Working From Home Must-Haves That You Can Get on Amazon

Working from home can be the biggest blessing, but it can also be a challenge. It’s important to be comfortable and productive in your space so you can be an efficient worker. When I first started working from home, I had a really difficult time staying focused on my tasks. This was because I was in my home, with my comfy bed and sweet dog, and I kept getting distracted. Additionally, I wasn’t comfortable with my workspace. I knew I needed to make some changes. Here are my working from home must-haves that truly helped me be more productive.

Disclaimer: I am in no way sponsored by Amazon or any of the sellers of these products. These opinions are my own and I have purchased these items with my own money. Even if I was sponsored (which I wish I was!), I would still be very honest with my recommendation of products.

Working From Home Must-Haves

If you don’t know already, investing in home office supplies is very important. In our culture, we work very hard for most of the day. If we are going to be spending eight to ten hours working, we should invest in our environment. Some websites recommend spending $400 to $3,000 on transforming your home office space… Wow! If you read my blog posts frequently, you will know I am very frugal and am always trying to save money. So, these products I mention in this blog post are very affordable for most budgets.working from home must-haves from Amazon

Comfortable Desk

Your desk is where you will be doing most of your work at home, so it needs to be comfortable. Personally, I prefer to use a standing desk, because of the negative effects of sitting down for long periods of time. Additionally, when I was saving up to purchase my standings desk, I got so antsy when I was sitting all day. My body started to ache and I noticed how I would be hunched over trying to see my laptop better. Ever since I purchase my standing desk, I am able to work for very long periods of time without getting uncomfortable.

The standing desk that I purchased from Amazon is the SDADI Mobile Standing Desk. It is height adjustable and is very easy to put together by yourself. At only $70, I have so incredibly happy with this desk and I even recommended it to my mom. I will definitely be holding onto this desk for when I move to my new house.

Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse

Along with your standing desk, you will likely need a Bluetooth keyword and a Bluetooth mouse. For me, both of these are working from home must-haves. Not having to be inches away from my laptop’s screen at all times helped my posture and made me much more comfortable. If you go on Amazon, you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of Bluetooth keyboards and mouses. I spent a lot of time researching the different products ad looked at prices and reviews. I decided to go with the Arteck Bluetooth Keyboard and the Tsmine Bluetooth Mouse. Both are rechargeable, which saves me money on batteries and are under $20.

With my standing desk, I have my keyboard and mouse on the bottom shelf, and my laptop on the top, set to be eye-level with me. This helps me to stand up straight without having to bend my neck. Both of these products are incredibly inexpensive, so I highly recommend purchasing them.

Laptop Tray Table

I have a couch in my home office for when I take a break from standing. If you have ever sat on your couch with your laptop in your lap, you know how much you have to bend your neck when looking at the screen. This is why I decided to purchase the GreenForest Portable Laptop Desk. It is height adjustable, so you don’t have to worry if it will work for your couch. I will also use this for when I’m sitting in one of my chairs instead of the couch. This is definitely a working from home must-have because it helps my posture so much.

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Inspiring Decor

There’s something about a dull and boring environment that makes it so difficult to work. When I started working from home, I made sure I had inspiring decor so keep me motivated and focused. While I either make my decor, or I order it from Etsy and Hobby Lobby, Amazon has some great products. I prefer to fill my space with inspirational Bible verses and other work-related quotes. Here are some that I found that I would definitely purchase:

Again, there are thousands of office decor products on Amazon. These were just a few that caught my eye and seemed to have great reviews. Please remember, I have not purchased those products, so do some additional research before buying them. I will likely purchase them because I love them all! Having inspirational quotes or even things that make you smile when overwhelmed with work is a big must-have for your home office.

Fitness Tracker

Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. When we work from home, it is easy to only get 200 to 400 steps in before we buckle down for eight to ten hours. This lack of activity is very unhealthy, as movement is very important for our heart. If I didn’t have a fitness tracker, I know I would only get 2,000 steps a day maximum. Since I have a reminder set on my watch to move each hour, I am able to move much more than I would without it. I also make sure I take my dog for one or two long walks each day so I can meet my 10,000 step goal.

I personally have a Fitbit, because I love how fitness-oriented they are compared to the Apple Watch. Fitbit’s products are also much cheaper, and from what I have heard, last much longer. Amazon and Spotify have actually partnered with Fitbit to bring more “smartwatch” features to their products. Their newest watch, the Versa 2, has Amazon Alexa built into it as well as Spotify music. I still have the old Fitbit Blaze, which is no longer sold (that’s how long it has lastest me!). When I decide to upgrade, I will be purchasing the Versa for sure.

