Working from home is the envy of many employees. Forget bumper-to-bumper traffic, unpredictable weather and the dreaded 8 am meeting. But as wonderful as working from home might be, it can come with the lure of procrastination and plenty of distractions.
Here’s the truth, accountability, and productivity come from working on the right projects and surrounding yourself with the right people. That’s why I’m very intentional about making sure my home is set up to keep me focused. These are 21 of my favorite items that help me stay productive while I’m working from home.
It’s too easy to forget your brilliant business ideas. Jot it down. I keep my journal on my nightstand so it’s easy for me to quickly write down my thoughts and potential business ideas as soon as they pop into my head.
Netflix is a big temptation when you have some downtime. Instead, keep a few books by your bed for some added inspiration. Most of the time, I like to keep at least four books on my nightstand. They don’t have to be business-focused books. You just want something that sparks your interest and keeps your mind active. Right now, I’m obsessed with “Tribe of Mentors” and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***.”
#3 Silk pillowcase
It’s no secret that I love getting my hair blow dried. In an effort to save me time and money, I use a silk pillowcase. Not only does it feel amazing after a long day of work, but it helps my blow out last for a few extra days. Consider it a win-win.
#4 Rosewater Spray
Having a good night’s sleep starts with relaxation. Just a few spritz of rosewater instantly makes my bed feel calmer and more relaxing. The aroma is subtle, but it really helps clear my mind so I’m not running through my mile-long to-do list while I’m drifting off.
#5 Lavender oil
Speaking of relaxation, every night I also put a small dab of lavender oil on my neck. Between the lavender and rose aromas, my bed smells like a fragrant garden. After a long day’s work, it’s just what I need to put myself in the right frame of mind.
#6 Waterproof weights
Get your blood flowing first thing in the morning. You can take these waterproof weights into the shower. A little exercise first thing in the morning is perfect for kicking your day off right. Honestly, some of my best ideas come to me while I’m in the shower.
#7 Comfortable sneakers
I believe everyone should make an effort to #MoveYourAss every day. Even if I can’t make it to my exercise class, I keep my comfortable sneakers right by my bed to remind myself to stay active. A brisk walk around the block or a quick jog over to the beautiful Boston Commons, I know I’m more productive once I get moving.
#8 Water bottle
Instead of reaching for snacks all day, I make a concerted effort to keep myself hydrated. Most of the time, people think they’re hungry when they’re actually just not drinking enough water. My Swell bottle is airtight, so it’s easy for me to throw in my backpack or my purse. I can stay hydrated even when I’m on the go.
#9 Warm lemon water
They’ll be times when you just need something cozy and warm. Rather than reach for a fizzy drink or coffee, I love sipping on warm lemon water. Just one cup is all it takes to help me refocus and, most importantly, stay hydrated. If I’m really crunched for time, I’ll even take it in the shower.
#10 Healthy snacks easily accessible
When your day is crazy, it’s easy to reach for the first snack you see. Instead, make sure to have plenty of healthy snacks in your kitchen and office. A healthy diet helps keep you sharper, which makes your whole day more productive. To save yourself even more time, cut up some fresh fruits and veggies.
Just because you’re working from home, doesn’t mean you can’t have a little “assistance.” There a myriad of things that a virtual assistant like Alexa can do, from placing an Amazon order to adding an important meeting to your calendar.
My two whiteboards are my most basic and best tools for helping me map out my big business projects and team goals. I even write down some inspirational quotes to help me get in the right mindset. Post Its are also an easy way to make a quick note without having to erase the whiteboard.
#13 Bookshelf for inspiration and decoration
If you want to be productive in your office, you need to make it reflects your passions and things that make you happy. Whether it’s my hashtag signs or my favorite books, my bookshelf is filled with items that inspire me to bring my best self to my business. The bookshelf is also the perfect backdrop for video calls and live broadcasts.
#14 Relaxation mat
After a long meeting or business call, I always want to take a moment to refresh my mind. That’s why I love having my Bed of Nails relaxation mat nearby. After a few minutes of deep breathing and closing my eyes my mood is better and I’m ready for the next challenge. The best part? It doesn’t take up that much room so it’s perfect for a small office space.
#15 Scented candle and lotion
Some days trying to stay productive at your desk can feel impossible. It’s good to have something nearby that can instantly help you refocus. Aromatherapy candles and lotions might seem simple, but it’s a good way to take a quick 330-secondbreak.
#16 Comfortable office chair
You might find yourself sitting down for hours on end at your desk. That’s why it’s important to invest in a comfortable office chair. Ergonomic and posture supporting office chairs, like CoreChair, help you sit in optimal posture while also working your core. You’re going to spend every day in it, a good chair is worth spending money on.
#17 Thigh master
No, this isn’t a throwback to the 80s. But while you’re on a conference call, why not get a quick workout in? The nuance is that no one knows that you’re multitasking, and you feel like you’re still getting your daily workout.
Don’t let dry lips get the better of you. I always keep one or two chapsticks on my desk. Having chapstick is also perfect for when you have an unexpected video call. One, two quick swipes and you look ready to go.
#19 Healthy sweet snack
As much as I love my morning smoothies, sometimes I need a taste of something more indulgent. Healthy sweet snacks, like the gummies from Pressed Juicery, are easy to store at your desk and delicious. Another possibility is to get a small airtight container for dried fruit or nuts. It’s easy to grab, and the perfect little crunch.
#20 Wireless earbuds
Tired of tangled, messy chords? Wireless earbuds are really helpful when you’re moving around your office or trying to keep your desk free of unnecessary clutter. Even better, many wireless earbuds brands now, like Apple’s Air Pods, have built-in, high-quality microphones which are perfect for conference calls.
#21 Post Its
Never underestimate the productivity potential of Post Its. Smaller Post Its are great for adding quick reminders. But I especially love using larger Post Its to help me prioritize my biggest tasks of the day. Once I’m done, I just fold the Post It in half – just a great way to remind myself that another task is done.
Low battery warnings always pop up at the worst moments. That’s why I keep two charging packs nearby. While one is stowed away in my backpack, the other can charge at my desk. It gives me peace of mind to know I’m always fully charged wherever I go.
Ready for more Better Business Habits?
The way we work is a result of our daily habits. Are your habits helping you meet your business goals? Take the time to evaluate where your business is falling short, and come up with a game plan of how you can stay productive.
To learn more ways to say productive and get more done, sign up for my Better Business Habits series.