Tips for Productivity When Working From Home

With the increase of technologically based professions and part-time and freelance work, working from home is becoming more and more common. While working from home may sound easy, it can be hard to stay productive, so here are a few tips to increase your productivity.

working from home

Get Organised

When working from home, it is easy for your workspace to become cluttered and disorganised. It is important that before you even start work, you begin to de-clutter. Storage solutions, like those offered by Elbowroom, are perfect for getting your home office or study organised. Invest in plastic totes, trays, and bins to organise your documents, textbooks, stationary and computer accessories. It is most effective if your storage containers are labelled and either transparent or colour coded. This will allow you to find things in your workplace quickly and effectively. It may also be a good idea to invest in some document security crates to store business records, tax invoices and or previous work samples. Just remember, an organised office is a productive office.

Set Yourself Goals

Goal setting is the best way to clarify what you need to accomplish and in what time frame. Depending on your profession and your work style, you may like to set daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly goals (or a combination of these). It is most effective if you write these goals down and pin them up in a place that is visible while you work. This will remind you of your deadlines and motivate you when you look up from your work.

Remove Distractions

In today’s technological day and age, there are many things that can distract us. When we are on the computer working at home, with no one else around, it is easy to become distracted by Internet searches, online quizzes, online shopping and computer games. Perhaps the most disrupting technological distraction is social media. Interfaces such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are incredibly addictive. It is important that before you begin work for the day you shut down any unnecessary tabs on your Internet browser and prevent yourself from accessing social media and games. Not all distractions, however, are technological. If you have young children or pets, make sure that they have something to keep them occupied while you work and check on them in your breaks.

Take Regular Breaks

While it is important that work comes first when you working from home, you will be much more effective if you take regular breaks. Taking a short 5-minute break every 20 or 30 minutes is far more productive than working for 3 hours solid but then giving up and watching television for the rest of the day. You can treat these mini breaks as rewards for being productive. In your short break you can do something such as making yourself a snack, pouring yourself a drink, playing with your pet or playing a short game on your phone. Just remember to time yourself to prevent that 5-minute break turning into a 1-hour break.

By setting goals, removing distractions, taking regular breaks and organising your workplace, you can make working from home productive. So who here works from home? What are your top tips for increasing productivity?

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Posted in working from home

10 Beautiful Bridges around the World

Bridges truly are a feat of engineering and human innovation. We have been constructing bridges as a means of getting from one place to another, over any number of obstacles, for many decades now. From the humble log positioned over a stream, to the grandiose welding, steelwork and mighty cranes involved in today’s bridges, there is no doubt that humans just wouldn’t be where we are today without them.

Literally. There are so many beautiful bridges in this world that it is hard to narrow it down to the ultimate crème de la crème. However, there are some bridges that stand out as the most elite, the most impressive structures: the most beautiful bridges in the world.

Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Image (cc) JJ Harrison/Wikimedia Commons

To begin, let’s look at our very own Sydney Harbour Bridge. Any tourist would be able to recognise it as it is one of our most photographed landmarks, and rightly so. It is the world’s largest steel arch bridge and took eight years to build, first opening in March 1932. Incredibly, because steel contracts or expands depending on what temperature it is, the bridge is not completely stationary and can rise or fall up to 18cm!

Bosnia

Stari Most

Image (cc) BáthoryPéter/Wikimedia Commons

Stari Most (“The Old Bridge”) is located in the city of Mostar in Bosnia and Hersegovina. This bridge stood for 427 years before it was destroyed in 1993 during the Bosnian War. It was then rebuilt after it’s destruction and reopened in 2004. This construction’s resilience and deep history makes it a truly remarkable object of study. In the Iranian city of Isfahan, Si-o-se Pol, or ‘The Bridge of 33 Arches’, stands grandly at 295 metres long and 13.75 metres wide. It is solely constructed from humble sticks and stones, and was commissioned in 1602 by Shah Abbas I, making it yet another bridge that is rich with historical significance.

Japan

Akashi Bridge

Image (cc) Kim Rötzel/Wikimedia Commons

Spanning mightily across the Akashi Strait in Japan, the Akashi-Kaikyo bridge took almost 12 years to build. Also known as the Pearl Bridge, it is the longest suspension bridge in the world, stretching across the Strait and connecting Kobe on Japanese mainland to Iwaya on Awayi Island.

Continue reading »

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Posted in travel

Keeping the family safe

A couple of days ago our family went to the nearest mall to cool down. Summer is at it’s peak and it gets so hot in the house even with all of our windows open. Electricity is super expensive and as much as we want to turn on the fan in full blast, it’s just too wasteful in my opinion. So we went to the mall to have Una’s photo taken because she needs ID pictures for her enrollment and then we ate lunch. After lunch, we usually hang out in the used book section in the mall, it’s just a few shelves located in one of the mall’s alley.

While Una and I were reading a book hubby told us that there were armed men surrounding the money changer, just a few meters away from where we are reading. I immediately hauled Una and went through the arcade so we can cross to the other alley and avoid being trapped in the commotion. From that alley, we can still see what is happening in the money changer. There are SWATS surrounding the place, the people are panicking and Una is starting to feel the tension based on the people’s reaction. I don’t know who the heck said it but someone said they heard a gun shot so we immediately went into a store and asked the ladies if we can hide behind their counters. They had no idea of what was going on and when they saw their neighboring shops closing their steel gates, they closed their gates too. While we were hiding under the desk, Una started whimpering, saying that she’s scared and wants to go home and see her Mama (Lola or grandmother). Hubby called the house to let them know what was going on and that we are safe and we will try to get out of if we can. After a while, we saw a lot of people heading to the direction of the exit. Thinking that it’s safe enough, we opened the store’s steel gate and we ran to the nearest exit.

We were safe, finally but we’re still trapped in the mall premises. We saw that there’s a congested traffic in the main route going out of the mall. While we were hiding I told her that it was just a drill, a pretend thing that we do so that we’ll be prepared if something bad happens. I don’t think she understood what was going on. We saw a lot of kids bigger than her that were crying on the floor because they were so scared. I tried to distract Una and let her play in my mobile phone but her hands were still shaking. We had to leave the car in the parking lot and brought Una home. Just to assure that everything is okay and that we’re safe.

When she saw her Mama, she finally cried. Mama assured her that everything as fine and that it was just drill. After a while she calmed down and asked if she can watch the TV.

The whole was exhausting but that didn’t end there. We know someone who are still trapped inside the mall because they were no longer letting people out. I browse the news feed and saw this Twitter update from a radio news station.

After 30 minutes, I saw another update from the reporter:

Are you kidding me?

I’m so grateful that we are safe and that there were never really an armed robbery in the mall. But the trauma that it caused my daughter witnessing that? Unbelievable. The police went to the wrong branch of Western Union. What a careless mistake is that?

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Posted in health & safety

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