I LOVE working from home.
“But Ash, don’t you just get distracted? I totally would if I worked from my house …”
Welp, I’ll be honest. I’ve DEF had my days where I stayed up too late the night prior, La Croix toasted to a recording of The Bachelor during a (rare, but I’m trying to get better!) lunch break, aaaaand wake up approximately 2 hours later with one of the German Shepherd puppies curled in my arms.
But MOSTLY, you can find me in my girl cave Monday through Friday during business hours. Sometimes, I go to the library or a coworking space, but not normally!
Why? Because I adore my office!
I’m almost one year into working from home, and here are the top desk tools that brighten my space … keep scrolling to read!
Oh — and I always get asked about my desk … it’s from Ballard Outlet. It’s got some dings in it since we got it on major sale, but I adore it.
My Chalkboard from BeingBoss’s Chalkboard Method podcast
This is my tracker, and I love it. The theory’s simple: keep the blank spots you need to fill/track right in eye-shot, and guess what … you work harder to fill ’em! Click here to listen to their podcast about how to do it.
My YoungLiving oil diffuser
I can spend some serious cash on Bath & Body Works candles, but I’m bananas about scent: I’d burn a $12 candle in about 5 days. PUMP THE BREAKS! Enter my YoungLiving diffuser and essential oils scent my space and make me feel like I’m at the spa. I’m new to the oil thing, but LURVIN’ IT.
Always something “live.”
Whether it’s Trader Joe’s flowers, a succulent, or an air plant. I buy a bundle or two for <$8 at the grocery every week or two and arrange them all over the house!
I’ll spend money here. Not a lot, but I tend to go for pretty Caran d’Ache pens, Anthropologie pick-ups, or Sharpie pens. I basically don’t set my pen down all day — sorry, but an ugly old hotel pen from 3 years ago doesn’t make me love my job. 🙂
Powersheets and Emily Ley planner, always open on my desk
I keep my Powersheets open to my monthly goal page — otherwise a week would pass and I’d have totally forgotten I wanted to try to cook more and get less takeout! I also put my EL planner out, and the night before, I time block my next day’s tasks, so I “grease the slide” about the things I want to do.
I crave art and the energy it gives me, so I hang a curated collage above my desk. I also have art from Teil Duncan, Britt Bass, Elizabeth Mayville, and The Old Try in the office.
What Really Matters Reminders
I also think it’s important to have multiple reminders of what’s important to you. I have a letter Wes put on my desk a long time ago, two faith-focused prints, and a Bible verse I’m memorizing all within eye-shot of me.
I try not to spend a lot on office supplies, because I’d rather use items I already had that made me happy. I use some wedding china to hold paperclips, washi tape, etc., mugs to hold pens, old containers to hold nibs, and gift boxes to hold paper. I never wanted office stuff to look too “officey,” since I’m in my home, so I
I turn books around. I know, I know. It just makes things look whiter and neater! I know where they all are. 🙂
Here are a few quick-wins that brighten my spot, too!
- I Chlorox wipe down my desk and tech daily.
- I keep as MANY files as possible digitally, to nix the clutter.
- On my monthly duty day, I have to “clean out” my digital files. I go through my …
- Downloads folder
… and clean up things! Here’s’ how I try to sort them:
- I also dump my iPhone photos from the past month and print just 10 photos for our photo boxes. Nancy Ray’s guide to organizing your family photos is such a winner!
The biggest “brightener” I’ve started doing is “greasing the slide” for the next day. After work each day, I hold a little session to assess wins and challenges, and record how I was feeling. I use a little checklist that walks me through the 5 pillars (mental focus, emotional energy, physical activity, nourishment, social), and I just jot a note in an app about how I “scored.”
I know this seems SUPER silly, but I have a really hard time feeling always behind — I tend to get really anxious! Being able to step back from the day and think “Oh yeah! I actually LOVED the call I had with her at 8 a.m.” or “You know what? I feel like I didn’t do much today, but HOLY COW, I did! Yay!”
Maybe I’m just hard on myself, but taking 2 minutes to jot these things down? It gives me “sleepy smile syndrome” when my head hits the pillow at night. And the next morning, i walk into a clean, fresh space with a white page to-do list in front of me, and ready to go!
What are your office tips and tricks? Do you work from home?
photo credits: Laura Barnes Photography
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