There are also very inexpensive Fitbit bands sold on Amazon that allow you to customize your watch. There are all different styles, colors, materials, and patterns you can get for your Fitbit band on Amazon. If you just type in “Fitbit band” on Amazon, over 8,000 results come up. Crazy!

What are your working from home must-haves?

Those are all of my working from home must-haves! I hope you find these helpful for you and your productivity. Each person will need something completely different depending on the space, budget, and job, so I’m interested in hearing what your must-haves are! Please let me know in the comments below because I am so interested, and I know others will be too!

While you’re here, have you read my blog post, “10 Working From Home Tips to Keep You Productive and Happy“? In that blog post, I go through my entire schedule with you and point out what helps me stay on top of my work. If you liked this blog post, I think you’ll like that one as well.

How to Get Organized at Work TODAY

Have you ever noticed your productivity dwindles when you feel unorganized and uncomfortable in your workspace? I know I have. There is something about having a Pinterest-perfect desk that makes you excited to get your job done. However, it is incredibly difficult to stay organized for many people. Between a busy meeting schedule, too many tasks and not enough time, and many other distractions, being organized at work is close to impossible. This is why I want to share how to get organized at work in a short amount of time.

How to Get Organized at Work

Get Comfortable

Getting organized at work also means getting comfortable. If you are uncomfortable with your chair, desk, or anything else you use at work, you should make an effort to change them. Some companies are willing to improve their employees’ office furniture, so be sure to ask your admin if they can get you more comfortable furniture. If you work from home, be sure to invest in some high-quality and comfortable furniture. Also, look for furniture that has built-in storage to help you get more organized. When you are comfortable in your space, you will be equipped to get organized at work.

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Get Creative

Go on Pinterest when taking a break from knocking out tasks and find some pins that spark your creativity. These pins could be of organized desks, of cute quotes, or beautiful pictures. You can print these pins out and tape them to your desk. This will help inspire you and give you ideas for how to get organized at work.

Here are some great pins that inspire me to get more organized:

Throw Away or Donate Unnecessary Items

Now to the actual organization tips! We all have papers we haven’t looked at in months and pens that have been dried out but we just haven’t thrown away. Don’t hesitate to throw away or recycle these items, as they are just clutter in your workspace. If you are unsure if you will need a piece of paper in the future, scan it and save it to your computer, or at least take a picture of it. This can help ease some anxiety you have about throwing away work documents.

If you have broken headphones, unused notebooks, random cords, or anything else that is just taking up your space, throw them away or donate them. You can also see if anyone in your office needs the items you would like to get rid of. Most of the time, desk clutter is made up of unused and unnecessary items, so be sure to get rid of them.how to get organized at work

Properly Organize the Items You Do Need

Now that you have gotten rid of the excess work supplies that you do not use, you should only have items that you do need. With these items, do your best to put them with similar items in your draws or other organizers you already own. If you do not have a paper organizer or a drawer in your desk, be sure to purchase one. As mentioned above, most workplaces will provide these for their employees, but you may need to purchase them. Typically, Amazon has the best deals for desk organization pieces.

Dedicate Time to Organize Your Office

It is very important for your productivity to work in a clean and organized environment. For this reason, blocking off 30 minutes in your work calendar to organize your desk is completely appropriate. If anyone questions you, explain to them your unorganized desk was hindering your ability to work. This is understandable and should be respected by your coworkers.

Use this time to organize your papers, electronic chargers, writing utensils, and whatever else you may have on your desk. You can also wipe your desk down to ensure it is a healthy environment for you to work in.

Get Organized at Work!

At the end of the day, being unorganized and having to sift through your belongings every time you need something wastes time. To increase your productivity and improve your workplace environment, get organized as soon as possible. All you need is the time, inspiration, and resources to do so.

10 Working From Home Tips to Keep You Productive and Happy

When God put it on my heart to work from home, one of my biggest fears was that I would become an unproductive hermit. I am also aware that I have a horrible habit of isolating myself from the world. I’m here to report that I am still an extroverted, social butterfly, who is very productive at my four jobs (praise Jesus honestly!). Here are my top 10 working from home tips so you can do the same.

