If you have the type of work that glues you to your seat the whole 8 hours of the day, chances are there are moments when you simply feel so restless as if you wanted to bolt right out of your seat and scream. We all have experienced those moments when our buckets of sanity simply overflows that we would like these to just come out in the open. Here are some tools you can use to while away the time, keep you preoccupied, and direct that pent-up psychological and emotional energy into more constructive uses. With these 12 cool desk toys you have to see in 2017, you’ll be better equipped to manage your everyday stresses especially at work.
12 Cool Desk Toys
Rubik’s Cube Game by Hasbro
While we don’t necessarily expect you to solve the Rubik’s Cube in just 6.54 seconds, you really have to admit that playing this cube takes absolute concentration and focus. You can have more than a billion different configurations or combinations but there’s only one solution to the magic afforded by the Rubik’s Cube. Master this trick and you can solve any configuration people can throw at you. Of course, it does take time. But that’s exactly the point in desk toys. These are meant to divert your attention into something that’s more mentally stimulating so that you won’t waste your psychological and emotional energies worrying about things you don’t have control of. At first, you’ll strive to match the colors on one side of the cube. This alone already takes tremendous amount of effort on your part, mentally. You will no longer have time to think about what’s worrying you. That’s why it’s so effective as a stress-buster. And since it’s small enough, you can take it anywhere with you. At the first sign of anxiety, just bring it out of your pocket, and try to beat your previous record.
What We Like about It – It’s a classic game. It’s great for keeping idle hands busy as well as flying thoughts firmly on the ground.
Fidget Cube by VHEM
While it’s not a Rubik’s Cube, the Fidget Cube is nonetheless, an excellent tool for keeping idle hands very busy. It doesn’t really matter whether your hands are a clicker, a spinner, a roller, or even a flicker. The 6 sides of the Fidget Cube have something that will keep those hands busy. Actually, there’s an even more interesting story behind these Fidget Cube surfaces. Because fidgety hands are a manifestation of a turbulent mind, experts agree that by providing a different sensory input to the brain will help cognitive processes to correct itself by focusing on the transmission of sensory signals. Similar to distraction, providing a different sensory input will keep the mind off the thing or event that is causing the anxiety and instead focuses on the sensations or sensory inputs provided by another object. In this case, this is provided by the different features of the Fidget Cube. This makes it quite effective in terms of alleviating anxieties we experience while in the office or anywhere else. At any rate, you’ll be able to focus on these sensations and not on the problems that are fueling your anxieties.
What We Like about It – We’ve read quite several negatives about the Fidget Cube only to learn that these were from knock-offs. If you want the real Fidget Cube, it’s best to buy from reputable sources.
Euler’s Disk by Toysmith
Some of us play with coins when we get bored. We spin these coins on our desk and truly immerse ourselves in the beauty of the spin as well as the sound it creates especially as it slowly winds down to a halt. A much better alternative is to get the Euler’s Disk. It’s got its own steel disk that’s beautifully plated in chrome to give your Euler’s Disk a surface area designed specifically for its spinning. Watch the disk spin faster with each tick of your second hand. The longer it keeps on spinning, the louder it gets. The strips of kaleidoscopic stickers on the surface of the Euler’s also allow it to give you a dazzling show. This combination of sights and sounds will surely keep your mind busy and off of whatever is bothering you. Anytime you feel like getting bugged by something you don’t know, just whisk the Euler’s Disk out of your drawer, lay it on your desk, and spin the disk. Get ready to be mesmerized by a spectacular display of sounds and lights, flooding your mind with fantastic sensations that you’ll soon forget your problems.
What We Like about It – It’s an excellent combination of art and science in one neat packaging. At least, your coins will be safe in your pocket or even in your purse.
Beach Break Executive Mini Sandbox by Be Good Company
Many psychoanalysts and other health care professionals use guided imagery to help their patients relax and feel less anxious. In many cases, they will ask you to imagine yourself in a fantastic beach, fully lined with palm trees, and you lying in your very own hammock tied between those trees and with several pieces of ripe and nutritious coconuts by your side. There are no annoying telephones or technologies that are bothering you. The only thing you’ll hear are the chirps of seagulls and other beach birds, the breaking of the waves, and the rustling of the surf as it rolls towards the beach. Then you’ll feel the fresh gust of air with its characteristic saltiness of the sea. Ah, that’s the life. Unfortunately, if you’re in the office, it may be quite difficult to imagine yourself in this scenario. You need help. You need the Beach Break Executive Mini Sandbox. If you’re stressed out and you want to be reminded of that wonderful feeling of laying down, of relaxing by the beach, all you need to do is to look at this miniature sandbox complete with a lounger, an umbrella, seashells, bucket, and rake adorning the white sands on the box. Now, all you need to add is the sound effect of the beach and you’re on your way to a more relaxing office work.
