Is It Cheating to Have a Side Project?


http://joyante.wordpress.com

“Devote yourself to an idea. Go make it happen.
Don’t you forget: this is your dream!

Go Make It Happen

Struggle on it. Overcome your fears. Smile. Don’t you forget: this is your Dream!

One of the best ways of getting energized at work is to start something outside of it. (You will gain new skills and new perspectives which will naturally attach to you as go about doing your day job). You should be spending at least 1,000 hourspreparing for a new career (Just in case that your industry goes the way of publishing, pay phones, photo finishing and the like and either disappears or radically changes to the point where there is no room for you). An article from HBR by Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer, and Paul B. Brown.

To which some people commented, as Rich did, we are, in essence, idiots: “When people get excited about things outside of work they end showing up to work and going through motions just to get through a day. Everyone loses. The employee loses and the employer loses. People are not going to give all of themselves as they focus on their new outside interest.” Rich makes an extremely valid point — one that we think is worth elaborating on.

Everything we have recommended — starting something new beyond your job; putting in an hour a day to learn a new skill/profession — needs to be outside of office hours. If you do it on company time you can be fired, and quite frankly we believe you should… Leer más “Is It Cheating to Have a Side Project?”

5 Ways to Stay Productive When Working from Home

2. Allow for Breaks

When I first started working from home, I would avoid breaks at all costs. I thought that this would help me get more work done, when in reality, it caused me to burn out early.

Now I take the breaks that any employer would require in an eight to ten hour work day — coffee breaks, lunch breaks, stretch breaks. I consider all of these to be a necessity because it’s the time spent away from the computer that helps ideas generate organically. And, of course, it’s good for both your body and your mind.

3. Go with the Flow

Do you find that your mind isn’t fully functioning before 10 am? Does your body need a nap between 2 pm and 3 pm? Are you least productive after 6 pm?

One of the largest benefits of working from home (unless you are required to clock in and out at certain times) is the ability to create your own schedule.

Not everyone works best on a 9-5 schedule — some work better on a 10-6 or 4-12 schedule. Figure out the times that your mind is at its peak, and try to follow that. For you that might mean taking a two hour break in the middle of the day. That’s simply the beauty of this lifestyle.


Stay Productive When Working from Home

http://workawesome.com

As a freelance writer turned community manager, I’ve spent entire weeks working from my couch in my pajamas.

For many it sounds appealing — no commute time to wrestle with, no wardrobe requirements and no one standing over your shoulder requesting updates on your progress.

But I’ve also found that these are the same reasons why staying productive when working from home, sans a designated office, can be such a challenge. There’s not a pressing reason to leave the house or get dressed, and there is no one there keeping you from spending the afternoon eating junk food and watching trashy TV.

5 Ways to Boost Productivity When Working from Home

The work from home lifestyle is certainly not for everyone (especially those that thrive on day to day interactions with coworkers), but if you have a job where working remotely is an option, here are some tips for keeping you productive and happy.

1. Create a Routine… Leer más “5 Ways to Stay Productive When Working from Home”

The Fluidity and Demands of Social Business Work

Part of the adaptation resistance we feel in businesses trying to become more social is that they’re taking an old model – the 5 day week fit into a daytime 40 hours – and desperately trying to fit it around the inconsistent and differing patterns that define a connected, networked and vastly more nimble global network. Strapping hours on your Twitter bio will not forever meet the needs of customers, employees, partners, supply chain, and the people who deliver on the work we’ve ultimately promised.

Here’s where I have some questions for you.

What do you think defines a professional commitment in today’s era? As a worker of any kind, what should you expect to commit? Is it different than it has been? If so, what will make that commitment worthwhile?
How can companies adapt an industrial-era mindset into a modern one while surmounting the challenges of sheer scale and cost of having a larger, more distributed and flexible workforce? Or are there savings in there instead of costs?
What does that mean for the education and induction that we’re giving to the next generation of workers, whether skilled or knowledge based or both?


http://www.brasstackthinking.com

The Fluidity And Demands of Social Business Work - Brass Tack ThinkingFew of us work a 5-day, 40-hour week anymore.

So if that’s true, and we’ve largely accepted that, why are we still trying to force social business evolution into the bounds of those days and hours?

Fluidity is a continually emerging reality in business. I struggle mightily with this personally, because I don’t believe that even the most entrepreneurial of us are winning medals when we get out there and flaunt our exhaustive, 80-hour workweek and lack of weekends as some kind of masochistic badge of honor. In fact, it tells me that we simply aren’t being smart with how we work, not telling us that we should just keep working and working and working until we break.

