- May 16, 2018
The Earn That Buck Community is a great resource for the work at home lifestyle. I call it a lifestyle because working form your home really does have an effect on every aspect of your home life. This includes your schedule, pre- and post-work habits, as well as how your home workspace is structured.
I’m an advocate for work-life boundaries. Certain parts of your home need to be used just for work. Same with your schedule, too. That is key to having an enjoyable and profitable work from home career.
I realized I’ve been discussing some pretty lofty concepts lately, so today I’m going to talk about something simpler. I’ll be writing about the tools you’ll be needing as a work from home person.
Being a work from home person means you need to equip your home office yourself. You can’t just call Brenda from purchasing and ask for a new chair or a fresh ream of paper for the printer.
You’ll have to get all your office gear yourself - and that includes everything from your desk to your computer down to your pens and sticky labels. Everything needs to be self-bought.
Since there’s so much stuff you can get, there’s a big chance you can get bogged down thinking about what to get. The downside to that is you might end up with a bunch of stuff you don’t need immediately.
To help you, I wrote down this list of seven things every work from home person needs to get first. Think of it as your shopping list. I won’t include things like laptops, mobile phones, home internet, and even a printer. I assume you already have those things - otherwise, why even consider working from home?
On to my list of Seven Things Every Work From Home Person Needs!
1. A good lamp
All my friends, family, and colleagues know that I won’t shut up about the benefits of a good lamp. Lamps provide a benefit beyond the light they provide - they actually help you focus. When you switch on your lamp, that’s a signal to your mind that you’re now in work mode. When you switch it off, you’re prompting your brain that it’s personal time.
As a work from home person, you will need things to help you transition from work to home mode - and a lamp is one of them.
2. A notebook
I know, I know. You can write notes on your computer, and doing so produces less waste. But writing on actual paper has a calming effect on me. I suggest you do the same. At the start of your morning, write your to-do on your notebook. Physically writing – instead of just typing on your laptop – has a way of prepping your mind for the tasks and day ahead.
Oh, and you can also use your notebook for, you know, taking notes. Must not forget that.
3. Lots of pens and Sharpies
I suggest getting a variety of colors to help you tag and color-code your notes. For example, if dedicated a specific color to one project, and a different color to another. That way you have a quick visual reference. If you’re working on a specific project, It’ll be easier to tune out irrelevant notes based on their color.
4. Desk distractions
We’re always told to focus, but I think having some distractions on your desk can also be helpful. For me, it’s action figures and my binders of Magic: the Gathering cards (I’m a nerd). Whenever work gets a bit too much, I browse through my collection of cards and toys to de-stress.
Yes, you could always go on YouTube, but you’ll want to take your eyes away from the computer. Just a few minutes of doing this is enough to recharge yourself.
5. A comfortable chair
I took this for granted at the beginning. I used to use a plastic lawn chair, and it wreaked havoc on my lower back. You don’t have to splurge on those fancy Scandinavian office chairs. Just get something with good back support and adequate cushioning.
6. Noise-canceling headphones
If you’re like me, you’ll be working in a home occupied by kids and pets. It can get pretty loud in here – and unlike the college where I teach most of the year, I can’t order people to stay quiet. I finally gave up trying to control the noise and got myself a pair of noise-canceling headphones. Sanity restored.
7. A coffee maker
Coffee is life. It’s what keeps us work from home people chugging along. Since we won’t have a vendo machine or cafeteria nearby, we’ll have to make coffee ourselves. Most homes already have a coffee maker, but if yours doesn’t, get one. You’ll thank me for it.
This list is based on the stuff I use in my home office. Now it’s your turn to share! What are your home office essentials?
Let’s hear your stories!