5 Cheap Purchases to Make You More Productive

Being productive does not have to be expensive.

Sure, some products and services that increase your productivity are expensive. Think of powerful laptops like the Macbook Pros, AirPods, high-resolution external monitors, noise-canceling headphones, etc — these can get very expensive.

You don’t have to spend such big bucks all the time to increase your productivity.

Just by spending “a few dollars” you can greatly increase your productivity. In this blog post, I will go over some of these purchases that personally worked for me.

I will address a few definitions first though.

How do you define “cheap”? What’s cheap to me, might not be cheap to you, and vice-versa. It’s pretty arbitrary. I have listed items below that are “cheap in my book”. However, regardless of the subjectivity, most of these items will come in a wide price range. So, I think you should be able to find some products from each category that will fit your budget.

Now, the next question. What criteria did I go through to decide whether to include an item in this list? I will list them below:

    Saves times

    Increases focus

    Helps build routines

    Reduces friction

    Helps you spend more time doing productive work

With definitions out of the way, let’s get to the list.

Note: None of these are affiliate links. I just list some products here for your convenience. Feel free to choose other options that fit your style and budget better.

3-in-1 Wireless Charging Pads (USD $39)

Nowadays, most devices support some type of wireless charging.

If you are living in this century, most probably you have a phone. Some of you might also have earbuds and smartwatches.

It’s very inconvenient to charge every gadget separately through multiple wires. There are a gazillion different cables and ports out there nowadays. The market is very segmented. Not only is that confusing, but it’s hugely inconvenient.

That’s where wireless charging pads come in.

It saves me a lot of time! Just the convenience of just dropping my phone, or any other gadget, on top of it and moving on with my day. I don’t have to fiddle around with wires or have to spend extra time plugging and unplugging.

Depending on how many devices you have that support wireless charging, you can get charging pads that can charge up to 5 devices.

Personally, I use this 3-in-1 charging pad.

There are lots of options for you to pick from. They come in all different shapes, sizes, and charging speeds. Pick one that works for you the best.

Physical Alarm Clock (USD $10)

One of the biggest excuses we have for bringing our mobile phones to bed is — using them as an alarm clock!

Such an innocent and insignificant decision ends up stealing hundreds of hours from our lives in the long run.

Over the years I have realized, bringing phones or any other gadgets into our bedrooms is one of the most anti-productive things you can do.

You are not only bringing your phone; with it, you are bringing a gazillion of distractions.

Don’t do it.

If you need an alarm clock, get an actual alarm clock.

You also have a few other added benefits:

    Keeping it away from bed means you have to get up to get it

    Some of them don’t have the snooze button

    They tend to be louder and “more annoying”

There are literally thousands of alarm clocks with different sets of bells and whistles you can buy.

Personally, I use one similar to this. Honestly, any would do for you! Just get the cheapest one.

Reusable Water Bottles (USD $10)

One of the best things you can do for your health, productivity, and environment is to keep a reusable water bottle with you all the time.

I never understood the benefit of continuous hydration, until I started doing it. Drinking water all the time makes you less hungry, keeps you feeling energetic, and helps you avoid brain fog.

I am not a doctor, but I have heard enough doctors say the same thing over and over again — stay hydrated!

A year ago, I bought a reusable water bottle. More specifically, I bought the YETI Rambler.

Yes, that’s expensive for a water bottle. But I really liked the look and feel of it.

You don’t have to get an expensive water bottle. Get the cheapest one you can. On Amazon, I have seen water bottles as low as $10-$15. Get whichever one works for you.

Just keep one thing in mind though. It’s worth spending a few extra dollars on things you will use regularly. You are literally going to be drinking water from this bottle for at least a couple of years. It makes sense to spend some money to make sure you are getting the best quality.

How is a water bottle supposed to make me productive, I hear you ask?

It does the following for me:

    Fewer trips to the kitchen to go get water

    Constant reminder to have water, which keeps me hydrated and energized

    Less time spent outside trying to find water

    Saves me money by not needing to buy plastic bottles

    Saves the environment!

Some of these help with my productivity directly, while others help improve my health and conscience, which ultimately leads to productivity too.

AirTags (USD $30)

AirTags has seriously transformed the way I travel around.

If you are not familiar with AirTags, these are Apple’s answer to tracking devices, similar to Tile.

You can keep these AirTags with anything you fear losing. Then, you can track them from your iPhone through the Find My app.

I bought 4 of these and put them in the following locations:

    My Keys




I cannot overstate how much time, energy, and worry it has saved me.

I no longer worry when I am out and about. Whether I am working from a coffee shop or commuting to the office, I have the peace of mind of knowing where are my most important belongings.

It comes in especially handy in airports, trains, and buses. I have seriously saved 10s of hours in airports, having slipped these into my checked-in luggage.

Desk Organizer (USD $20)

No matter where in the world we live, we have all done this.

Fumble around the house looking for car keys, house keys, garage clickers, or worse, wallets, when going outside.

The panic it causes is real.

Getting a simple, minimalist desk organizer fixed this for me, forever.

Now, every item in my apartment has a place they can call “home”.

Even better, for me, I know exactly where something is when leaving home. Sure, it takes a few weeks to get used to it. You will have to remember to put your items in the organizer every time you come back home.

As long as you keep the organizer somewhere you can see at all times, it should be easy.

I personally use this one made of bamboo. You can get cheaper ones too.

This one item has saved me at least a couple of hours every week. More importantly, it reduced mental and physical clutter in my space. Now, I leave my home much more peacefully, knowing exactly where my car keys, wallet, and garage clicker are.

Bundle these desk organizers with some AirTags, and you won’t ever have to worry about misplacing or losing items again.

Irtiza Hafiz