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Tips For Staying Focused While Working From Home

Tips For Staying Focused While Working From Home

People who own home-based businesses can face a unique set of challenges when it comes to time management. If you work from home, it’s imperative that you remain organized and on a set schedule — free from distractions — even more than the average traditional office worker. At-home offices can be subject to some very at-home distractions, like family, pets, TV, and a big, comfortable sofa that seems to call your name! Here are some great tips we came up with to help you stay on track and be even more productive in your business!

Dress the part. When you work from home and find yourself with a day that doesn’t require an outing, it can be tempting to stay in your pajamas or keep it super-casual. By taking care to dress the way you would if you had an outside appointment (in say, business-casual attire) you, in fact, feel more businesslike and will be more mentally equipped to tackle your day in a professional tone.

Customize your environment. You’ll work better in an environment that’s comfortable but primed for productivity. Proper seating, an organized and clean workspace, and a bit of privacy are a must. Consider adjusting your lighting as well – some people work well with overhead light; others find it more soothing to rely on natural light. Don’t be afraid to use soothing, instrumental music to drown out background noise, or fix yourself a cup of tea to relax your mood. It’s not working easier – it’s working smarter!

5 minute rule. Take 5 minutes before and after every task, appointment or phone call to assess how things went. Did you achieve the results you wanted? Did you accomplish everything you intended? If not, decide how shutterstock_271529486you can remedy that in the future and avoid making similar mistakes, which can bog down your business and be an overall time-suck.

Know thyself. The good part about working from home is getting to set what hours work best for you. And only you know when you’re most productive: early morning, midday or evening. Whatever time you feel most alert is the best time to take on your biggest or most time-consuming projects. It’s different for everyone, so if you feel the brightest at 7 am or 7 pm, plan your day accordingly. You’ll thank yourself later.

Plan for distractions. Working from home can mean distractions, from a ringing doorbell to a sick child to a spouse stranded with a flat tire. A good way to account for this is to set aside a specific time in your schedule every day as “office hours.” (Teachers wisely use this method.)  It literally becomes a time you designate to be distracted. If no such distractions arise, use the time to get caught up on small projects or answer emails. If a surprise does comes up that needs your attention, you wisely planned on it, and still are able to get in a solid workday.

Reward yourself! When you accomplish 5 things on your To-Do list, or have finished a big project, reward yourself with a short break. Surf the net, walk on a treadmill, turn on the news, or take a cat nap. You earned it! Set an alarm on your phone or use an egg timer to make sure you don’t exceed your allotted time. This will help even further in keeping you on track.

The Perks of Being Your Own Boss

The Perks of Being Your Own Boss

 

The speed of life is changing…and so is the way people view their career. Growing numbers of men and women are less content with bringing someone else’s vision to fruition, and more interested in setting their own standards and blazing new trails. More and more people are finding themselves trapped in a monotonous routine at their present jobs: unhappy, unhealthy, unchallenged and unfulfilled.

The idea of self-employment can be at once the logical answer for a next step, and a terrifying prospect. But for the right-minded people, entrepreneurship and business ownership is great step in the right direction. Being in control of things like job security, hours, goals and creative strategies is an attractive lure to transitioning from being the employee to the employer.

Many people think about what it would be like to be their own boss at some point in their career, but few see it as a realistic, attainable goal – mostly because they think it’s too hard or they have no idea where to start. Truly, the hardest part is building up the courage and determination to step out on your own. Imagine making your own schedule so you didn’t have to miss out on the most important times of your life. Being your own boss means taking control of your life’s purpose, direction, growth, and success.

The best entrepreneurs go for what they want in life while successfully tackling challenges that arise, and they do it in record time. Being your own boss still involves work, but you determine when and how it happens with the freedom to operate your business how you see fit, applying what you know and learn to improve and produce the best results at your own pace. It also means not having to wait for someone else’s approval or a promotion that may never come. As your own boss, you can make an ideal income and a robust social life a reality.

