Full Disclosure: I kept hearing that Fifth Harmony song “Work from Home” play in my head as I was writing this.
Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. You have flexible hours and you don’t have to wear a blazer! It can also be rather difficult, however, especially if you get easily distracted or tend to procrastinate on projects.
As someone who loves to work from home (and can tend to procrastinate) I have compiled a few “must haves” for someone who has a home office.
A Coffee Mug
I couldn’t do any job without large amounts of coffee, but when I work from home, it’s a whole other game. I keep a full pot of coffee in the kitchen, and about a thousand cute coffee mugs to choose from that motivate me to work just a little bit longer. Similar mug here.
For those of you who aren’t coffee lovers (I’m not exactly sure how that’s possible) having a favorite mug is still a good rule of thumb. Whether it’s herbal tea, fruity juice or something in between, you can be sure that having a morning routine makes waking feel a lot less miserable.
There’s something to be said for a calendar where you actually have to write something down. I have several calendar apps and make lists on my phone, but writing down information helps me better remember upcoming events. It’s also really satisfying to write down to-do’s and then actually see them completed. It can be an especially helpful resource for when you’re on a conference call and can’t have a lot of electronics running all at once. Having a written calendar/note pad helps me focus on my phone call while still being able to scribble a few important things down. Choose the planner that’s right for you.
Whether it’s the noisy neighbor upstairs, or the lawn crew that insists on weed whacking while you’re writing a presentation, there will always be more distractions in a home environment than in an office environment. Especially in an office space, you’d most likely be wearing headphones anyway, and getting in the habit of it can really cut down on the distractions around you.
A Separate Keyboard
I cannot stress this tip enough. As someone who spent most of her college time on a laptop, I can’t believe how much easier it is to work with a keyboard! Especially if you work with design elements like I do, having a separate mouse and keyboard will do wonders for your productivity.
It’s almost impossible not to have a laptop to take with you anywhere, but for productivity purposes, it’s much easier to work from a desktop. Similar to other Millennials, I multitask like crazy so I have a laptop and frequently hook it up to larger monitors for readability. I can use a laptop when I’m on the road or needing to make a quick change, and I can use my typical desk setup with multiple monitors when I am working on a larger, more intricate project. It has made all the difference.
While some people believe that using an organizer app can actually take up more time, I have to tell you that I think these resources are unbelievably helpful. Yes, I have to take time each day to update my notes, but having a setup that organizes my tasks has helped me from forgetting very important projects and deadlines.
If I were to suggest one organizational board to anyone, it would be Trello. The online project management site allows you and your team to set due dates, add lists, share projects and much, much more. I probably spend a total of 30 minutes each day on it for my job, but it has saved me hours in conference calls/emails by already being able to see what my team is up to, and it gives me a way to let my boss know how a project is coming along. See a tutorial here if you’re still curious.
Final Tip: It is so important to get into a routine for your job. Yes, working from home makes it easier to have a flexible schedule, but taking simple steps every day such as having coffee and returning emails, or marking items off of your list every night before you shut down your computer, can really help you feel more balanced in your tasks.
Comment in the section below if you have any questions or tips to share about working from home!