Home Office Must Haves

Former office dwellers – now that you are working from home, are you still working from your couch? 

It’s ok. I’m not here to shame you – even I do it from time to time. 

But, I find it SO MUCH EASIER to get things done if I have a designated space to work in. For me, finding the balance is creating a space that is inviting to use but encourages productivity. 

A day in my office!

Prior to moving to work on my business full time, I was working in HR in a field based role and got to work from home 3-4 days a week. The flexibility removed my commute most days and allowed me to go crazy on the home office supplies. 

In hindsight, I am SO glad I did. So here are the things in my home office (and a few things off my wish list) that make working from home easier. If you don’t want to spend your own money on these, I highly recommend asking your employer to buy items for your work from home set up due to COVID – I know a lot of companies are opting in to helping their employees stay safe and prevent injuries while working from home.  

*The links included in this post are Amazon affiliate links. 

Home Office Desk & Comfortable Chair 

One of the joys of working from home is that you are no longer chained to your desk. I still highly recommend getting one (and a comfy chair while you’re at it). If you have the space I also recommend putting the desk in a space where you have a little privacy from the other occupants of your home.

Since we are not chained to our desks, I like to use mine for when I need to focus and get things done! If I’m working on something a little more creative or playful, you are more likely to find me on the couch or on my patio working. 

When it comes to desk decor I like to keep the table top fairly empty because clutter stresses me out but if you like to have trinkets on your desk in the office I recommend doing it at home. Include whatever helps you feel like you’re in the zone and ready to conquer your goals. 

Once you’ve picked your desk invest in a comfy and adjustable chair. I am a very short human; because of this I avoid desk chairs with arm rests (they never line up for me correctly and I usually just bang them into the desk). I know the gaming world has some very comfortable chairs if you are willing to invest (link to one above). If not, take a look at the armless chair I use below. 

Home Office External Monitor/ Keyboard/ Mouse/ Computer Stand for Laptop

Do you love your body? Do you want to protect your neck, back and wrists? Buy (or ask your company to buy you) an additional monitor with an ergonomic keyboard and mouse. 

I’m going to go all HR on you for a second – ERGONOMICS ARE SO IMPORTANT! If you are going to be sitting in the same spot for hours on end make sure you find a setup that is comfortable AND protects your body. 

Including a link to ergonomic resources here but the basics are that you want to make sure the TOP of your screen is eye level. So if you cannot buy an external monitor at least ask for a laptop stand for your computer. 

I also highly recommend taking breaks, looking away from your screens often and stretching. I’m dropping a Yoga with Adriene suggestion here for you to do on your next break! 

Office Supplies (paper, pens, sticky notes, notebooks) 

When it comes to taking notes I’m a pen on paper kind of gal. I find it easier to remember information if I take the time to write it out instead of typing it. I also like to leave myself reminders with sticky notes and doodle on scratch paper when I’m ideating. 

Imagine my surprise when I first transitioned to working remotely and realized I only had one pen and no scratch paper on me. It didn’t occur to me that working from home meant I wouldn’t have access to my beloved supply closet with my favorite notepads and pens.

Now, I stock those for myself. I’m a big fan of these pens (they write so smoothly), colorful sticky notes and I bulk bought notebooks so I will never run out of paper again. 

If you’re a Pinterest aesthetic kind of person you can have a lot of fun in this realm and purchase matching items to make your desk feel inviting! Some shopping ideas below but it’s all up to you. 

Panda Planner 

This is a personal favorite for me – my Panda Planner. I prefer using planners where I can write the dates in and this one gives the owner complete control. Planners like this are amazing because if you stop using them for a while it doesn’t matter! You can just pick it back up and write in the date. 

It comes with three sections – month, week and day. What I love about this is I can set reasonable goals for the month, break them down each week in the planner and then throw the daily to do’s in as I go. I also like to combine days onto one page if I think there won’t be a lot going on. 

