Sunday, June 29, 2008

Helpful productivity tips and websites

Okay, this was actually part of my previous post, but I'm going to make a new post so that if a person just wants the helpful productivity hints then they can get them here. If you want to read the whole post that this was part of you can here.

  • Egg timer. I have an egg timer on my computer that I set for a certain amount of time that I don't want to get up from my desk. I usually set it for one hour and when it dings I finish my report and then go pee, eat a snack, throw a load of laundry in, whatever the case may be. I try and only take five minutes or so to do what I need to do before I'm right back working. Then I reset my timer and work for another hour straight. I don't take 15 minute breaks during the day, rather I just take my 5 minutes or so each hour.
  • Tips from Microsoft about how to be productive and stay focused while working at home.
  • Here is a website dedicated to home offices and home business. I think home offices are awesome and I'm always curious to see how people have their's set up. Mine's a complete disaster and I'm going to go through and do a very thorough cleaning on Tuesday and I can't wait. I would love to see your home office. I'd actually like to start a section with pictures of people's offices so others can be nosy too. If you'd like to email me a picture I'd love to post it in my soon-to-come section.
  • Here is a great site called Home Office Warrior that has all kinds of interesting little tidbits. They have an article called Top tips for working at home.
  • One of my own tips I have for being productive is keep a note book of the reports you do. I know it's tedious to write down every single report, but sometimes it's a motivation to actually see how much you've done. If you have a goal of 40 reports a day then number your notebook 1 to 40 and don't stop until you've done that many. I keep track of the job #, doctor last name, patient last name, length of report and what type of report it was. It's really not that much extra work, but it helps me to actually see what I've done rather than just checking my line count a couple of time a day. The next day I write my final line count for the previous day on the top of my page of reports and that way I can know how much I did on that day. It helps me out, maybe it will you too.
  • The Fuzzy Blog has another list of helpful hints.
  • About has a nice list of links to work-at-home hints.
  • An article with suggestions for working at home with children from Parenthood here.
  • Here's a very good article about working at home from Station Stops with do's and don'ts.
  • Working at home with kids has it's own problems. Read some articles here, here, links to more articles here.
Okay, I think that's a pretty good list to get you started on tips for productivity. One thing I did when my kids were much younger was I hired two different people to help out with keeping the kids busy. I tried daycare but always felt very guilty taking my kids there. Hiring people to come into my house worked out pretty well while the kids were very young. One of the people I hired for a time was my sister-in-law. She had a young child and she just brought him along. She came and made meals, watched TV with the kids, played games, etc. It worked out pretty well. It was cheaper to do that than to send the kids to daycare and they were still at home near me.

The other person I hired for a short time was a little 11-year-old neighbor girl. I paid her $10 on the days she came over and kept my toddlers busy for a couple of hours. You may be saying "you've got to be kidding," but it actually worked out great. She was getting some baby sitting experience without actually being left 100% in charge and my kids loved her. She was old enough to be responsible for my two, but young enough that she still liked playing kid games with the kids. She generally was just at my home for two or three hours, usually until the kids were ready for a nap and then she would walk home with her $10. It was a great arrangement until we moved. Wow, it's odd to think about her because she's got to be nearing 18 now, crazy how the time flies.

Anyway, you don't have to hire a nanny or a full-time babysitter to have great in-home care and you don't always have to send your children to daycare to get work done. The best part about hiring someone to come into your home is you can check in on the kids anytime you want. You also don't have to hire someone full-time, a local teenager or tween who isn't able to drive yet may be perfect to allow you a couple of hours of quiet time to get some serious work done.


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