Tuesday, 04 September 2018 14:12

4 Tips for a Fall Refresh

With September here and Labor Day behind us, we’re officially started into the fall season. It’s a time where work and school pick up again, and we move away from the lazy days of summer.

While we’re getting back into our routines and potentially a more challenging workload, it can be a great time for a refresh as we enter this new season.  Read along for some of our best tips to refresh your body and mind before we move further into fall.

Take a new class

Learning is always a new and challenging way to reboot yourself. Whether your interests lie in fitness or cooking, or potentially computer programming or writing, find something that will take you out of your comfort zone.  Often times mixing things up allows us to feel more inspired in our daily life, whether that be personal or professional.

You can find classes that are offered locally through your library or community center, or search websites such as Udemy for online classes that you can take from the comfort of your home.

Refresh your wardrobe

A wardrobe update does not have to be expensive! You can visit a local thrift shop for new style choices, or find a nice vintage shop that offers unique, inexpensive goods.  Additionally, you can search sites like Poshmark, ThredUp, or Mercari. While you’re doing this, you can also go through your current clothing and figure out what need to go. Especially since we’re through with summer, those clothes can be packed away, sold or donated.

Do you have several pieces that you haven’t worn in a year? Have a few articles of clothing that you just don’t like? Take an honest look around and pitch what you don’t need.  Whether you sell, donate or give away older items, you’ll feel lighter by clearing the clutter!

Do some good

When you’re looking for a change or refresh in your life, doing good for others can be a great starting point. Not only does it make you feel great, it helps others in need.

Look around your community for who needs help, or search your own heart for which causes call to you the most. Are you an animal lover? Volunteer for a few hours at the local shelter each week.  Love kids? Find a library in search of readers. You can even plan a service day with your friends or family members - clean up a park, build something useful for the community, or hand out food to the homeless.

Making time and space for others is very important and always needed, and don’t underestimate the meaning and fulfillment that it will bring to your own life as well.

Plan ahead

While we’re in the mode of restarting and refreshing, it’s important to put a plan into place. We’re headed into the busiest time of the year - school is back, work is busier, and the holidays will be here before we know it. Making a plan will keep yourself and your family sane!

Take a look at where you’re spending your time now, what’s coming up ahead, and how you can plan now so things don’t get too crazy down the road.

Start with a nice planner or online calendar program - make completing the days part of your daily life. Get into the habit of time management and calendar planning, as it will make you feel more calm and in control of your schedule. Additionally, it’s just a great habit that will carry you further in your personal and professional life.

Published in Work from Home Tips

As we get closer and closer to the end of summer, we’re starting to think about back to school and fall routines.  While there’s still plenty of time for summer fun, it’s important to begin thinking about the transition into the school year.  Read along for some tips to be prepared - mentally and physically - to get back into the groove!

Shop early

By shopping for back to school items earlier than most, you can typically get in on the best sales.  Better yet, you and your kids will have your pick of supplies. If you wait until late into August or after school begins, there’s usually not much to choose from.  School supply lists can be long and specific, so be sure to pick things up early.

Start a routine

Summer is known for more relaxation and flexibility! Whether you’ve been more loosely scheduled with your work, or your kids are simply in “summer mode,” it’s a great time to prepare for the more strict school year.

You can start by setting earlier bedtimes, doing baths earlier in the evening, and so on.  It’s important (and much more pleasant) to ease your kids back into their year, and this starts with their routine. You can start small: 10-30 minutes earlier every week until you’re back on school time. This will make mornings and bedtimes much easier when school begins!

Create a schedule

Take a look at the upcoming year before it even gets started.  As we’ve mentioned, things tend to change from flexible to more structured during the year, so it’s important to be ready.  With activities, sports, and other programs being added into your schedule, you may have to rearrange some work or set up a carpool.

Start with a basic outline of your family’s days and go from there.  If you need to shift work, add work, or find childcare, now is the time to begin thinking about it seriously.

Set some goals

While you’re setting up your schedule, also take some time to set some goals - for your family, career, fitness goals, and so on.  This can even be a fun activity to do with your kids! Do they want to make a certain team? Try a specific class? Goals can help us get excited about the future, as well as motivate us for a great year ahead. Set some goals for the upcoming year, and check in with them as the weeks go on.

Soak up summer

As summer winds down, soak up the final days of summer!  Plan something fun or just enjoy having the kids home. Take some time for yourself if your work schedule allows, and take comfort in the fact that you’ve started planning for the upcoming school year.

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 07 August 2017 19:27

5 Tips for Back to School Season Success

 

It’s almost that time again - time to go back to school! It’s hard to believe that school will be starting any day now, but as summer winds down, it’s important to gradually get back into the groove.

We all miss summer and its flexibility, but the school year also brings a lot of fun and more structure.  It can be a great time to reexamine priorities, take a solid look at schedules, and truly get prepared for the year ahead.  With a little bit of prep, you’ll be ready for back to school success!

Establish routines

Routines aren’t established overnight, so ease into a new one gradually.  Starting a few weeks before school starts, begin having your kids go to bed a bit earlier.  Start with 10 minutes, then 30, then 60, and so on, until they’re close to the time they will go to bed during the school year.