What We Like about It – The realism of the Beach Break scene is fascinating. Too bad, Be Good Company hasn’t included the beach sound effects yet.
Tangle Relax Therapy by Tangle
Stress can be manifested in a variety of ways. Some can have their heartbeat racing like a galloping horse. Some will be perspiring like a Boston marathoner. Some will be going to the restroom every 5 minutes or so. Whatever the manifestation, it all reflects a lot of psychological energy that needs to be redirected into more constructive ways. Such is the idea of the Tangle Relax Therapy. Looking at it, it’s nothing more than an over-sized rubber tube that has different colors in different segments. But the idea is to let your mind focus on untangling the twists and turns of the Tangle Relax so you will get your mind off whatever is causing the anxiety or stress. Sure, you’ll be using the muscles in your hands to twist and reposition these interconnecting rubbery tubes but it’s actually your mind that will be hard at work trying to figure out how to untangle the whole thing. Your mind will be using a lot of psychic energy so you will feel much more relaxed afterwards. The rubbery feel of the Tangle Relax is also excellent in providing additional tactile stimulation to keep your mind focused on what it’s doing.
What We Like about It – The Tangle Relax has been proven to be effective in helping individuals find relaxation amidst a stressful environment. This alone is proof of its effectiveness as a desk toy.
Magnetic Sculpture Desk Toy for Intelligence Development and Stress Relief by Glantop
We already discussed something about stress and how it uses a lot of psychic energy, sometimes draining us to the point that we are no longer able to perform our tasks. The Glantop Magnetic Sculpture Desk Toy helps in this regard by giving our minds something to think about. The point is to get the mind into thinking about one particular thing so that it effectively blocks off all other possible stimuli that may serve as the source of our stresses. The principle works just like narcotic analgesics where they block the pain transmission pathways so our brain doesn’t receive the signals for pain and instead receive pleasurable sensations. While it’s not a narcotic or an addicting device, the Glantop provides a point of focus for our minds. With 160 stainless steel balls in different sizes atop a magnetic base, the Glantop allows us to use our mind’s creative potential by arranging and rearranging the steel balls in different configuration or combinations. It’s like being a child again – worry-free, care-free, and full of fun.
What We Like about It – The design philosophy put into the Glantop is astounding. With so many possibilities, our minds can focus on completing one particular task at a time.
Magnetic Decision Maker by Kikkerland
One of the most stressful activities of humans is having to decide on something. Whether it is choosing what to wear or picking up on an opening statement or even deciding on which property to invest in, it takes an unusually large amount of psychic energy that most of us will often have headaches afterwards. That’s why some enterprising dudes decided to come up with portable decision makers. While there are clearly no scientific bases for how these devices work, the psychological relief these provide is often enough to make us feel more relaxed. The Kikkerland Magnetic Decision Maker is one fantastic-looking device that can pretty well serve as a desktop ornament or décor. Imagine a stainless steel base with a sleek and slender arm jutting upwards with a stainless ball dangling from the top of the steel arm. Just pick the ball, move it to the side a bit, and then release. Once the ball stops moving, just look at the area of the base where it stopped and you’ll have your answer to your decision-making activity. It’s a more sophisticated method of deciding than flipping a coin and deciding heads or tails.
What We Like about It – The sleek design makes it a great table or desk décor. It’s up to you if you’ll believe in the answers provided by the Kikkerland. For your anxiety’s sake, you’d better believe.
Stress Buster Desktop Punching Ball by Tech Tools
We’re pretty certain there’s a point in time when you wanted to just punch someone in the face or perhaps even vent your ire on an object. Scientists say that one of the best ways to manage stress is to convert the psychic energy into physical energy so that you’ll feel much better. And if you believe in such things, then the Stress Buster Desktop Punching Ball is just for you. The Stress Buster is actually like the speedball that boxers use to train except that it’s not mounted in a downward alignment. Instead, the Stress Buster is marvelously supported by a heavy duty spring mechanism that allows it to bounce with each punch that you give it. The only thing missing is the drawing of the face of your favorite nemesis and you’re set for life.
What We Like about It – It’s the perfect solution to vent your frustrations on something that won’t fight back.
30188 Magic 8 Ball by Mattel
If you’re having problems arriving at a decision, maybe the Magic 8 Ball can help. Simply ask a question that needs deciding on, flip the Magic 8, and the answer will be revealed. You now have your own personal crystal ball where the answers to some of the decisions you’ll make are already brought to you at a flip of a ball. While we cannot guarantee that it will work, at least, you don’t have to fret anymore about deciding.
