My coworker had a slinky at her desk that she played with. Everyone was jealous of it and it would sometimes make it’s way to other people’s desks “accidentally,” so she bought us all Slinkies of our own for the holidays. I play with it constantly, on the phone and during meetings. The sound is soothing, and the feeling of the rings going across my fingers.

I stole this wooden chew toy from my 10-month-old baby to play with at work.  I gave it to him in a pricey baby boutique to settle him down so I could finish my shopping but all the time thinking, “This is really for me. This thing is so pretty and feels so nice.” He kept it for almost a week and then today I thought, “Maybe I’ll just try it out one day.” The wooden balls are smooth and cool to the touch.  I like the clicky-clackety sounds it makes as I spin it through my fingers. The balls are on a thick elastic cord so they can be separated briefly and then knock back together. It’s also solid; because it’s made for babies to chew on, it has to be sturdy. It feels substantial but isn’t too heavy. And, yes,I stole it from a baby, but it also reminds me of him and all the fun we have when we’re together. 

I always touch my lip with my left index finger while I work. When I get really deep into something, I stroke it back and forth like a tiny violin. I never noticed I do it until someone pointed it out to me.

These are my black walnuts, which I idly picked up while phone pacing in the parking lot and was then delighted to discover that they make the perfect fidget toy.

They have such great texture, with variation from rough to smooth. I love to run my fingers over it, and rub the walnuts against one another. The texture gives just enough friction. 

They are the perfect size and weight to roll around in my hand. 

That they are organic is a really important feature. I used to fidget with plastic toys made on a makerbot — the bolt, for example. Their rough edges would leave my fingers sore and raw after a day of fidgeting (I’m an intense person like that, haha….) but the walnuts don’t. 

The half walnut with the hole is fun to match up the split edges, and then let it fall apart again, or fit the edge of the whole one into the hole of the other one. the inside is also nice and smooth for tactile variation. 

I also play with a pen. In Kansas high school debate, the ability to do this trick with a pen was a rite of passage. It separated the novice debaters from the experienced. It took me a few weeks of tournaments to learn it, but once I did I never stopped. 

I didn’t really think I had a desk object until I saw that someone else had submitted a pen video. Though, honestly, I think I do this a lot more in meetings than I do at my desk, alone. 

When I’m at work, I always fidget with my pen, spinning it with my fingers.The trick is to make it twirl freely across my hand and fingers without dropping it. To do that, you need to find the perfect balance and grip on the pen.   

I picked this habit up when I used to work as a waitress. A coworker looked so cool when he did it — it was a great way to give myself something to concentrate on while waiting for tables and spending time to perfect it. I find it helpful to concentrate my thoughts while I can keep myself fidgeting in a way that looks cool. :) 

I have  a lifelong history of fidgeting that’s connected to ridiculous adult nail biting. Super embarrassing. If Im fidgeting, I’m not biting my nails, but if I lack for a fidget thing I’ll bite my nails like a mofo. Quitting smoking didn’t help. 

I brought a koboloi back home from greece this time, a traditional fidget of worry beads The downside is that I look like a greek uncle who’s been sitting at the same cafe for the last 5 years spouting non sensical political/football theories in between backgammon sessions. don’t get me wrong, I’ll get there eventually.
I also bought this thing: which should be in transit. I’m stoked about it. Brady Forrest backed it on Kickstarter and I hadn’t seen one up close, it’s pretty dope. 
Finally — MakerBot was a fidgeting culture. Everyone had a myriad of 3D printed items on their desk, so  no one minded if I picked one up and fiddled with it while we chatted. It was par for the course, and a peachy situation in that regard.

I usually drink tea or coffee while I work, so I fiddle with the cup non-stop.

I play with the little bumps on top of the cover and press on them, or run my fingernails through the pressed text. I specially play with it once it´s empty and cold, as a way have my hands busy while I think.

I guess it feels relaxing and natural, since I do it without noticing. 

My fidgetbit was 3D printed as a single piece at GR Makers in Grand Rapids, MI.

I fiddle consistently with 4 things:

  • My arm warmers — i am almost always wearing arm warmers at work, and I am constantly playing with the edges (edge closest to fingers).  I think I do it most when I have slight writer’s block.
  • A dry erase marker — we have “writable” walls, so I will hold my dry erase marker and twirl it with my fingers.
  • The headphone cord for my iPod touch — I like the “strand” feel of it and will pull it between both hands. It’s calming.
  • My wedding ring — I will turn it around with my thumb.