How to Boost Productivity at Home

According to the United States Census Bureau, almost 10 percent of workers have a home-based office and about half of those work the majority of time from home. With more than 10 million women-owned businesses, we can guess that many of these home-based offices started as stay-at-home-mom ventures. Trying to maintain a favorable work and home balance while being productive on both fronts can be a task. Happily, there are some experts with tips on how to boost productivity at home, in your home office.

How to boost productivity at home

According to Psychologists

Music and workplace productivity have been studied by psychologists since mp3 players became commonplace in the office. Overall, music has a positive effect on productiveness with few caveats. Music with lyrics can be distracting, leading to loss of concentration. Oddly enough, these disruptions are counteracted with fewer mistakes. Research on people that type as part of their job description found that people typed slower but made fewer errors, with a net positive effect on productivity. If you are going to rock out at home, you may need a good pair of headphones to drown out the sounds of kids or TV shows in the background.

According to MBAs

A social networking company called the Draugiem Group, using the DeskTime productivity app, found that there is an ideal ratio between work and break. The study found that we should have a 17 minute break for every 52 minutes of work to get the maximum recuperative benefits. The importance of breaks is not new in the business field. Not only does a break renew your mental energy, breaks are also times of creative thinking that reduce stress and increase overall health. Since most people tend to forget to take breaks, set a timer to go off every 52 minutes. Make the 52/17 rule a part of your daily routine.

According to Doctors

Twenty minutes of exercise in the morning and another 20 in the afternoon may be the best way to increase workplace productivity. In a American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine study, researchers found that people that have physical exercise, even if it was enforced, report increased levels of self-reported productiveness. Not only did productivity go up but sick day usage went down and overall health went up. Breaking up the workouts into two smaller at home exercise routines stretches out the neurochemical high associated with physical fitness so that it lasts throughout your day. It also lessens some of the negative effects of over-exercising.

According to Your Kids

There is a reason that you are working from home. It probably involves making money and seeing your children. Your real bottom line is that you want happiness, both for you and your family. Positive psychologists are recently figuring out what children have always known. The best life is one full of happiness and fun. The good news is that fun is not contrary to productivity. Scientists are finding that happy people are more productive at work. Find your happiness in your home office. Let your kids be your guides to a happy and productive workplace.

Fall Fixes: 4 Ways Busy Moms Relax and Recharge

Autumn means back-to-school madness, busier work weeks, more social obligations, holiday preparations and, to top it off, shorter days. It can be easy for moms to get overwhelmed, especially working moms. Almost three-quarters of surveyed mothers said they frequently experience stress, according to Pew Research. As you get swept up in this busy season, don’t forget to take some time to relax and have a moment to yourself. Use these quick fixes to recharge and show yourself some appreciation.

5 Ways Busy Moms Relax and Recharge

4 Ways Busy Moms Relax and Recharge


If you think adding an exercise routine to your already jam-packed schedule will only make things more hectic, think again. Any form of exercise will help relieve stress. Even light and moderate exercise causes the release of endorphins, which give you that feeling of euphoria right after physical activity. Concentrating on running up a hill or completing that set of crunches will take your mind off the hassles of the day. Other benefits of exercise include better sleep, higher self-confidence and reduced anxiety and depression. Get your kids involved by taking them along on a hike or playing tag with them in the backyard.

Retail Therapy

What better way to melt stress away than a therapeutic shopping trip? According to a study by the Journal of Psychology and Marketing, 62 percent of shoppers have bought something to cheer themselves up. Buying a new dress or pair of shoes might not make you happier or less stressed in the long run, but the act of shopping can help you relax, escape monotony and even boost your creativity. Keep in mind, however, that this doesn;t mean you should blow your money on a bunch of frivolous things. But splurging on that new phone you’ve been wanting or treating yourself to a luxurious new handbag you’ll treasure for years will add a little pleasure to your life. Plus, you deserve it.

Social Hour

We all love our kids and know they can be a lot of fun, but sometimes we need time with our adult friends. Social connections are a great way to reduce stress and feel supported. Talking through frustrations and relating to some close friends can help you work through the tough stuff and feel better physically and emotionally. Try to schedule some quality time with friends at least once a month. Whether it is a quick lunch, drinks after work or a game night with lots of laughs, friends will help you stay happy and healthy.