Stack that, however, against the ever-present reality that the online world does not tick according to the industrial era clock. We had metered, 8-hour days for a reason. Assembly lines needed to meet quotas and factories needed to meet the demands of their customers but without endangering their workforces.

Yet, the web is a fluid thing that rarely collectively sleeps… Leer más “The Fluidity and Demands of Social Business Work”

The (Dis)Advantages of Working From Home

Being a freelancer means you often have complete freedom on where to work. However, we tend to stay at home and work from our beds, dining room tables, a corner in our room, or if we’re lucky enough, a whole room dedicated as an office. What we mostly do not do, is leave our home to work in a separate office or co-working space.

Working from home comes with several advantages after all – no overhead, free range of the kitchen, no dress code and the ability to sleep as late as we want and stroll from the bedroom to our computer.

However, there are also several disadvantages we should be aware of. Distractions from family, children or pets being the biggest issue we come across. Also, walking two feet from our bedroom to our office means we don’t get the exercise we should – and we’re increasingly becoming an unhealthy industry. It also means you lead a distinctly lonely work day – and without a boss breathing down your neck you’re more apt to goof off on the internet.

Even with all of these disadvantages – I still wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world, nor would I bother with paying the high costs of renting an office space. Instead, I’ve aimed to become more productive and turn these into non-issues. How can you do it?


http://www.amberweinberg.com/the-disadvantages-of-working-from-home/

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Being a freelancer means you often have complete freedom on where to work. However, we tend to stay at home and work from our beds, dining room tables, a corner in our room, or if we’re lucky enough, a whole room dedicated as an office. What we mostly do not do, is leave our home to work in a separate office or co-working space.

Working from home comes with several advantages after all – no overhead, free range of the kitchen, no dress code and the ability to sleep as late as we want and stroll from the bedroom to our computer.

However, there are also several disadvantages we should be aware of. Distractions from family, children or pets being the biggest issue we come across. Also, walking two feet from our bedroom to our office means we don’t get the exercise we should – and we’re increasingly becoming an unhealthy industry. It also means you lead a distinctly lonely work day  – and without a boss breathing down your neck you’re more apt to goof off on the internet.

Even with all of these disadvantages – I still wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world, nor would I bother with paying the high costs of renting an office space. Instead, I’ve aimed to become more productive and turn these into non-issues. How can you do it?

Distractions From Family & Pets Leer más “The (Dis)Advantages of Working From Home”

My Revised “Most Important Task First” Model

Are you more focused and energetic in the morning?
Doing your “Most Important Task” first assumes that you’re most focused first thing in the morning. The idea is to shift this big task to the time when your mental powers are at their height. If you’re naturally inclined to be more focused later in the day, this model might not work for you. You’ll want to calibrate your MIT time to your natural creative rhythms.


http://the99percent.com/tips/6980/Lab-Rat-Do-Your-Most-Important-Task-First

Step 1: Spend 30 minutes scanning email and responding to urgent items.

Step 2: Turn off email and other distractions. Focus for 2-3 hours on completing your “Most Important Task.”

Step 3: Take a lunch break away from your desk. Leaving your computer and recharging is the key to being productive after your MIT time.

Step 4: Devote the post-lunch day to taking care of ongoing tasks and other “reactionary work” that requires less mental stamina.

The Caveat

Although tackling hard work first seems like a no-brainer, I did have to alter the model a bit for it to work for me, which made me realize that this approach really depends on your personality. For some, it may be an easy switch that will exponentially increase productivity, but for others, it might cause extra stress. Leer más “My Revised “Most Important Task First” Model”

Organization Tips For Web Designers

As a web designer, you’re often forced to wear many different hats every day. You’re the CEO, creative director, office manager, coffee fetcher and sometimes even janitor. That’s a lot for anyone, and it certainly makes it difficult to find any time for quality creative thinking. Organization in any operation is important, and for our work as web designers it is important, too. The good news? You don’t have to have been born an organizational machine. Let’s look at what being organized means and a few strategies and tips to help you clean up that messy desk and get your work ducks in a nice neat row.

1. Organization 101

What it means to be an organized person or run an organized business is commonly misunderstood. Many people equate being organized with being fussy, which is not the case. Little labeled folders and neatly itemized lists are one way to stay organized, but they are merely tactics. The heart of organization is having a strategy. Being organized is simply a matter of using clearly defined and consistently implemented systems to get things done.