What if you experienced something so wonderful that you wanted to share it with others? What if that experience was a lifestyle that helped people live healthier, longer lives? You could become an advocate for this lifestyle, a conscious movement among forward-thinkers, to better care for each other, our communities, and the world? At Vollara, we’re dedicated to developing products that support and help people obtain optimal levels of health and well-being. Our products are eco-friendly, technologically advanced, university tested, and proven effective.

At Vollara, you have the potential to be your own boss while improving the quality of life for yourself and people everywhere in dire need of our exclusive, life-changing technologies. Being part of the solution has never been more rewarding. Learn more at www.vollara.com

Reduce Clutter & Boost Your Productivity: Smart Tips for the New Year

Reduce Clutter & Boost Your Productivity: Smart Tips for the New Year

With 2015 firmly upon us, now is a great time to tackle clutter. Who doesn’t want a fresh, clean start to the new year? For many, getting rid of clutter is a kind of physical act that can help figuratively clear their mind. In fact, Princeton University published the results of a study they conducted called Interactions of Top-Down and Bottom-Up Mechanisms in Human Visual Cortex. The website Unclutterer.com summed up the study’s conclusion this way: “When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.”[1]

When you’re organized and can navigate throughout your house and workspace easily, you’re more likely to be more productive and less stressed. Here are some of the best tips we rounded up about how to sort through a mess and come out organized on the other side!

 

At home:

 

Go room by room. First thing: start by picking up everything that’s on the floor. Keep two bags handy – one for trash, and the other for donation. Once your floors are clear, move onto the surfaces: desks, side tables and dressers.

 

Designate a space. Everything should have a place. This may mean you need clear storage boxes or a piece of multi-functional furniture. But in the end you’ll be better organized, and instantly know where to go when you’re looking for something specific.

 

Empty every drawer. You won’t know what you’ve got until you pull everything out for inspection. For the items you decide to keep, make sure they’re clean and folded. If you love an item and wear it often, keep it. If you can’t remember the last time you wore or used something, donate it.

 

Brave your closet. Again, review each item – if you haven’t worn it in six months, consider donating it. Many cities have non-profit programs that provide professional attire to those who are looking for gainful employment. Crisis centers are another place to consider donating both adult and child’s clothing.

 

Grab that label maker. You know you want to use it! Label makers are great if you’re using (upcycling!) old shoe or cardboard boxes for storage. Being able to glance at the outside of a box and know its contents can save you a lot of time in the future.

 

Allow yourself 15 or so minutes a day for maintenance. Set aside a manageable chunk of time that you can spend every day maintaining your newfound sense of order. Just a few minutes set aside every day can keep you from spending a whole day at the end of every month.

 

 

At work:

 

Tackle your desk. With a few empty boxes sitting by, clear out each drawer and the surface of your desk. Wipe out the inside of each drawer with a damp cloth. Recycle (or shred) old files and notes, and consider setting up a simple file folder for each project. Make an inbox for all incoming work, and commit to sort through it daily. That way you can prioritize easier and deal with paper clutter before it starts!

 

Clean off your computer. Outdated files on your desktop, clogged junk email folders, your web browser’s bookmarks…all of these can probably use a thorough examination and purge. Also consider combining (or refining) the items on your desktop so they’re more streamlined and easily accessible.

 

Reduce it down to 1. Got three pairs of scissors in your drawer? 67 ink pens? At least 13 half-full legal pads? Not that having only a single pen is the best idea (in fact, that could be a bad idea!) but having an amount that is practical and requires less space is probably a smart way to go.

 

 

In life:

 

Get off mailing lists. If there’s a magazine you’re getting that you routinely don’t read, or you are bombarded with junk mail offers every day, search the internet for ways to unsubscribe from these lists. You’ll save a few trees and your sanity in the process!

