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Elininating Parent Stress (Part 3-4 ) Simplify Your Daily Shedule
One way to make a lot more time in your day is to simplify your daily schedule. Sounds easier than it is right? Not necessarily. Here are some easy ways that you can free up some time in your schedule every day. Make technology your friend – Does that meeting really have to be in person? Don’t add a 45 minute commute to a meeting to your day. Use Netmeeting or another Internet conferencing service to hold the meeting on the Internet, or on the phone, perhaps even using streaming video. Cutting out that commute time and all the time that is wasted waiting for everyone to show up and waiting for a meeting to begin, parking, and all the other hassles that go with in person meetings can give you hours day. If you can’t avoid going to a meeting then use the computer to plan out a traffic free route to get there, find nearby parking with an online search, and pay for your parking online before you even get there. These days, nearly everything can be done online. Use the Internet to help you conduct your business more efficiently. Take the train – You may not be able to avoid a commute to the office but if public transportation is available, take it instead of driving. Use your commute time to take care of personal business, or even get started on things like reading your business emails to cut down on the amount of work you will need to do when you get to the office. Combine activities – Instead of trying to schedule time at the gym and family time on the same night, take a walk or a bike ride as a family after dinner and combine those things. The more activities you can combine the more time you will have to spend on other things. Focus on the task at hand – If you are trying to think ahead to the next task on your list you will rush through the one you are doing without paying attention to it. If you do this task poorly, you may need to redo it and end up with less time. Don’t worry about the next item on your schedule; focus on the one that you are working on at the moment and really concentrate on getting it done. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can accomplish a task if you are really concentrating on it and giving it all of your attention. When that task or meeting is done go on to the next but still concentrate on just one thing at a time. Working efficiently is a great way to get the most free time possible.
WORKING FROM HOME
Sometimes it seems like you should have more time working at home than someone who doesn’t work from home, but, in fact, you may find that you have less. That’s because there are so many distractions at home and so many ways to get sidetracked from your work, which makes you go off schedule and eats up your time. If you work from home, here are some ways to minimize your at home disruptions so that you can get your work done as quickly and efficiently as possible. De-clutter your workspace – It’s amazing how fast clutter can clog up your workspace, especially in a home office that may end up crowded with kids toys, pets, or other distractions. But it’s important to keep your office, a place of business where things are orderly and tidy and you can find everything you need easily without digging through files or stacks of paper. It’s easy to get off track when you have to go digging for an item that you really need. The time that gets wasted digging for a particular paper or CD or other item can really add up through the course of a day so make your home office a clutter free zone!
Only check your email at scheduled times – One of the biggest time wasters for work at home parents is email. Make sure you have separate business and personal emails and don’t check your personal email at all while you’re working. Check your business email twice a day, maybe when you start work and just before you are ready to quit for the day. Don’t become a slave to email and sit there reading and answering emails all day long. The same rule applies for web surfing. You might only intend to look up one thing or check that eBay auction you want to bid on but, before you know it you’ve spent an hour surfing online. Remember that the faster you get the work done the faster you can spend time with your family so when you are in your office really focus on getting that work done.
Get the kids out of the house- It’s really difficult to work when your kids are interrupting every few minutes needing something, wanting something, or doing things they shouldn’t be doing. If your kids are still so young that they can’t be left unsupervised then either hire a babysitter to come in and watch them during your work hours or get them out of the house. Send them on play dates, send them to a neighbor’s, schedule lessons or sports activities during your work hours or wait to do your work while they are in school or at after school activities. You will be able to work much faster and more efficiently if there is no one around interrupting you every five minutes.Schedule time for errands -Instead of running to the store, the post office, the dry cleaner, or other errands every day, pick one or two days a week that are your errand days and only do errands on those days. Gas up the car, pick up the groceries, mail out the bills, do any and all errands that need to be done for the week ahead on those specified days. It will take some planning at first to get in the habit of getting all of your weekly errands done on those specified days, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be amazed at how much time you can save. Set scheduled work hours – It’s really nice to be able to work from home and keep a flexible schedule, but parents who are trying to balance a family and a business should set regular business hours and stick to them. Having regular business hours will make it easier to manage stress and give you more time for your family. It doesn’t matter what hours you decide to work but set a regular work time period and stick to it. Turn off the business phone at night – Work hard and focus on your work during your normal work hours but once those hours are up for the day turn off the business computer and the business phone and don’t think about business. Once work hours are up then it’s time for family and time to focus on being a parent. If you let yourself get distracted late at night or early in the morning by work phone messages or work emails, that’s taking time away from your family