1. Routine, Routine, Routine

Setting a daily or bi-daily routine was crucial for my productivity (your girl likes to watch YouTube, okay?). I highly recommend using Microsoft’s Outlook Calendar because you can use it on both your phone and computer. You can easily edit your appointments and meetings for the day, and it sends you helpful reminders for your activities coming up. I have a tangible paper planner that I use as well, but unfortunately in 2019, tangible planners can’t send you notifications.

I have just about every single activity scheduled on my calendar. Here’s a look at my daily routine according to my Outlook calendar:

6:00 AM – Coffee and Bible Time

6:45 AM – School Work

8:15 AM – Freelance Work

9:00 AM – Break or Walk (I’ll explain this later)

10:15 AM – Different Freelance Work

12:00 AM – Lunch!

1:30 PM – More Freelance Work

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I do blog work at 3:00 PM, and just keep writing until I get writer’s block. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday, I will either do more school work, or I will go do something fun like laundry or grocery shop.

Setting an hourly schedule and managing my time keeps me accountable and helps me to remember all that I have to get done in the day. I’m not going to lie, it helps my ego a little bit knowing that I got so many tasks done (I want to say I’m kidding, but I’m not).

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2. Take a Break

One of the most important working from home tips I have is this one. I take over an hour-long break to take my dog for a walk, watch YouTube, do my nails,  meet with a friend, whatever I want to do. One of the amazing things about doing freelance work is that I’m able to take long breaks like this. If you have a job where you cannot take such long breaks, then I recommend taking 15 to 20 minutes breaks throughout the day to take a quick walk around the block, pet your dog, or even just make some fresh coffee. Don’t brush this tip off, because it’s important for your mental health to take time to not focus on work.

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3. Socialize

This point is geared toward the introverts who need the extra reminder, or those like me who have a bad habit of isolating themselves. Schedule time to socialize with people other than your significant other and your dog (I’ve mentioned dogs three times already… oops). Even if this means only serving at church and talking to the cashier at the store. Make a point to socialize and have fun. I try to meet with at least one friend a week for coffee, in addition to my other socializing activities. Don’t become a hermit. Been there, done that, it’s sucky.

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4. Get the Proper Equipment

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you work from your computer or laptop. If you are working from home, you should have a designated workspace and great equipment. After two days of working from home, I realized typing on my laptop hurt my neck and made me have a double-chin from looking down. So I ordered this Bluetooth rechargeable keyboard and this Bluetooth rechargeable (rose gold) mouse. Being comfortable and happy is priceless, but both of those combined were about $30.

5. Fill Your Kitchen Healthy Foods

Working from home gives you two opportunities. You can eat healthy because you’re not getting free donuts in the office, or you can be unhealthy and eat an entire bag of Doritos every day. Don’t even let the temptation of eating unhealthy food creep in, and stock up on cashews, veggies, hummus, and your other favorite healthy snacks.

6. Work Out

I’m sorry, I had to do it. You don’t have to go to the gym and power lift to work out. As mentioned earlier, go for a walk and get your heart rate up. Do some yoga. Go on YouTube and look up some at home workouts. Just do something to get your heart rate up.

7. Listen to Music

By music, I mean music that’s good for your soul. I love listening to worship music when I’m working. You should steer clear of worldly music anyways, but listen to uplifting music to make your workday more pleasant.

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8. Get Out of Your Pajamas

Sitting around in your pajamas is super comfortable, but it may decrease your productivity. I always feel more productive when I change out of my pajamas and start working. It can really mess with my mindset if I’m still wearing the clothes I slept it. I’m not saying put on real clothes, leggings are my daily attire, but just change your clothes to change your mindset.

9. Open Your Windows

Let the outside world break its way into your home by opening your windows. The first thing I do is open my blinds in the morning and I let the natural sunlight shine in. I find that this boosts my mood and my eyes feel better when they’re not relying on artificial light.

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10. Recognize Your Blessings

Yep, I did it again. Working from home is an incredible blessing that a lot of people wish they could do. You don’t have a long commute. You don’t have to deal with (as much) office drama. You can sing as loud as you want to. God placed you in your position, and there’s a reason for that. If you aren’t exactly pleased with working from home, then pray and ask God to guide you in your career. You got this.

Thanks for reading! I have a blog post that lists eight ways you can increase your productivity this year that you may find helpful. Do you have any working from home tips to share? Let everyone know what your secret to being productive and happy is in the comments below!

