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
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, 24 July 2017 14:23

5 Top Tips for Work From Home Success

Working from home is often the goal of many moms.  It affords flexibility, more time with family, and a comfortable work environment.  While it’s a goal that can lead to a big increase in the quality of your life, it also comes with challenges.  

Between distractions and the lack of traditional work environment, it can take a while to find your footing in the home based working world.  Read along for some best practices for a smooth work from home life.

Separate your spaces

While it might be comfortable to work on the couch for a while, it can lead to posture issues and a lack of focus.  It’s better to establish an office or a separate space in your home specifically reserved for work.  If you don’t have the extra space to make a bedroom into an office, you can set up a space at the dinner table, or place a small desk in another room.

It’s best to eliminate as many distractions as possible, while keeping the environment as “businesslike” as possible while being from home.

Get out of the house

Some people find home based work too isolating and mundane.  If you start to feel this wya, it’s best to get out of the house as much as possible.  You can even work from a coffee shop, park or office space daily.  Even if you obtain a “work from home” job position, you might still look into something more social like a coworking space.

Coworking spaces combine people from a variety of industries and businesses into one location.  This provides the social, office environment while allowing you to keep a flexible schedule and unique working arrangement.

Treat it like work

Working from home is still work! It can be easy to see it as a way to work less and spend time all day with family or friends, but unfortunately, work still needs to get done.  Use the first few weeks to find a good balancing act between the two, and then be sure that you’re working when you should be.

Of course, the benefit of home based work is flexibility, so there will be times when you can use evening or early morning hours to work.  Going outside of the schedule is more than permitted, but a routine work schedule (most days) makes for more effective, productive work.

Unplug

While you should treat your home based career like work, it’s also important to unplug! As home based workers, it can be tough to turn it off.  Your computer is essentially your workspace, but it needs to be turned off once in awhile.

This is why it can be helpful to establish specific work times, so it’s not too tempting to work well into the evening.  Use your off time for friends, family, and personal time, and work on a schedule that works best for you.  Avoid the trap of working around the clock - it can cause unnecessary burnout, stress, and fatigue.

Set your boundaries

Boundaries are important when you work from home.  Since you typically become the point of contact, person who’s there for appointments in the home, caregiver, and so on, it’s important to maximize your schedule and set boundaries so you can still get work done.

Working from home requires some forethought and effort between you, your employer, and your family, but it can be done.  It’s a wonderful working arrangement that affords more flexibility and less missed good times, but ensure that you’re being smart about it and setting boundaries that keep you healthy, happy and productive.

Published in Work from Home Tips
Monday, 28 September 2015 02:47

4 Ways to Find Legitimate Work From Home Jobs

 

Many people want to work from home, but it can be difficult to find legitimate home based careers.  While there are several positions available, most sound too good to be true - and they may be.

 

Besides doing your research to ensure that your job and the company you work for are legitimate, there are some other ways to sort through the noise of less-than-ideal work from home jobs.

 

Set Alerts

 

Alert services such as Google Alerts allow you to set notifications via email on certain topics.  If you set an alert for “work from home position,” you will get periodic emails when a phrase matching this description appears in any online news.

 

While this may not seem like an ideal method, it can help you to find home based careers that are advertising in non-traditional ways.  It can also alert you to work from home job sites, which are great starting points for your home based search.

 

Be Specific

 

The best way to get a legitimate home based career is to look on specific job boards and sites that specialize in this niche. Sites such as HireMyMom.com only post legitimate jobs, and even eliminate any MLM and network marketing positions as well.

 

While all work from home niche sites and boards may not screen, they are a starting point.  It’s less than likely that you’ll find many legitimate work from home jobs on general job sites such as Monster, Indeed, and so on.

 

Use LinkedIn

 

LinkedIn can be helpful in any job search, but especially for virtual jobs.  When you search at the top of the homepage, you can type in phrases such as “social media telecommute” and find a wide variety of virtual positions available.

 

Since LinkedIn requires a substantial job posting fee, the jobs are more likely to be legitimate.

 

Always Network

 

Networking is and will always be your #1 source for job leads.  When you tell your contacts and networking colleagues that you’re in the market for a home based job, they’ll keep their ears open.  Also, many companies, small businesses, and entrepreneurs need administrative, social media, and other home based jobs completed, so you may just be in the right place at the right time.  It’s always best (and easiest) to consult your network first and foremost!

Overall, always do your own due diligence when seeking a work from home career.  Even the most legitimate sounding jobs can turn out to be duds, but asking the right questions to ask in the interview can help.  If you do this, and only accept jobs that have tasks and companies that you feel are appropriate, you’ll be well on your way to a legitimate home based career.

Published in Work from Home Tips