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    31 Ways To Upgrade Your Work From Home Game

    S/O to my laptop cooling pad, which has saved my thighs from consistently feeling like they're on fire.

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    1. First and foremost, set alarms to ensure that you're signing on *and* off at the proper times. It can be so easy to work longer hours when you're not commuting ("I'm going to get a head start" I've often said at 7 a.m.), but friendly reminder — you probably won't receive extra pay for that extra work.

    a list of alarm notifications for 7AM labeled "wake up", 10AM labeled "start work", and 6PM labeled "stop working".
    AnaMaria Glavan / BuzzFeed

    And in the same vein, turn off Slack and email notifications when your hours are done. It becomes too tempting to just "answer one more email," which makes separation between work and leisure time extra impossible.

    2. Oh, and speaking of alarms! Don't set one for 10 minutes before it's time to log in. That is a bad start to your day. Trust me. I have a friend who has done it several times (not me, a friend) and they always regret it.

    NBC

    Rolling out of bed 10 minutes before that Monday morning meeting means you'll feel groggy for a large part of your work day, and you won't have time to enjoy some caffeine, make breakfast, tidy up your work space, etc.

    3. Use a hand dandy sloth planner pad to map out the day. Staying on top of your assignments is so much easier when you jot it all down, plus the satisfaction you'll get whenever you cross out an accomplished task? Bliss.

    BuzzFeed Editor Emma McAnaw holding sloth checklist
    Emma McAnaw / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "I, like many of you here, have a sloth-obsessed friend who I knew would love this gift. She had a wonderful reaction to it and really loved all the little details of this to-do list. It is a good size (a little smaller, but not by too much in comparison to a piece of standard notebook paper) and the paper is of a good thickness." —Jasmine Hall

    Get it from Amazon for $5.95.

    To learn more, check out "Just 10 Things You'll Want To Try In July".

    4. Turn breakfast into a priority! Starting your day with a prepared meal = giving yourself structure that WFH life often lacks. This Dash rapid cooker takes the ~hard~ work out of egg-based dishes, or you can add some Julie's Real cacao espresso almond butter to a fruit bowl (or toast!) and call it a day.

    Amazon

    Dash rapid egg cooker: All you'll have to do is fill this cooker with water, add up to six eggs, and breakfast will be served. This handy gadget holds up to six eggs, has an automatic shut-off feature, and the removable parts are dishwasher-safe.

    Promising review: "The claims are true. This is the easiest and fastest I have ever hard boiled eggs. I just got it, and I haven't tested it for making anything but hard-boiled eggs, but oh man is it great for that. It was easy, it was fast." —Apoc

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in five colors).

    Julie's Real cacao espresso almond butter: This almond butter contains whole roasted almonds, organic cacao nibs, espresso beans, real vanilla beans, organic honey, unrefined coconut oil, and sea salt.

    Promising review: "This was way better than I expected. I bought the cinnamon vanilla bean almond butter to use in my morning smoothies and it gives my smoothies such a good flavor, it makes me think I'm drinking cookie butter!" —JoLynne N McQuillan

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99 (also available in a cinnamon vanilla bean flavor).

    5. Invest in this standing desk that's actually destined to become your new best friend. It's adjustable, portable, prevents you from sitting for 8+ hours a day, and is great if you're working on a childhood desk that is *way* too low for comfort.

    laptop on the silver laptop tray
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "One of the best health investments of the year for me. This is so simple, yet so much thought must have gone into designing it to make it stable, lightweight, ergonomic and sharp-looking. A terrific under-$40 investment. If you're considering one of those $400+ standing desks, I would highly advise you to give this standing laptop desk a shot first. I feel great standing up a few hours a day while tasking away and working hard. Great invention!" —Ben Grablachoff

    Get it from Amazon for $34.99 (available in two colors).

    6. Someone upstairs is clogging. Your roommate doesn't understand volume control. Presenting two options to drown out excess noise: a sound machine (this option has 20 sounds to choose from) or noise-cancelling headphones (these collapsible Marshall headphones offer 30+ hours of wireless playtime).

    Amazon, Marshall

    Promising review (sound machine): "We live about half a block from the train tracks and next to a post office. Needless to say there are trains and trucks driving by our second story apartment at all hours of the night. We bought this and are very happy with how it works. It’s drowns out about 90% of the outside noise which is amazing. We still hear the cats scratching at the bedroom door but I don’t think that problem will ever be resolved..." —whostheboz

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99 (available in five colors).

    Promising review (Marshall headphones): "I love these headphones. After my last pair didn't hold up too well, I decided I needed a decent upgrade. I knew that I could trust Marshall since producing great sound is entirely what their business is. I love that they're well-made, there's an extra jack so I can share with my friends and that the ear pads can be changed out allowing me to keep amazing product for as long as I want or need." —WriterChick88

    Get them from Marshall for $79.99 (available in three colors).

