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5 handy tips on How to actually get work done when you work from home.

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Being a work-at-home mother is one of the best/worst/harderst/rewarding thing that could have ever happened to me. 

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I get to spend time working on projects that I love, while knowing I am my kids best caregiver. Plus, I’ve recently started to show other work-at-home mothers how to make working from home a real option for them. While everybody thinks its sunshine and rainbows its is a hard job by this one simple fact… the fact that I need to constantly stave off distractions! There are many. Trust me.

You see when you’re working in an office, it is easy to stay focused because pretty much everyone else is working, plus you have a boss who keeps an eye on you.

But when you’re working at home, you have folks listening to music, watching television, needing something from you and you are your own boss.

How do you stay focused and avoid distractions? First by identifying them. Yes, learn what are your major distractions and then, deal with them.

So, here are the top 5 distractions that a work-at-home mom faces along with handy ‘stay focused’ tips to get you all organized and productive:

1. Email

Yes, email unfortunately does get in our way while we work. Checking email every 30 minutes or even hourly is NOT good for productivity and getting things done. Instead, schedule 2-3 time slots every day and keep them exclusively for checking and replying to emails and if possible, shift to Gmail, it has a great suite of apps that are handy for any business.

Stay Focused: Keep email reading and replying for mornings after you’ve done your 1st session of work, noon before you take your first break for lunch and night, before you shut down for the day.

 2. Social Media

Ahh, we all love tweeting and Facebooking, pinning and stumbling. And yes, it is important too. You get to network and connect with others, learn what’s happening online and give your mind a rest too. However, when you get sucked into your Twitter stream or tangled up in pinboards, it is time to step back and take a look at how to make social media really work for you.

 Stay Focused: Like email, schedule time for networking. Automate updates for your business or blog so that you don’t have to share them real-time. Applications like, Tweetdeck and Hootsuite can really simplify that for you.

 3. Family Members, Especially Kids

We work at home because we want to be with our little ones. However, sometimes the little ones can be big sources of distraction. “Mommy, I need {juice/milk/cookies/Buzz Lightyear!}”, often pull me away from my desk and make me lose my focus and flow. Please tell me I’m not alone!

Stay Focused: Schedule heavy-duty work activities for times when either your kids are away at school, asleep or with someone to watch them and do the need fulfillment. I now shut off the laptop when my daughter comes home from preschool or wakes from her nap. If I have to keep it on, I only do things that don’t require a LOT of focus – social networking or email.

 4. Household Chores

Working at home means we get caught up in cleaning, decluttering, dishwashing, laundry, cooking, cleaning, decluttering. Yeah, you get it. Household chores are important and yes, they need to be done. But not when you’re supposed to be working. Schedule times and days to tackle household chores. You can always focus on the harder you work one day you can hire help to clean your home 😉

Stay Focused: Set working hours. Don’t think about the load of laundry when you’re working on a project.

 5. You

Finally, it is YOU who can be quite the distraction to yourself and your work. Unfortunately, we ourselves can end up distracting ourselves. However, handling this one is easy. If you take action everyday to organize and stay focused, chances are you’ll end up doing MUCH more with your day as a work-at-home mother.

 Stay Focused: Use the tips and ideas in this post to create a schedule that works for your lifestyle and personality.The night before set up a list of the 6 most important things to do, keep to the list! You’ll see yourself making progress everyday.

How do you stay on top of distractions as a work-at-home mom?

 

Postponed Halloween prep

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Due to SuperStorm Sandy, Halloween has been postponed in NJ. Governor asked that Halloween be conducted Monday Nov 5th. Keep kids safe from trick or treating in the dark from power failure and safe from downed power lines. We decided to prep early in case I messed up this part of the Costume.

My son decided to go as Spock. Why? I dunno but he’s really super excited about it. He decided not to use the really crappy hair/ear head cap that was included. He instead said that his own ear were pointed enough and he was going to let his hair grown out to get a Spock hair cut. After two months of growing out his hair, I hacked into it today. I know NOTHING of cutting hair, and thankfully after Halloween I’ll be buzzing it off.

Here’s my lil Spock!

Here is where I break it to you….

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So while we haven’t been hiding it, we haven’t been advertising it either: This time around we’re cloth diapering. Alright lay it on me (the weird looks, the puckered mouth, the “WHY!?!”).

 

First of all: OMG HOW CUTE!!!!

 

 

I’m not a tree hugging ‘keep chemicals away from my baby’ mom. I’m all for convenience, but more than convenience I’m all for cheaper. Yeap, I’ll be the first to admit we’re doing this for the money. That  the environment benefits, its just a nice bonus. I had wanted to do it with Thomas but having no extra info we decided the upfront cost AND the work we had to put into it would be too much. Now thanks to having better google-fu and the help of a friend that already has experience in this field, I  found much better sources of information. Turns out, not really that much work. Two extra loads of laundry a week. I can live with that. While I was impressed with the saving, I did the calculations myself based on how much disposable diapers cost at the stores we frequent, wipes, and wipe cases (3 total) for the next 2 years (aprox age of potty training). I then calculated cost of disposables, part of the light bill, (we don’t pay for water), extra use of detergent, washable wipes, wipe warmer, and wetbag. 

Disposable diapers (and extras) over 2 year:

$2,105

Cost of cloth diapers (and extras) over 2 years:

$328- $400

 

Suddenly I don’t feel so silly having people look at me like I’m  a tree hugger 🙂

Since I’ll be stumbling along trying to figure out how to do this, I’ll be cataloging all of this here. (www.stellargravity.wordpress.com)  So when I get questions I can just point people in the this direction.

Back to Basics

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So after I got into jewelry making I kind of abandoned the blog! Now I had my hands full running StellarG Jewelry site and facebook. Life has changed and changed again, in the last year. First of all, we’ll be leaving Korea soon, and move to a new chapter in our life. Where? Well that’s another post. Did I mention I’m pregnant? Well that’s another post! Wanna see me make baby and gender announcement cards? well these new post just keep writing themselves! So with that I’ll leave you, lets not go crazy here. I need to ease into this again. 

Teaching what you know

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I’m getting ready for the class I will be giving tomorrow. Kinda excited to do it, also scared no one will show up! Also wondering if I’m doing the right thing…. I mean if I teach others to do pendant making… will I still have a good business? What if some students decides to actually start selling these too and then I have competition. I’m trying to think positive thoughts! And hope a moderate amount of students show up, and they have the respect that I showed my instructor by not stepping on her toes. Now to finish packaging the kits and work on the class outline/handouts. Wish me luck!

Let the mayhem and the madness begin!

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It’s that time of the year again, November! When our lives get turned upside down in a wild fling of literary abandon and we crack out 50,000 words in 30days.
NaNoWriMo!
and because we always try to do the double doozy, NaNoBloMo! Posting everyday. I’ll be honest I think this year I’m going to crash and burn, not only am I doing NaNoWriMo and NaNoBloMo, I’m also trying to manage and promote the heck out of my StellarGravity jewelry line. At www.stellarGjewelry.com.
I wish everybody luck in their respective adventures and endeavors. Onward!

I think my eyeballs are on strike…

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Working hard to promote my ‘store’ which has basically my facebook page. For some reason its not really picking up my etsy page. I’ll just have to work on that too in a bit. Basically I spent 48 hours working to set up a website before we hit 1,000 fans. ALMOST made it, Got to 1,009 before the site went live. Its finally up and finally done, I’m now going to go back what I like doing. Making pretty and shiny things. Come take a look I’d love some feed back.

http://www.stellarGjewelry.com