7 Jobs for College Students (Easy!)

College is the best time to have a side hustle. With our irregular school hours, it can be hard to find a job that works with your schedule. Here are 10 jobs that are perfect for college students (you can do most from your phone!).

1. Start a Blog

I’m writing this blog post from my phone! You may not make money from your blog right away, but once you get a good following, you will! Blogs are also a great way to creatively express yourself. Find what you’re passionate about, and just write!

2. Get an Internship

Typically, internships designed for college students are very flexible with hours. Internships look great on your resumé as well!

3. Do Freelance Work

If you have a talent that you can turn into freelance work, take advantage of that! Whether it be graphic design or voice overs, log on to Fiverr or Upwork and create a listing! You can choose your hours with freelance work, you just have to get your jobs completed on time.

4. Become an Independent Distributor

I’m an independent distributor for It Works. I can do all of my work directly from my phone. If you’re interested in joining my team, click the hyperlink, and click “Join” on the left side! It’s the perfect college student job because we always have our phones on us.

5. Babysit

I know babysitting can seem like a high school student’s job, but it’s still a great option for college students. Find a great babysitting job by going on Care.com so you can make a quick buck!

6. Get a Job at Your University

Most colleges are required to be flexible with your hours when you become an employee. They are also required to hire a certain number of students each year, which makes your chances of getting a position even higher! Be sure to only apply to positions that pertain to your major though!

7. Apply to a Coffee Shop

The coffee shops in my college town are pretty much ran by college students. They are a cozy place to work and once you’re done with your shift, you can just plop down at a table and start studying. The discount on caffeine is really nice too!

Time Management: How to Balance Your Life

As of right now, I’m a full-time college student, I have three jobs, one of those being full-time, I run this blog 100% by myself, and I (try to) have a social life. I also take every Saturday to practice a Sabbath day, also known as a day of rest (more information about the Sabbath can be found here). So, how do I manage my time? How do I get everything done? How am I not losing my mind?

Designate Certain Days to Certain Tasks

On Fridays and Sundays, I dedicate my time to school work and my freelance work. During the week, I will absolutely do some school work or freelance work if I have the time and/or energy, but I use Fridays and Sundays to exclusively work on those things.

Be Productive

Well no duh I need to be productive, Hailey. That’s why I’m reading this article. When I say “be productive“, I mean put away your phone and get rid of all distractions so when you are working, you are only focused on your work. If your Instagram notifications are blowing up, you’re going to want to go and scroll for 10 minutes. When you get distracted, you’re going to tell yourself that “you’re just taking a small break”.

Don’t Take Breaks

I know, this might not make much sense because we’re taught that breaks are good for us and they are highly encouraged. When you have to knock out a bunch of tasks in a short amount of time, it’s important to get into “focus mode” and not get out of it. If you feel yourself getting tired and you feel like the quality of your work is only decreasing as time goes by, then stop working, and rest. If you’re just incredibly bored and you can’t seem to get into “focus mode”, then only allow yourself breaks after you’re done with the task you’re working on.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial for good performance. You won’t be able to work as well or as hard for long amounts of time when your brain is telling you to go to sleep. If you’re working on homework for that class that is just incredibly boring, you’re not going to be able to focus if you’re already tired. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep at night! Most doctors recommend 7-10 hours of sleep per night for adults.

Get Dinner or go to Church with Friends

You have to eat dinner anyways, so why not meet a friend for dinner? You’re hopefully making time to go to church every week, so why not invite a friend to go to church with you? This way you are seeing friends and developing relationships while doing things you were already going to do!

Pray for Wisdom, Strength, and Guidance

God works miracles every single day. Pray that he will work a miracle in your life and that he guides you through this very busy season. I could not be handling everything that I am right now if I wasn’t praying to God for help. Be sure to thank God for the blessings that are keeping you so incredibly busy.

Sabbath: What It Is and How to Spend It

Traditionally, the Sabbath day was to be only on Sundays, to observe the day that God took to rest after creating the world. After Christ died for our sins, Christians were given the freedom to choose their Sabbath. Romans 14:5-6 says, “One person considers some days to be more sacred than others, while another person considers all days to be the same. Each person must have their own convictions. Someone who thinks that a day is sacred, thinks that way for the Lord…”, therefore, we are allowed to decide which day of the week we take a full 24 hours to rest.