 

Reexamine your habits and routines. Is there a way you’re doing something that is costing you time? If you’re the type to tackle a challenge or problem as it arises, you might often find yourself overwhelmed at the prospect. Planning for contingencies and thinking ahead can save you time and worry. For example, do you find yourself spending 30 minutes ironing an outfit the night before work? Instead, designate one set time a week to get all of your ironing done. This might mean having to organize your laundry schedule, as well. But grouping several small, spread-out tasks into one big one can save you time and a headache in the end!

 

Just say no. Take a close look at your commitments. (It helps to grab a pen & paper and jot them down so you can physically see a list.) What are your biggest time sucks, and are they costing you somewhere else? If you’re over-committed and stretched too thin, you won’t have time for the daily maintenance required to keep your life simplified and clutter-free. It’s okay not to agree to every activity or project someone wants you to do. If you don’t truly love a group or activity you’re involved in, it might be time to disengage.

 

Get rid of the “mights”: If you had every intention of using an item, but a year has gone by and you’ve never touched it, it might be a good idea to get rid of it. It’s tempting to take things that are offered for free, or that are deeply discounted, but most people don’t have enough storage for all the “I might use this one day” items.

 

 

 

 

[1] unclutterer.com/2011/03/29/scientists-find-physical-clutter-negatively-affects-your-ability-to-focus-process-information/

6 Smart Business Resolutions for 2015

6 Smart Business Resolutions for 2015

A new year is finally here, so why not channel some of that natural-occurring enthusiasm toward building a better business? Some business goals are all centered around numbers and profits, but most entrepreneurs know that delving deeper – and taking care of oneself – is just as important in compounding future success.

  1. Stay healthy. Yes, you!

Think about it: when you feel well, you’re more productive. When you’re operating at peak level, both mentally and physically, everything else seems to fall in place a little easier. And when you perform better in a business capacity, you create a healthier company and a more satisfied customer. The results of taking care of yourself really are ten-fold.

There are a lot of health gifts you can give yourself. Maybe it’s vowing to get 8 hours of sleep every night. Maybe it’s 20 minutes of yoga at the end of your day. It can be trying out a Meatless Monday, or taking that morning walk with your spouse. There are countless things we can do to increase our feeling of wellness, so be creative. What small, doable change would benefit you the most this year?

  1. Harness the power of networking.

We all know it: the way to reach new customers, expand your brand, create awareness and bring about new relationships isn’t by sitting on your duff, waiting for it to happen. Good things come to those who go and get them! You never know what the story of the guy next to you can teach you. There are external ways to network – Rotary Clubs, becoming involved in charity organizations, and your local Chamber of Commerce are all great resources. In addition, if you see someone whose work ethic or ideas you admire, introduce yourself. See if you can’t learn from them and incorporate some of their best practices in your own business.

  1. Diagram your goals.

Sure, everyone knows to plan their goals. But it’s easy to get stuck there: staring at a sheet of paper, with a list of seemingly unattainable goals, and no idea how to start making them happen. So use a trick your old English teacher taught you – diagram your goals. Start with writing down your goal. Underneath that, detail exactly what time, resources and investment it’ll take to make that goal happen. Be detailed! Getting it in a written, checkbox-style form will make it seem less overwhelming and more manageable.

  1. Keep learning.

You can think of several professions that almost require continued education: teachers, doctors, engineers…and that’s because they’re in fields in which things are ever-changing. Even if your industry is more static, you can still make every effort to educate yourself further. Reading an autobiography of someone successful whom you admire, taking a class in an unknown computer program, attending seminars and conventions, and hosting a Q&A with some of your best clients are all great ways to learn something you didn’t know the day before. You can never know everything, so use every day as an opportunity to grow into a better business leader.

  1. Invest in yourself.

We all know what happened to poor Jack, who was all work and no play: he became dull. And while working hard and diligently absolutely can have a positive impact on your business, it’s also important to make sure you give yourself some quality down time to refocus, reenergize and reassess. If this means taking your spouse on an unexpected 3-day getaway, signing up for a Pilates class you’ve always wanted to take, upgrading your old flip phone to a smart phone, or purchasing new business attire, then do it. Don’t think of it as indulgence; consider it an investment in yourself. When you’re at your best, you put your best forward to everyone else.