Using flex time If you don’t work from home, and your job isn’t willing to let you work from home all the time, you should consider asking for Flex Time. Flex Time allows you to work at home for a pre-set number of hours per week. Usually employers will allow Flex Time for up to 20 hours of a 40 hour work week. Flex Time can be a great way to get a little more flexibility in your daily schedule but still keep your boss happy and get all your tasks done at the office. When you are working at home using Flex Time, though, you need to make sure that you don’t end up wasting the time you are supposed to be working. Here are a few ways you can make sure that you can work just as well at home as you can at the office. Make copies of everything – If you work with files or reports or any kind of paperwork, make two copies of every single piece and keep one at the office and one at home. That way you don’t have to stop working if you leave a file or a paper at the place where you are not. No matter how organized you are, eventually you will leave an important file in the office or on your desk at home and you won’t have it when you really need it. Plan ahead and make copies so that there is always a copy of whatever paperwork you need wherever you are working. Use a laptop – Instead of having one computer in your office and one at home, invest in one high quality laptop computer that you can use in the office or at home. If you have a laptop then you won’t have to worry about files you need being on your computer, or work or an email you need to answer being on the computer at home. Keep everything organized on a laptop and save yourself the hassle of constantly hunting for the information you need to do your job. Use your time wisely – If you can work at home on Flex Time two days a week then get up at the same time that you would if you were going into the office and use the time you would have spent commuting to exercise, read, plan your to do lists, return phone calls, pick up the dry cleaning, or do other errands that you didn’t have time for during the rest of the week. If you have a half hour or longer commute like most people do, then using that time productively for other things on your Flex days can give you a lot more free time to spend with your family.
STARTING YOUR OWN HOME BUSINESS
If you really want to make more time to spend with your family but still need some kind of extra income, you should consider starting your own home business. There are lots of ways that you can work at home and earn money. Parents with small children love home based businesses because they have the flexibility to work around their children’s schedules, save money on daycare, and still bring in some income. It’s easy to find resources on the Internet that will help you start your own home based business, but what type of business should you start? Here are some home based businesses that are really popular with parents.
Administrative work – If you have a background in office clerical work you can easily start to do administrative work for businesses as a freelance business. There are lots of resources online to help you find clients and beef up your resume to help attract clients. You can spend a few hours a day doing basic administrative work while the kids are at school or at night after the kids are in bed.
Online support – If you are comfortable on the computer and have a background in customer service, you can find work as an online
support specialist. Many businesses these days have live help available for their customers through chat applications and email.
These companies need trained customer service reps to help their online customers. Since online businesses run all over the world, it’s
easy to pick a shift that fits into your schedule.
Virtual assistant – Do you have extensive corporate training? Then you can work as a virtual assistant for a busy business executive.
There are executives all over the world who don’t work out of an office but need someone to answer their phone through the Internet, screen their email, and make travel arrangements.
Accounting – Many businesses need reliable people to do their books. If you have experience in accounts payable and accounts receivable, you could start a freelance business doing accounting for businesses.
Child Care – Opening your own child care business can be a great way to stay at home with your kids and earn money, especially if you have small kids who still need a lot of supervision and may not attend school yet. Be sure to check out the local and state licensing regulations for child care businesses where you live and make sure that you fulfill all the regulations before you officially open for business though.
Online Tutoring – If you have a high degree of education in one area, like a college degree in English or Math or a fluency in another language, then you can become on online tutor. The trend of parents hiring online tutors to help their kids with school work through chat applications and instant messaging is growing since many parents don’t have the time or money to take their kids to a highly specialized tutoring center.
Personal Shopper – You can make some extra income while you run your errands as a personal shopper. Busy professionals will pay good money for reliable people to handle errands like going to the post office, picking up groceries, picking up the dry cleaning, and other errands.
Catering -If you love to cook and entertain then consider starting your own catering business. Pick an area you really enjoy or have a lot of experience in to specialize. For example, you could specialize in catering kids’ birthday parties or holiday dinners or even seasonal items like holiday cookies and cakes. Many stay at home moms make extra income baking holiday cookies for people who love homemade cookies but are too busy to bake. Any time you want to open a business dealing with food be sure to check out the regulations about selling food where you live. You may need a permit or you may need to get your kitchen certified.
Pet sitting/Walking – Pet care is one of the hottest growing fields and it’s the perfect job for parents who want to stay at home. If you are used to being around pets, there are many professionals who pay people to walk their dogs or spend time with their pets during the day. Before beginning a business like this, check to see if there are any regulations about starting a pet business in your area. You should also consider getting bonded, since you will be given access to people’s homes and many times people prefer to hire people who are bonded when the job involves being in their homes when they aren’t there. Our series will cover all the above aspects with ideas and solutions so please don’t forget to look out for the next part of this series If you would like to purchase the book this article is from go to http://quickinfoebooks.com/pregnancy-baby/eliminate-stress/#ordernow
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