Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

5 Rules for a Healthy Marriage while Working at Home


You and your spouse may be on different schedules and your careers may crashing into one another, but separate yourselves and become successful again!

What do you do when you and your wife or husband share the house while working during the day? Here are 5 ground rules to help you become successful at home, while your other-half benefits as well.

1)      Claim your ground!

When working from home, it is important to develop a space that is identified to the whole household as your office area. Whether that is in the kitchen, living room, or separate room, this space should be private and quiet. By establishing this space, you are establishing these grounds with your wife, husband, and or children and this will avoid distraction throughout the day. Your spouse should also claim their own space.

2)      Hours of Operation

One of the benefits from working at home is flexible time, but don’t let your schedule change according to other’s requests. Only accept your partner’s invitation to lunch, or a request for doing the laundry if your work schedule allows it. It is often a good idea to map out your office hours before your day starts, so that you make appropriate time for lunch and other planned priorities.  Make your office hours visible to your family, this way they can see when they should bug you for attention! Respect your partner’s hours of operation as well.

3)      Talk to one another

Communication is key! State what needs to be done, or talked about, and then find the appropriate time to follow up. While you are married, and not clients, the planned times to communicate can be related to appointments. Ground rules; don’t miss your appointment! Take advantage of this time with your partner to stay focused on your personal life before returning to your office mind frame.

4)      Turn on, and off

When you are working, work! When you are done work, relax! It is very important for you and your spouse to develop these boundaries. Focus while you are working, and ask your partner to respect this so that you do not have to stop writing an email just because they walked in the room. In work hours it is appropriate that you continue your conference call, instead of answering her call. Asking them to help you achieve this goal is the best way to approach it.

5)      Trust and Reliability

You and your spouse should trust each other enough to know that when you are doing something, it is important! It should come as no insult to your partner that you cannot talk at that moment. You also need to establish the trust with your family, that they will not watch TV or talk on their phone beside you when they know you need quiet. Rely on each other to create a suitable environment. If your problem is kids, take frequent scheduled breaks so that you bug them, before they bug you!

By Christine P.




Top 20 Ways to Say No

Just say no!

Sometimes, it's just better to say "no."

It might be difficult for you to say no to requests people make of you when you work from home. You might be asked to do chores by your spouse, or for other favours from neighbours who don’t understand that you need to use your work hours to do work. At the same time, you might get requests from clients for projects you would rather not take on.

Here are 20 things to tell them so they understand why you can’t help them.

1. I already have my plate full with several projects.
2. I don’t have any more room in my calendar.
3. I can’t take on any new responsibilities at the moment.
4. I have another commitment.

These reasons let people know that you don’t have any free time because you have already accepted too many other responsibilities you need to take care of. Know when you have scheduled as many projects as you are willing to take on and stop at that.

5. I’m not comfortable with taking that on.

This is a respectful way for you to avoid doing something that deals with issues that would complicate your relationships.

6. I’m not qualified to do that job.
7. I don’t have any experience with that.
8. This really isn’t my strong suit.
9. I’d rather decline than do a mediocre job.

If you don’t have the skills to do something, admit it up front and suggest that the person find someone with expertise in that area.

10. I need to focus more on my personal life.
11. I need to focus on my career right now.
12. I need to leave some free time for myself.

Your personal time is important. It’s okay to be selfish – be willing to put your personal needs first!

13. I don’t really enjoy that kind of work.
14. I’d rather help out with a different task.

If someone asks you to do something you really don’t like, you can refuse and offer to help them with something else they need help on.

15. Something else has come up that needs my attention.
16. I can’t help right now, but I’ll do it later.

If you want to help but can’t at the moment, say so and offer to help at another time. If it’s time-sensitive, they can find someone else to do it.

17. I don’t like splitting my attention among projects

Let people know that you can’t help them if your focus is too divided, and that you’ll be more effective if you focus on one project at a time.

18. I know you’ll do a great job with it yourself.

Most people ask for help when they doubt their own abilities. Let them know that you are confident they will succeed.

19. Let me connect you with someone else who can help

If you can’t help out but know someone else who can, refer them to that person, but make sure the person will represent you well.

20. No

Sometimes you can just say no, as long as you do it in a way that conveys respect and courtesy.