    7. Does your laptop overheat so often that your lap feels permanently warm? Well, this USB-powered cooling pad can easily remedy that problem: It's equipped with three fans and is so lightweight, you'll feel like it's not even there.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "Best purchase I have made in years. Only had it two days, but the first words out of my mouth to my wife were, 'I can work for hours like this.' If you work from home and like to work on the couch, recliner, breakfast nook, patio, etc, and you have your computer in your lap, this is an absolute must have. Not only does it keep your legs and lap cool, but it also keeps your computer cool and able to process much more efficiently." —Trent Thiel

    Get it from Amazon for $35.99+ (available in three colors).

    8. Consider this a friendly reminder to stay hydrated, my friends. Invest in a Nalgene water bottle with etched-in measurements, that way you can easily keep track of how much water you drink.

    clear blue water bottle with green cap
    instagram.com

    Promising review: "I've been using this water bottle daily for about five weeks now since my purchase and I'm very very happy with it. It's still in very good shape and it has lasted through all my workouts at the local gym. Allows me to drink enough water and keep track of it since it is 32 ounces." —John

    Get it from Amazon for $10.55+ (available in 30 colors).

    To learn more, check out "Here's Why I Won't Stop Telling People How Much I Love My Nalgenes".

    9. Spruce up your workspace with a waterproof, stain-resistant faux marble granite adhesive. It's an easy way to upgrade your desk and is *much* cheaper than purchasing a new one altogether.

    white desk with white marble adhesive
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I took a chance and bought this originally as a 'BandAid fix' to re-finish a desk. I had looked in stores in the contact paper aisles, but all of them were just that ... paper. THIS item is actually a thin sheet of vinyl (?) with adhesive, and I ended up liking it so much I bought more and re-finished my kitchen countertop with it as well! Highly recommended if you want to change the look of your counters but you don't have the money for a full remodel just yet. It can be cleaned with dish soap and water just like a real countertop." —Z

    Get it from Amazon for $7.19+ (available in four sizes).

    10. Prevent clutter in your workspace (and stop telling yourself you'll "do it later") by following the one-minute rule. Basically, this motto means tackling mundane tasks that take 60 seconds or less — whether that's making your bed or putting that coffee mug in the dishwasher.

    Zoë Burnett / BuzzFeed, Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    It'll be so much easier to focus on work when you don't have these annoying to-dos hanging over your head!

    To learn more, check out "I Lived By The One-Minute Rule For An Entire Week".

    11. If you're feeling overwhelmed, take 10 minutes out of your day to complete a guided meditation. This one is lead by John Davisi (a mindfulness life coach, teacher, and speaker) and is a great way to ease anxiety and realign your focus.

    illustration of person sitting cross-legged labeled "10-minute meditation"
    BuzzFeed Goodful

    Follow along with this 10-minute meditation.

    12. I am not going to tell you to put on a blazer... but for the love of Pete, get out of your pajamas. Your clothes can still be ultra comfy (take these drawstring joggers or this terry cloth jumpsuit) but it's important to establish that you are no longer in sleep mode. Ergo, the rubber duck fleece has gotta go.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review (joggers): "I was on the hunt to find the perfect joggers and I finally found these. I literally tried and ordered about five different styles from here and other retailers. These are EXACTLY what I was looking for — super soft, comfy, fitted but not tight, and affordable." —Kerbear74

    Get it from Amazon for $13.74+ (available in sizes XS-3XL and in two colors).

    Promising review (terrycloth jumpsuit): "So soft and so comfortable! I love this jumpsuit. It seriously feels like you’re wearing your pajamas, which is amazing." —Andrea

    Get it from Amazon for $30.35+ (available in sizes XS-XXL and in four colors).

    13. And of course, some high-waisted leggings — the bread and butter of any WFH wardrobe. These provide awesome compression, come in a variety of fab solids and prints, *plus* have over 7,000 positive reviews.

    reviewer wearing leopard print leggings
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "These are the best pair of leggings I own, period. I've been a Fabletics fan for quite a while, but these are the new favorite. I'd say they're similar to the Lululemon Align, but that's not being fair to these leggings. The Lulus were not squat-proof, lighter weight, not a good fit, and didn't look good. These look amazing, feel amazing, and are squat-proof. I'll definitely be ordering more." —Amazon Customer

    Get them from Amazon for $29.99 (available in women's sizes XS–XL and 26 patterns).

    14. Try some affordable computer glasses to block out blue light seeping in from your computer screen, the culprit behind those pesky mid-afternoon headaches. Being in an office means taking the occasional laptop break for in-person meetings — and that's obviously not the case while working from home.

    reviewer picture of tortoise frames
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I work in front of a screen all day and had recently been getting headaches due to blue light exposure. You can clearly see the change of color when you put these on, and they've made a world of difference for me. Plus, you can't beat the price!" —kwatson

    Get them from Amazon for $14.44+ (available in 11 colors).

