7 Simple Tips for Moms On Getting It Done!

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Do you feel like you’re constantly scrambling to get it all done? I don’t think we ever really get it all done and if we do there’s usually a heavy price to pay physically and mentally. There’s always more to do, right? But, there are things we need to get done for our lives to run smoother. I find working two part-time jobs, driving my kid to dance 3 days a week plus Nutcracker rehearsal on the weekends, finding time to write, feed us, clean the house, volunteering and a host of other things can leave me feeling depleted and lashing out under the guise of being overwhelmed. Just looking at my unfinished yard can throw me into a tailspin, so what to do?

Here are 3 simple tips on how to get it done without completely losing your mind!

  1. Create Time Blocks: Setting aside chunks of designated time allows you to concentrate on that one thing you’re trying to accomplish. Even if you can’t finish it in one day, time blocking helps you make concrete steps toward completing your goal or project. For example, I need to clean the backyard for a party I’m hosting in November. I’m setting aside an hour and a half on Saturday, Tuesday for the next two weeks from 4:30-6:00 pm. I’ll mark it on my calendar and set an alarm on my phone for a reminder. I’ll get the yard finished without being completely overwhelmed in time for the party.
  2. Think About How You Can Help your Future Self: This may sound weird, but I’m prone to procrastination, so asking myself how I can help my future self is huge when it comes to me getting it done. When I’m ready to go to bed without preparing for next day, I ask myself, “how will this impact future Chere’s day?” So, if I decide not to prep for the next day, the morning is usually hurried, I’m crabby and rushed making for a not so great morning. But, if lunch is made, breakfast is planned, clothes are out and coffee is pre-set, I wake up feeling ready for the day. Asking yourself this simple question is a self-motivator to get it done.
  3. Time Your Chores: If you know how long it typically takes to get something done  it makes it easier to plan your day. For example, set a timer when you clean your living room. Once your finished take note of how long it takes you to finish. Of course this can vary, but it gives you an estimate on the time block you need to set aside to get it done.
  4. Say No: No is not a bad word. No can be a life saver. Saying no when you are overscheduled and overwhelmed will preserve your mental, emotional, and physical health. If you’re saying yes to everything there is no white space to simply enjoy life and to focus on the people, projects and things that need your attention.
  5. Plan Out Your Week By Writing it Down: This seems like a no brainer, but it is such a simple step that can really organize our lives. Pick some time during Sunday or even Monday and write down everything you have to do for the week. I suggest including appointments, work commitments, extracurricular activities, household chores, etc. and then hang it somewhere you can see it. Having your to do’s in writing helps keep you on the right track.
  6. Unplug: In this tech savvy world we can easily be sucked into our phones, social media, and the internet. Be proactive and intentional about unplugging during your day. Put the phone away and you’ll be surprised how much you can get finished!
  7. Let Perfectionism Go! Trying to be perfect will slowly drive you insane. perfectionism keeps you in a state of discontentment because you’re always trying to do it better. Get it as good as it can get and move on. Life isn’t perfect. Striving for perfectionsim robs us from the joy of this imperfect life! If you done it is okay! The world will not stop spinning and everyone will survive!

Lastly make sure you ask for help! Get the kids involved, don’t be a supermom and reach out for help when you need it! Learn how to minimize, prioritize and rest as well!

5 Traps to Avoid When Telecommuting

I telecommute. I love telecommuting and I totally 100% encourage anyone who wants to go the alternative route of working from home rather than working from an office. It has afforded me flexibility and has allowed me to be home for my daughter which has been a huge blessing, especially as a single mom. But, there are traps that are easy to fall into when you telecommute that can make for a less than ideal situation.

Here are my 5 Traps to Avoid When Telecommuting.