  1. Plan your day.

“Oh,” you say, “but I already do.”

No – we mean, really plan it. Write it out, and break it down in an hour-by-hour detail.

For example, if you account that 20 minutes of your morning will be strictly for reading and responding to emails, then you’re less likely to waste an hour by checking them sporadically. Be practical, and build into your day things that are likely to occur. If you’re in charge of carpool that day, budget for it, time-wise. Gotta have a 20 minute power nap? Put it on your schedule. Know a particular client is probably going to want to chat after your consultation? Build it into your day, and you’re a lot less likely to get stressed out. This kind of planning also gives you an honest, reasonable assessment of what you can accomplish on a daily basis. It will also let you be able to quickly look and see where some of your time-sucks are occurring and how you can fix them going forward.

So take a well-rounded approach to your business this year! It’s not always about the bottom line – because when you deliver a healthy, knowledgeable, curious persona to those around you, you can bet you’ll be surprised by the results.

 

 

Generations at Work: How to Work with Generation Y

Generations at Work: How to Work with Generation Y

Taking a look at generations at work can help you understand how to work with generation Y.  Each generation has its own values and philosophies that influence work ethic and job performance.  This generation has unique needs and qualities that present themselves in the workplace.  Vollara, a top MLM company, examines these issues and offers advice.  top mlm company

Even more than generations prior, generation Y feels a drive to seek freedom.  Time is valuable – more valuable than money in most cases – and having the freedom to delegate time as they choose is sought after.  For example, they don’t want anything, including a job, to infringe on any part of their lifestyle whether that’s going out with friends or spending time with family.  Their time is the most important thing that they have, and the freedom to choose how to spend it is a top priority.

These characteristics have led to a desire among individuals in this generation to own their own business.  They are outcome driven and they care more about effort, feeling valued, challenged, and included than about simply climbing a corporate ladder.  To this group, these things are more important than money.

Generation Y is a valuable part of the workforce.  At work, they are more interested in the ultimate goal of an activity rather than the specific process; they would rather figure out the process on their own as long as they understand what the goal is in the end.  With proper coaching and support, freedom to work from home and own their own business can give them the opportunities they desire most – to control their own time, set their own goals, and define success any way they choose.

 

MLM Leads: How to Approach Friends and Family

MLM Leads: How to Approach Friends and Family

MLM LeadsWhen you first begin trying to generate MLM leads, it is often suggested that you put together a list of all of your friends and family members. This becomes your warm list – people that you are already connected to that might be interested in joining in on your MLM efforts. But just because you already know these people doesn’t mean that they are going to instantly jump on board with your company and want to join in. Approaching them takes a little finesse and tact.

No one ever likes to feel pressured into things, and most people don’t like to feel like someone is actively trying to sell them anything. So rather than sitting down at the next family reunion trying to convince every one of your relatives to sell products or services for you, try approaching things differently. Look for natural opportunities to bring up the products or services that you sell in conversation. Don’t try to “sell” anyone anything, but instead simply mention that you use a certain product or service that you are very happy with. Wait for the other people in the conversation to ask you for more information, like how you heard about the products, what you like about the products or where you purchased the products. This lets you know that they are interested in learning more. The door is now open for you to give them the information they seek.

Once that door is open, you will be able to let the products or services speak for themselves. Help your family and friends fall in love with the products and services you offer the same way you did when you first tried them. If they love them as much as you did, the next step is to inform them of how they can help get these products out to other consumers, just like you do.

By taking this approach, you won’t be labeled as someone who is pushy or rude. You will be able to present opportunities that are legitimate and credible without meeting instant rejection head-on.

MLM Leads: How to Leverage Social Media

MLM Leads: How to Leverage Social Media

generate MLM leadsIf you are looking for ways to generate MLM leads, social media can be an effective tool.  Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as blogs can be used to reach people that could be future leads.  The trick is to use these tools effectively.