Mindful Meditation

In an article for Harvard Health Publications, Dr. Elizabeth Hoge, a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, said effective meditation methods, such as mindfulness meditation can help treat anxiety and stress. “People with anxiety have a problem dealing with distracting thoughts that have too much power,” Hoge said.

Mindfulness meditation helps you distinguish your thoughts from your worries and teaches you to relax and separate them from your life. You can practice meditation at home for 10 or 20 minutes a day, or find a group near you to practice together. Whatever helps you to relax and reduce stress, it’s important to stay healthy and happy.

Four Websites For Teens

Websites for Teens

Being a work-at-home-mom can be an immensely rewarding experience. In addition to avoiding a daily commute through rush hour traffic, you can often adjust your schedule so you to drive your kids to school, attend their school events, and be there when they return back home.

As you probably know quite well, teens usually figure your WAHM status really doesn’t apply to them when they are home, and you will be at their beck and call to help them with anything and everything they need. While you certainly want to be there for them whenever you can, there will be times when your kids will have to take the proverbial bull by the horns and handle certain tasks alone. The following websites for teens are ideal and can help keep them ahead of the curve while giving you the time you need to meet your next deadline:

If your teenage son or daughter is dying to get a learners permit and wants you to quiz him or her on the rules of the road right in the middle of a huge work project you are trying to finish, use for help. The website allows young drivers-to-be to take permit practice tests online and check out their knowledge and skills before heading to the DMV for the real thing. The site includes practice tests for every state in the country, and it’s so easy to navigate teens can take the practice exams on their own.

When it comes to food, teens are notorious for being bottomless pits. They are also notorious for expecting their sainted mother to drop everything she is doing to fix them a snack. In order to boost your teen’s cooking knowledge and skills and fill their tummies while you are trying to get your work done, ask them to check out The site is filled with simple recipes and cooking instructions that are ideal for cooking novices. For example, the peanut butter and jelly toaster tarts feature just three ingredients, and the easy-to-follow instructions will get your teen on the road to independence. Of course, cooking skills are something teens will need as they get older, and this user-friendly website will definitely help them get on their way.

For teens who enjoy learning, offers a wide variety of online courses for free. The site features over 400 classes that are designed by top schools, and teens can attend “class” on their own schedule, like when they are home from school for a holiday weekend and you are working in the home office. For example, if your teen is interested in nutrition and eating healthily, Coursera offers a course called “Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights.” Teens can watch video lectures, take interactive quizzes and connect online with other teens and their instructors. Coursera also offers peer assessments, which will allow your teen to review and provide feedback for other students’ work. By taking some online classes at Coursera, it can help teens boost their learning and skills with topics that interests them.

Teens who enjoy anything and everything to do with computers and websites are sure to enjoy, where they can learn how to code interactively for free. In addition to teaching them skills they can use right now on their own computers and the family website, teens who are knowledgeable in coding will have a leg up when they start applying for jobs in the IT market. Maybe one day your teen can help you in your work by upgrading your business website or helping with computer glitches.

How To Personally Connect With Customers

Working out of your home requires strong time-management skills, especially since you don’t have administrative or marketing support. Since everything hinges on you, you have to use your time wisely to take care of existing customers and cultivate new ones.

how to personally connect with your home-business customers

Home Business Magazine reports there are more than 18 million home-based businesses across the U.S. If you’re seeking to cultivate new business, consider the power that word of mouth can have over your personal brand. Steady, positive customer reviews can help your products or services stand out from competitors. Here are some tips to create a meaningful, positive buzz around your home-based business and personally connect with customers:

Build a Network

If you’ve launched a home-based business, chances are you’ve already relied on family and friends for some early sales or other types of support. That’s great on the surface, but those relatives and friends won’t be able to sustain your business on an on-going basis. Ask those family members and friends for testimonials and positive reviews that will work to help attract new customers for the future.

Make a list from your Rolodex and consider the various connections within your own network of contacts. That’s the first step toward finding people who could make good customers. Make an effort to get in front of people at key meetings in your community. Depending on the line of work you’re in, you could find connections at Chamber of Commerce meetings, local civic associations, PTA meetings, trade shows and professional conferences and networking events.

