Home Office - Right tool for the job


I recently read a blog post by Gretchen Rubin titled "10 tools that make it easier to work from home” and it has inspired me to work on my workspace, again. I am also reminded of something my Dad has often said to me, ‘using the right tool for the job makes the job easier.’

Before Covid I had worked from home, so that hasn’t changed, however, the location in my home has. I used to be in the office, now I am in the living room. I have lost a lot of real estate and I am down to just my laptop no extra monitor.

Blue Shutters Web Design.

I am currently using a console table that my Dad made for me ages ago, and there is just enough room for my laptop, mouse (I HATE the trackpad), and some notes. But there is not a lot of room for anything else, you see I am backed up to the wall.

Blue Shutters Web Design.

Why am I backed against the wall?

My husband has a lot of conference calls and video chats, so he needed the office specifically to close the door. I have fewer calls that require the door to be closed, when I do need a quieter space we coordinate our schedules and I take the office.

I have taken on the lion share of supervising the distance learning for our 8 & 10 year olds in the spring so I needed to be able to work while keeping eyes and ears on them. This mini work station is a through back to the summer of 2019. It is ideally situated to keep an eye on the kids as they play outside. With the windows open I can hear where they are and occasionally get eyes on them as they ride bikes and scooters.

And finally, we thought that this would be ‘temporary’ so while it wasn’t ideal for the long term, I thought I can handle it, it is just temporary.

Well, now we all know that this temporary is getting old and stale. This is no longer working for me so it is time to change it up.

The most dangerous phrase in the language is, "We've always done it this way."

I need to make it a bit easier to do the work from home that we need to do and allow us all to be more productive, not just for me but for the whole family. I have known that I need to do this for a while, I have even done a bit of this work over the summer, but I have some renewed energy after reading Gretchen’s post to make what I hope is the final push to complete this project.

Blue Shutters Web Design.

Looking at her list I realize that I could crib a few things, but I do have an alternate suggestion for stickers. I do appreciate her use of stickers to identify which thing belongs to someone but I am a nail polish kind of girl.

I am going to be looking into adding these to my office.

  • Phone Headset
  • Additional monitor
  • Desk hook for my headphones

Another good resource for making the most of working from home is Laura Vanderkam, she is a time management expert and has been doing this working from home with kids forever (or maybe I just think she has) but she has sound advice since she has been doing this even before COVID tossed all our plans in the spin cycle. Earlier in August, she had a post titled “The 30 hour workweek schedule with a 50-50 split" which is a great starting point if you need to devise a way to work and monitor kids with a partner. There are other great topics on her site, check out her archive for ‘Career’ and ‘Productivity’ listen to her podcasts, she has 3 and two of them are generally 10 minutes or less, perfect for those busy days.

My plans for the next week or so is to capitalize on this renewed energy and make more progress on regaining a more effective home office. That doesn’t mean I am running out to purchase more things just yet. What it means is more cleaning and decluttering, making sense of what I have so that I can purchase what I need but only if I need it. Often times, I find if I clean, I find I have the things and space that I need. Once I move back into the office I will once again have access to my additional monitor, no purchase required.

One unconventional tool that I have not mentioned is menu planning, and I will have more on that soon.

Is there any tool that is making it easier for you to work from home? If so share your tips and tools on my Facebook page.

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DISCLAIMER: This advice is general in nature and not to be taken as personal professional advice. This blog does not provide legal advice if you need legal advice, please contact an attorney directly.

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Categories: Business