I’m not going to lie—the weeks I’ve spent in quarantine have been some of my most productive yet. I’ve been cranking out new blog content on a weekly basis (a goal I’ve had for, well, years), keeping up with my Instagram presence and creating home content tailored to our current situation.
Crossing items off my to-do list is really the only thing that’s getting me through quarantine, probably because it’s keeping my mind so occupied that I don’t even think about all of the now-canceled trips I had planned for 2020. That being said, I’m here to share with you my top productivity hack: working from a designated workspace, or my new cozy home office.
A few weeks before New York City went under a stay-at-home order, my boyfriend gifted me with a work desk. Although I had been working from home for quite a few months already, I was having an incredibly difficult time being productive. I felt that I was getting less done than when I juggled travel blogging and my former 9-to-5 job—and that wasn’t getting me anywhere.
I was working on the kitchen counter of our tiny studio apartment, with office supplies like my agenda and pens spread all over the place. I had to put everything away after each work day, and take it out all over again the following day. It was less than ideal.
With the new desk, however, I’ve been able to create a cozy home office that truly brings me joy to sit at every morning. Here is how you can create one, too.
Create A Cozy Home Office In 4 Steps
There are a few elements that truly take a home office to the next level—including things like natural light, a computer monitor and desk decor. These are the four step I took to bring my new home workspace to life.
- A DESK
Having a desk to work on is the easiest way to create a designated workspace in your home. I’ve found that working on the couch or bed has an awful effect on productivity (and posture).
My brain now associates my desk with getting work done, so when I sit down every morning, I find it’s easier to fall into a productive routine. On the other hand, my brain most definitely associates my couch with Netflix, which is probably why I’m not as productive there.
Plus, it’s nice to step away from my “office” on weekends and truly feel like I’m getting a break from work—even though I live in a 300-square-foot studio.
- NATURAL LIGHT
I purposefully set my desk up near one of the only two windows in my apartment to take advantage of that sweet natural light. My apartment gets very dark in the afternoon, unless I’m near the windows.
Before I had a desk, I worked at the kitchen counter with my back facing the windows. I often found myself yawning around 3 p.m., and now I realize my afternoon sleepiness probably due to the lack of natural light.
- COMPUTER MONITOR
The most important item on my desk other than my laptop is my computer monitor. I had two screens to work from at my former 9-to-5 job, and I’ve found it incredibly useful for the kind of work I do.
Having a computer monitor not only allows me to write my blog posts on a larger screen, but I can also have more than one window open at a time without feeling super crowded—unlike my laptop.
- DESK DECOR
So you’ve set up your new home office with the above tips, but it’s still not feeling very cozy. That’s where desk decor comes in!
How do you make your home office cozy? First, throw in a plant or two. Next, buy a pen holder and other desk accessories that match your style. Then add something to the blank wall behind the desk for extra pizzazz! Finally, display your favorite planner on the desk, along with some fun pens and highlighters to brighten up your planning days.
Below, find all the essential home office items I purchased to create my little knook.
All My Cozy Home Office Essentials
Desk and chair ($140): Both my desk and chair came as a bundle from Amazon. I went with a white color scheme because I wanted the space to feel light and airy. It also matches the dressers already in my apartment. It looks like the exact model I purchased is now unavailable on Amazon, but I’ve linked a few similar options here:
Computer monitor ($110): Getting a computer monitor was such a game-changer. Everything from writing blog posts to editing photos is easier when I have two screens to work with, especially when the monitor screen is so much larger than my 13-inch Macbook. I personally own the 23.8-inch screen and love it!
Desk decor: There are so many fun options for desk decor! My personal go-tos are small plants (most of mine are fake and from Target), a letter board (also from Target) and a pen holder (I love this one). Candles can also add a nice touch. The opportunities are endless! Have fun with it.
Stationary: One of the best parts about having a desk is having a space to keep all of my planners, notebooks, pens and other office supplies. I love using different pens to work on my planner and to-do lists—it just makes an otherwise boring process more entertaining. Below, find my all-time favorite office supplies and accessories:
- Passion Planner: I am obsessed with this planner and cannot live without it. I bring it everywhere!
- Muji Gel Ink Ball Point Pen: My go-to pen for my planner! The fine tip makes it very easy to write on the small lines in any planner or notebook.
- Pastel Highlighters: I got these pastel-colored highlighters right when the quarantine started and they have truly brought joy into my daily planning. (It’s the little things!)
- Colorful Pens: I’ve had this colorful set of pens for over a year. It’s a great way to bring some color into my planner and to color-coordinate certain tasks. Plus, they don’t bleed through the page.
- Notebooks: These flowered notebooks are adorable and perfect for taking notes, brainstorming ideas and making longer to-do lists outside your planner.
- Water bottle: Keeping a water bottle at my desk is the only way I remember to drink enough water throughout the day. And it doesn’t hurt that Avana’s bottles have a great aesthetic!
These are all the items I’ve used to create a workspace that I truly enjoy working at each and every day. Now more than ever it’s so important to create a positive space within your home to keep work separate from the rest of your life.
I wouldn’t be surprised if coming out of this, tons of businesses see virtual offices in a new light. The more companies adapt to the current situation, the more they’ll understand how to work online and see the benefits of doing so. There’s never been a better time to invest in your home office.
I hope my tips help you build a space that brings you joy, too.
As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!
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I developed tendinitis in my right elbow from not
Having set the keyboard at the right level . Thanks
For the tips
Carla Vianna says
Oh no! I use the keyboard on my laptop for now—but that’s good to know!
Where did you purchase the footstool?
Carla Vianna says