Added bonus – in the daily section there is room to put your three things you’re grateful for (follow me on insta to see mine everyday) and three things you are excited about for the day. At the end of the day you get to list your wins and if there is anything you want to improve on going forward. 

I love this planner and it is so much cheaper than similar ones I’ve had shared with me. 10/10 recommend. 

Wall Calendar 

Last but not least I implore you to buy a wall calendar. Without this thing I would never know what day it is. I still use my planner for day to day stuff but the wall calendar lets me zoom out to only the important things. Dr apts, birthdays, vacations (lol), and big picture goals. The one I use has space to write out your monthly goals, reminders, notes and big picture to do’s. I like to use it to remind myself of what I accomplished the previous month and what I want to do next to reach my goals. 

I hope this helps you stock up that work from home set up! My golden rule is to make sure your workspace allows for comfort, focus and motivates you to want to work.

If you’re struggling with your work from home scheduling or want some help determining where you want to go next in your career email butreallythocoaching@gmail.com or visit the coaching tab for more information. Want to make your goals your reality? Let’s make a plan to set you up for success! 

Goal Setting for Success

Goal setting is one of my favorite things to do. I love sitting down and writing out all the things I want to accomplish and sit in the glory of my imaginary future successes. What I enjoy less is actually putting in the work. Like most humans (I presume), I am inherently lazy and struggle to find motivation, especially during the dark days of winter. Luckily, 2019 me has a leg up on the competition because I have 5 strategies I use to get myself moving towards my goals.

  1. Only set goals that are realistic and only set a couple at a time.  I think most goals should be made up of bite-sized goals that you can check off as you go (more on this in strategy two). That being said, not every goal needs to be a time consuming project to manage. One of my favorite goals that I have continued with from 2016  is to try to meditate more so that I can eventually solidify a daily practice. I don’t expect myself to meditate everyday because life happens, but I prioritize making time to meditate each evening.
  2. Make a plan to get started. Once I decide on my goals I write down a list of things I think I need to do to accomplish them. For example, I want to learn conversational spanish this year. To meet this goal I need to research Spanish schools in my city, sign up for a courses, participate in the courses and study. I then set myself due dates. I must select a Spanish course by the end of this week, sign up by the end of January and begin taking courses in February. From there I can decide if I need to continue taking courses, sign up for a different style of course or attend retreats to practice conversation. I don’t know what the process will look like in the end but I know where I am going and how I am going to get started.
  3. Tell everyone. Once a plan is in motion I have to actually do the work, which is the shitty part. My number one tip to hold myself accountable is to tell everyone. By everyone, I literally mean everyone. My boss, therapist, boyfriend, mother, best friend, and dog are all well aware that I am trying to do more things that scare me this year. This is easy for me, since I am a giant blabbermouth, and it makes me think twice before I skip my meditation or back out of trying something new because it scares me. This also allows others to help you come up with creative ways to meet your goals and it might help set you up with my next tip, an accountabilibuddy.
  4. Accountabilibuddy, not only is it fun to say, but it is also ideal to have one. An accountabilibuddy is someone who knows what you are trying to accomplish, wants you to succeed and will motivate you to continue your journey to your goals (bonus points if they are also trying to reach the same goals). As social creatures it can be important to have someone who knows how hard you have been working when the new goal setting motivation is gone and the new routine hasn’t settled in yet.
  5. Just fucking show up and expect nothing else from yourself. As a recovering perfectionist I have a hard time showing up for something, especially if it is something physical like a workout or class, if I don’t feel like I can perform at 100%. To compromise with this ridiculous trait of mine I have decided that I will no longer hold myself to a high standard when I do not feel up to something as long as I just show up for myself. I know that it is so hard to motivate yourself when you don’t feel up to it but unless your body is telling you no (ie: you are sick or in pain) it’s always better to just try. So what if you fail, at least you tried. A majority of the time that I do this I leave the lesson, session, yoga class or whatever it may be feeling better than I did walking in.