    15. Avoid working from your bed if you can! Doing so blurs the line between sleep and productivity, so fight the urge to stay under your covers all day long.

    CBC

    It's also going to be *way* harder to get to sleep at a normal time... your bed will eventually stop feeling like a place to snooze and start feeling like a place of work. It's tragic.

    16. ...but if you legitimately *have* to work from bed (you just moved and don't have a desk! You can't sit in your shared living room because your annoying roommate works there!), then this adjustable bamboo laptop tray is a solid investment.

    Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

    Promising review: "I love this laptop desk. I work from home three days a week and now that it’s winter, I like to stay in bed when working to keep warm. Using this laptop desk helps out a lot because I can use my mouse when working." —Carly

    Get a similar one from Amazon for $46.99.

    17. Get a universal umbrella and work outside sans glare. This one is designed with UPF 50+ protection and a universal clamp, meaning it can easily latch on to a patio chair.

    reviewer photo of pug in shade under a blue umbrella
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This is the perfect umbrella to add to your existing chair! It tilts in all different directions to keep the sun off of you. I use it at outdoor concerts. Everyone was asking me where did I get it. It's way better than a canopy chair which only keeps the sun off you if it's directly overhead. And it attaches to your chair pole in seconds, piece of cake. I wish I had this years ago! It would have really saved me from the glaring sun at all the outdoor concerts I attend in the summer heat." —Pal

    Get it from Amazon for $19.99 (available in seven colors).

    18. Hire an "assistant" via this third-generation Echo Dot. It can do everything from play music and make calls to read the news and set alarms, all at the sound of your voice! Having the ability to send texts and shuffle playlists without having to be on your phone eliminates distractions. *blink* *realize you've just spent one hour on Instagram when all you wanted to do was check the weather*

    the black palm-zied Echo Dot
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I absolutely love it! Bought to use as a radio/ambient noise device as I fall asleep, but now realize the capabilities FAR exceeded what I initially purchased it for, so I also use it as an alarm clock, Bluetooth speaker for my iPad, personal assistant ('Alexa, add milk to my shopping list'), Amazon Music speaker (which I never used until buying this). The sound quality is really good, especially considering its small size and relatively budget-friendly price. I definitely recommend this to anyone, and if you’re a Prime member... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! Don’t even 'add to cart,' just click 'buy now' and watch your life get simpler." —Dave S

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99 (originally $49.99).

    19. Time blurs when you work from home, and I personally have to check (and re-check) the date at least 30 times a day. This 2020 History Channel boxed calendar makes it easy to keep track of the week day *and* is perfect for anyone obsessed with weird stories and true crime.

    Amazon

    Each new day will reveal a brief summary of unsolved mysteries, weird occurrences, and inexplicable events.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95.

    20. Sitting for 8+ hours a day does not do the body good. Carve out a chunk of time and dedicate it to exercise — this 20-minute workout is fast, easy to follow, and doesn't require any equipment.

    Photos by Lauren Zaser for BuzzFeed / Design by Chris Ritter for BuzzFeed

    21. If you prefer coming up with your own exercise routine, that's also fab! You can even incorporate these anti-slip resistance bands to increase the difficulty level of your favorite strength exercises. Add these to something as simple as, say, a squat and prepare to feel *all* of your muscles engage. Muscles you probably didn't know you had! Okay, I'm making you nervous. I'll stop.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "I can NEVER go back to my other resistance bands after using these. My BUTT and thighs KILL me after I use this product (but that's a good thing, I promise). I use resistance bands daily in my workouts, and I love the fact that these bands don't bunch up, twist, and hurt my legs/thighs. Plus, they really are slip-resistant and stay on." —Kori Linae Carothers

    Get a set of three from Amazon for $24.99.

    22. Missing artisanal caffeine from your favorite coffee shop? This incredibly fancy Bodum pour-over coffee maker is here to help. This heat-resistant borosilicate glass carafe is designed with a permanent filter that makes a smooth serving of Joe, is dishwasher-safe, and can make up to eight cups at a time.

    the clear glass coffee maker
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Super easy to use, makes a mean cup of joe, and is nowhere near the price of a Chemex. I use mine on a daily basis and would absolutely recommend this product to any of my coffee-loving friends." —Brad Lemons

    Get it from Amazon for $19.85 (available in three sizes and five styles).

    23. Keep your WFH necessities within arm's reach with an adjustable desktop shelf unit. If your bedroom doubles as a home office, this storage solution is just what you need — and it's pretty darn aesthetically pleasing, to boot.

    the shelving unit in black
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This shelf is exactly what I was looking for to organize my messy bedside table. It is small/compact enough to fit on a nightstand and can be adjusted to fit larger tabletops. The installation process was easy because the box contains a collapsible screwdriver alongside the parts." —Kandis R.