  1. Get Dressed! Of course you say. Well, when you are in the comfort of your own home it is easy to be well…comfortable. Lounging in your pj’s in front of the computer becomes very easy. I suggest getting dressed for the day in a manner that makes you feel  good. Don’t become sloppy because you are at home. You feel much better if 3 o’clock rolls around and you aren’t dressed in the clothes you went to bed in!
  2. Create Boundaries with Friends and Family– When people hear you work from home for some reason, they don’t believer you are really working. They’ll ask you for favors, stop by, call and want to talk for hours, basically things they would never do if you were in an office. So make boundaries or otherwise you’ll find yourself constantly distracted and unproductive. Let friends know your schedule. Don’t be afraid to tell them if they call or visit you won’t be available. After all this is your livelihood!
  3. Change Up The Scenery if Possible- Working at home is great, but you can easily become a recluse. Some jobs you can easily do at the coffee shop as well as in your home. If you can change your scenery a couple of times a week. If you do make calls just be aware of the noise level. But, if you have a porch or yard go outside and work it will do wonders to get fresh air and sunshine.
  4. Take a Lunch Break-One of those obvious things right? Well, when you work at home it is really easy to lose track of time. Take the time to eat your meals. You deserve a lunch break so be intentional about taking it every day. This is a great time to take get some fuel, take a quick walk, or even do some quick chores to make your week go smoother.
  5. Know When to Shut Off- Create boundaries for yourself. Know when to shut off. You have work hours so stick to them. Don’t get into the habit or allow others to get into the habit of calling you after work hours and expecting you to do work. There should still be a separation between work and family. Sure there are exceptions or even those clients you don’t mind taking an after hours call for, but make this the exception not the expectation. 

Hope you enjoyed these tips! Happy Telecommuting!

Work At Home Leads!

 

Working at home can give a single mom the flexibility she needs to manage her home and family. Telecommuting can also alleviate some of the stress of working in the office and being a single parent. Here are just a few resources that you may find helpful!

Work at Home Mom Revolution– I love this site because it is free and it posts legitimate telecommuting positions. You can sign up for notifications and receive daily updates. These jobs are part-time and full-time, there is also a link that leads directly to the job position where you can apply. This is a perfect site for mom who are searching for flexibility.

Outsource– If you’re in the market for freelance, part-time, or contract work at home, then check out Outsource at Outsource.com   for supplemental income. Signing up is free but, there is a monthly fee to send a quote to the potential employer. Depending on how often you use Outsource it may be worth the fee.

Guru– This site is geared toward the freelance worker, again I’m all about supplemental income so if you are too this may be the site for you! Find the project your skills set is in, apply, do the job and get paid!

 Happy job hunting!

Looking for a Flexible or Telecommuting Job? Try Flex Jobs

Check out Flex Jobs!

Check out Flex Jobs!

I know many of you moms out there have a desire to work at home, so anytime I come across a resource that is credible I can’t wait to share it with you! I heard about Flex Jobs through a colleague of mine. I was a little skeptical because beware this isn’t a free site, but it is a credible site with reputable companies that have positions that aren’t a gimmick.  The person that I know that used the site has gotten a few jobs from here, so I thought it was worth a try. The site has jobs that are flexible, telecommuting, part time, full time, and contracting positions. You can  post your resume, take skills tests, and keep track of your job history.

There are different rates so be sure to look at the pricing that best suits your needs. I signed up for the $14.95 a month plan just because I plan on using it for a month. But, I suggest checking out Flex Jobs and you may come one step closer to finding the telecommuting job that you’ve been dreaming about!

Real Mom Moments: A Day in the Life of Me!

Tuesday’s are busy! Here is what a day in my life on a Tuesday looks like:

5:50 am- Inexplicably woke up and decided I was cold so turned the heat up

6:00 am- Couldn’t sleep so got up and made coffee

6:15 am- Climbed back in bed with coffee and read the bible and prayed

7:00 am- Started breakfast. Anya wanted turkey bacon and strawberries with honey and I had oatmeal with strawberries

7:15 am- Ate breakfast with Anya

7:30 am- Threw a load of laundry in washer

7:40 am- Anya and I got dressed

8:00 am- Out the door to school

8:20 am- Arrived at school

8:30 am- Picked up cleanser and detergent at the grocery store. Listened to Charles Stanley on the way home.