Similarly, social networking is essential to personally connect with potential customers. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social sites, it’s more about making a direct link to people than spamming acquaintances with messages about your wares. These basic sites, and even others like Yelp or Trip Advisor, provide people with a forum to share their personal experiences.

Amanda DiSilvestro of Yahoo Small Business Advisor offers the following advice to small business owners: “Make efforts to earn quality reviews, and communicate with the team about updating and managing comments.”

If you focus on striking up general conversations first, people will sense that you’re confident enough with your business, and they’ll take a look for more information or provide positive reviews knowing they’re not being directly propositioned for a transaction.

Find Ways to Educate Consumers

The best way to explain what you do is to place some type of thoughtful demonstration online—a searchable, optimized website is a great first step.

Physical demonstrations also work, and allow your personality to shine at public events. Speak with other businesses, especially more established small businesses in the community, and figure out ways where you can fill a need at events.

Following up with thank-you notes or gifts is a memorable way of letting clients know you’re interested in their continued business. Simple gift baskets can brighten someone’s day and indicate that your business will continue to give them more than they expect.

Want more like this? Check out How To Make Social Media Marketing Work For Your Business.

The ASEA Business Opportunity

I love to host and advertise work at home businesses here, to get the word out about different opportunities for moms looking to make an income while raising their kids at home. It’s what this site is all about! Today, I’d like to bring you an opportunity from ASEA, healthcare products making a difference in customers’ lives and those of the sellers of the products.

Learn about Asea, Renu 28 and the unique business opportunity
As you will learn below, the Asea business opportunity is unique in that there is no competition, the products are protected by over 30 patents and you will have the opportunity to help people get over chronic illnesses or just feel healthier everyday.

While ASEA’s flagship product helps support your body from the inside out, ASEA’s newest product, RENU 28 offers a way for you to support your skin and body from the outside in. RENU 28 uniquely offers you the ability to utilize Redox Signaling Molecule science for cellular skin care support.

ASEA RENU 28 encourages the strength and resiliency of your skin cell reproduction in partnership with your body’s natural efforts to keep your skin healthy. The powerful science behind ASEA’s RENU 28 delivers gentle, effective treatment to repair and comfort aging or damaged skin. Through ASEA’s proprietary Redox Signaling technology, the unique RENU 28 gel provides essential support to the all-important cellular mechanisms that are the foundation of your skin’s structure. Vital to the health of living cells, RENU 28 provides critical connections and communication between cells with Redox Signaling molecules to ensure optimum renewal and replenishment.

German Dermatological testing lab Dermatest – RENU 28 received their coveted 5 STAR RATING! To be rated 5 stars by Dermatest, the product has to meet 7 criteria with NO REACTION AT ALL…Dermatest does not just give out 5 star ratings…PERIOD!

The Dermatest study tracked 20 women over 28 days; they then took 3-D digital photos which showed 6 separate points that hit OVER 10% IMPROVEMENT… 5 of the 6 were OVER 20% improvement.  No other product can make that claim.

More info at:

Please email: for more info on the business opportunity and a special signup bonus unique to our team.

Photos of users results within 28 days:

Thanks to ASEA for sponsoring this post!

5 Ways to Make Social Media Marketing Work for Home-Based Business

While it is still important for an entrepreneur to know about traditional advertising (newspapers, flyers, direct mail, signage), these tools are quickly out lapped by their digital counter parts that are not only more powerful, but are also less expensive (i.e. Google AdWords, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media). Of course, some technical prowess or support is needed to take advantage of these new opportunities.

The beautiful thing about social media is that everyone is doing it because everyone can do it. Social media marketing is simple, accessible and—with the right strategy—can be working for you while you are busy growing your business and focusing on customer service.


Below are the three most popular social networking sites, along with tips on how a home-based business can leverage them as part of a marketing strategy. The great thing is, these are networks you can join right now for free.


This is a growing and global captive markets for your message. Many small businesses now forgo a website and link their business home page directly to their Facebook page. This is even more effective when you purchase a small amount of advertising to promote your business page to your ideal customer.

