How to stay Motivated during Self-Isolation + Home Office Decor Tips

If you’re looking for home office decor inspiration and how to stay motivated during self-isolation, I am sharing a tour of my closet/office and my checklist for professionals to feel productive while you work from home. But first, an update.

Hello everyone, it’s been a while since I’ve checked in to this blog, but it feels as if the world has changed completely. I hope all my readers are safe at home, with loved ones, and for those on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak: the cleaners, grocery store clerks, flight crew bringing people home, and our heroes in scrubs, thank you for your sacrifice. It’s been a week now since I went into self-isolation, and I wanted to share a little behind-the-scenes look at my home office and some tips on how to stay motivated during self-isolation.

Home Office Decor Tips

Home Office Decor Tips: Creating a serene space for productivity during self-isolation. West Elm Mid-Century Desk, IKEA Pax wardrobe & a gold desk chair complete the look.

If you are staying at home with your partner or roommate, I think it’s important to have a separate area where each of you can focus on your tasks and get work done. If you do not have a spare room or den, perhaps add a small desk in your bedroom or create some distance so you’re not working at the same kitchen table. For small desk options, I love this ladder desk from Wayfair, or this KNOTTEN standing desk from IKEA is great for small spaces.

For Daniel and I specifically, we have been taking turns in the home office space. Typically, I start my day in my cloffice (which is a converted second bedroom), while he works at the dining table. We swap spots after lunch, as I typically have conference calls in the afternoon and don’t mind giving up my ergonomic set up. I find the swap help keeps things fresh, and offers a slight change of scenery, which can be difficult in 600 square feet!

I originally thought my condo’s second bedroom would be a guest bedroom, or that I would take on a tenant while Daniel is working in Montreal. However, after realizing the space was too small, and that I needed ample storage, I decided to create a fully functional “cloffice” or closet/office space.

If you're working from home during self-isolation make sure to have a clean desk setup with a comfortable desk chair, sturdy desk and a laptop stand to be ergonomic.Home Office Decor Tips: a gold and white leather desk chair from Wayfair, a small desk and blackout curtains help me stay productive!

My desk area faces out to a window, which I find to be the best position to stay focused. Facing a window also helps with taking short 30-second screen breaks. The white Mid-Century Desk is from West Elm, but I found it on Kijiji. I love this desk because it is very sturdy, made of solid wood, doesn’t wobble, and has a small footprint for my home office. My boyfriend even has the same desk in acorn wood at his apartment in Montreal, so we’re definitely fans! I also adore my gold and white leather desk chair from Wayfair, which was one of the first pieces of furniture I bought for this room. It is very comfortable and high quality for the under $300 price tag.

What's on my desk? An ergonomic laptop stand, logitech keyboard and mouse and a Saje essential oil diffuser keep me comfortable and focused while I work from home during self-isolation.

On my desk top, I like to keep things to the bare minimum, and have necessary pens and stationery, a coaster for my mug from Anthropologie and my Saje aroma Breeze diffuser for my favourite essential oils. I love using essential oil blends when I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed and uninspired. From Saje, my favourite blends are Liquid Sunshine, Quick Study and Tree Scents.

Now, let’s talk about ergonomics. If you buy one thing from Amazon during self-isolation, please let it be this laptop stand. Not only is it sleek, minimalist and well-made, it will lift your laptop at a perfect height and angle so you don’t have neck strain from looking down on your MacBook all day! I also love this Logitech Craft Keyboard, which has some nifty shortcut functions for photo and video editing, as well as this futuristic Logitech Vertical mouse, which takes a while to get used to, but I promise you won’t be able to use anything else after! I also like to keep my desktop clean and use this cute pink desk mat I got from Amazon for under $30.

How to stay motivated during self-isolation: creating the perfect home office environment is key!

Good lighting is also important for a home office, so during gloomy days and late nights, I have a stand lamp from IKEA beside my desk, as well as this gorgeous Chitwood flush mount light I got from Wayfair. I also have blackout pink velvet curtains which are helpful around sunset, as my window faces west.

I’ll be honest, it took a while to get this home office together, but I’m truly grateful to have a calm, cohesive space to get work done, and get ready in.

Shop my office:

Cloffice – IKEA Pax Wardrobe closet inspiration for small spaces

Pax Wardrobe system from IKEA: I combined three 75cm units for the perfect wardrobe in my office space.

I find it very serene to have a space dedicated to getting ready, and Daniel and I put together three 75cm Pax closet wardrobes from IKEA. I plan on doing a full closet tour in the aftertimes,  so stay tuned. Functionally, it’s incredibly motivating to have a beautiful wardrobe to inspire you to get dressed during self-isolation, pick out a nice pair of jeans, shirt and blazer and feel put-together and productive. That is one of my top tips on how to stay motivated during self-isolation.

Mid-Century walnut vanity with gold hardware

I also have a cute mid-century-inspired vanity from HomeSense that my mother gave me as a housewarming present. It stores all of my most-used makeup. I find it very helpful to have a dedicated place for my daily beauty routine. These little things help establish normalcy in an uncertain time.

How to stay motivated during self-isolation as a professional

Work from home tips for professionals to stay motivated during self-isolation

While everyone gets used to the “new normal” (meanwhile, nothing about this is normal), it’s important to establish a routine or framework for your work day. As a lawyer, I am used to having meetings, conference calls and in-person appearances at the Tribunal or Committees, however, some of that work will be shifted remotely. Overall, I’m pleased to see some flexibility, and am grateful I am able to work from home remotely, to help do my part and flatten the curve.

I’ve put together the graphic below as a checklist for how to stay motivated during self-isolation as a professional. While you don’t need to tick all the boxes per day, it’s a great way to stay accountable. Please share this graphic on Instagram stories, and tag me @natalieast and I will share your completed checklist on my stories too!

How to stay motivated during self-isolation: a checklist for working from home for professionals, lawyers and small-business owners.

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