7 work-from-home upgrades to extend productiveness

To be honest, my first few months from home didn’t go well. I wasn’t focused, wasted too much time, and felt trapped in my house. But nine months later I loved my home office and will most likely have problems moving back. Here are my suggestions for gear to get you started into the New Year (and well beyond).

The Mind Journal Jotter ($ 40)

(Photo: Jakob Schiller)

I always had a notebook for my to-do lists, but I’ve upgraded to this diary as it makes my weekly planning routine even better. I still use it To make lists, but an attached checklist prompts me to think about how I feel each week and then asks me to write down some larger projects that I want to tackle, as well as some things that I am grateful for. These three additional activities only last five minutes, but have a greater cumulative effect, making me feel more grounded and organized.

U-Turn Audio Orbit Plus with Preamp ($ 379)

Home-Office-Upgrades-u-turn_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller)

This device single-handedly changed my workspace. Most importantly, it has become the metronome for my day, forcing me to get up every 20 minutes and flip or change the recording. These little breaks are good for my body and my concentration. It also does a good job of setting the mood. I’ve invested in some classic jazz records and love exploring a whole genre of music while doing my job. This model from U-Turn is my top choice because it doesn’t require an amplifier – it plugs directly into your speakers instead – and because it offers great sound for the money.

Yeti Rambler 18 Ounce Chug Top Bottle ($ 30)

Home-Office-Upgrades-Yeti-Rambler_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller)

I didn’t drink enough water for the first few months that I was home. I would come by the end of the day and have a headache. Now, however, that bottle always stays on my kitchen table (aka my work area). When it sits there in front of me, I remember drinking at five and feeling a lot better. I like the small opening of the chug-top, which is easy and satisfactory to drink from. I am also A fan of the Rambler, because when it isn’t getting me through my day, it’s also super functional for outdoor adventures.

JL Lawson and Co. Event Horizon Spin Coin ($ 34)

Home-Office-Upgrades-spinner_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller)

We all need small breaks throughout the day. In addition to changing my records, I have also started using this top to take a short mental break. Made from almost pure iron, with a ceramic ball as a point of contact, it spins for a surprisingly long time and makes for a nice distraction when you’re tired of staring at a computer screen. After two minutes of top spinning, I feel a lot better than after ten minutes of Instagram scrolling that took up my writing breaks.

Modern Sprout Coastal Fan Palm Hydro Grow Kit ($ 19)

Home-Office-Upgrades-modern-sprout_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller)

Plants make every work environment more pleasant. But instead of buying established ones, I wanted the challenge of growing something from seed. Modern Sprout makes it easy for you by sending you everything you need from the seeds to the pot and detailed instructions. I chose the fan palm because after a few years and a little attention it will grow into a fairly large houseplant.

Taylor Stitch the Hardtack Sweater ($ 248)

Home-Office-Upgrades-Taylor-Stitch_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller)

This is my Mr. Rogers sweater. When I put it on every morning it means my transition to work. Made from yak wool, which is almost as soft as cashmere, but much more durable. It is instantly cozy and keeps me warm on cold days when I don’t feel like turning on the heating. It’s layered well because of its thinner weave: I wear it under a coat when walking the dog and will be using it as my mid-layer when skiing in the backcountry this winter. The hardtack isn’t cheap, but the price paid off as it is easily one of my most frequently used items of clothing.

Haflinger GZ slippers ($ 125)

Home-Office-Upgrades-Slippers_h.jpg(Photo: Jakob Schiller)

I’m a huge fan of equipment that serves multiple purposes. These slippers fall into this category: they’re great slippers that I can wear outside as well. The boiled wool keeps my feet comfortable with or without socks, while the rubber soles are thick enough to take the dog for a walk or a quick walk to the store. And with medium-high arches, my feet are always supported. In terms of style, they are a mix of slippers and clogs so they go equally well with pajamas and jeans.

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Main photo: Jakob Schiller

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