You Don't Need to Buy a Bunch of Stuff to Work From Home

"Things you need to work from home."

  • new outfits
  • fancy desks, lamps, chairs
  • headphones that make you look like your not wearing headphones, but at the same time speakers, Bluetooth or otherwise
  • water bottles so that you don't have to get up as much
  • coffee mugs just because
  • special candles
  • gemstones
  • fancy pens - you shouldn't have to settle for just anything
  • fragrance diffusers
  • special lightbulbs
  • armchairs for thought moments
  • phone holders
  • office blankets
  • a hat - for video calls when your hair just isn't right
  • humidifiers
  • shoes to keep your feet clean?
  • capsules and extracts for focus
  • more water bottles
  • and let's not forget a handheld vacuum

These, and so much more, are the things you need to work from home according to social media and blog posts made note of around the internet.

Let's stop overcomplicating working from home. You don't need to buy a bunch of stuff in order to work from home comfortably.

Before making a purchase for your home office or workspace, ask yourself if whatever it is is going to add value to your workday in a meaningful way; or is it going to be used once or twice and be forgotten?

You don't need the latest AirPods to get the best out of your video calls.

You don't need new outfits to look your best on camera - wear what you would if seeing who you're meeting in person.

You don't need a bunch of new furniture - only an appropriate chair and a surface to work on.

Many of these things you likely already have around your home, or at least a suitable substitute. You don't need to pay top dollar for the bells and whistles and you certainly don't need them.

If it’s something you want, just be honest with yourself about it and make sure to shop with intention.


Weekly Planner: an Effective Way to Get Organized

Imagine someone who is so organized they don't need to write anything down. Not one task. Not one appointment. Their pen doesn't touch paper for a single detail or reminder.

That person isn't me.

And I image, dear reader, that person isn't you either.

Wouldn't it be boring to be completely perfect anyway?

With that said, before you whip out your pens and post its, napkins, or scrap papers - ask yourself:

  • Will I find this note later when I need it?
  • How many times before have I written something down only to empty my desk, drawer, backpack, wallet or purse in hopes I find it?
  • Isn't there a better way?

There is a better way, and I believe you can benefit from having a system to organize your week.

The Weekly Spread

The weekly spread is very much the same as your typical "week-at-a-glance" in a day planner, but with some extra tools to get you going. Here I'll guide you through using one.

To get started, I like to plan my task list for the week. First, I look at the previous week's list to see if there are any items that didn't get completed and move them forward. Second, I check my backlogs.

If you're unfamiliar with a backlog, it's a list of tasks that need to be done, but don't have a date assigned to them. For some people, it's a living document that just keeps growing. Personally, I have multiple, one for to-dos, one for things that aren't a priority, one for creative projects, one for house projects, and a completely separate one for work. However, that's another post.

Weekly tasks are much the same in that we know we want to do them this week, but haven't picked a day to get it done yet.

Take a look below to see what that looks like.

Like any other to-do list, I recommend choosing a manageable number of tasks and not continually adding items to your list as you complete them. To do so is like continually moving the goalposts.

Also, you're going to want to save room for other tasks that might come up as well as your daily tasks.

Daily Tasks

Daily tasks are ones you want to get done on a specific day that week. While my example below doesn't show a lot of space, it's done so intentionally as the idea is to only choose your top 5-7 tasks for that day (it can be less too).

Repetitive tasks like check emails and wipe the kitchen counters don't go here because they're automatic.

Some examples in the home setting are:

  • appointments
  • errands
  • tasks that aren't routine
  • bill due dates
  • events and occasions
  • reminders

In the workplace setting some examples are:

  • meetings and appointments
  • tasks that aren't routine
  • due date reminders
  • general reminders
  • events and occasions

If you do have a really full day and need to get down to the specifics of calls to make, reminders, and appointments here's an example of a daily layout that can be used alongside your weekly spread.

Sometimes it helps when we break larger tasks into smaller ones!

Notes, Menu, Goals, and Blank List

The notes section in a weekly spread is exactly that. I recommend having one. It's an excellent place for you to put ideas and reminders that don't really fit anywhere else. If you use sticky notes, it's a great place to put them so you can find them again and give yourself more space to write.

I find it handy to have a menu on hand when planning the day so that dinner can be planned as well. Having the goals here as well simplifies things rather than having to flip to another page. It also allows goals to be adjusted weekly.

The blank list with no title is for any extra list that might be needed. I also added it as a place for others who are using it to track things or add lists that are unique to them.

All of them are filled out in my example below.

Things to consider

In creating your own day planner you can be as creative as you want with your weekly spread. However, when I used to draw mine and I'd add cute doodles, I'd get lazy with it after a bit. In my opinion, it's better to have a simple layout that works for you. Which makes my next point a lot easier. It's best to draw or print your weekly layouts in advance so that you can write in appointments and reminders for later.

A monthly layout comes in handy for occasions and events as well.

Conclusion

I hope you've found my post on weekly planning helpful! Personally, I found getting away from traditional day planners and following this method have helped me feel a little less "busy."

Keep in mind when planning your week, the idea isn't to cram as many projects, tasks, and chores in there as you can. The goal should be to find a balance. Get things done and have some time to sit back, take part in a good hobby, or get in some recreation.

Happy planning!

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If you are interested in checking out my printable planner layout bundle that includes the daily, weekly, monthly layouts, as well as a backlog - here's the link.

You might also like my post on budget inspiration for your monthly planner.