9:00 am- Started work

9:30 am- In between emails washed dishes, threw another load of laundry in, and vacuumed the house

10:30 am-Did call backs for work

11:15 am Completed financial aid application for Anya’s school

11:30 am Ran financial reports for work

11:45 am While reports were running made Anya’s lunch for the next day

12:00 pm Took more calls for work

12:30 pm- Finally got off call and ate a bowl of cereal

1:00 pm- Took a lunch break and prepared for my blog radio broadcast

1:30 pm- Did my broadcast on my #1 Tip for Avoiding Single Mom Burnout

2:00 pm- Back to work

2:50 pm- Got Anya’s ballet bag and snack ready

3:00 pm- Left to pick up Anya from school

3:15 pm- Got Anya in the car so we can get to ballet

3:30 pm- Stopped at Les Girls to get new ballet shoes and tights ($34!)

4:15 pm- Dropped Anya off at ballet

4:30 pm- Arrived home and continue working

5:15 pm- Prep dinner (baked chicken, sweet potatoes, and salad) and set the table

5:30 pm- Left the house to pick Anya up from ballet

6:00 pm- Stopped at CVS for Swedish Fish :)

6:30 pm- Sat down to dinner

7:15 pm- Helped Anya with her homework she had a lot!

8:40 pm – Washed dishes

8:50 pm- Started bedtime routine

9:15 pm- Put Anya to bed

9:30 pm -Showered

9:45 pm Climb into bed and read the bible

10:30 pm Off  to sleep!

grace2

Career Resources for Potential Telecommuting Positions! My Favorite …ASAE

If Telecommuting is your dream go for it!

If Telecommuting is your dream go for it!

Hope everyone had a great Monday! As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I am going to try to post resources for those of you who are interested in finding telecommuting positions. It isn’t always easy to find these jobs, but it isn’t impossible either. The first resource I suggest you try is a place I actually worked that has a great career site for association jobs from all over the country. ASAE The Center for Association Leadership has a wealth of information just in general! There are tons of resources, courses, and information that you may find helpful for  professional development and of course it s a great place to search for that at home position you want!

ASAE has a Career Headquarters known as CareerHQ.org this is where you’ll find the jobs. Anyone can go onto the site and search. If you are looking specifically for telecommuting positions follow these steps:

  1.  Go to asaecenter.org
  2. Click on Career 
  3. Then Click on Find a Job  this will take you to the job bank
  4. At the top of the job bank you’ll see a space for  keywords 
  5. In keywords you’ll want to type in: Telecommuting, Remote, or Work at Home. I usually use telecommuting for a better response. For example I typed telecommuting today  and got 20 jobs, I typed in remote and got 5 jobs. It really just depends on how the employer posts their ad.
  6. Once you click on the job you want you may need to set up an account with ASAE to apply or many of ads will have a direct email where you can send your resume and cover letter.
  7. Make sure you read the entire description and information about telecommuting, for example  some positions only allow working from home 3x a week instead of every day, or telecommuting is an option after a certain period of time.

Click Telecommuting Positions to look at today’s opportunities!

Telecommuting and Why It’s The Option For This Single Mom

Telecommuting allows you to sometimes have a change of scenery! Every so often I'll go to a cafe to work.

Telecommuting allows you to sometimes have a change of scenery! Every so often I’ll go to a cafe to work.

One of my most popular post is about telecommuting and the single mom. I believe the reason it is so popular is that staying at home is on many single mom’s hearts. I’m not trying to knock anyone who has to or wants to go into an office. I respect every mom’s choice to do what is right for their family and for themselves. I know women who would feel cut off from the world if they were in the house all day and it would make them grumpy and unsatisfied, in those cases I’d say get into the office! Then there are some professions that just require their employees to be in the office and telecommuting isn’t an option. The important thing is that each woman finds the right path for her, pursues it and forgets about the mommy wars! For me that path was telecommuting.

