Working. From home. With kids. [Part 1]

So, you have small children and want to advance your home-based business?
Maybe you’re an accountant, photographer, consultant… Well you’re in for a rough ride, I won’t lie. Is it worth it? Ah, let me put it this way… There are many times over the years I’ve wanted to just give up. But over time, each instance I was better at what I do than before. I’m not where I want to be but I’m well beyond where I was when I started. (And we all have to start somewhere)

As for the title
Why the periods? Why the separation? (Working @home w/kids) BECAUSE mentally it’s incredibly hard to keep work and home separated even without children but WITH that added variable… Just breathe in deep and focus.

My timeline
I’m happily married (10 years this June!) with 2 small children 1 year old girl and 4 year old boy at the time of this post. When we had just our son, it wasn’t too bad. We had various streams of income, and a much smaller workload for my multimedia projects (photo and/or video). I even stayed pretty active on my Xbox in my downtime (I’m a huge Mass Effect fan, since you were wondering. It’s pretty much the best game series ever made. Seriously, Google it.)

SO! in typical work-from home fashion… this blog post has been disrupted and cut terribly short.

NEXT POST:

  • I’ll tell you more about work-life with Kid #1
  • how work changed with Kid #2
  • Overcoming obstacles & distractions
  • My current situation

See You SOON!

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Top 3 productivity tips for home-based businesses

People love to talk about productivity options, especially since so many entrepreneurs have decided to nix the overhead of office space and work from home. Well I’m no exception when it comes to talking about this stuff. I could read about optimizing productivity all day! (and I do… on Google+ ) Let me  share  my top 3 things that work for me.

 

#3 Customize your environment – If you work from home you have the unique opportunity to post Hello Kitty on the walls if it helps you work faster. Play the movie “Office Space” in the background if it helps you get stuff done… I don’t know, go wild finding what WORKS.  Let me describe my ideal work environment:

  • Pandora playing (usually my Dubstep or Tycho station)
  • Standing with coffee or some other refreshment
  • As much natural light as possible.
  • My photographic work surrounding me (on the walls) (Not in the photos below, but new stuff coming)
  • a closed door.
  • Wearing my Gunnars… these are gaming glasses that reduce eye fatigue and stress. Starts at about $80 and well worth it.

It’s not one size fits all. some people need silence and a soda… I don’t really drink soda, so I’m not that guy.

 

#2 STAND UP – Everyone knows sitting on your duff all day is bad for your body, I don’t care how expensive your captain’s office chair was, it sucks for you in the long run. We’re not created to sit in an office chair. Standing desks are all the rage right now, and they’ve been around for a while now. I’ll post some links here soon but you can easily search “Standing Desk” on Amazon and get an idea of what’s trending. You’ll notice they can be pretty expensive. Ill tell you what I do… My 2nd monitor is wall-mounted and I use a music stand for my wireless keyboard and mouse. Boom, I’m standing. Works like a charm, I absolutely love it and it’s easy to flow into the office and get something done.

Photo-12_16_13,-12.11.21-PM-3Standing Workstation Solution

Music Stand $20, Wall mount, $30 (and I’ve had it for 2-3 years now). So if you have a second monitor (Which can also be a TV with a VGA input) you get get a standing workstation set up for about $50. However you do it, get off your duff and get some work done 🙂

 

 

#1) Work when you work best – This is my absolute best tip I heard YEARS ago but sometimes can be hard to explain. Some people are night people, some are morning people, some are somewhere in between. If you work best at zero-dark-thirty WORK THEN! I’ve got a wife and two small kids, and I know I have the potential to be a productivity BEAST in the mornings. Well guess when I try to get my admin stuff done? You got it, chief… Mornings. I even have it narrowed down to what time I know my coffee will kick in. No seriously. EXCEPTION: I do my best photo editing right after the shoot, regardless of the time of day. Unless it’s a wedding, then I go the heck to sleep and edit the next day. For products and portraits, I’m best right after because the emotion and excitement is still there. Can I do it another time? Of course I can, it’s what I do… but I’ll do it faster right after the shoot.

Let’s Wrap-up… These are my current top 3. It may change from time to time but these will ALWAYS be in my top TEN. Other productivity tips include exercise, smart scheduling, useful productivity apps, limiting sugar, and more. Thanks for reading. 

What’s in YOUR top 3 tips for productivity? Write a message in the comment section!

Bonus: Here’s a video of a recent session. Dude’s name is Jordan, and he’s a High School Senior. We really had some laughs… he’s a character. Seems reserved but he did some wild stuff. Check it out and feel free to comment.

If you can’t view the video above, no problem. Check out the video here!