I hope this helps get you started or solidify your plans to reach your goals. 2019 is already off to a weird start, thanks government shutdown, but that doesn’t mean that you have to cave in to the awful energy. Let me know if you have any goals this year and what your plan is to reach them. I cannot wait to watch us all grow together this year.

Resolutions

Setting my goals for 2019 has allowed me to reflect on the last four years and how much my life has changed. My first couple years as a fully functioning college graduate were exhausting. In 2015-2016 I had no idea what I was doing or how anyone got to the point where they did not dread going to work everyday. I had no idea what I enjoyed or even who I was. I did not physically or mentally recognize myself. So in late 2016 my cousin and I started this blog and I thought of the project as an adventure to find something that brought me joy. My blogging partner restructured her priorities early 2017 so I decided to keep the platform and use it as a way to keep myself accountable for my 2017 goals of love and creativity as well as write about whatever the fuck I felt like that week. I desperately needed structure and to focus on myself so as part of my new year’s resolution in 2017 I set myself monthly goals and documented them here.

Flash forward to today and I am in a much better place. I live in a city that I love, with the same boy that I love and our baby boy that we love obsessively (please don’t tell him he’s a dog, he has no idea!) I’m more confident (thank you Sarah Knight for the Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck), I’m capable of so much more love, and I am insanely grateful for the hard work I have put in to be in this happier and healthier position.

In 2018 I set myself the goals of exercising frequently (done), meditating daily (I still missed days throughout the year but I definitely solidified the habit), reading and writing more (highly recommend this goal to anyone who is a former bibliophile looking for some joy in their lives), and living at my own pace with intention (a work in progress but it triggered a lot of self reflection and growth). Last January I specifically set myself the goal of finding new doctors in the city and completing the YWA January yoga challenge. I am happy to report that I now have a doctor for every aspect of my life and I am ecstatic to begin another YWA January yoga challenge this Tuesday.

I spent the last part of this year ruminating in the growth. I cultivated for myself being grateful for all of my progress and now I am ready for fresh goals and new breakthroughs as well as maintaining my progress. Ready for my newest goals?

In 2019 I want to:

  • Be present and patient with myself and others.
  • Shut down my chronic imposter syndrome and self doubt.
  • Continue my self care through the gym, yummy food, yoga, and meditation.
  • Continue working on non-career related milestones like reading, writing, dancing, tumbling, and community service. (Please sound off in the comments or DM the insta with any suggestions on this!)
  • Learn conversational Spanish.

The last one may be ambitious but what’s life without a challenge! Are you ready for the new year? Leave some of your goals in the comments!

#AttitudeofGratitude

Phase one of quitting being judgymcjudgerson was to stop holding everyone to ridiculous standards. While I’m definitely still in the early stages of my perfectionist recovery program, I’ve seen some progress and I am ready to move to the next step. Phase two of dropping my judgymcjudgerson tendencies is to practice an attitude of gratitude.

I began adding gratitude in my self-care routine early last year in an attempt to add more joy in my life. My chosen techniques then were to 1) start keeping a gratitude journal, 2) meditate every day and 3) practice yoga as a form of gratitude towards my body. I didn’t keep the gratitude journal going for very long but I managed to make a habit out of the yoga and meditation.

This time I’ve decided to try to incorporate my gratitude into my everyday interactions. While the gratitude journal helped me turn my own mental state around it did not prevent me from being a judgy human. So instead I’m making a daily conscious effort to look at every disagreement or annoyance through a lense of loving kindness. I’m going to practice non-reactivity by thinking things through from the other person’s perspective before responding. I’m going to apply the below Fox Kids PSA as a reminder to stop, breathe and count to three before reacting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrDV5Pw5Ny

I know it sounds too simple but our kindergarten teachers might have been on to something.

