For some people, their job exists entirely at home and this can offer great flexibility. However, the ability to be motivated can sometimes be a struggle.
With many distractions, such as the cat doing something funny or your favourite show releasing a new episode, it’s easy to give in to the temptation of slacking off.
Working in an office gives you a schedule, seeing co-workers on a daily basis forces you to socially interact and a boss who is in the same building as you gives you accountability, so how do you actually get any work done at home?
We’ve put together ways you can stay motivated at home (or even if you work at an office!):
- Wake up early
Research has shown that waking up early makes you more proactive, so set that alarm for 7am and stop rolling out of bed at 11am! People also tend to get more work in the morning with the hope of finishing early and spending the rest of the day doing whatever they want and this is great motivation. Just think, although it is painful getting out of your cosy bed, you will get all your work done bright and early whilst competitors are still silently sleeping.
- Dress like you’re going to work
We don’t mean getting on your finest pencil skirt and lucky blue blouse, but stepping out of those comfy PJ’s or onesie and into something you would be seen going outside in is a must. Our brains pair up with our clothes, so if you wear ‘lazy’ clothes such as your trusty joggers and baggy t-shirt, you are more prone to be lazy. It’s about setting boundaries between work and relaxation.
- Consider your scenery
Linking to the previous point, don’t work where you sleep. It may be tempting and seem like a good idea, but working on your laptop from under the covers is not a good idea! By working in a spot where you’re supposed to relax and forget about work, you will start associating that spot with stress and worry, thus falling asleep won’t be such a dream. Avoid this issue by setting up an office or having a desk workspace in another room.
- Give yourself a schedule
By creating a schedule, it will force you to get up and go. Start your day by setting a specific time to get up (referring back to the first point, making that time early in the morning) and then list and schedule your jobs. If you know your day hour by hour, you’re more likely to focus and get all your jobs done. For some, it can be just the satisfaction of ticking off tasks on a list which can be motivational enough.
- Take breaks
Make sure you take a half an hour minimum lunch break not only for your work, but for your health. Take this time to run errands, have some food, and go for a brisk walk… basically step away from the screen! You want to be able to clear your mind and feel refreshed for when you start working again.
- Earn rewards
Come up with things to reward yourself with when you’ve finished a task or job. You can turn your distractions into rewards, so maybe finish your big job and watch an episode of your favourite show, do 2 hours solid work and then have a browse on the Internet for half an hour, things like that. However, don’t get carried away… 3 hours of work doesn’t count for 5 hours of online shopping, it’s all about moderation and those small rewards will help you clean your head and reboot.
We hope these tips will get you motivated to do your work at home!
Our last blog post was all about the do’s of blogging and, as promised, we have put together a counterpart list of the don’ts of blogging, which will help you further to becoming the most followed blogger on the Internet! Okay, maybe not that big, but we always aim high!
When you write your blog, don’t:
- Plagiarise – Stick to original content, written by you. Copying and pasting text from another person’s blog without permission onto yours is seriously frowned upon in the blogging community, even when you credit them. You want your blog posts to be unique and written in your style, so stealing others work isn’t the way to go.
- Publish for the sake of it – You don’t want to be posting content that isn’t your best work just so you post something up that day. Make sure all your blog posts are of high standard and great reading material for your visitors. You don’t want to be looking back and think ‘Why did I publish that?!’
- Steal photos – Similar to plagiarising, don’t steal other people’s photos without their permission. Not only is this in bad taste, there is always a chance you could get sued due to copyright issues. Take your own photos, whether they’re taken with your iPhone or high tech digital camera, or go on sites such as stock.xchng or look closely on Flickr for free photos to use.
- Use unprofessional language – Stay well clear of curse words and offensive language! We’re all for writing in your personal style, however if that style consists of material which will clearly offend certain people, avoid it.
- Spam on others blogs – We get that you want more traffic, who doesn’t?! But don’t go spamming your blog link on other blogger’s sites, as this does not look good for you in the slightest.