This is a much better approach than fighting on the first night back! It establishes expectations, gets kids sleeping more normally for the school year, and allows them to get on a schedule that works for them.  It’s also important to try to have them wake up a bit earlier too, so they can practice being active in the mornings.

Revamp your schedule

This is a great time of year to look at your home based career schedule and see where you can improve, change, or be flexible.  You might realize that you’re off balance in terms of work.  Maybe there’s too much going on, maybe there’s not enough.  If it’s the latter, take a moment to browse some new job positions.

You can also take some time to look at the schedule of your whole family for those first few weeks.  Will your kids be starting a sport?  Some type of rehearsal?  Adjust the family’s schedules around those first few weeks and months to make going back a lot easier.

Purchase your items

It’s a lot easier to get your back to school supplies now! Avoid the mad rush and create your list.  Browse the list from your children’s teachers, or simply find some basic back to school shopping lists online.  It’s better to go in prepared so you don’t forget anything.  Go on an off peak time and have your kids select their items.  It’s more fun to get them involved, and they can choose items that match their personality.

Also, make back to school shopping fun.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, but you can make a fun day out of it so your kids are encouraged to start the new year on a positive note.

Set some goals

Setting goals this time of year is important for you and your family members.  While this doesn’t need to be done until closer to back to school time, it gets everyone into the habit of thinking ahead and working towards something.  

Set some short-term goals that can be accomplished within the first few weeks of going back, such as sticking to bedtimes, agreeing to a proper place in the house to study, getting all the lunches packed, creating a work schedule that will work for the school year, and applying to a certain amount of jobs in a week. You can also set longer term goals with your kids, such as making the spring musical, playing a sport, or saving a specific amount of money for a purchase.

The goals don’t necessarily need to do with school, but are more for getting everyone thinking and being more productive during the school year.

Enjoy the rest

Above all else, it’s so important to enjoy the rest of the summer.  While you slowly implement tasks and items that will make the school year much smoother, don’t forget to enjoy the rest of this time of year.  You can even create a summer “bucket list” of items that you still have time to do.

Take another small trip or enjoy a staycation and technology-free weekend.  Take an afternoon to do something fun in your local area.  Book reservations at a fun restaurant for your kids.  Soak in this time and create memories! Schedule more playdates, more pool days, and fun times with your family.  

You can certainly prepare for back to school while still enjoy the rest of what summer has to offer.  Then, when the school year starts, you’ll be all set for success!

 

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 15 August 2016 14:44

4 Tips for Back to School Success

You can feel it in the air - it’s almost time for back to school season! The commercials are in full force and everyone is planning their last minute summer getaways before the rush of school begins.

While this time of year is bittersweet, it can come with scheduling challenges and resistance to routine.  Follow along for some helpful tips to get back into the swing of things in a peaceful, organized way!

Reestablish routine

This is the #1 tip for back to school success! Reestablishing a routine is not always fun for the household, but it will pay off majorly very soon.

Starting now, begin going to bed earlier - a little bit each day.  From here, arrange for your kids to have quiet time for an hour or so in the afternoons.  This process gets them prepared for homework after school, and into the mode of work before play.  If your kids prefer doing homework at night, put the quiet time towards the later part of the day.

Another part of establishing routine is making sure everyone is checking family boards or calendars before they leave the house; this helps to avoid items being forgotten once school starts.

Just because it’s back to school time doesn’t mean all the fun has to end! It just means that those little parts of your routine that involve waking up earlier and spending time doing work independently can start being integrated right now.  Everyone will appreciate this process when the first morning goes smoothly!

Work ahead

Once school starts, mornings can be a little more grueling.  Kids aren’t the only ones who will feel the change - you will as well!

Additionally, as a mom, you might be responsible for pick up or midday happenings with the kids, which might be a huge change from your summer work schedule.  Starting now, begin working ahead in some of your home based work.  Luckily, this is doable in a work from home position, affording you some more time to get back into the groove along with your kids and family.

Get organized

We all know that there are often lists and numerous items that your kids will need for the school year.  By becoming organized with these lists now, you can avoid unnecessary purchases and ensure that everything needed will be in hand on the first day.  If you haven’t received a predetermined list from the school, start by organizing your list(s) by class, grade, and/or child’s needs.  You can refer to the previous year’s lists in the future as well, which saves time and effort.

This is also a wonderful time to organize your home! Starting the year with a calm, organized house leaves everyone feeling more calm and peaceful.  Show your kids where their items are to go - backpacks, shoes, school papers, calendars and so on - so they know what to do when school begins.  You can even have them start utilizing some of these things now in preparation for the year ahead.

Start your schedule

Much like reestablishing routine, actually begin and enforce a schedule right now! Morning routines can reestablished by waking up at a reasonable time, having a healthy breakfast, and potentially planning a few structured activities for the day to get everyone on a schedule.  

When your kids go back to school, it’s important that they’re somewhat prepared mentally and physically for the transition.  Summer can often mean late nights, late mornings and lax schedules - and that’s what makes it so much fun! However, now is the time to get back into another routine that is more structured and also fun.  Kids and adults alike tend to thrive on routine, so establishing these schedules now will make those first few weeks as seamless as possible!

Published in Work from Home Tips