Work-At-Home Hacks For People Just Like Me

There are rules of thumb but there are no hard and fast rules. The ‘things people do every day to become successful’ in what they do has so many variables.

Some swear by morning coffees, others a 20-minute nap. Give or take, that’s almost always the story. Like I said, variables.

Routine, or better yet, discipline is what makes people successful. I will never claim to be a ‘successful person’ but what I HAVE been doing is working from home for the past 18 years. I hope you can share YOUR story about how you soften the rough edges off of your everyday work week too because it helps. Every little bit of advice helps, actually, because most successful people listen.

1. No Emails – Most people start their days off by rolling off their beds with everyone screaming at them. Your alarm is screaming. Your boss is screaming, your kids are screaming, your email is screaming. So, one of the things that I DON’T do early in the morning is to check my emails. People who know me know not to expect an instant reply from me early in the morning. That’s when I am trying to sort my shit together so that I can get stuff done for you throughout the day. So, no emails in the morning. Only coffee is allowed.

2. Stay Dressed – This one is for those who work from home. One of the things that I’ve noticed in nearly 2 decades is that I dress for work (even if I will be in my home office or living room) the whole time I am going to be working. I don’t know about you but the moment I slip on my cutesy ‘lil comfy clothes, my zest for life and roaring enthusiasm to get things done slithers off from me like a layer of dead skin cell.

3. Meditate -Oprah’s said it. So did Deepak Chopra and Cameron Diaz. It’s not the woo-woo-woo stuff, trust me. It’s more like sitting there in complete silence or with soft music gently caressing my ear, or just sweeping the floor (the movement is meditatively repetitive, try it!). Instead of thinking of it as a ‘new age fad’, think of it as Loading Your Gun Ready to Kick Down the Doors of the World. Badass when reworded, huh? I use an app to ‘help me along’ – Insight Timer. It has music, guided meditation, and… well… complete silence.

4. Don’t multitask – It’s something I was really proud of and multitasking was the only way for me to move the needle forward when the list of things-to-do was just way too long. I don’t do it anymore. Instead, I think doing things in spurts is far more productive. One example would be that if I found vacuuming the floor THE daunting task of the day, I would mindfully vacuum the living room and leave the rooms and kitchen for tomorrow.

Silly example, I know, but when applied to work, it’s pretty amazing when you give the tasks at hand short bursts of active, productive attention. When I am tired, I will come back with a whole lot more to contribute AFTER I’ve dealt with my brain fog instead of muscling through it. I mean, who am I to argue with the chemicals in my brain?

5. Coffee – I am just going to leave this right here. Explaining it any further is going to make me angry if you don’t understand it. It’s my survival poison.

6. Laugh a Little – A sense of humor provides a buffer against the build-up of stress and anxiety in your system. So, occasionally, load up your Tumblr or Twitter (where you are encouraged to follow people like 9gag – just a personal preference, of course) and just laugh a little.

Experts say that humor provides a powerful buffer against stress and fear. “Humor is about playing with ideas and concepts,” said Martin, who teaches at the University of Western Ontario. “So whenever we see something as funny; we’re looking at it from a different perspective. When people are trapped in a stressful situation and feeling overwhelmed, they’re stuck in one way of thinking: This is terrible. I’ve got to get out of here. But if you can take a humorous perspective, then by definition you’re looking at it differently – you’re breaking out of that rigid mind-set.”

7. Being understanding – I know this doesn’t fit into the normal mold of ‘things people do to be successful’ but I think it’s pretty important. Because most of us work with others, whether in the office or remotely, we often assume that people are being evil of mean when they’re being a little less than nice to us. Sometimes, it’s because they’re tired just like you, exhausted just like you, overwhelmed just like you, have to pay bills just like you, are worried about their kids/parents just like you, or simply had an argument with a friend/spouse just like you.

