GTT: How to Successfully Work from Home
The last month or two, I’ve been able to arrange my work and personal life into more of a groove. It’s been a real struggle finding our new “normal” since having MacKenlee. Finding balance in all the craziness that comes along with parenthood is no joke. There have been days that feel as though I’m running on a hamster wheel. I’m running and running, making no progress, but I’m afraid to hop off this crazy wheel.
Now that we’re +6 months in, we’ve been able to get a bit of a handle on what our daily life should look like as a family of three. Want to know how I got a handle on it all? Where I decided was the first place I needed to dig in? Read on as I share my secret to a successful day. These tips are good for anyone, whether you need to be more productive at the office or wiser with your homework and study time.
If you have ever worked from home, you know how easy it is to get distracted. If that distraction isn’t bad enough, let’s throw a baby into the mix and see how much you can get accomplished. Hint: not much at all. You think, “If I throw in one load of laundry, then…” My days all began to consist of “If only’s” and “Thens.” They began to take over my days. I would start so many projects, then proceed to get distracted by the 150 things I had going on all at once. That all changed the day I cleaned out my office.
A Clean Office: Huh? Yep, you didn’t misread that. Sounds too simple, right? I don’t know about you, but I can’t focus in a messy space. If I sit down to work at my desk and see piles of mail or mounds of unopened boxes, my mind drifts constantly until I start working on one of the messes staring me in my face. When my workspace was clean and clear from all clutter, I cut out my environmental distractions.
Another major distraction? My cell phone. Of course I need to have it available while working. When I’m not using it or expecting a call, I turn it on airplane mode. This prevents me from picking it up and checking messages, social media, etc. If airplane mode isn’t an option, then turn it to silent and turn your phone over so you can focus, checking for missed calls every 10 minutes or so.
The worst distraction of all? Email. You may not have the luxury of shutting it down, but if you do for short periods of time, it could greatly promote your productivity. This is especially true if you get desktop email alerts like I do. When I log out of my email to focus on my task at hand, it keeps my eyes and mind focused on my project.
Put away any other distractions. This is me really putting my stuff out on front street… I pick my split-ends. It’s a real problem for me. I get distracted and see a split-end and before I know it I’ve been sitting there for who knows how long, picking at my stupid hair. I know that if I’m sitting down to work, my hair needs to be up and out of my face. Such a dumb waste of time. We all have these dumb waste-of-time moments or habits. Let me know what yours is in the comments below.
Use a timer. One of my newer, more brilliant productivity boosting habits is using a miracle cube to set time limits on my projects. I only have a set amount of time that I can spend in my office baby-free. That time is gold to me, so I have to use it wisely. By scheduling out those minutes to focus on certain projects, I stay productive and can handle that daily to-do list like a bad mother shut-your-mouth.
Be smart with my minutes. When I have childcare, I know that I need to use those baby-free minutes carefully. That means, hand pick the projects that I need more concentration (i.e. quiet) for. Leave the easier projects for other (noisier) times. Prioritize your time wisely.
Set goals. I’m a list maker. Man, I love my lists. As I sit here at my desk typing out this post, I see four different lists on my desk. I also have three other lists on my vision board. I have a Goals/Dreams list on my vision board. On my desk, I keep a running monthly to-do and a daily to-do. This helps me keep my day and time in check. But don’t just set goals for yourself, set timelines. Give yourself a date/time that you want to accomplish specific goals by.
Take care of yourself. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in work or a project that everything else goes out the window. You can’t let this happen. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t give 100% on your work. You need sleep, nutrition, breaks and exercise. Make sure that you are caring for yourself, even in the midst of your hectic work schedule.
Learn to say no. That two letter word is the most powerful word in the English language. And yet, we have so much trouble saying it sometimes. Here’s the thing I’ve learned: when I say yes to something that I need to say no to, I’m cheating myself of being available for something I actually want to do. If we’re doing something begrudgingly, not only will it make us unhappy, but we won’t give it our all. I don’t want to take on a project unless I can give it my full 100%. I’ve learned that when I’m burning that candle at both ends, I don’t produce my best work and I’m unhappy. No needs to become a word we’re comfortable with in order to maintain balance in all areas of our lives.
Comment below with some of your best tips for staying productive, even when life gets crazy.
GTT: Why I Quit My Job To Become A Blogger
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Olay. The opinions and text are all mine.
It’s crazy to think Hello Gorgeous launched over five years ago. We’re getting ready to celebrate my YouTube Channel’s five-year anniversary as well. As I look back over the past five years, I remember so many things. I see the long hours spent shooting, filming, planning, researching and writing. I remember meetings, conference calls, hours spent on set working on various projects. There are visions of so much makeup, clothes and shoes. But mostly I recall how much I’ve grown by stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Picture it (in my best Sophia Petrillo voice): Akron, OH, 1980’s. A 4 or 5-year-old little girl sitting at a vanity, playing with makeup. That little girl? It’s me. That vanity table? It’s my aunt’s. You see, my love for makeup and hair began before I even started preschool. That love turned into a passion, which only grew right along with me. I was the crazy girl in high school cutting my girlfriend’s hair, when there was no reason why I should ever even think I would be qualified to do so. As a young teenager, I worked at a Glamour Shots-esque business on the weekends doing hair and makeup. I would makeover anyone who would let me get my hands on them. I was completely self-taught and would try anything from applying false lashes to threading to coloring hair. There wasn’t anything beauty related that I wouldn’t try.
