With more and more start up businesses trying to keep costs down, many people are working from home whether it is turning a bedroom into a home office or using the kitchen table.
Working from home can be distracting – from a family member coming in and asking if you would like a cup of tea to wondering if you should rescue the clothes from the line as the clouds darken! The to-do list can seem never-ending and the feelings of achievement never live up to their potential as the list doesn’t diminish.
Some people use techniques such as Pomodoro (slots of 25 minutes) to ensure they are not distracted and remain on task. This bloggertone post may raise my profile, it may inform others about my business but it is unlikely to generate income for me today or tomorrow, hence I must ensure that other tasks completed today produce revenue that will deliver in the short term. For example, sending press releases takes time and will indirectly lead to income in the future, an important task that needs to be completed but you also need to be factoring in tasks that bring in money this month. One of the beauties of working from home is that you don’t have to work 9-5 every day. Lorna Sixsmith is a social media trainer at Write on Track, providing mentoring, training and content creation services to SMEs.
Married to a dairy farmer in SE Ireland, Lorna recently self published her first book 'Would You Marry A Farmer?', a humourous look at life married to an Irish farmer. I start my day with a lovely walk so that is like my commute or it would just be from bed to shower to laptop which isn’t good. One major drawback for me is that if there is work that needs to be done I find it hard not to do it in the evenings or weekends when I could really put it off until the next day. I recently started using a flylady tip that I read on a blog post where you give yourself a set time to do a cleaning task so I was doing it with the kids when tidying their rooms etc, ie 7 minutes to pick up all the tractors etc, 7 minutes to change the bedlinen – and was finding that it was taking longer than 7 minutes for those tasks too!
Hi Lorna, thanks for sharing your experience and this is definitely an area where I can improve greatly. Don’t forget to celebrate those achievements and reward yourself – be it making a large sale, landing a good contract, achieving some press coverage or finishing a task you dislike.
I have worked out my home office for several years and I like a number of the insights in this article , particularly the closed list and priorities comments.
I you are looking for painting in Toronto then don’t go any where just make a call to women painting. I like using topic-specific forums, which you can find using Google, but you can interact with members and often get very detailed information.
This means that the speaker needs to shift from using the normal conversational skills where both parties are offering micro-signals of approval to public speaking skills where the speaker needs to STOP looking for those clues.
And just sometimes, it means simply putting yourself in that position to stand up there, and then realise it’s not so bad, afterall.


Best wishes Sian, perhaps a local toastmasters may be an opportunity to get over that initial hurdle! I smiled at your comment about the nodding and smiling person – I have been guilty of that, especially in the early days. Although there is a local group in my area, I have never joined, due to the nature of my work.
Thank you for reading the most and making that recommendation, I very much appreciate your input!
Successful bloggers enoy discussing their blogs’ topics from all angles and appreciate a healthy debate. Your younger kids will be your guide, helping you to see how well you are doing on balancing needs.  When you start see them play pretend that they are answering emails or even telling you that you are too busy to do something, they are just mimicking what they always see and hear from you. Map out each week what you hope to get done.  Rather than daily lists, having a weekly list gives you more time to accomplish your goals and more flexibility on things that didn’t get done today.
Take a moment and think about what takes up most of your work time.  If it is a lot of the same thing, answering phones or emails, HR questions for employees, payroll etc.
Get the biggest clock you can find and stick it right in front of your face.  This will make it fairly impossible to forget what time it was and lose track of your day.
A little marriage advice for you… start each day by asking your spouse what they would like you to get done today.  You may have items on your list that you think they would really like done, only to find out that they could careless about that. Add one of these badges to your site by viewing and copying the code below into the right place in your site! However, keeping your productivity and focus high while working at home can be a challenge for many of us as working from home can hold many distractions. Try to check your inbox at regular slots during the day but not too often as it just eats into your time. You should be focusing on those tasks that produce revenue – some tasks will produce revenue by a nearby date whereas others will be in the future. Getting  out into the open for a walk as early as possible helps to set the body clock and awaken the senses, thus preparing you for a more productive working day. Particularly passionate about blogging and Pinterest, Lorna also teaches these courses online at We Teach Social. What’s happening is that the listeners have simply moved from being active listeners to passive listeners. Indeed, when I am training, or facilitating especially, I much prefer to sit also, as it does indeed break down certain barriers.


There is a new event series in Dublin called Speaking suppers where you can practise speaking or just go and watch whilst supping.
As someone who has worked from home for the last four years, I’d like to share some tips that I find work for me.
If it needs 15 minutes longer than I originally thought, then it may be more beneficial to finish it off rather than moving to the next task and coming back to it later.
One thing it helped me with was being more realistic with my time as I was constantly feeling I wasn’t achieving anything simply because I expected way too much from myself. Some things that have worked for me have been (1) getting a timer and setting time deadlines on projects throughout the day and (2) designating a regular time for Happy Hour each evening so that I step away from the computer. Most of the sites that you’ve mentioned really gives a lot of informative topics you  want especially Google which most of us are using when we look for great contents and other searches, just like your website where It appear on the first page of Google. As an audience member they don’t have to look after the speaker like they would in a normal conversation. I started to notice how uncomfortable people were, so switched to sitting down and chatted to them like a collaborative group. The next Q is WIFM (What’s in it for ME) – also vitally important because if we do not know why we are there, well then all bets are off! One important point to remember is that no matter what, you CANNOT become one of them, as they need you to be masterful and lead (if only even a little).
I suspect there will be more such gatherings to help those who break out in a cold sweat each time.
Everybody experiences writers block every now and then and knowing how to kind your muse, your inspiration and your subject is crucial.
That’s also a great idea you highlight on getting out first thing in the morning – make a huge difference and really gets you going for the day! You might of course get one person who is nodding and smiling – the danger with that is that you spend all your time with that person. Obviously this tactic doesn’t work with large audiences, but it does highlight that mindset and approach are key.
If you learn to love blank faces then you can include and connect with all of your audience – even the ones with grumpy faces.



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