Social media is all about building relationships; not the traditional kind of relationships that typically exist between companies and customers, but instead genuine relationships between individuals.  This doesn’t mean that companies and customers can’t benefit from a social media relationship – on the contrary, it gives people the means to interact in a whole new way.

When using social media for your business to generate leads, the goal is to never appear pushy or as though you are constantly trying to “sell” something.  Instead, focus on ways to offer your “friends” and “followers” information that is truly useful and interesting that encourages interaction and starts a conversation between you and them.  This is how relationships are built.  Look for groups to join that have people with similar interests to your own.  For example, if you are interested in ways to live a healthy lifestyle, look for other groups that are focused on healthy living.  Once you have joined the group, post comments on things that others have posted and get a discussion started.  This will help you get to know the people within the group as individuals, and they will come to appreciate your knowledge and expertise on subjects that they care about.

Once you have established these connections and built relationships with people, then you have the opportunity to share information about what you do and the types of products or services that you sell.  It is one friend communicating with another in a sincere way.  This can be a powerful tool when it comes to generating MLM leads.

 

Work from Home Opportunities and Company Culture

Work from Home Opportunities and Company Culture

work from home opportunitiesCompany culture is often a big reason that people quit their jobs and choose to look for work-from-home opportunities. The idea of being your own boss and setting your own schedule is incredibly appealing to many people, but especially to those who have worked under supervisors who are particularly oppressive and unsupportive.  What many people don’t realize is that even when you work from home, company culture is still something that needs to be taken into consideration as you look for the types of opportunities that are right for you.

In many work-from-home situations, you still work for another company in one way or another – sometimes you’re providing a service to that company either as a full-time employee or as a contracted freelancer, while other times you are selling products or services that you have purchased from the company.  In either case, the culture of the company that you’re working with is a factor to your success.

It’s important to find a company that’s supportive of the people it employs or works with; that is easy to communicate with (answers your questions or concerns in a timely manner); is reliable (they provide what they say they will provide); and encouraging (they want to help you be as successful as possible).  Even though you are not sharing an office or sitting in a cubicle next to someone, the culture that is created by these traits will help ensure your success in your work-from-home endeavors.

Vollara takes pride in helping its Independent Business Owners succeed by providing the encouragement and support that makes any company great – whether working together in one central location, or from their own homes with their own hours.

 

MLM Leads: How to Make Customers Your Evangelists

MLM Leads: How to Make Customers Your Evangelists

MLM LeadsGenerating MLM leads can sometimes seem like a tedious part of building your own MLM business, but it doesn’t have to be.  The secret is making sure that you don’t have to do all of the work yourself – let your customers help you out.  Word of mouth can be a very powerful marketing tool, and there’s no one better to help spread the news about your company and products than your customers.

The most important thing that you can do to help turn your customers into your own personal marketing team is to offer high quality products.  You have to completely believe in the products that you are offering.  If you don’t love what you’re selling, then odds are high that your customers won’t really love them either.  Enthusiasm is contagious.  If your customers see that you aren’t just selling them a product, but that the products are things that you use in your own home and truly believe in, first they will be more likely to buy the products, and then they will also be more likely to spread the word among their friends and family about how wonderful the products are, and finally, there’s a good chance that they will also want to sell the products.  Turning a customer into an MLM lead can be as simple as that.

When you have customers that are as excited as you are about your products and enthusiastic about wanting to also sell them, it is important for you to act as a mentor and help them get things started.  Be supportive and encouraging every step of the way because the more successful they are in their efforts, the more work they will be doing for you to help spread the word and generate new leads for both of you.  Cooperation is essential.

So, the next time you are talking to some of your loyal customers, go ahead and suggest that they share their love of your products with their friends and families, and if they are interested, encourage them to not only use the products, but sell them as well because it ends up being a win-win situation.