Try starting a Facebook page and updating daily about a product you are selling. LifeLock’s Facebook page is a great example of the content possibilities from videos and photo albums to recent promotions and call to action pieces.

You can also use this opportunity to network with other businesses and even share promotions or suppliers. One Nova Scotian home-based business, an organic market stand owner who was at a stalemate with shipping fees for bulk supplies, used her Facebook page to reach out for community interest in a group-buying scenario. It was a win-win for the customers and other small businesses that benefited. The biggest benefit was for the business owner who can now pass on the lower price for bulk goods onto her customer.


A global conversation is taking place. It’s between your current customers, your future customers and everyone in between. Conversations are happening and topics are trending. As a small business owner, jump in on the conversation and directly interact with your customer. Ensure they have your @twitterhandle to discuss your products or a recent experience with you. Network with other businesses like yours. Provide the public with tidbits of information about the area you specialize in. Follow trending topics and join the conversation, linking back to your business information when it is relevant.


If your business has anything to do with food, exercise, home improvement or decorating, you need to be on Pinterest. It is simple to join and add the bookmark tool to your browser. It is also simple to isolate the influential people who have garnered many followers on their personal pin boards.

Create a pinboard of your product offerings whether it is kitchen materials or press-on nail ideas. Create web articles and photo galleries on how to use your products in innovative ways to make day-to-day life easier. Share your pin board with others with similar interests or pins and sit back and watch the referrals come to your business.

Five Tips for Social Media

On any of the described engines, or any of the other multitudes of social media engines, the basic mantra (be creative, be unique and be original) and the following rules apply:

  1. Know who your customer is and speak to them; if you don’t know this information, find out!
  2. Be real. The appeal of social media is connecting to other people. Create a personality for your business that is closely related to you. The more genuine you are in your efforts, the more loyal your following will be.
  3. Plan and commit to fresh and original content. You can share, re-tweet or re-pin other people’s information from time to time but your followers will grow when they see you as a source for unique and original content.
  4. Commit to new content daily. Give some thought to what you will feature and post each week. You can use themes to help (birthday, holidays, etc) but make sure you are bringing new content out regularly. It is okay to repeat some posts but never too close together and never more than twice or three times.
  5. Don’t over post content or flood the feeds too much in one day. If you have a flurry of ideas for Monday, save some of these and post on Tuesday or throughout the week.

The Best Jobs for Moms

It’s tough being an entrepreneurial mom. It can get stressful coordinating childcare, work at the home office, housekeeping, and a social life. Some entrepreneurial endeavors are more profitable than others, and some depend on the amount of time and effort put into them. They all depend on a mom’s interests, talents, abilities, availability, and resources. Below are some of the best jobs for moms:

The best jobs for moms

Figure Out What You Really Want to Do

Top mom businesses and career roles are those that relate to their interests and passions, that pay well, and that can be done in flexible schedules.

SizzleIt! founder and entrepreneur Scott Gerber recommends entrepreneurs, including moms, focus on one business enterprise and not get sidetracked by too many different opportunities. They need to stick to things they like and can sustain an interest in for the long term. He suggests being able to articulate the business concept in 30 seconds — a very abbreviated elevator pitch — and surrounding themselves with advisors and mentors to figure out what they truly want to do.

Best Jobs and Businesses for Moms

April Peveteaux, writing for The Stir, says the best jobs for moms don’t require scrambling for childcare or going out on the road, or have blatant pay discrimination. She says jobs that are meaningful are important to moms who are spending time away from children.

Charyn Pfeuffer of says jobs and enterprises that work for working mothers pay well even for part time hours, allow a flexible schedule, provide paid maternity leave, and/or have good daycare benefits. An insurance role meets some of these criteria, with well-paid work from home which may also provide benefits. Using lead aggregation services like Quote Wizard to find customers frees up busy moms’ time and energy to work more efficiently and be available for family obligations.

Creative and helping jobs that offer flexible schedules include lactation consultant/doula, freelance writer, personal trainer, and Etsy seller/artist. Pfeuffer adds web developer, pilates/yoga instructor, and market research analyst. These jobs can be part time or full time or lead to a full business enterprise depending on moms’ interest levels.