But how do you go about finding and implementing a strategy if you’re starting from square one? It begins with where you want to end up. Think about where you waste the most time or what frustrates you the most on a daily or weekly basis, and start there. Formulate simple clear goals and treat these overarching goals as the finish line in your strategy.

For example, if you have trouble paying all (and I mean every single one) of your bills on time because they are perpetually lost in the mess on your desk, make it a goal to pay every bill before it is due for the entire year. With this broad goal in mind, you can work on cleaning your desk and setting up a routine for paying each of your bills.


As a web designer, you’re often forced to wear many different hats every day. You’re the CEO, creative director, office manager, coffee fetcher and sometimes even janitor. That’s a lot for anyone, and it certainly makes it difficult to find any time for quality creative thinking. Organization in any operation is important, and for our work as web designers it is important, too. The good news? You don’t have to have been born an organizational machine. Let’s look at what being organized means and a few strategies and tips to help you clean up that messy desk and get your work ducks in a nice neat row.

1. Organization 101

What it means to be an organized person or run an organized business is commonly misunderstood. Many people equate being organized with being fussy, which is not the case. Little labeled folders and neatly itemized lists are one way to stay organized, but they are merely tactics. The heart of organization is having a strategy. Being organized is simply a matter of using clearly defined and consistently implemented systems to get things done.

But how do you go about finding and implementing a strategy if you’re starting from square one? It begins with where you want to end up. Think about where you waste the most time or what frustrates you the most on a daily or weekly basis, and start there. Formulate simple clear goals and treat these overarching goals as the finish line in your strategy.

For example, if you have trouble paying all (and I mean every single one) of your bills on time because they are perpetually lost in the mess on your desk, make it a goal to pay every bill before it is due for the entire year. With this broad goal in mind, you can work on cleaning your desk and setting up a routine for paying each of your bills. Leer más “Organization Tips For Web Designers”

How to Get More Done and Have More Fun

Have you ever thought that by simply rearranging your daily tasks you could increase your productivity, get more done and enjoy yourself more? The biggest asset of freelancers worldwide is that they usually do what they love, and love what they do. But, what happens when you get stressed with deadlines, long working hours and lots of clients and you don’t have any more time for yourself, your family or your personal projects?

Most of you are probably organized to some extent. Most of you probably have a to-do list where you add tasks that need to be done and tick them off once they’re completed. However, have you ever thought that by simply rearranging that to-do list you can rediscover that working is fun, pleasant and enjoyable? By simply rearranging to-dos you can give yourself daily boosts.

How? You may ask. In this post, I’ll answer that question and show you how to get more from your work and more time for yourself.


//freelancefolder.com | Bogdan Pop

Have you ever thought that by simply rearranging your daily tasks you could increase your productivity, get more done and enjoy yourself more? The biggest asset of freelancers worldwide is that they usually do what they love, and love what they do. But, what happens when you get stressed with deadlines, long working hours and lots of clients and you don’t have any more time for yourself, your family or your personal projects?

Most of you are probably organized to some extent. Most of you probably have a to-do list where you add tasks that need to be done and tick them off once they’re completed. However, have you ever thought that by simply rearranging that to-do list you can rediscover that working is fun, pleasant and enjoyable? By simply rearranging to-dos you can give yourself daily boosts.

How? You may ask. In this post, I’ll answer that question and show you how to get more from your work and more time for yourself.

Leer más “How to Get More Done and Have More Fun”

My Internship at Smashing Magazine: Social Sushi and Hard Work

With my arrival at Smashing Magazine, Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz have had to manage regular employees for the first time. Because they have worked from home for the past few years, the beginning of 2010 was a big change for them, too: they moved to the same city and got an actual office.

Christina Sitte (the team assistant), Manuela Müller (editor) and I all started on the same day, in mid-February. I was told to expect an office still in the process of being installed, but I actually felt comfortable from the very first day. I guess putting me in front of a computer also helped me to not feel disoriented.

Image1 in My Internship at Smashing Magazine: Social Sushi and Hard Work

Even though I was the only who didn’t speak German, I never felt lost, because everyone here tried hard to speak English as much as possible. I really appreciated it, and I must say I have noticed the same with German people in general. Never would you see French people putting so much effort into making someone feel not left out.

