Even before a global health crisis had many of us adjusting to the work-from-home life, I was well familiar with the art of the home office. From freelance writer to remote editor, I've worked from home to some degree for over a decade. There's a talent in curating a space that's specifically tailored to your workload's needs as well as your own well-being.
From office supplies like highlighters (an absolute must) to creature comforts like my cozy chair (it's necessary, okay?), these are all the things I've learned I need in my home office to stay focused, supported, and balanced.
I am not, nor have I ever been, a person who can sit upright in the same position for longer than a few minutes at a time. I need to stretch! I need to twist! Blame it on my yoga habit, I suppose. Traditional task chairs just don't do it for me.
This wide chair replaced my ergonomic rocking seat a number of months ago, and I am never going back. It is affordable, easy to assemble, and so comfy.
For when sitting starts feeling stagnant, I pull out my handy treadmill. I got sucked into the work from home side of TikTok a while back and was all too excited to snag this beauty on Prime Day.
An easy stroll at two miles per hour is a gentle, yet super effective way to help keep me focused while I work. At some point soon, I'll have to add a standing desk converter to my set up, though. Setting my laptop on a stack of books is only going to cut it for so long.
I cannot say enough good things about these headphones. While mine were a gift from my very thoughtful husband, they do come in at a far more accessible price point than many other high-quality options. They're comfortable enough for me to keep on for hours at a time without my head hurting (a major feat for someone with a sizable noggin like mine).
Something that has worked incredibly well for me has been giving myself "sprints" of activity. A quick break in between to refill my water bottle or let the dog out followed another "sprint" has become a real help with keeping me focused.
But there's one small issue: I can't do ticking sounds. As soon as there's a monotonous clicking sound anywhere near me, my anxiety goes haywire. No, thank you.
An author friend turned me onto this silent little treasure that I originally bought for my daughter to keep track of her daily summertime reading. Now that school is back in session, I snag it out of her bedroom from time to time to use in my office.
If I don't write a deadline or a direction down with pen on paper, I might as well just forget about it completely, whether it's work-related or not. Keeping a notebook that holds all of my daily tasks, chores, and meetings helps me make sure nothing goes missing, and I can refer back to last week's items without needing to dig through my waste bin.
What I love about this "focused" formatted notebook from Erin Condren (apart from the oh-so-chic gold pinstripes) is the ability to separate out different chunks of my day and still keep a running list that needs to be checked off by the end of it.
Anyone who has ever seen any spreadsheet I've ever put together knows I like things color-coded. (Lookin' at you, Carrie.) If I'm putting together a plan of action, I'd better know what element belongs where without having to double-check. The same concept belongs on my to-do lists.
Blue is meetings, orange is high priority tasks, green is family needs, and so on. When I make my daily list, everything I write down gets a color, and there's no better way to make that happen than with my favorite highlighter set.
It doesn't get much simpler or more affordable than this humble Bic pen. That said, this is my Old Reliable. I'm constantly scribbling things down (enough to have developed an affection for certain pen brands), and this basic, yet perfect, pick is my can't-live-without favorite.
Remember the scribbling? My constant need to write things down by hand in order to keep track of everything in my life? If I ever need to turn the page of my handy to-do notebook, it often helps to pop a little sticky note on anything important I don't want to forget about.
I've extoled the virtues of this laptop stand before, and I stand by including it in my list of favorite products. Hunching over the desk ain't it, folks. Sit up nice and tall, and get yourself a laptop stand that holds the screen a lot closer to eye level.
It doesn't matter if I'm walking or lounging. I need to hydrate, and I will forget without encouragement. This gallon-sized water bottle stays right beside me throughout the workday and even comes along for walks with the dog. I do my best to drink the whole thing in a day, per the handy little time markings, though it's harder than it seems!
Whenever I'm itching to get away from my desk for a spell, I have the perfect spot. Tucked away in a corner that used to be a closet, I've stashed this stylishly squishy chair that serves as both a mini getaway and a brain booster. Sometimes changing your viewpoint while you work really does help!
Why in the world a house as small as mine has any problems connecting to the internet is beyond me, but it does happen. My brother gifted me this WiFi extender that plugs right into the wall just outside my office door, and my connection has markedly improved! Can't have my signal drop in the middle of a Zoom meeting after all.
So maybe it's not exactly a necessity, but this candle not only makes the whole room smell lovely, it sets a mood that I find exceptionally conducive to answering emails. I don't understand it, but I do really love it. The water lily and amber aroma does the trick for me, I guess!
To be fair, these little labels can be found in my living room and bedroom, too, particularly behind the televisions. Between my laptop, my printer, my backup battery, and all the rest of the mess under my desk and behind my bookcase, though, these are a total lifesaver in my office.