Jobs You Never Thought Were Work-From-Home

With advancing technology and social media, many more jobs can be done from home than ever before. Jobs you might not think of as being done from home include senior bilingual technical advisor, nonprofit director, grant writer, online fitness coach, and RN nurse coach.

What Working Moms Need

Glamajama CEO and founder and author of “The Working Mom Manifesto” Heather Schuck says moms need jobs that allow them to take care of their families and pursue their work passions in fulfilling, lower stress ways. She says moms deserve to be happy at work where flexibility and a culture that values family prevails.

One of the 10 best jobs for work/life balance that Schuck recommends is entrepreneur. She advises moms that starting a business can be the quickest way to fulfilling their needs for flexible, rewarding careers. Schuck says that home and/Internet-based opportunities offer economical means to an alternate work schedule.

If you’re a mom trying to decide what kind of work would fit best into your busy lifestyle and still enable you to take care of your family, explore some of these jobs and work from home businesses. Look for good pay and flexible hours in work and businesses related to your interests and passions.

Quick Tip Tuesday: Work Intervals With a Timer

Today’s Quick Tip Tuesday is great for the summertime, when you don’t really want to work (you’d probably rather be at the pool or enjoying the sunshine or reading a good book, right?) but really need to because business doesn’t stop when the weather is nice and the kids get out of school. Short bursts of productivity can help you get those things done that you have to do and still have time to enjoy the day. Thank you to Laura of Mommy Miracles for sharing this awesome tip! Quick Tip Tuesday: work intervals with a timer to get things done! Work intervals to get things done! #wahm   Laura’s tip is to set a timer (however long you choose, depending on what you need to do and your circumstances…fifteen minutes,  thirty minutes, an hour?) and work as hard and as quickly as you can in that time. When it goes off, take a little break, do something fun or relaxing or with your kids. After a while, set it again and get back to work. This is really helpful for the kids, too, to see exactly how long you’ll be working each time. You can tell them that they need to play or watch a show or do something by themselves, and when the timer goes off, then they can talk to you or play with you. Until then, they’re on their own! (I know a visual like that helps my kids a lot). Couple the timer with your specific to-do list, and you’ll get so much done in a day without feeling like you missed out on everything else! Quick Tip Tuesday- work intervals using a timer  Quick Tip Tuesday is just what it sounds like…a super quick way to make your life easier, more manageable, more organized, more SOMETHING. Simple, yet effective. Ingenious even. If you love it, pin and share it!

Read more Quick Tip Tuesday tips!

The Right Degree Can Help Make the World a Better Place

Martin Luther King Jr. said, “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” Giving back to the world is a personal and internal quest, a combination of passion, ability and resources. First you must raise yourself up, then bring your community with you. Select a degree or vocational certification that gives you the opportunity to help your fellow man while achieving King’s goal of painstaking excellence, so you can make the world a better place for future generations.

Make the world a better place through higher education

Give to Yourself

The Rainforest Alliance put out a public service video in 2012 that shows a man quitting his job and leaving his wife and child to run off to save the rainforest. The man realizes he is ill-equipped to handle the harsh nature of this type of advocacy and gets attacked by the very wildlife he is trying to save. The video asks people to use the successes they have already gained and buy products that are rainforest-friendly.

Giving to yourself is very different from taking from others. Choose a career path you love and focus on your holistic betterment, and you’ve already taken that first step to creating a better world. When selecting a degree program, try not to look at the money you will make; instead, assess your ability to use that degree to give back to the people and places that are important to you.

Be the Best and Brightest

A recent survey by UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies found that almost three-quarters of students said they went to college to make more money. Yes, a degree will bring up your earning potential, but it does much more: It enables you to be the hero you are looking for. One mantra of the professional do-gooder is, If it is to be, it is up to me. Your choice of a degree lets you lift up humanity with your excellence.

Philanthropic and Charitable University Programs

There are many areas you can focus on when choosing a life of service. Choose a path you are passionate about. If you are interested in community development, Illinois State University’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development can prepare you for a career with organizations like the American Red Cross, Action Against Hunger and NeighborWorks to impact communities on a local or global scale.

For more international work, Clark University has an International Development, Community and Environment program that offers concentrations in international development or environmental science and policy. Graduates can work across the globe to promote social change and help the environment in developing countries.

