Electronics and Nontronic Thingies for Physical Challenges in the Home Office
Devices are available for just about everything, including Cell phones, tablets, e-readers and so on. For just about every site I visited I learned “There is an app for this.” My mobile has limitations. If I applified every place I saw online or in public I would use too much space. So I am selective.
With working from home, there are electronic devices and separate non electronic items that work. One of my most treasured items is the noise machine. A simple, round device makes white noise, working to block out other annoying noises. I use my phone a lot with working from home, and the little machine blocks out so much making my voice all one can pick up. I even tested recording my voice, and the background was dead silence. Exceptions would be a super loud household appliance or barking dogs. When I am not on the phone, I prefer smooth, easy listening music such as jazz, it helps with soothing my “second brain.”
Healthy, lumbar supported desk chairs are invaluable. I claimed the super nice one since I am the main home office person in this home. Back pain is something I must be extremely careful about and having this protection is valuable. Medication wise, I also have pain cream on hand.
Desk lamps with a low light beam are my first preference. I use a table lamp with 3-way light levels. Bright lights annoy me. When I was in school, I loved when the instructor would leave the lights off for story time after lunch. As soon as they turned the ceiling lights on, I felt my inner groan. With a certifiable light sensitive condition, it makes a difference. Many individuals like bright lights and find them helpful.
Reliable wifi is invaluable. There are way too many devices being used not to require decent wifi. My computer is hard wired as is my home phone. Everything else is wifi-ed to death.
Reading materials are a must when you are job dependent on calls coming in. When there is a lag in call time, you can write on your notepad or you can read. I have a pile of papers and books, set aside. I learned when you keep your mind busy, you are more prone to be cheery when those calls come in. It is significant for your brain energy to read something new regularly. When I used to work in the outside world, one of my co-workers had a pile of trade related periodicals and publications he would learn from for an hour each day. He was one of the most interesting individuals I ever had the pleasure to know. Keeping up with the freshest knowledge in the industry helped him be a better employee. Office space and not, I keep something to read handy.
Water. You have to stay hydrated and not having water readily available could lead to dehydration. When I am working hard and concentrating on a project I can forget to drink water. I always make sure I have my water bottle filled and ready when I sit down at my computer. Any time I get up, I refill it. I have been known to keep backups in the fridge because I like my water iced cold. Once I am down to work, I generally don’t do coffee or tea, because…well…you know.
Office supplies are important to keep handy. I still use pens and pencils. I am looking at two full pencil holders, right now. There may be other items in the holders, too, but I have plenty of writing tools. And lots of paper clips. And flags…okay…that’s another story. And scissors and air freshener, because stinky stories are the worse.
Headphones to listen to podcasts, webinars, music and such-help so you can stay in your space when sharing space with others. I prefer to not use headphones, but, out of respect for others, I sometimes put them on. I also have very sensitive hearing and loud noises cause real pain for me and trigger headaches. Sometimes having headphones on will help me with this.
Scratch paper is invaluable to me. I keep a stack on my right hand pull out table so I can quickly jot down items. Since I am an artist, I sometimes doodle ideas along with making lists of ideas or to dos. I just jotted down what items I need to take pictures of to add to the presentation of this article. I also have fibro fog and if I expect to remember, I better write it down. It’s also why I have to be consistent as to where I write things down. Additionally, one cannot have enough sticky notes at hand. I use them to tag important information around my computer screen and to make lists that I can stick to my phone for errand time. I have a list keeper in my phone, but I sometimes have a hard time getting where I need on my phone. It’s a me thing, no worries.
Calendars are on the computer, but I also like to look at one on the wall, right next to my desk. It gives me a quick glance for dates when I am planning ahead. I also use my phone calendar and my online calendar, but a quick check is maybe all I need. And mine is pretty because it has Monet paintings on every month. And I keep a separate date book that I carry with me. I have lost all of my calendar entries before, even with the electronic system, and I don’t want to ever go there again. I also find it helps me to organize when I see the layout.
That brings me to art and pictures in general. I like having greeting cards on my desk. They remind me that I am loved. There is also a wood burning I did many years ago, of a lighthouse. Lighthouses are symbolic to me. They represent the importance of being alone and, at the same time, shining your light for others. Isn’t that a nice thought?
Writing tools that I cannot do without, you ask? One must have a thesaurus and a dictionary, because…WORDS! Many things I can look up on a search engine, but the feel of a good book is what I need to soothe my old soul. And many times I am working without the aid of electronics, so I need the physical aids to help. To be honest, I am just now getting to the point of typing my first drafts vs handwriting them. With hand cramping issues, it works better with the keyboard. Those squishy stress balls may also help with cramps.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly… Step away from the desk. Sitting too long in one place is supposedly not healthy. I realize that some folks have no choice, especially if bound to a chair. Both physically and mentally it is valuable to move around with the body and the mind. If confined for a long time, be sure to look up and away from the screen. I have my desk facing the window. It helps to take a mental break away from the screen and it is good for your eyes. Physically, getting up and walking helps to energize and loosen up the joints. As much as possible, doing these things helps me. While sitting at the desk, I also do seated exercises. For chronic pain issues, I have to get up from the desk and cannot sit at a desk all day.
Okay, that is enough of my telling what helps me electronics and non electronics wise. What helps you? Are you experiencing physical challenges? How do you manage those challenges?