With the intention of binding this new team together, a decision was made to launch a collective project that would belong to all of us: a newsletter for the magazine. That’s when the addiction started. We set up meetings to discuss newsletter topics. The meetings led to lunches, and the lunches ended up becoming our strongest habit (even more regular than our working hours): Social Sushi. These casual Fridays, during which we could discuss anything together (except the newsletter), I will really miss… those and the free rolls.


With my arrival at Smashing Magazine, Vitaly Friedman and Sven Lennartz have had to manage regular employees for the first time. Because they have worked from home for the past few years, the beginning of 2010 was a big change for them, too: they moved to the same city and got an actual office.

Christina Sitte (the team assistant), Manuela Müller (editor) and I all started on the same day, in mid-February. I was told to expect an office still in the process of being installed, but I actually felt comfortable from the very first day. I guess putting me in front of a computer also helped me to not feel disoriented.

Image1 in My Internship at Smashing Magazine: Social Sushi and Hard Work

Even though I was the only who didn’t speak German, I never felt lost, because everyone here tried hard to speak English as much as possible. I really appreciated it, and I must say I have noticed the same with German people in general. Never would you see French people putting so much effort into making someone feel not left out.

With the intention of binding this new team together, a decision was made to launch a collective project that would belong to all of us: a newsletter for the magazine. That’s when the addiction started. We set up meetings to discuss newsletter topics. The meetings led to lunches, and the lunches ended up becoming our strongest habit (even more regular than our working hours): Social Sushi. These casual Fridays, during which we could discuss anything together (except the newsletter), I will really miss… those and the free rolls.

Image2 in My Internship at Smashing Magazine: Social Sushi and Hard Work
(Photo credit) Leer más “My Internship at Smashing Magazine: Social Sushi and Hard Work”

Freelancers Working From Home – Cures to Common Problems

Fixing this problem can be a bit challenging. First of all you have to try sticking to set hours. Close your office door when you’re done for the day and don’t allow yourself to go back in there. If you feel the need to work extra, allow yourself to do this on one scheduled day of the week – but not too often. Practicing this over time will have you feeling calmer about the whole situation, but especially in the beginning this can be tricky.
You’re “always” at Work

The previous point is about what you feel yourself about being in your work-environment during your spare time. This point is about what others feel. You could have people calling you after work hours or dropping by for work-related things, because you’re always there. If you have the required discipline to put all these things aside until your next day at work – great! If you don’t – you will feel as if you don’t have much private space.


By: Hilde Torbjornsen

If you’re a freelancer or have a small business, it’s very common to work out of your own home. Some bigger companies also offer this as a full or part-time solution for some of their workers. This type of work can be both a blessing and a curse in many ways. Here I’ve listed some of the most common problems you may run into, and some suggestions to how you can turn these into something you can live with.

Freelancers Working From Home
Image credit: EHPhoto

When you think about working from home, many positive things come to mind. You can work wearing your pajamas and walk to work in less than a minute – regardless of season and weather. You can also set most of the rules yourself, schedule personal appointments and vacations to fit with your work, listen to music as loud as you want and be in an environment you feel comfortable with. What you should be prepared for though, are the things that aren’t as glamorous.

In this article you’ll get to know some of them, along with some suggestions on how to make them work for you and not against you. Leer más “Freelancers Working From Home – Cures to Common Problems”

The first rule of productivity one thing at a time

Time management, in and of itself, will not really help you be more productive.

I’m talking about time management in the classic sense of the word. Getting through your “to do” list faster. It’s a complete waste of time.

What you really need to do is to look at everything that you have on your list, and pick the single most important thing. Then work on it, uninterrupted, until it’s completed.

The uninterrupted part is the toughest, by far. It’s SO easy and tempting to check your email, answer the phone, respond to an instant message, or click over to a website.


Time management, in and of itself, will not really help you be more productive.

I’m talking about time management in the classic sense of the word. Getting through your “to do” list faster. It’s a complete waste of time.

What you really need to do is to look at everything that you have on your list, and pick the single most important thing. Then work on it, uninterrupted, until it’s completed.

The uninterrupted part is the toughest, by far.  It’s SO easy and tempting to check your email, answer the phone, respond to an instant message, or click over to a website. Leer más “The first rule of productivity one thing at a time”

The Key to Creating Remarkable Things

No one likes the feeling that other people are waiting – impatiently – for you to get back to them.