    Get it from Amazon for $24.99 (available in three colors).

    24. Improve your posture with an ergonomic foot rest. Not only will this prevent you from slouching over your laptop, but it also helps alleviates the back and foot pain you'd experience as a result of said slouching. Say it with me: a win-win scenario.

    reviewer using black foot rest under desk
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "When working from home, this really makes a difference. Keeps the back straight and helps prevent fatigue." —Benefits Lady

    Get it from Amazon for $23.95.

    25. Doing the dishes during a weekly meeting when you're on mute is so tempting. I get it! But household chores become much less daunting when you have a designated time for 'em. Instead, come up with a weekly cleaning routine to cut back on work day distractions (and write it down on a magnetic whiteboard).

    Alice Mongkongllite / BuzzFeed, Amazon

    Promising review: "My favorite thing about it is that it's not pre-labeled with like the word CHORES or something tacky. I really just wanted a list of regular household tasks that I do and a way to keep track of the last time I did each of them. I write the last date that I did something (for instance, vacuum or clean the windows) in the boxes provided, and that way I know how long it's been in an effort to prioritize certain tasks during a busy week. It's great. I just wish it were even bigger! I'll eventually buy another one because I keep thinking of new things to add." —M. Sorcic

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99.

    To learn more, check out "Take BuzzFeed's 10-Day Spring Cleaning Challenge".

    26. Eliminate daily desk clutter brought on by wires, pens, notepads, and the like with a natural bamboo monitor stand. It's cleverly designed with two shelves, plus a dedicated spot for your cell phone.

    the bamboo stand
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is a game-changer for anyone who sits at a desk all day. Not only has it made my desk more organized, but it also makes me sit up straighter because my monitor is up higher. I have a large monitor, so this definitely helps me take advantage of the once-wasted space underneath my computer screen. It's stable and doesn't wobble at all. No splinters or rough edges." —Cassandra

    Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

    27. Don't skip lunch. If preparing meals becomes too distracting for the middle of the work day, look into food delivery options like Daily Harvest (they offer flatbreads, smoothies, soups, and market bowls that are a delicious way to get your fruits and veggies in).

    a sweet potato flatbread with kale and coriander
    instagram.com / Via @dailyharvest

    The organic flatbread pictures above is made with sweet potato, red cabbage, kale, cauliflower, spinach, and coriander!

    Get started at Daily Harvest for about $7.99/per day.

    28. So the yard sale chair you purchased ~11 years ago is useless, aka the perfect combination of uncomfortable and ugly. Treat yourself to a replacement: this executive chair provides ultimate lumbar support, and this upholstered velvet chair is just oh-so-pretty (and comfy!).

    Wayfair, Bed Bath & Beyond

    Promising review (executive chair): "I work from home and sit at my computer for upwards of 12 hours a day. This chair is very comfortable and easy to sit in all day long!" —John Anthony

    Get it from Wayfair for $126.99 (available in three colors).

    Promising review (velvet chair): "I bought this chair as a desk chair for my granddaughter. It’s darling, comfortable, and fits perfectly at her desk." —Mambo

    Get it from Bed Bath & Beyond for $119 (available in four colors).

    29. If you hate working in total silence (#same), make sure you have the right kind of background noise. Spotify has awesome ~calming playlists~ that range from classical piano solos to the sound of rain, or you can head on over to YouTube and listen to an hour of calming rainforest sounds.

    screenshot of Spotify rain playlist
    Spotify

    Get three months of Spotify Premium for free.

    30. Sipping coffee at home is much more leisurely than the pour, chug, refill system I follow at the office. This Mr. Coffee mug warmer is perfect for slow drinkers who prefer their caffeine hot, hot, and hot — even if they poured it hours ago.

    ceramic mug on the black coffee maker
    amazon.com

    Promising review: "It's going on a little over a year since I got this coffee warmer and I felt I needed to let everyone know that this is the best coffee warmer I've gotten. I work 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and it is on the entire time, five to six days a week. It keeps my tea at just the right temperature. Not scalding or room temperature like other warmers I've purchased. The 60-inch cord is long enough to go across my large desk. The hot plate is 3.25 inches in diameter, making it the right size for even my large bottomed coffee mug. The entire warmer is 5.2-by-8.6 inches, so it's not cumbersome having it sit on my desk. This was a great purchase, I'm glad I got it." —Christin Fern

    Get it from Amazon for $10.99.

    31. And last but not least, lock your door. Mute your microphone when you're not speaking. Just do it.

    BBC

    Me, on my way to a virtual meeting knowing full well I'll be on mute the entire time:

    ABC

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

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