my Glossier Cloud Paint 3-pack in my desk drawer in case my face needs a midday pick-me-up. I also keep a tube of Benefit Fake Up (now known as ‘Boi-ng Hydrating Concealer’) around for touch-ups before any after-work goings on.

For Your Co-Workers

No one has ever regretted having an emergency deodorant on hand. You never know when you might need it, but the people sitting around you will be grateful you’ve got it. The same goes for a travel dental kit – with an ISSA play and some toothpaste at your desk, you can go HAM on that garlic shrimp at lunch and never face the consequences.


Now, get out there and break some glass ceilings.

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Katie Steadman is a native Texan roaming Asia with a penchant for writing, and solving sudoku puzzles at breakneck speed.

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