Business Tips and Tricks

How To Have a Productive Day

We’ve all been there. Days you don’t want to tackle the “To Do” list, right?   I used to think it was easier when I was working full-time and juggling my DS business on nights and weekends.  I knew I only had a limited about of time to be productive before I crashed for the night.  I was focused and had a plan.

Now I work from home full time and hubby works the swing shift.  It is easy to blow off at least part of the day till he goes to work, hanging out and ignoring my business completely.  I have learned (the hard way)  I won’t achieve my goals this way.  When I worked at home as a grant writer, it was easier because there were deadlines.  Belinda went to school, I worked.  Of course some would say I always worked.  I had lots of deadlines and a passion in my soul to make a difference.  Now to use some of those same tricks in my DS business at home.

Having health issues and working at home full time, some days I need an extra little push in the right direction to get me going.  What about you?  Maybe you are crazy busy and you want to learn how to be more productive so you can get back on track with your goals.  Here are some tips which might help you….

#1 – Figure out the feelings.

I’m great at stuffing them so this one is sometimes tough for me.  Are you feeling burnt out? Are you dreading one (or more!) of the tasks on your To Do list? Do you lack inspiration?  Do you over analyze everything so you suffer from “Analysis Paralysis?”.  The truth is by figuring out why you are feeling the way you are,  you can acknowledge it and then work to solve it.  Change up the routine.  Have an impromptu dance party in the living room to get the juices flowing.

#2 Accomplish Something – ANYTHING – First Thing In The Morning

I’m usually up and in my office for by 7AM.  I have a checklist of daily things I have to get done a a bare minimum.  This gets the ball rolling for me. For you,  it can be a simple task like cleaning up the kitchen while enjoying your morning coffee.  On rough days, making the bed is my one accomplishment.  Pick one thing each morning and accomplish it.  Once you are done, spend a moment enjoying how it feels to have completed the task.

#3 Adjust your Morning Routine

Start your morning off on the right foot so you have a productive mindset.  Be sure you eat something healthy with some protein in it to start your day off right.   I’m not a big breakfast person but grabbing a hard boiled egg with my coffee helps.  While you’re enjoying a healthy breakfast option, start writing down your priority list. For me, I take the top 3 things I need to do and get them done!  You may want to start with the easiest task and work up to the more difficult ones.  When you use preparing a to-do list based on priority levels as part of your morning routine, you’ll naturally start to have a more productive day.

#4 Allow Breaks during the Day

I’m learning when I take breaks during the day, I am more productive.  It’s okay to take breaks throughout your day, especially if you have a heavy workload.  Breaks like 15 – 30 minutes not 2 – 3 hours.  Once you finish a task, reward yourself.  Take a break. Grab a snack.  Put on some music and dance around.  By giving yourself rewards (breaks) when a task is completed you will maintain your confidence and motivation. It’s great to take a break in between tasks because it helps transition your mind from one priority item to another.  Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a regular lunch break each day.  Get away from the office.  Clear your head.  You will be amazed at how much you get accomplished.

#5 Manage Your Distractions

There are LOTS of distractions when we work from home BUT the biggest distraction is social media.   The “just want to check one thing” on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram then it is 3 hours later and nothing has gotten done.  I’ve even used the excuse of “I’m working on my business”!  I need to remind myself, if I was working for someone else, I wouldn’t be able to take personal calls or texts, so why do I do it during my business hours?  Schedule your social media time so you can still maintain your online presence without having to be logged in at all times.

It is possible to have a more productive day – every day.  When you practice these tips, you will create habits which will lead to success!  What is your best tip for having a productive day?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Business Tips and Tricks, Home Office

Do You Have A Routine When You Work?

monday morning Does your Monday look like this?

Worker-on-Monday Or is this how you look this morning?

I have to be honest, despite working from home, my Monday mornings can go either way.

When I take time to plan out my week and schedule all of the things I have to do – I am ready to conquer the world.  When I wait till the morning to get things scheduled for the day, I am a hot mess who is unable to stick to a routine.  I squirrel towards the next shining object and then get frustrated when nothing seems to be getting done.