I always had a passion for beauty. I knew it was the field I wanted to be in, but I didn’t know how to make that a reality. It took encouragement from some friends and a move across the country before I could find the courage to really give blogging a go. If you’d like an in-depth look into my blogging story, then check out this blog post.
So, how did I find the courage to make the leap from Corporate America into the blogging world? I decided to throw all caution to the wind, step out of my comfort zone, and chase my dreams. Making the decision to do what I love was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Because my first love has always been beauty, I found a way to turn that love into a career. It didn’t happen overnight. Actually, it didn’t even happen that first year. But after a ton of hard work, long hours and stresses I don’t even remember now, it all turned around for me and I knew that I was doing exactly what I was created to do: to help other women feel their most gorgeous, both inside and out.
Being a business owner has been the most rewarding career I’ve had yet. I work more hours than ever (and I worked three jobs in college!) but I enjoy every minute. Because I became a blogger, I’m able to work from home and travel with Matt when he books different roles. I’m my own boss, so I get to make my own schedule… But what I actually mean is MacKenlee gets to make my schedule, lol! Being a mom, flexibility is so important and Hello Gorgeous allows me to put my family first. Matt has been my support and teammate since day one. Without him, I never would’ve taken this giant leap of faith into the blogging world.
It’s often said that when you turn your passion into your career, you’ll never work a day again in your life. It’s so true. I wake up each morning, excited to open my email. I love creating new content that other women enjoy watching, reading and listening to. I’m so blessed to have this amazing community to share my life with.
I’ve teamed up with Olay on their Fearless to Face Anything campaign to share my story with you. As always, if I encourage even one of my Gorgeous Girls, then I count my work as successful. Please share with me below about a time that you stepped outside of your comfort zone. Maybe you’re in a situation now that you’re afraid to make the first steps towards a new beginning? Girl, I’ve been there. Or perhaps you’re at a crossroads in your life? You’re not alone. Please feel free to share below!
My First Mother’s Day | Girl Talk Tuesday
First and foremost, welcome to the new Hello Gorgeous! I hope you love the new website. Please leave your feedback (both positive and constructive criticism welcome!) in the comments below. I’d love to know if y’all think anything needs tweaked. Now on to Girl Talk Tuesday.
This past Sunday we celebrated my first Mother’s Day. This day was always a day that was spent honoring my mom and Mawmaw, but last year, it took on a whole new meaning for me. Mother’s Day weekend 2017, we found out we were expecting our sweet angel baby. It was also the weekend that Timeless was cancelled and then picked up again for Season Two. Talk about an emotion-filled weekend. So. Many. EMOTIONS.
Fast forward one year and my first Mother’s Day left me reflecting on all the things. What kind of mom do I want to be? How do I balance our crazy life while making my marriage and new baby my primary focus, all while running a business? How can I be sure that I’m making the best parenting choices for MacKenlee? My questions could go on and on probably forever, and I’ll never have all the answers. Guess what? I’m not supposed to have all the answers. Parenting is similar to every other role God has given me in life, there are no true rules, you just look at each new as a fresh, new start and you do your best.
I’m brand new to this crazy thing called motherhood and already it’s my most rewarding job yet. Just let me say though, it is truly hard work. There are days that leave me begging God for patience. There are missed naps, days full of tears (mine and hers), piles of dirty laundry and almost always a sink full of dishes. None of that matters, because there’s always tomorrow. The days can feel oh-so-long, but the years really are short. There are days I’m watching the clock for bedtime, because I just need the day to be over. But every morning, I find myself watching the clock and the monitor, excited to see my sweet girl. His mercies are new every morning. Each day I wake up with a refreshed spirit, ready to start my day with the sweetest baby smiles and a fresh cup of coffee with my hubby.
My goal this first year of motherhood is to remain present. To soak up every moment, every cuddle and every smile, because these babies grow so fast. I want to give myself grace in those moments of frustration. Also, to know that I am enough, that I’m doing my best, and to stop comparing myself to every other mom I see. We so often hear and say that every baby/kid is different, well so are we mamas. We live in a day where internet is king. Let’s be sure to steer clear of the mom shaming, whether saying out loud or typing the words, or even thinking them, and instead look to encourage each other. I want so much to be a shining light in this dark world, so I have to be careful to guard this little light of mine.
Please comment below with your best piece of advice for this new mama. I hope you had a relaxing and peaceful Mother’s Day with the ones you love.