Creating a productive environment when you are working from home is essential. Over the years, I've learned more about the things that help me get work done every day. Today, I wanted to share a few of the products I have at my desk so that I can get through my to-do list. These are my productivity desk essentials.
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1) Blue Light Blocking Glasses
First and foremost, my blue light blocking glasses are a must-have. I sit at the computer for hours every day, and the blue light from my laptop (and my phone) can mess with my eyes. Using blue light glasses consistently can be a great way to take care of yourself if you have a work from home job. I feel like blue light glasses have this horrible reputation. When people think of these glasses, they think of hideous yellow glasses that have no style. A lot has changed in the past few years, and I own several pairs of stylish blue light blocking glasses.
I love this article from Good Housekeeping if you want to know more about the importance of blue light blocking glasses.
I own several pairs from Klassy Network and a few cheap pairs from Amazon. While I love my Klassy Network glasses, they are a bit on the expensive side. I usually wait until I get a sale notification from Klassy Network before I buy a pair. Amazon has a wide variety of blue light glasses, though, so I wouldn't be afraid to purchase from there.
2) Eye Drops
While my blue light blocking glasses help a ton with eye strain, my eyes do occasionally feel dry. Since I use my eyes so much during my work (but who doesn't), I need to keep them hydrated. I picked up a cheap $1 bottle of eye drops from my local Dollar Tree. These eye drops aren't fancy, but they get the job done. If I ever feel like my eyes need a bit of moisture, I add a few drops into each eye, and I am feeling good again. If you don't currently use eye drops, get a small bottle, and thank me later!
3) Sticky Notes And Scratch Paper
I need to write random stuff out all the time while I am sitting at my desk. Sometimes an idea will come to me while I am working that I don't want to lose, or I'll need to write out a number I've seen online. Having sticky notes and paper around my desk works for me. My desk can get a bit busy with all the scratch paper around, so I make sure I schedule a few minutes to clean up my office every few days.
4) Portable Fan
Sometimes, I get extremely hot while sitting at my desk. I like to be able to control the temperature at my desk while I am working. This year, I decided it was time for me to get a portable fan. Amazon has a ton of portable fan options. Unfortunately, the one I have is no longer available on the site. I love mine because it requires a small charge and can run for a few hours, depending on the setting I pick. I usually stick to the first setting because it's just enough air to cool me down.
5) Over The Ear Headphones
I am a huge fan of over the ear headphones. I don't like earbuds because I find most of them uncomfortable and annoying. I've used so many types of over the ear headphones during my time as a freelancer. My favorite pair I've ever tried is the Cowin E7 active noise-canceling headphones. So, why do I love these so much? Simple:
- The quality is fantastic. These have a super soft earpad that insulates your ear while still giving you room to breathe.
- The price is amazing. The black ones retail for about $60, so they aren't as expensive as some headphones out there.
- They come in multiple colors. If black isn't your fave, you can also get them in blue, green, purple, red, and white.
The Cowin E7 isn't their most up to date model, but it's still a solid choice and cheaper than the E8 model that came out in 2018. I do want to give a caveat that I don't tend to use the noise-canceling mode all that often. When I do use it, it does cut out a lot of the background noise, though, so for $60-$70, I feel like you get a good deal.
6) A Reusable Water Bottle
Next, I need a reusable water bottle. My life is better when I have one nearby. I usually use water from my ZeroWater water pitcher and pour it into one of my many water bottles. I love the water bottles that I get from Metal Marvels, but lately, I've been falling in love with BKR water bottles too. BKR bottles are kind of expensive, but they are so beautiful. I currently have one of their 1-liter water bottles, and I have a 500-milliliter water bottle coming this week.
Overall, I think it is so important to drink water regularly when you have a desk job. One, your frequent bathroom trips will make the perfect breaks to stop you from working your fingers to the bone and two, it's good for your health. I don't think we all need to drink eight, 8-ounce cups of water each day, but striving to drink more water is ideal.
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7) A Quartet Glass Desktop Pad
Another way I write down all my feelings is by using a glass desktop pad from Quartet. It fits nicely under my desktop and helps me quickly write things out like grocery lists, reminders, and fun quotes. If you want something a bit more eco-friendly for taking notes, this glass desktop pad could even replace your sticky notes and paper. I tend to use a combination of both depending on my current desk situation.
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8) My Planner
Last, but not least, a planner is a desktop must-have if I am trying to be more organized. Lately, I've been loving using my planner: The 90-Day Ambitious Freelancer Planner to keep up with my tasks and activities throughout the day. It keeps me on task with all my freelance goals and helps me get more done throughout the day.
I am also partial to The Simplified Planner or The Daily Productivity And Brain Dump Book from Sarah Steckler. I use a variety of planners, depending on what I feel will help me get stuff done that day.
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There you have it, my full list of things I keep at my desk every day. It's important to keep the things that keep you productive nearby every day. If you don't keep those items close, it can be easy to slip into the unproductive habits that can set your progress back weeks. As responsible adults, we should be seeking the things that keep us productive instead of avoiding them.