By Cathy Lau


5 Benefits Of Not Multitasking

The Stress of Multitasking

Multitasking can be incredibly stressful.

When you’re working from home, you may find it especially tempting to juggle your many different tasks. You may feel like you are wasting time or won’t be able to get everything done if you don’t. But there are drawbacks to multitasking that can hurt your productivity.

Here are 5 benefits you can derive from NOT multitasking.

1. Less stress

Trying to lessen an over-packed schedule by taking on multiple tasks at once can stress you out a lot, especially if you’re constantly worried about forgetting something or letting someone down. Doing one thing at a time will put less pressure on your brain to try and process lots of information at once, which will help ease your stress.

2. Greater efficiency

Instead of constantly pulling your mind in different directions by trying to complete more than one task, concentrating on a single issue without distraction may help you work more efficiently by reducing the time you spend on it and helping you complete the task better.

3. Increased awareness

Multitasking can encourage you to only half-listen to what is going on around you. This can affect your relationships, as your family and friends will not appreciate you trying to have a conversation with them while squeezing in some tasks at the same time. Not only will they like you more if you actually pay them full attention – you’ll also be more aware of what’s going on in their lives.


Top 12 Tips to Stay Focused When You Work From Home

stay focused

Stay focused on your tasks and see your productivity increase.

Working from the comfort of your own home with no boss to monitor your productivity can make it hard for you to stay focused on working. Since every project you finish means more money in your pocket, it’s imperative that you find ways to maintain your focus on your own.

Here are 12 tips to stay focused at work.

1. Plan your day.

Prepare a list of all the things you need to accomplish for the day the night before so you’ll have something solid to keep you on track and remind you of what needs to be done.

2. Use timeboxing.

Instead of working on something until you have completed it, try giving yourself a block of time (for example, half an hour) to work on it, after which you will either be finished your task or allocate a time box to work on it some more another day. Then move on to your next task. This will ensure that you are able to spend some time working on all the tasks you have decided to tackle on your list. It will give you deadlines to work toward and ensure that you don’t get so caught up working on one task that you forget about the other things you need to get done. In addition to helping you stick to your plan, it will also keep you engaged working on different projects throughout the whole day. See 11 Ways to Get More Done Using Time Boxing for more tips on how to use timeboxing to manage your time effectively.

3. Use headphones to block out noise.

If you live in a noisy household or have to deal with the sounds of construction work or lawn mowing outside your home, wearing headphones or ear plugs can be an effective way of blocking out distracting background noises. They are also good if you generally work best in silent environments.


7 Surprisingly Affordable Timesaving Services to Boost Your Productivity

Money can buy you time.

Sometimes, the time you save outsourcing menial tasks can be worth the money you spend.

Time is money. And when you’re doing errands like laundry instead of working, that’s time and money you’re losing. It’s a lot easier to be productive when you can pay someone else to do all the menial tasks on your to-do list. When you take into account all the time, effort, and money it costs you to do tasks like cleaning the house and doing you own taxes, the costs of many timesaving services are surprisingly affordable and reasonable.

Here are some common services that you might want to try out to help you reclaim precious hours in your day.

1. Personal Assistant

If you’re swamped with work and don’t have the budget to hire another employee, a great option to consider is hiring a virtual personal assistant to handle the day-to-day tasks on your to-do list. Outsourcing to people in foreign countries can bring down rates to as low as $1 an hour. Do a little research and find a person and price that meet your needs.

2. Personal Accounting/Tax Prep

If you don’t want to have to manage your own money but you don’t have enough cash to pay someone to do it for you, you can turn to a variety of resources for help. You can keep track of your spending year round by using free programs like GnuCash. Some companies offer free audit support and representation from an enrolled agent if you file your taxes with them. Free tax help is also available to taxpayers who qualify for it.

3. Grocery Delivery

Grocery shopping can end up being very time-consuming, when you take into account the time spent driving to the store, picking out your purchases, clipping coupons, and waiting at the checkout counter. Shopping online and getting your groceries delivered to your home is far more convenient and does not have to be very expensive — many services offer free shipping on your first order, low flat rate shipping, and competitive rates on their grocery items. As well, most offer automated shipping, so that you can choose to have your staple items delivered to you at regular intervals.