Well-known organizations like the Peace Corps often partners with universities to offer immersion programs to students. The Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability offers a Master’s International Peace Corps program that integrates international development with graduate studies. Students gain valuable field experience while earning academic credit.

Developing a society you want to live in begins with you and your talents. If you are searching for an alternative educational path, online schools like Penn Foster have a range of career degrees and certificates that you can use to make an environmental impact in your local community. It’s obvious you can get a degree or a vocational certificate that will help you make money, but a well thought-out career path enables the compassionate person to make a change in the world. Let ability follow passion.

Scholarships and Tuition Programs

For students who need financial aid, many charitable organizations offer tuition matching or scholarships for certain degrees and programs. Some organizations will award tuition money for volunteers or workers who served specific programs. For example, the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a “post-service benefit” students can received by completing a specified term of national service in an AmeriCorps program.

The Environmental Protection Agency is one of many employers that offer student loan reimbursement to employees who dedicate more than three years to service at the company. They also offer tuition assistance for employees who seek higher education and other relevant classes.

Four Tips For Surviving the Summer Schedule

For nine months of the year, my daily routine is pretty set. Since I teach high school, I would say it’s even more structured than most people since a bell drives my deadlines and tells me when I can npee each hour. But in the summer, I am suddenly thrown into the unstructured world of the Stay (and Work) at Home Mom.

While I don’t have grading and lesson plans during the summer, I still have writing deadlines, social media work, and various school-related items that need to be done. Lots of people like to say, “You must have so much more time now that school is out!”

Actually, I have less.  I don’t have in between classes, an hour-long planning period, a 30-minute duty-free lunch, or after school work time anymore. There are small kids with me all of the time–there is one hanging on my arm right at this second, actually–but I have a few things that makes working from home a little less anxiety-ridden.

Keep it Structured

My kids thrive on knowing what is coming next. We have the days of the week posted on our slider door and each Sunday, Eddie (five) and I use post-it notes to put up what we can look forward to on each day.


Surviving the Summer Schedule


Each day is also structured. I get up at 7am before the kids and usually have anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour before one of them gets up. I use this time to check/respond to emails, drink my first cup of coffee, and review the To Do list for the day.

Breakfast is by 9am, and by 10am we are out the door for our daily “adventure”.  Lunch is around noon and Charlie’s (two) nap is by 2pm until about 4pm This is “quiet time” in our house. I usually work and Eddie does a project, plays outside by himself, or watches a movie.  After nap we all usually play outside (weather permitting) until my husband gets home by 5pm.

Go Somewhere

Each day we have an “adventure”. This can be anything from playing outside by our own house to going to the zoo. This week our adventures included getting groceries, having a playdate, having Granny come over (I had an appointment), going with me to the chiropractor, and checking out books at the library.  Our adventure always takes place in the morning so that we are home for lunch/nap/quiet time.

This “adventure” is meant to get the kids out of the house and moving. It is time that we get to spend together without being “plugged in” to anything.


Surviving the Summer Schedule


Our adventures are planned based on what we need to get done during the week and what I think will be fun for the kids. Errands are not usually the most fun, but if I can pair them with a play area (like at the mall) or a trip to a park, things can be more successful.

Get Rid of the Kids

Ok, I am sort of kidding on this one, but I do send my kids to daycare one day a week. If I didn’t have that, I would probably hire a mommy’s helper at least one day a week to play with the kids while I work. That one “relief” day means I can run errands, make phone calls, and write without interruption from 7am until I pick them up at 4pm.

Have Realistic Expectations

The hardest thing for me is to not over-book myself on any given day with deadlines.

During the school year, my computer is on at work all day. I can check my emails (and other social media) during passing time or on my planning period. Having my computer constantly open at home is not realistic. It is distracting to me, and therefore taking time away from my kids.

I’ve learned that once breakfast is over, so is any chance of getting work done until nap/quiet time. After quiet/nap time, my next time would be after they are in bed for the night. Sometimes I get extra work time (like if they want to do a movie morning and they are occupied with that), but I never count on it.

Is this similar to your work at home schedule? What helps keep you productive while the kids are around?

Katie Sluiter is a full-time high school teacher, mom of two boys, and writer at