Recharge This Weekend

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We made it to the weekend – great work!

So often our weekends are just as busy as the week. This weekend make a commitment, even if it’s for an hour, to do something for you.

Need a couple of ideas of how to recharge?

  • Start reading (or listening to) that book you’ve been wanting to start
  • Organize that “one spot” that always seems to collect clutter
  • Treat yourself – go get a much-needed massage or take a long bath
  • Try some yoga stretches or go for a 15-minute run
  • Enjoy the dessert that has been catching your eye all week

We all need the space to focus a little on ourselves.

ENJOY!

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Staying Engaged in your Work

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In wrapping up our tips for working from home we’ve got our team member, Audra Brown, on how to stay engaged while working at home. Take it away, Audra!

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 11.08.19 AMThere are days when I can honestly say I miss my life in a cubicle, when getting my job done required little more than the subtle motivations of the workplace: my boss sitting in the glass office across from me, my co-workers entrenched on similar projects, and the constant team meetings, lunch, and water cooler breaks.

Working from home with two small children means that getting my “office” work done with excellence is a whole lot more exciting to accomplish! My role as a work-from-home mom requires me to operate in an environment of constant demands and a timetable that is variable at best.

Although organization (what’s that again?) and time management (wait, you can manage time?!) are key pieces to meeting my deadlines and ensuring I am focused and engaged, I have also found that motivating myself properly is a significant piece in achieving success in an otherwise, as I like to call it, hostile work environment.

It has been said that the best jobs are the ones you love and happen to get paid for. Who doesn’t want to have the best job? I try to make mine just that by finding ways to love what I do, even if that connection isn’t naturally there in the beginning.

Here are some ways I try to engage myself with my work:

  1. Find the areas of each project/task that play to my strengths. How can I exercise my strengths to not only do a good job but possibly take it to the next level?
  2. Define why I care about the outcome and/or the people that will be on the receiving end of it
  3. Discover pieces of my work in which I can incorporate slices of fun, interest, color, or insight
  4. Figure out if I can grow myself as a person through this task and come out more skilled or learned on the other end
  5. Reinforce my vision of the end goal and how I want to feel at the end of it. Recognize what it is going to take to get me there

Lastly, I would add that remembering that I control this project and my attitude towards it (and not the other way around) always takes a bit of the pressure off, allowing me the freedom to truly enjoy my work and take it where it needs to go no matter what hour of the day, night, or weekend I’m working on it!

Set It Up

Set It Up

We all have different ways of organizing our homes, lives, and creative spaces. But what about our offices? When you have the freedom to work from home (and cube walls won’t be the defining factor of your office space), where do you even start to organize yourself into a productive zone?

Kelly EllisOur Team member, Kelly, has some helpful tips:

Organization – my favorite topic! I have worked in two types of set-ups since beginning the work at home journey: a cramped desk in my kitchen and my new dedicated office room in my home. Here are a few things I’ve learned about organizing in both types of office spaces. 

First – minimize distractions as much as you can. Clutter (even creative clutter!) can form a thought barrier between you and your task at hand. My tip would be to focus on what you need and have those items as your mainstays on top of your desk.

THAT’S IT.

I’m pretty disciplined about this – I typically only have my extra monitor, laptop, notebook for to do’s and tasks, and my trusty pack of pens on my desk. And sometimes my cat – but that’s really not my choice.

I’ve also found it extremely important to make my deskspace ‘Kelly-zone’. When I am in Kelly-zone, I am working and focused. I don’t sit in Kelly-zone while watching TV – being in my office chair is a signal that I am ready for business-time. Also, no TV in my office! I have a hard enough time focusing on the task at hand, but when a TV is blazing it’s multi-colored glory – I’m a goner.

Organizing your space is easy, but I’ve found the hardest part of organizing an offices space is the mind. Even though the word ‘routine’ sometimes gives people mental hives, it is AMAZINGLY helpful to have one when working from home. Without the visual cues to end (or start!) your day, it’s very easy to work way into the evening or not start on time.

Try out a few routines to see what works best for you. Always try and start with some way of gathering your thoughts and documenting them – to do lists are magical – but even getting out on paper what you’d like to accomplish today will make you ten times more likely to get it done.

Lastly – and this may be the most important – keep one thing nearby that makes you smile. If a color makes you happy – paint a canvas in that color and hang it in your line of sight. That awesome picture from your most recent vaca? Put it front and center on your office bookshelf. Even though your colleagues can’t see your space, it will make you feel a LOT better about the time you spend in your zone if you make it your own. 

Thanks, Kelly, for your tips!

What’s your work-at-home situation? How do you organize your space and mind when working from home? We’d love to hear from you!

Finishing Out Strong

Finishing Out Strong

Do you remember back in January of 2015 when we asked you what 3 words you wanted to use to describe 2015?

I know January feels like FOREVER ago! As we are starting the process of wrapping up 2015, pull out (or think back!) to those three words.

How’d you do?

We’ve got a couple more weeks – what do you need to do to finish out this year strong?

Maybe there’s a conversation you’ve been putting off – prep for it and have it!

There is that ONE pile on your desk that you’ve been claiming your going to get to eventually – organize it!

Whatever that thing is that you’ve been putting off for the last week or two (….or three….) commit to doing it in the next week.

There is no reason to leave something hanging around from this year.

Commit. To. Doing…. That’s how we can continue to push ourselves to be better than we currently are!