Another way I’ve already began trying to cultivate this attitude of gratitude is by doing Alo Yoga’s Seven Days of Gratitude on Youtube. Alo is a yoga clothing brand that makes the comfiest yoga clothes and some of the best intermediate to advanced yoga videos on Youtube. The difficult videos force me to be humble about my practice and grateful for how much my practice has grown.

I’m starting April by being grateful for my life, my strength and mother earth (it is earth month after all). Let me know what you are grateful for in the comments below!

The Plight of Perfection

Step one of dropping my judgymcjudgerson nature is coming to terms with the dangers of perfection. Perfection is a monster. The distant idea that perfection could be attainable if I did everything correctly has prevented me from starting creative projects. I wouldn’t dream of voicing my opinion in a meeting unless I know the idea is the best one in the room. Perfection has even prevented me from posting an instagram photo if I don’t have the perfect caption. Perfection has given me an excuse to be less productive. No one has the energy to give 110% to everything; why do anything if I’m not going to have the energy to do it right? The concept of perfection is toxic.  

Starting this blog was my first step in combating my perfectionist nature. I knew that by trying to write one blog post a week last year not all of them would be up to my standards, but I was still determined to create something once a week. My at home yoga practice is another place I have let perfection go. There is no perfect in yoga; the only right way to do something is yoga is to practice in a safe way. I’m now making a conscious effort to take this mentality off the page/mat. I’m going to allow myself to not only not be perfect but to occasionally be wrong.

Not Perfect
Accepting my imperfections has made me angsty.

I’m hoping by granting myself the permission to be wrong I will be able to look at others with the same compassion I am trying to give myself. I am not perfect and neither is anyone else. I don’t always know the backstory of why people are acting the way they do and I cannot expect anyone, including myself, to be perfect. By not allowing the concept of perfection or doing things right onto others hopefully I will cut back on being so judgy.

Perfect

My mantras for this mission are “everyone is doing the best they can with what they have right now” and “progress not perfection”. I’m hoping that by keeping these mantras in mind I can give others the space to be human and keep in mind that I don’t need to be so hard on myself (or anyone else).

So hello to you my imperfect reader! Let me know if you have any advice (outside of listening to Simple Plan’s “Perfect” on repeat) on letting go of perfection.

F Free February Discoveries

Recently I read, studied and applied Sarah Knight’s literary trilogy The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck, Get Your Shit Together and You Do You. I’m not one for self help books but these are my new bible(s). Sarah Knight is my hero/Jesus.

At the beginning of the month I decided to apply The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck to my everyday life. I followed Knight’s advice and I made lists of all the fucks I gave. My fuck lists filled multiple pages in my notebooks. MULTIPLE PAGES.  I then did as she told me and drew a line through any fuck I could afford to stop giving. It was LIBERATING.

Some of the things I stopped giving a fuck about were obsessing over informal emails,caring about what other people think, the concept of “getting ahead” in life, caring about what other people think, liking cool drinks, and caring about what other people think. Obviously I am still working on the not caring what other people think, but by not obsessing over it as much I was able to clear my mental clutter.  

Throwing away the mental clutter has allowed me to focus on things I enjoy like yoga, reading, online shopping and studying for an HR certification. Giving less fucks has allowed me to prioritize my life. I highly recommend giving less fucks to almost everyone.

While I am thoroughly enjoying my new lifestyle, not giving a fuck isn’t all fun and game. My new choices forced me to recognize that to not give a fuck is to ask people not to judge you, but if you ask people not to judge you it is best practice to not judge them. Because of this I am going to spend March reducing my judgey-ness and being nice.

How am I putting a stop on my naturally judgy mentality? No clue, my plan for now is to practice self awareness and give it my best shot. I am also going to put my best efforts into always being kind. Sounds kind of generic, I know, but I think that it will help me align my actions with my beliefs. Got any advice for me on this? Please leave me a comment if you do!