At the beginning of the day, faced with an overflowing inbox, a list of messages on your voicemail, and the to-do list from your last meeting, it’s tempting to want to “clear the decks” before you start on your own most important work. When you’re up-to-date, you tell yourself, your mind will be clear and it will be easier to focus on the task at hand.The trouble with this approach is that you end up spending the best part of the day on other people’s priorities, running their errands, and giving them what they need. By the time you finally settle down to your own work, it could be mid-afternoon, when your energy has dipped and it’s hard to focus on anything properly. “Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be better,” you tell yourself.



by Mark McGuinness

No one likes the feeling that other people are waiting – impatiently – for you to get back to them.

At the beginning of the day, faced with an overflowing inbox, a list of messages on your voicemail, and the to-do list from your last meeting, it’s tempting to want to “clear the decks” before you start on your own most important work. When you’re up-to-date, you tell yourself, your mind will be clear and it will be easier to focus on the task at hand.The trouble with this approach is that you end up spending the best part of the day on other people’s priorities, running their errands, and giving them what they need. By the time you finally settle down to your own work, it could be mid-afternoon, when your energy has dipped and it’s hard to focus on anything properly. “Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be better,” you tell yourself. Leer más “The Key to Creating Remarkable Things”

Kiss your workload goodbye

Research shows 90 per cent of managers drown in the classic time wasters such as meetings, dealing with crises, mediating disputes and micro-managing instead of delegating, outsourcing or ignoring them altogether.
Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal’s research in the Harvard Business Review found only 10 per cent of managers spent time on work that had a long-term benefit to the business.


KATH LOCKETT

Research shows 90 per cent of managers drown in the classic time wasters such as meetings, dealing with crises, mediating disputes and micro-managing instead of delegating, outsourcing or ignoring them altogether.
Heike Bruch and Sumantra Ghoshal‘s research in the Harvard Business Review found only 10 per cent of managers spent time on work that had a long-term benefit to the business.

When office affairs take over the bedroom, the lounge …

“The most troubling thing was that people were trying to hide from their partner and kids to spend time checking emails,” Ms Gregg said.

Part-time workers also checked emails on non-work days to “keep things moving”.

People who worked entirely from home felt enormous pressure to be diligent by answering emails immediately, to prove they were not “at the coffee shop”.


DANIELLE TEUTSCH

Some people are checking emails around the clock – to the detriment of their private lives – and never feel they have left the virtual office, research suggests.

Blurring the boundaries … Checking emails at the pub is a habit of many BlackBerry users.
MANY workers are caught in an insidious technology trap of being permanently online.

Melissa Gregg, of Sydney University‘s department of gender and cultural studies, conducted interviews with 26 employees in information industries who did at least some work from home.

// “This study was designed to pick up all that extra work that goes on outside the office, which is generally sold to us as this new freedom to be in touch with work when it suits us,” Ms Gregg said. Leer más “When office affairs take over the bedroom, the lounge …”

Flexibility key to employee health


Reuters
Image via Wikipedia

Work stress.Stress test … workers with little control over their working conditions experience higher stress levels.

People who have some control over their working hours may be healthier in both mind and body than those in less flexible jobs, according to a US study.

Analysing 10 published studies involving about 16,600 workers, researchers found that certain work conditions that gave employees some control – such as self-scheduling shift work and gradual or partial retirement – were linked to health benefits.

Those benefits included lower blood pressure and heart rate, and better quality sleep and less fatigue during the day.

But the findings, published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, do not prove that flexible work schedules lead to better health although they support the theory that “control at work is good for health,” said the researchers.

Dr. Clare Bambra of Britain’s Durham University said according to that theory, reduced stress may be what bestows the benefits although there are other possibilities as well.

A flexible work schedule might, for instance, make it easier for people to find time for exercise, Bambra told Reuters Health.

For years, studies have found links between “high job strain” and heightened rates of heart disease, depression and other ills. Researchers define high job strain as work that is demanding but allows employees little to no control over how they work.

This has sparked increasing interest in whether there are health benefits to be gained from non-traditional work conditions like self-scheduling, “flextime,” telecommuting from home, and job sharing.

For their review, Bambra and her colleagues used 10 studies that all followed workers for at least six months and had to compare employees with flexible conditions with another group.

But Bambra said a shortcoming of all the studies in the review was that none was a randomized controlled trial.

Bambra said those types of studies “are needed before we can make any real conclusions. The data we have is indicative rather than definitive.”

But she said they found no evidence that flexible work conditions stand to harm employees’ well-being so for now employers and policy makers can consider self-scheduling and gradual retirement to be “plausible means” for promoting employee health.

Reuters

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