I think this point is particularly important in the digital world. With the digital divide, we sometimes forget that we’re dealing with human beings. Just like you.

Marsha Maung is a mother, writer, social media consultant, internet marketer and human. Her mission, as far as her work is concerned, is to bring brands, products, services and companies exposure. Find out more about her life from her personal blog (cooking, life, sense, parenting, writing, etc) or her professional WordPress blog MarshaMaung.Me. Hope to see you and connect there.

Building a Web Site for Your Home Based Business

It is possible to make money online, running your business from home. But to be able to do this, you have to have a web site. Most people starting up a home based business will try and build their own, that’s fine if you know what you are doing but can reflect very badly if you don’t. Home based business web sites, need to be professional looking but not overly flashy!

Some work-from-home opportunities include a web site when you sign up but if starting up a business, consider either one of two options.

1) Pay someone to build your web site for you. Look around you, web sites can be purchased at low cost these days.

2) Use a Free template or paid for template. Web designers work from home too and are happy to work for low fees to get their own online/home-based business off the ground.

Make sure your web site is consistent.

Your customers will want to see a consistent web layout. Most users will make an impression of your site in seconds. The difference between a good looking site and a bad looking site is a potential lost sale.

If you run an e-commerce business from home, don’t try and build the shopping cart yourself. Use a third party product like PayPal, particularly good for selling a few products and well respected. Payment processors like PayPal take care of your Data Protection requirements and leave you to get on with promoting your internet business.

Third party software

With a small investment, you can purchase a complete shopping cart or if you are on a tight budget, you could use an open source e-commerce product. Either way if your home based business sells a lot of products, why try and re-invent the wheel!

Paid host or free host?

Don’t make me laugh! A years internet hosting with your own domain name costs less that taking someone out for dinner. If you don’t make this one investment, then why bother starting a business at home? Owning a domain adds professionalism to your business. How many www. mysite.myinternetserviceprovidername.com web sites have you seen, that are successful online businesses?

How much does it all cost?

Hosting your new web site and fitting it out with e-commerce might cost you less than a $100 per year. This depends how many products you sell and how much of the work you are prepared to do your self. But be realistic know your limitations and know when to ask for help!

Good luck working from home.

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Childcare While Working at Home? No Worries

Nowadays, it is really hard to find someone that is trustworthy to babysit your child while you are working, especially if you are working away from home. That is why the majority of Moms choose to work from home. In that way, you will be able to take care of your household and family while earning, plus you get to spend more time with them. I’ll give you some tips on how to babysit your child while working at home:

1. Time Management- Planning and organizing your time is one of the most important skills of being a work at home mom. Good time management enables you to work smarter – not harder – so that you get more done in less time even when time is tight and pressure is high.

2. Look for a Relative/Member of a Family that can Babysit even just for an hour- Finding someone who will babysit your child will help you a lot, even if it is just for an hour. Just make sure to do everything that needs to be done while someone is babysitting your child.

3. Setup boundaries to get rid of distractions- Distractions are totally a struggle if you are a work at home mom. There are times that you are working on a project and suddenly, someone will come into your house and of course, you should entertain them. Or your child wants to play with you. When you set boundaries like a place to work at, and specific work schedule, it gives you the freedom to concentrate fully on the task at hand-whether at work or play.

4. Do not compromise sleep- They say that if you have a newborn, be sure to take naps whenever the baby slept. Will you be able to sleep if you are thinking of your dirty laundry that needs to be washed? Will you be able to sleep if you hadn’t taken your shower? Of course. You should take a nap! you deserve it.

5. Unwind while working- Who says that you can’t work while relaxing? Take a vacation with your family somewhere, and bring your work with you. This is one of the advantages of being a work at home mom. You can bring your work with you anywhere you go.

Being a Work at home mom is not easy because you should know and you should master how to manage your time wisely. But as time goes by, I am sure that you’ll get the hang of it. You can do it Momma, We can do it! Good luck!