- Post controversial topics – Although controversial content can bring in more traffic and gain you more publicity, it can also give your brand negative connotations. Issues dividing the country would be ones to stay away from such as religion, politics etc.
Always follow these blogging don’ts, along with our blogging do’s and you will be a blogging sensation!
Blogging is a big thing these days, if you go on any website today it’s more than likely you will find a section dedicated to blog posts. By owning a business, you have probably thought about starting a blog at some point or another… if not then you’re missing out on some great opportunities!
Anyone can start a blog, which is why everyone is doing it! Blogging allows you to show off your skills, and helps you get your name out there. Expressing your personality and creating a personal connection with potential clients is made easy with blogging.
We thought it would be helpful to first give you the do’s of blogging, keep your eye out for our next blog post where we’ll be telling you about the don’ts of blogging if you want to take the plunge and let your creative juices flow!
When you write your blog, do:
- Be yourself – Although the headline brings in the readers, it’s your writing that keeps them reading. Make sure you reflect your personality in your writing and this will help your readers get to know you and start to feel like they have a personal connection with you.
- Respond to blog comments – Responding to comments is a great way to interact with your audience, and connect with people that are interested in your blogs. Obviously there will be comments which don’t necessarily need a response but make sure you reply to the ones that do.
- Add images to your blog – To make your blog posts more interesting and aesthetically pleasing try, adding some images! When people see a page full of text, it is more than likely that they will be put off. So just breaking up the paragraphs with images will make the blog less daunting and more appealing to people.
- Use social media – Once you’ve posted your first blog post, you need to spread the word and the best way to do this is through social media, so tweet links to your blog page and share your posts on your Facebook page! You want people to take notice.
- Use correct grammar – This is a big one. Make sure you ALWAYS proof read your work and ask someone else to read it too as when you proof read your own work, you can often miss things so make sure to get another set of eyes to have a look. Readers won’t take your blogging seriously if your work hasn’t got all the necessary commas, has misspelled words and subjective-word disagreement.
- Update regularly – It’s always hard to find time to write your blog posts but if you don’t write them, you can’t post them, try keeping a blogging schedule and stick to it. Traffic to your blog increases on the days you post so make time to type!
We hope you have found these tip useful, keep a look out for our next blog post listing the blogging don’ts!
Networking: Now, I know for some of you this word will make you want to hide in a hole and not come out until the word no longer exists BUT, you don’t have to be scared! With these top tips, you can become a networking Queen! If you already love networking, however, carry on reading, we can help you love it even more also whilst helping you improve further.
- Be prepared – Get your hands on the guest list, have a look at the people you want to meet and gather some information on them, such as: what was their latest blog post about? Have they recently relocated? Knowing these things can be a great conversation starter and lets the person you’re talking to know you’re interested in them.
- Set goals – Before you head off to your networking event, set a few goals. What do you want to get out of the experience? Five warm connections? To discover industry trends? To find someone you can refer business to? Once you know what you are aiming for, the experience will feel much easier.
- Remember what networking is! – Networking isn’t about who can get the most business cards or who can gain the most clients by the end of the event; it’s all about who you meet. The more people you create relationships with, the greater the diversity is in your contact base, meaning you will become more successful!
- Mix and mingle – Work the room, rather than sitting down and staring into space until the food is being served, engage in mutual conversation, involve others and try to have a few warm interactions. This leads onto the next point.
- Become the Queen of conversing – When it comes to networking, mastering small talk is key! We all dread that awkward silence, so prepare at least 3 topics to talk about if you need to keep the conversation flowing.
- Be skilled at listening – 20% of conversation is talking which means 80% is listening. Communicating well and listening well are very important when networking, so try not to interrupt, keep the focus away from yourself and open your mind.
- Be confident and brave! – Being brave is a lot easier said than done, but just pushing aside your fears, becoming confident in yourself and approaching others will become less stressful every time. Act like you are the host, and make sure everyone is happy and mixing well, so put your hostess hat on and get mingling!
There are many benefits to networking. Friendships are made, opportunities arise, and advice and assistance are always available. By putting these tips into practice, you will never think twice about going to a networking event again!