Working From Home Productivity

From Working From Home Productivity

reviewing the year

Reviewing the Year – A Practical Guide For The Over Thinker

Don't Spend Time Reviewing 2016

We're always told to reflect on the year that was. The good, the bad, and the ugly. What worked and what didn't. Connections we made. Money we spent. Emotions we experienced. Blocks we cleared...Reviewing the year is exhausting and I haven't even started yet.

Before you delve into the year that was, and fall down the rabbit hole of introspective over-thinking, read on.

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How to get stuff done when you'd rather take a nap

How To Get Stuff Done When You’d Rather Have a Nana Nap

The Elusive Winning Mindset.

I don’t share personal struggle stories as a general rule. I think we should just all get on with it. Get to the point. Don’t faff around, just get stuff done. A true no-nonsense approach.

But a post last night by Brook McCarthy and then today by Kate Toon prompted me to think again.

Both said we should share the shadow, not just the highs but the woes too. Not just “look how well I do this thing cos I'm awesome, and so can you.” But the reality that a lot of the time I don’t 'just get on with it' and get stuff done.

I found a lot of the time I don’t have a winning mindset. That it’s fair to middling at best.
I found a lot of the time I don’t have a winning mindset. That it’s fair to middling at best. Click To Tweet

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How does she do it? An interview with a successful working mum

Laurel is this months Successful Working Mum, and has run her own business for as long as I have known her (apart from when we were kids of course, although she was probably still trying to sell something then too). Her band Three’s Company Trio (  have been successfully working together for 20 years! I asked her what her tops three tips were for successfully running her business whilst keeping her house under control, kids and husband sorted (most of the time), and mostly maintaining her own sanity. Here’s what she said… 

  • She does little jobs throughout the day so there aren’t as many big jobs to do, for example, wipe over the bathrooms, quickly sweep the floor in the kitchen and chuck a load of washing on then leave the house – time taken? About 10 minutes, but saves hours in cleaning bathrooms later on
  • She follows a process – it is totally intuitive now, but there are actions she takes one after another for every client contact from lead through to engagement, completing the work and follow up. What is your process? How can you make sure you get to a point where you don’t have to think about what to do next?
  • When it’s her day off she has a DAY OFF! It is tempting to leave all the housey stuff, kid’s notices, calls to the dentist and catch up calls to friends to that one day, but that makes it just as much a work day as any other. These smaller things are spread across the rest of the working week so her day off is as restful as possible

What are your best tips for not losing your mind whilst working and raising a family?


do these tasks for a most productive day

Be More Productive

Want to Be More Productive?

1. Start with a clear desk

It's thought that a messy desk is a sign of intelligence (Yay. And swearing and being a night owl amongst other things. Read about it here).

So why does a clear desk mean you can be more productive?

A messy desk is a sign of intelligence Click To Tweet

Research shows that the more mess there is, the more your eyes, and therefore brain, try to process. So you can't focus on the task at hand.

You can read more about it here.

Out Of Site Out Of Mind

If you have a house full of messy kids like me, employ the 'out of site out of mind' technique. I simply make sure it's not in eyeshot of my work space so I can't see it (toys, washing, school stuff etc).

It's important to remember you are working – this is your work space, not a kids toy dumping ground, drawing table or play centre.

It is your work space where you earn a living for your family. If you want a more productive day make sure you tidy it quickly every night, which leads to the next point…

2. A place for everything and everything in its place

Notebooks, reference materials, client details/files, stationery, printer, paperclips, printing paper, whiteboard pens, diary, phone charger…they all need to be in their place so you can start the day WITHOUT LOOKING FOR SHIT!

3. Use to do lists

Electronically or on paper, these are your must use tool every singe day – even several times per day - to make sure you are always working on the important stuff. You'll feel super productive at the end of the day.

