11 Tips for Working from Home on a Mac

A MacBook with Google search on the screen, sitting on a desk next to a cup of coffee and a cup of pencils.Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock

Around the world, companies have asked their employees Work at home. If this is your first time working remotely on your Mac, these tips can help you increase your productivity and get on the same page.

Use your iPad as a secondary screen

An iPad Pro connected to a MacBook and using the Duet application.

If you have a larger monitor or office workspace in your office, a MacBook screen may feel rather cramped when you first use it for work at home. Of course, you can connect your MacBook to an external display if you have one. If you don’t, consider using an iPad.

If you’re using a modern MacBook (2016 or later) and you have an iPad, you can just connect it to your MacBook and use the Sidecar function to use it as a second screen.

If your Mac does not support this feature, you can use the Duo Display application ($ 9.99) for the same functionality.

You can also use your iPad to display chat applications, such as Slack, to free up space on your Mac desktop.

RELATED: How to use your iPad as an external Mac screen with Sidecar

Add a second monitor

The LG UltraGear 24GL600F-B game monitor with on-screen video game planes.LG

Don’t have an extra iPad lying around? The best thing you can do if you work long hours at home is to add a spacious monitor to the mix. You can get a pretty good 24-inch monitor for less than $ 200.

For example, LG UltraGear 24GL600F-B The game monitor has a refresh rate of 144 Hz and a response time of 1 ms, Full HD resolution, HDMI and display ports, and costs less than $ 180.

If you want an even bigger and more expensive model, try a ultra wide. If you don’t know what you should get, we can help choose the right monitor for you.

RELATED: How to choose the right monitor for your PC

Set up an ergonomic home office for MacBook

The Twelve South Curve laptop stand with a MacBook sitting on it. Twelve South

Even if you are sitting at a desk, it is not a good idea to lean over your MacBook while you work.

A laptop stand is the best way to alleviate this problem. With your MacBook on a raised, tilted stand, you can adjust the screen so that it is at eye level. If the support is not high enough, simply place it on some books.

Pair your laptop stand with a ergonomic keyboard and the mouse to make things even easier on your wrists. If you prefer your MacBook keyboard, you may want to check out the Apple Magic keyboard.

Apple has a Magic mouse, too, but you may end up with cramps in your hands due to its small footprint. We love the excellent Logitech MX Master 3.

RELATED: The best laptop represents in the office and on the go

Manage your notifications

Your attention is your most precious resource when working from home. However, it can wobble if you have a constant barrage of distracting notifications arise.

To stop it, open “System Preferences” and go to the “Notifications” section.

RELATED: How to turn off annoying Mac notifications

Here, select an application in the left pane to deactivate one of its notifications. For example, you can keep badges and audio enabled for messaging apps, but disable their banners so they don’t distract you visually.

Then go to the notifications section for all your business apps (like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Skype or Outlook) and fine-tune your notification options. For example, in Slack, you can turn off channels so that you don’t get notified until someone mentions you.

Quit distracting apps

When you are in the office, you are surrounded by people who are also busy working. At home, however, it is much easier to get distracted by Twitter or Netflix.

A good thing to do just before you start working is to quit all distracting apps, especially messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messages or Telegram. Close or log out of websites like Facebook, news sites, and Netflix.

Use reminders to stay on top of your to-do list

A systematic to-do list can really help you set realistic goals for your daily work. When you start your work day, list the tasks you want to accomplish.

You can do this quite easily on your Mac in the Applying reminders. If you want more features, like projects, notes, attachments or sharing, we recommend Todoist.

Organize your time with calendar apps

Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you won’t interact with colleagues and clients. If you need to set specific times for projects or meetings, it’s best to put everything in your calendar.

You can start with the integrated Calendar app. If you want something more feature-rich, with natural language input and a timeline view, try Fantastic.

Monitor and track your work time

It is important to manage your time when you are working from home. To do this, the first thing you need is cold, hard data. You can get it in two ways: manually or automatically.

Toggl is one of the best manual time tracking apps. You simply start the timer when you start a task or project and stop it when you are finished.

For a week, do this for each task you perform during each work day. At the end of the week, you will see how much time you have spent working. If it is too much or not enough, you can adjust accordingly.

If you prefer to automate this process, see RescueTime. This free app works in the background and tracks all of your activity. At the end of the day, just visit the app’s dashboard to see how much time you’ve spent being productive.

Use headphones and play music Focus

Once you’ve resolved the distractions on your Mac, it’s time to take a look at the distractions in your environment. If possible, you should work in a separate, quiet place.

When you work at home, even the noise from the TV from the living room can be annoying. If you can’t change the noisy environment outside of your space, try using over the ear (or, better yet, Noise cancellation) headphones.

Listen music that will help you focus. As a general rule, you should avoid music with lyrics (unless it doesn’t distract you). There is a genre called LoFi Hip Hop which is specifically intended to help people focus during their work. Look for it on Apple Music, Spotify or YouTube.

RELATED: Focus on This: the best music to focus on

You can also play techno (Deep House is one of our favorites), classical or jazz music, depending on your taste.

Set pause reminders

Because you won’t have colleagues to chat with you, or a water cooler to socialize, be sure to plan breaks for yourself. You can use the time to stretch or send a message to your friends.

With the Free time app, you can set recurring break reminders every hour or so.

Focus on one task at a time

If you can’t focus on one task at a time, optimize your business applications to take up full screen. If you still have problems, try it Backdrop application.

A Slack window opens with the background of the Backdrop application.

It shows only one application at a time, with a color or image background. That way, every time you switch to another app, it’ll be the only thing on the screen (it also hides your cluttered desktop).

Environmental changes

When you configure for Work at home, take the time to set healthy boundaries with other people in your home. You may want to set specific times during which you should not be disturbed.

You may also want to prohibit people from just breaking into your home office – ask them to knock, text, or even set up a meeting to talk to you.

When you have finished all your work, you will have free time to spend with them.

If you’re looking for fun ways to make the most of your free time at home, we have some suggestions!

RELATED: How to make the most of free time at home

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