I went to work about 5 months after Anya was born and it was gut wrenching leaving my sweet girl. I worked in an office in DC for about 6 1/2 years. Those years were spent taking the crowded metro into the office and being in a mad dash to pick up Anya before 6:00 pm when after care closed. I was blessed to have an awesome and understanding boss who was flexible with me so it was in no way the worst case scenario. However, my heart always ached to be an at home working mother. I yearned to be home for my daughter and not pick her up at 6 pm and only having a few hours to bond before bedtime. So I began searching and praying for a job that would allow me to work at home. After a horrible stint at one job, I was offered a position that was telecommuting with 1 day in the office. It was my prayer answered. The pay was low but there was commission and it served it’s purpose. Then I got laid off in August 2014. It wasn’t a big surprise and to be honest I wasn’t in love with the job, so I took the lemons and made lemonade! I enjoyed my time off and kept searching for a job that was telecommuting.

The thought of going back to the office made my stomach turn. Literally! I had an interview with a position that required going into the office everyday and I got sick on the day of the interview. Maybe my body was rejecting the notion of returning to the office, the loss of freedom and the time I’d lose with Anya. But, I knew office life wasn’t for me.  I’m well aware of how difficult it is to get a job in these economic times. So, I prayerfully asked God to lead me and to forgive me if I was being ungrateful.Then 2 telecommuting job interviews came up. I did well in both but knew the one job suited me better and praise God I got the job! So far the position is great. I work with 3 lovely people who are helpful and kind. My boss is flexible and as long as I do my 40 hours he isn’t worried about when I take my lunch break and just expects me to handle my time accordingly. Telecommuting especially as a single mom has given me a different quality of life that has made me more relaxed and more fulfilled.

There are so many benefits from working from home like:

  • The flexibility! You can work from anywhere!
  • The ability to spend more time with your family
  • The elimination of aftercare and the costs of aftercare
  • Economically you save money on transportation
  • You have more time to take care of your daily errands and chores
  • Your are able to stay home with a sick kid
  • You can work in the comfort of your own home
  • You can relocate easily if need be

Don’t get me wrong you do work hard and I’ve worked more diligently then I ever have! When you telecommute  there is a different type of accountability, standard and trust that you are held to, but is well worth it!

I feel super blessed and ladies if you want to telecommute don’t think it is impossible! It is totally possible! God knows what’s on your heart and he is listening. Start searching those career sites and don’t be afraid to ask your employer about telecommuting options, the worst they can say is no and you’ll know where they stand.

I’ll be gathering some resources together and posting them in the upcoming weeks. I hope this helps those of you who are interested in telecommuting.

Working Mom Tip for Lunch!

Every single mom I know is a working mom. In our busy day time is of the essence and so is money. One way I save money and time is bringing my lunch to work. I actually work at home, but this month I am in the office. I live in an expensive city and lunch can easily run $10.00 a day plus $8.00 a day in parking that can be a whopping $300.00 a month!! Isn’t that insane! Even if I am paying a little less for lunch it is still a ridiculous amount of money. Although I can’t skip out on the parking I can bring my lunch and save some money. If you are in this situation, my tip for bringing lunch is to make something on Sunday that you can bring for the week. Some easy meals are:

  • Soups. I made a huge pot of chicken noodle soup that will last at least for the week. This time of year nothing warms your belly more  than a big old bowl of soup.
  • Pastas. You can make a pan of your favorite pasta that can carry you for a few days. Try to add some protein to it so you aren’t just eating carbs.
  • Salads. I say if you can bring a big salad every day, then go for it! Add protein and all your favorite toppings and this can totally satisfy you and is easy to prepare ahead of time.
  • Slow cooker recipes are the best! Find your favorite recipe and prepare it a day before and your set!

Also, pack snacks in the beginning of the week. One of my favorites are cheese, grapes, crackers and a hard boiled egg. I can put the grapes and cheese in 5 baggies for Monday -Friday. I add the crackers in the morning because you don’t want them getting soggy. The egg adds the protein to give you a boost.

Preparing your own lunches can be simple, inexpensive and healthy. Take that extra $5-$7 bucks and sock it away for something fun!

Check out these sites for some easy recipes and ideas!
http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/quick-easy/make-ahead-meals-00100000078085/

http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/freezer-recipes

 http://www.cookinglight.com/eating-smart/smart-choices/healthy-lunch-ideas-00412000067923/