Here are 5 simple steps to help you get a little bit more motivated while working from home:

1. Set Working Hours

Decide on what your working hours will be, and stick to them!  This one is really tough for me.  Hubby is off on Monday and Tuesdays PLUS he works the 4 – 12midnight shift.  It means he is home during the day and has his own plan for the day.  I set my alarm for the same time Monday to Friday and stick to a morning routine as if I was going to work (out of the house).  I have found when I stick to a schedule of early office hours, a break to do things with hubby and then back in the office in the afternoon – life is so much better.  I love starting my work day at the same time every day!

2. Use A Planner

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Plan out your week using a planner – either on your phone or a hard copy. I need paper when it comes to this.  Hubby bought me a Passion Planner and I absolutely LOVE it.  Lots of room for notes, scheduling appointments daily and setting goals.  I have daily to-do lists so you have a clear sense of what needs doing and get started on tasks immediately.  Having a planner and planning out my time has been a giant stress reliever.  It also helps to give your work days and week structure, while working from home!

3. Create A Workspace

Okay, so I don’t work from bed but I will admit to being in my sweats. I get shower and have my coffee just like I would if I had an office job.  I take the “commute” down to my office.  It is important to create a space in your home  – your own personal “workspace”. Even if it is your living room table or a desk in your bedroom! Set aside space solely for work and nothing else!  Set it up like you would a cubby or office with motivational quotes and make it pretty.

4. Leave The House

It’s unhealthy to stay at home all day and not get some fresh air. So get up every couple of hours to take a work break – make yourself some tea and scroll through Instagram. Take your lunch break out of the house too. Even if you make food at home, pack it up and eat it outside to take a step away from your desk for a change of scenery.  This is one I am working on.  I would have to say my work break is having lunch with hubby every day.

5. Socialize

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Do you feel isolated working from home?  With no kids to taxi around, I have found “girl time” is more important than ever.  After-work drinks aren’t as easy when there’s no one to go with from work!  So organize some social meetups post work with friends. Whether they work from home or not, socializing after work is a must. Cocktails? Yes please, always!

Do you work from home? What are your top tips for creating a work-from-home routine and staying motivated?  Share your best tips with us…

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Gives Program

Bringing Hope and A Smile to a Child

No-Act-of-Kindness-Is-Wasted

June was the start of a NEW ThirtyOne year.  Every year, I reflect on the past year – goals made and accomplished as well as those where I missed the mark.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I want to make a difference in the lives of others.

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My passion and my purpose will come together this year in a way I never thought possible.    I am on a mission of:

Bringing hope and a smile to children, reminding them they are special and worthy

Yes, the giving campaigns (chemo comfort bags, etc) will continue.  In addition, I will be donating 10% of my sales every month to a local organization that works with children.  Children who are hurting because of no fault of their own ensuring that for even a moment they know that someone cares.

In July, it will be “Lunch Break” whose mission is:

to alleviate hunger and lead those we serve to self-sufficiency and healthier lifestyles.  We serve everyone, with compassion and dignity.

I had the opportunity to meet with their staff last week and was impressed with their programs and their commitment.  This groups humble beginnings in Red Bank has grown in safe haven for those in need.  I saw smiles on the faces of children. I saw women feeling better about themselves.  I saw them making a difference in the lives of families who are struggling.

fight hunger

Last year, we provide 31 children with THERMAL LUNCH TOTES filled with healthy snacks. The totes also contained a note of encouragement for mom as well as some inexpensive lunch ideas.  Let’s be honest, the FREE lunch program doesn’t always have kid friendly foods. No hate mail PLEASE because I know that there are some places that have great meals but let’s be honest, not all of them do.

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This year for $20, you can sponsor a thermal tote for a child in need. If you want to help BUT you don’t have $20, donate what you can – $1, $2, $5, or $10. Maybe finances are tight BUT you know a business that may want to help, GREAT! Let me know or forward this information to them. I will supply a list of business sponsors in every thermal tote along with blogging about them – FREE advertising for helping out a great cause. Where else could they get FREE advertising for $20 or $40?

Won’t you help to make a difference today? You can fill out the form below or contact me directly. I will be happy to invoice you. Let’s bring a smile to the face of as many children as we can this school year. The deadline is July 18th!

Have ThirtyOne-derful day!