What We Like about It – Patterned after the famed 8-ball of billiards, the Magic 8 is one fun way to seek advice. If you’re going to ask us whether it’s a good buy or not, our own Magic 8 Ball says it is.
DoxieBall basketball Trash Can Game by Doxie
Who says you cannot have fun with your scrap paper and all the trash in your office? Remember how much more relieved you felt when you tried making that rainbow 3-point shot into your trash can, perhaps even making that all-pumped-up sign? With the DoxieBall, you now have a full basketball backboard complete with a ring and a net that you can attach to any trash can. Now, you can shoot those trash from anywhere in your office and you’d still make the perfect buzzer-beating shot of a lifetime.
What We Like about It – The DoxieBall provides an ingenious solution to the mundane task of throwing trash into the trash can.
6-Inch Handheld Brass Telescope with Wooden Box for Pirate Navigation by ITDC
Eyeing your beautiful officemate from across the room? Have you been bitten by the Pirates of the Caribbean curse? Whatever the case, you’ll find the ITDC Handheld Brass Telescope to be a worthwhile investment to make your office break times or even lull times to be as productive as ever. Now, you can focus on something, or someone, more beautiful to spice up your day even for very brief moments. At least, you’ll never have to be very anxious anymore; unless, that person is the one making your heartbeat race like a thoroughbred.
What We Like about It – The unique and classic design of the ITDC makes it a great addition to one’s pirate collection. Now, you’ve got something that even Capt. Jack Sparrow will surely envy.
The Official BS Button by Gemmy
If you work in an office where saying the b***s**t word gets you penalized or something, then the Official BS Button is the one to get. You’ll never be accused of using profane language ever again because it’s this gigantic red button that will be doing it for you. If you feel like blurting out the BS word in response to a statement from a colleague, just hit the red button and it speaks the word out loud and clear. It can even shout other funny statements that are BS-ty to that effect.
What We Like about It – We’re not sure how your office will respond but the close to 1,200 happy and satisfied customers is proof of its usefulness.
How We Chose the Cool Desk Toys in Our List
Otherwise known as stress-busters, desk toys are some of the most practical ways in which we can minimize our anxieties and help us stay in complete control of the tasks before us. As such, in picking the desk toys to include in this shortlist, we had to make sure that these products are really renowned for their stress-busting effectiveness. We had to be sure that whatever product we include in this top 12 will be able to help relieve your anxieties and help you stay focused.
But, we did not do it alone. We took the liberty of looking at the comments, reviews, feedbacks, and concerns or issues of consumers regarding these products. We had to make sure that our initial evaluation closely resembles the assessments of others like us who simply want a product that is really effective. While it was quite impossible to achieve a 5-star rating in all products, we nevertheless, provided a cutoff score for the consumer product rating. If you have already noticed we even included a 3.5-star product. We’d like to justify that the great majority of the negative reviews were the result of obtaining a similar, albeit fake product. Having said that, we then focused on those who were able to purchase the original and evaluated their experiences. You see, gaining a 3-star rating doesn’t necessarily translate to a bad product. It all depends on the validity of the concerns raised.
Related to this, company reputation was deemed important. While not all Chinese companies have a very bad reputation just as not all US companies are good, we had to be very careful about including any non-US, especially Chinese, manufacturers in our list. We had to dig deeper into the credibility and trustworthiness of these companies as a reflection of the quality of products that they churn out of their design rooms.
Simple Tips to Manage Your Stress at Work
Since desk toys are inherently tied to helping you relieve stress in any situation, particularly at work, we decided to include a few tips to manage stress at work. While we are not psychologists, we do know the impact of stress at work as it can affect our productivity and become a major source of strains in relationships. That’s why it’s important for us to know how to manage stress in the workplace.
- Focus on one task at any given time. While we may be able to multi-task, there’s a certain limit to what our minds and bodies can do. So, take your time and focus on the more important things.
- Document everything. If we have a lot of things in mind, chances are, we’ll miss something. You have to write everything down so you won’t forget. When you forget things, they can become sources of stress once you remember them.
- Keep your to-do-list as short as possible. Cramming 20 different tasks within 24 hours is next to impossible. Be realistic about the amount of tasks that you can complete in one day.
- Keep it light. And by this we mean not making a mountain out of a simple molehill. Some of us have this uncanny ability to blow everything out of proportion. If the problem seems larger than it actually is, we will definitely get stressed out.
- Focus on the solution, not the problem. Patch Adams put it so well when he said we need to look beyond the problem so we’ll see the solution. If we’re too preoccupied with looking at the problem, we’ll be stressed out, and we’ll never see the solution.
The Bottom Line
To work is a must for everyone, regardless of how stressful it can be. Good thing, you now have an antidote for this work-related stress. you have our 12 cool desk toys you have to see in 2017.