I am a bit of a serial planner and note book purchaser. Recently I have been trying to keep notes online so I don't have to ferret through heaps of notebooks to find things

Here are my top three:

  • Evernote. I keep notebooks in there for blog ideas. A daily journal. Reminders, and more. Easy to use and I can snip clips to it from research I do for blogs or work.
  • Passion Planner. There are so many fantastic planners out there. This is one I have been using for a couple of years and recently tried the Daily Greatness Journal too. 
  • Simple bullet journal - I break my categories into Learn, Create, Do. So all my bases are covered. And I try to keep the list short so I don't lose my tiny mind.

Over to You

What are your must-do tasks for staying productive? Feel free to share them here.


Be More Productive

How to Get More Time In Your Day

Follow These 3 Steps To Win Back Some Time

Tidy your workspace

Clean up your workspace the night before so you don’t start the day looking for shit like your keys, your wallet, important client’s details, the school notices, and your glasses!

Also, starting with a fresh tidy desk allows your brain to start focusing on the work at hand and not the pile of unpaid bills or kids' artwork cluttering up your space. Doesn't mean you are going to end the day with a tidy desk, but you can always start with one.

TIME SAVED: 15 minutes

Use To-Do Lists

Use to do lists all day every day so you don’t waste time on tasks that are not important to your business and family goals. If ever you find yourself faffing about not getting much achieved you know you need to revisit your list.

Keep it short so you're not overwhelmed.

I have to try very hard to keep only 3-5 things on my list each day. Too much and I end the day in a pool of self loathing and guilt. Too little and I faff all day and don't achieve anything.

TIME SAVED: 30 minutes

Ignore The To-Do List

Bear with me here. If you stop and check how productive you feel, and there's something really distracting you that isn’t on your to-do list – set a timer for 15 minutes and get it done (or at least started).

You'll be able to stop thinking about it and focus on the other things you were trying to achieve.

Our brains are simply not wired to multitask, even though we say we always do it.

In reality we are just being distracted and our concentration has to start from scratch each backs me up on this I promise!

Here's an article from the Huffington Post. Essentially every time you turn your attention to another task, 'your brain is actually rapidly toggling between tasks, and because "each toggle depletes energy," multitasking can actually drain you, leading to fewer accomplishments rather than more.'

TIME SAVED: 15 minutes

Over To You

That’s 60 minutes you can spend walking, playing with the kids, having a bath, talking on the phone, reading magazines, losing yourself on Facebook, Pinterest etc.

Truthfully we often waste more time that we think on social media too – so there’s another 30 at least!

How do make sure you get the most out of your day? 


How To Get More Time In Your Day

Tips for curing writer’s block

Three no nonsense tips for curing writer’s block when your brain is empty

So you can go from this:

tips for curing writer's block

To this:

no more writer's block

You stare at the screen, it is blank like your brain…empty of ideas or a clue where to start. Write a blog they said, just write about yourself, or anything really, it will be easy they said. You even have the heading ready to go, it came to you in the middle of the night, inspiration strikes at weird times doesn’t it, I wonder what I should get for tea tonight, oh and don’t forget it’s Halloween this weekend and Ollie needs to dress as a zombie so I should ask someone if they have a mask I can borrow…oh hang on, I am supposed to be writing…yep okay, got it…writing something…anything

So we have all been there, you know you had something to say when you first came up with the idea for the blog. Now you have an hour dedicated to getting that ticked off your to-do list and you are in front of the blinking cursor…but what to do now?

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Saying ‘no’ is the best working from home tip

Want the best working from home tip ever?

Along with the kids who seem allergic to rain and walking in general, my friends, and their schools, have become accustomed to me being at home - working from home seems to be code for Jenny is available for witty texting battles, coffees, shopping, and "can you please pick me up it's raining".

Recently something clicked (or snapped, depending on your perspective). I am the number one and only bread winner in my household. My friends and family as much as I love them dearly, really have no idea what it is like to raise three boys on your own and be responsible for every little thing.

This isn't a pity party, I LOVE being my own boss, I love the flexibility of working the way I do, but I started saying "No, I'm working" and it has made a huge difference to my productivity and my mental clarity, not to mention my kids' fitness.

This isn't a pity party, I LOVE being my own boss Click To Tweet

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