My reply, “hmm.. I don’t know… if I want something I’ll just buy it. Why wait for Christmas?”
Cue head exploding.
If you’re like me, or know a lawyer like this, finding an appropriate gift can be frustrating. In all likelihood you’ll make a half-hearted effort. Part of the problem is people like me are so busy, when we identify a need, we fulfill it immediately. Nevertheless, there are things out there that would make our lives easier, if we knew about them. Here’s a list of goodies I’ve come across on accident over the past year that have made a huge positive impact on my efficiency and happiness.
This is as simple as hooking an external monitor up to a laptop or computer. As I write this, I’m writing it on Word on the external monitor, while the monitor screen has my email and other windows that I use throughout the day (but am not focusing on at this time). I am using my laptop screen to Google articles that provide supporting evidence such as this: “Dual Monitors: Six Good Reasons to Upgrade.” In short, I am using these two screens to improve my efficiency. Let’s face it, a laptop screen by itself is insufficient when you need to quickly switch between two windows, especially when one task requires a large display. Still not convinced? Research from Microsoft shows dual screens can boost productivity by 9 to 50 percent.
If you’re like me, you never considered using this, or had no need for it. A mobile hotspot basically gives you internet wherever you have cell phone coverage. And it will fit easily in your pocket. After getting one of these, I’m able to do things like:
- Extend a hunting or fishing trip by a day or two (since I can now do work from the middle of no where)
- Leave for the in-laws before the Thanksgiving rush (working on my laptop in the car while my wife drives)
- Not miss a beat when the local wifi slows down (at an airport or Starbucks)
The greatest thing about it is the price. For $50 a month I get 5 GB, which is almost impossible to hit unless I’m watching a lot of videos.
3. Bottle of Wine
Everyone enjoys wine. And everyone could always use some wine. Of course everyone has their own tastes and preferences. Here is a brief list of the favorite wines among the AgileLaw team:
- Awesome (and Expensive)!!
4. Demotivation posters
We’ve all seen motivational posters and may have scratched our head at their message. Demotivational posters take it a step further by adding satire and whit to this office staple. They are just plain funny, and I guarantee you not many lawyers will have these in his/her office. Just keep them in a private area where clients won’t see them! Despair.com has built an entire business out of these office essentials. Here’s one of the best ones we have hanging in the AgileLaw office:
They also have Demotivational Calendars that are just as awesome!
5. Standing Desk
When my co-workers started standing to work, I thought it was quirky. But one mentioned that he’d lost 5 pounds in a month without any other change in diet or behavior. I decided to give it a shot…that was 9 months ago. I haven’t been paying attention to my diet or my weight, but I have noticed an amazing difference when I run. Usually if I go a few weeks without running I’ll feel sluggish when I run again. Now if that happens, I am surprised by how much energy I have. So it’s clear my heart is stronger because I stand up at work. Another benefit, when I volunteer at events or go to trade shows, I see everyone else sitting down every chance they get, while I can stand all day like a champ and scoff at their weakness. But don’t take my word for it. More and more studies are showing that standing up at work is healthy, from reduced obesity, reduced diabetes, reduces heart disease, and more.
So there you have it. I guarantee you the lawyer in your life doesn’t have one of these things on the list. And while I can’t promise you they won’t look at you weird if you buy them a standing desk, I can promise that they’ll benefit and enjoy any of these five suggestions.