Working from home is quickly becoming the norm for many people, but no matter how focused you are, it can be a challenge to truly hit your productivity stride from the home-office.
The worst thing you can do is think you have endless amounts of time to complete your tasks. With your commute and water-cooler chatter gone, it might seem that way. But this mindset a dangerous trap. When you stretch your tasks throughout the day — even past quitting time — your work-life balance is thrown completely out of whack.
If you’re struggling to stay productive during your workday, I’ve got a couple things to help you out!
Essential Items for Productive Work at Home
1. HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 All-in-One Printer
Even though most of my business takes place online, it’s so important for any and every entrepreneur to invest in a quality printer.
TBH, administrative tasks are just an annoyance, especially when there are many more important things to do in my business. Having the HP OfficeJet 8035 helps me get them done in half the time with fast printing speeds, reliable wi-fi, and an auto-document feeder to avoid paper jams. If I need to print off a contract to sign, I can easily scan it back in to send over to the client. I also use it print labels and postage for various shipping needs like sending out copies of my book or mailing purchases people have made from my Poshmark store.
I’m not always the strongest digital reader, so printing off lengthy emails or documents that I need to focus on helps a ton. This way, I can highlight and take notes as needed along the way.
A bonus of this printer: you don’t have to worry about running out of ink! The HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 All-in-One comes with 8 months of free ink delivered to your door and even recognizes when it’s low to automatically ship it out to you.
2. Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
When you’re working from home with other people, it can be a point of contention when one person needs silence but the other wants to chat. If I’m recording a podcast or my husband is on a call, these Bose headphones are a life-saver for blocking out the background noise. I used to only use them on airplanes to listen to audiobooks and protect my ears. But without having a lot of travel, they have been just as good at protecting my ears from getting distracted while working from home.
The most impressive thing about these headphones is battery life. It seems to last forever. But the hidden gem is how much these headphones indicate to people around you that you CANNOT HEAR WHAT THE HECK THEY’RE SAYING. The ultimate ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ sign!
3. The Peloton Bike
A random one, but hear me out:
When I’m feeling a little down or stuck in a rut, I know it’s because I haven’t been moving my body as much as I should be. Working from home can be a challenge when that mental fog starts to settle, so do a little something to shake it up!
My biggest issue with exercising is figuring out when I’m going to do it. I used to love going to spin class, but the commute time seemed to at least triple what the workout time needed to be. The Peloton community has been a total game-changer for my workouts, and I can do them from my own home any time I want!
4. Bullet Journal
My bullet journal is where I brain-dump my schedule for the day and any tasks or ideas that may be buzzing about in my head. Once I can get it all out on paper, I know I won’t forget about it later on.
I keep my bullet journal on me at all times throughout the workday so I can jot down ideas as they come. This is critical, because I have this terrible habit when I’m working on the computer to open a new browser tab every time I want to remember to do something. I throw it in the search bar and tell myself I’m saving it for later…but all those tabs become a major distraction. If I save it in my bullet journal, it’s all ready for me when it’s time to dive into those miscellaneous tasks of the day.
5. The Miracle TimeCube Kitchen Timers
Parkinson’s Law is the idea that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. In other words, if you tell yourself you have the whole day to complete a task…it’s going to take you that whole day. Every time.
But if you tell yourself you have 20 minutes, you’re MUCH more likely to bite the bullet and get it done. Or at least have some kind of final result at the end of those 20 minutes!
Your phone timer is easily distracting and if you don’t use a timer at all, you might let something take you much longer than if you would have just sat down to focus. I use these timer cubes to block out chunks of time and focus on the things I need to do. If I only want to spend 15 minutes on something, I set the timer and know that I won’t run over my specific amount of time (you can’t miss that alarm!).
QOTD: What tools do you use to stay productive while working from home?