I personally choose to spend my Sabbath on Saturdays. I have found that my soul feels more at rest when I take my day of rest on Saturdays, for many reasons. So, what does the day of rest look like to me? Here are a few things that I do, and some ideas for you to try out.

Start the day off with a Bible study

Unless I wake up incredibly late, the first thing I do every morning is get a cup of coffee, and do a few Bible plans on the YouVersion Bible App. On Saturdays, I will spend up to an hour doing a Bible Study while drinking my coffee. I will turn on some soft worship music and just spend time one-on-one with the Lord.

Spend time with yourself

I am pretty much alone all day on my Sabbath. If people ask me to shortly hang out on Saturday, I definitely will, but I don’t go out of my way to see people on Saturdays. I make sure that the great majority of my day is spent with the Lord, and not others. Being alone for me looks like: Taking an extra long shower, watching some YouTube videos, doing my nails, cleaning my apartments, and more.

Refuse to do any work or school work

This is the hardest part of taking a Sabbath, and it takes a lot of obedience. God calls you to trust that you will succeed at the work you do if you take a day of rest. Doesn’t an entire day of rest and relaxation where you don’t think about your work or studies sound amazing? It’s incredibly refreshing and it gives your brain the break it deserves.

Don’t forget that God, the creator of the universe, took a day to rest. Don’t feel lazy, or guilty, or even anxious about taking a day of rest. I challenge you to try to take a Sabbath this week. Remember, “Remember the Sabbath day and treat it as holy.

10 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Self-care is defined as, “any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” It’s very rare that people make time to take care of themselves. Once most of the world turned into the busy, time-sensitive environment that it is today, we stopped scheduling time to take care of ourselves. Here are 10 ways you can practice self-love and self-care this week.

1. Schedule Time to Take Care of Yourself

Put down in your planner or whatever calendar you use, that you will be taking time to take care of yourself. Unless something really important comes up, don’t cancel the time that you scheduled for yourself.

2. Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal

Taking time to think about only positive things for a couple of minutes a day, will change your mindset drastically. You could even write down a few things that you like about yourself every day.

 3. Take a Bubble Bath

It has been proven that hot baths elevate your mood by a 2002 University of Wolverhampton study. Instead of taking a fast shower, try taking a relaxing bath and read a book, or watch a YouTube video.

4. Read a Self-Help Book

Reading is always a great way to expand your knowledge, but self-help books are perfect when you have intentions of self-care. Find one that’s perfect for your situation, whether that be stress, anxiety, spirituality, and more! There’s a self-help book for just about everything.

5. Get Off of Social Media

We all know the many reasons we should take social media breaks, and I won’t repeat all of the reasons you have heard many times before. The biggest reason I tell you to take a break from social media is because it’s a huge time waster. When you’re spending time looking at people you don’t know, what they’re wearing, who they’re dating, and whatever else, you could be focusing on you and spending time on yourself. So, put your phone in a drawer, and don’t get it out until you absolutely must use it.

6. Take Yourself to Your Favorite Food Place and Enjoy at Home!

Eating out by ourselves can be scary for a lot of us, so run into your favorite coffee or bagel shop, get an order to go, and enjoy at home! You can watch one of your favorite feel-good movies, or some funny YouTube videos while you enjoy your food!

7. Pray

You know those emotional, word vomiting prayers? Do one of those. Just let it all out and give it to God. Remove the filter between your mind and your mouth, and just say everything that comes to mind. God loves us and is happy with any prayer we say, and our prayers don’t have to be fancy. Just let out all of your emotions.

8. Do a Personal Growth Exercise

Learn more about yourself so you can learn how to better care for yourself. I like this one because it has 25 questions, but it won’t take you very long to answer them.

9. Go on a Walk

Everyone who knows me knows that I struggle to do intense cardio, partially because I have asthma, and partially because it hurts my joints. Did you know that going on a nice, relaxing walk will boost your endorphins and will help you to burn calories, just like running? Walking is so underrated because it is assumed that you must be running to burn calories when in reality, you can burn a similar amount of calories if you walk the same distance. Here is an article that gives some insight on this idea.

10. Have a Spa Day at Home

Do a face mask, paint your nails, put some deep conditioner on your hair, you know what I mean. Listen to some relaxing music while you’re at it too! Just take the night to treat yourself right.

You are so important, so treat yourself, and spend some time caring for yourself. Remove any guilt that you may have when you take time making sure that you are in a good mindset. Let me know which ideas you tried and how they have improved your headspace!