Calling All Freelancers: How You Can Take Better Care of Yourself

Being able to work from home can bring with it some great flexibility and the freedom to do things as and when you need to. You’re only accountable to yourself, and you decide your workload and the hours that you work. But with that freedom, comes some responsibility; you may be accountable to only you about your work, but also about your health. In an office, an employer is required to adhere to certain guidelines to make sure that you’re working in a healthy and safe environment. But when you’re working at home and by yourself, the only person that will be telling you to take a break or get a new desk chair is you. So what can you to do be more accountable for your health when you’re self-employed? Here are some of the ways you can take better care of yourself.

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Assess Your Desk

Hopefully you have a desk or an office space that you work in at home. You should check the space out and see what you can be doing to make sure that it is a comfortable and safe space. Is your desk chair up to scratch? Is it adjustable and movable? If it isn’t, then it could be worth looking to invest in a new one. Have you got a footrest or somewhere for your wrists to avoid things like repetitive strain? All of these kind of thing can make a difference to your health and posture overall, and stop you getting aches and pains when you’re doing your work.

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Improve Your Health

As well as the environment that you’re in, your own health can have an impact on how well you’re able to work. And at the end of the day, as a freelancer, you’re likely to not get paid unless you are working. So it pays to stay well; literally. So think about regular exercise breaks to take a walk or go to the gym. Think about what you’re eating and drinking; it can be hard to get up early and do work if you’re hungover or feel so lethargic from eating sugar-filled foods. You could also look to purchase health care products online like a blood pressure monitor or a mattress that could help you sleep better. Be proactive and you’re likely to deal with any issues before they actually crop up.

Banish Loneliness

Working freelance can be very rewarding. But sometimes your only contact with someone else during the day can be the mailman! So it can be a pretty lonely place, especially if you work online and deal with people via emails. So in order for it to not impact your mental health, you need to think about what you can do to tackle it. It could mean that you decide to schedule conference calls or Skype calls rather than email. You could work from a coffee shop once a week or even hire a desk in an office. Just do what you need to do to banish that feeling of loneliness.

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Feeling Run Down, But What Can You Do?

We all have days, weeks or even months where we feel run down and worse for wear. Perhaps you have been having a difficult time at work, or maybe you are having family issues. Either way, it can take a lot out of you, effecting both your mind and your body. The good news is that there are a variety of ways to improve the situation and we’re talking about both emotionally and physically. Some routes to recovery will boost your body as well as your soul. Perhaps then, it is best to start off by thinking about meditation.

Using Your Mind As A Muscle

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If you have been feeling stressed lately, you should try meditation. Through meditation, you can calm the mind in a very unique way. To start meditating, you don’t need a trainer, you just need to sit down and think about nothing. Or, rather, since this is actually very difficult, think about something. It doesn’t matter what that something is. It could be a bee sitting on a flower. The important thing is that the idea doesn’t grow or expand and instead remains constant in your mind. This isn’t actually as simple as it sounds.

To help, you can think about using music to focus your mind or certain sounds like the noise of the rainforest. CDs and MP3 files like this are easy to come by. When you do meditate, you need to find somewhere quiet where you can be alone. This could be somewhere in your home or if your house is a little bit or a disaster zone, somewhere outside, perhaps in the middle of the forest. It just needs to be a place where you will remain completely undisturbed.

Many people wonder how long you need to meditate for if it is going to be effective. We suggest you spend about an hour or even just half an hour a few times a week meditating. This should be more than enough time to get the impact of this type of calming exercise.

Meditation can be an incredibly powerful tool. Researchers discovered that through meditation, Buddhist monks actually completely restructured their mind. Different pathways were built up in the brain that had never been seen before. However, you probably won’t gain this type of change. So, what benefits could you reap from meditation?

Well, the main advantage would essentially be mindfulness. Through mindfulness, your mind will be clearer, and you will be able to focus on different issues and challenges present in your life. If you have a problem at work or even in your personal life, with meditation, you might find that you know how to cope with it and deal effectively.

Of course, if you want to get the best of both worlds, you may wish to think about yoga. Yoga isn’t quite meditation, but the breathing exercises directly control how much oxygen your brain receives. As well as this, it soothes the body, so it has a double impact on you. Yoga can be learned without assistance. However, you might find it more effective if you do recruit the support of a teacher.

Lavish In A Little Luxury

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Alternatively, you might want to think about retreating to a spa, perhaps for a weekend. There are a variety of spa service options to choose form with everything from massages to beauty techniques and body healing methods on the table. You should perhaps start with a full body massage. You will be amazed how much better you could feel after this type of treatment. Muscles can get very tense and terse. You might have heard of people getting knots in their back. This is because they have become so stressed they are actually struggling to cope and the body is starting to take the toll. By getting a massage from a professional, your body will heal, and you can come away feeling completely refreshed.

Bear in mind that getting a massage isn’t the same as asking your partner to rub your back in bed. Massages are almost a science where you need to hit the right spot in the right way. If you don’t take the right technique, then a massage won’t be all that beneficial. This is why it might be worth paying for a service from an expert.

Of course, a massage isn’t the only treatment that you can get when you head away to a spa. You might also want to think about looking into acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture is a Chinese health remedy and one that has become very popular with western culture. A number of celebrities seem to love this method of healing and regularly get treatment. Acupuncture therapy perpetuates the notion that there are energy fields around the body and with the needles, the pressure points can be released and relieved. While the effects of this could be the placebo effect, so many people claim they feel better after the treatment that you might want to try it. If, you’re not afraid of needles.

If you are a little squeamish about pointy objects, you might want to focus on the way you look rather than how you feel. After all, looking like a mess can make you feel the same way. When you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror if you like what you see, you’ll have a more positive outlook through the day than if you hate your reflection. As such, it might be worth exploring ways to give your skin back its colour and rejuvenate your complexion.

One of the ways that you can do this is with nutrients and minerals that can be addressed to a facemask. Wearing an organic facemask, your skin will absorb the benefits from the minerals and nutrients, healing the skin. This can be a fantastic way to minimise the impact of wrinkles and other troubling signs of age such as spots. Don’t underestimate how much changing the way you look could impact how you feel. If you feel beautiful, you’ll have the confidence you need to tackle life’s greatest challenges.

Trouble Inside?

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Of course, you might find that you’re feeling run down purely because of your body. It’s not an emotional issue, it’s a totally physical issue that is causing an emotional effect. This could be due to a build-up of residue in your colon. Your colon is used to break down and dispel food from the body but a lot of food residue can build up that is essentially body waste. This waste can cause a number of impacts including an emotional response. It can make you feel sluggish and tired.

This is one of the reasons why a number of medical experts recommend that you get your system cleared out at least once annually. Clearing out your system you should feel better almost immediately. If you do have this issue, a key sign is that you will struggle to lose weight. An issue like this could mean that you are carrying as much as 25 pounds extra in weight. A lot of people think that a colon cleanse is a medical procedure, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a variety of natural cleanses like herbal tea. Using herbal tea, you can quickly and safely clear out this area of your body without any unpleasant issues.

Since we’re talking about the food in the body, it’s worth mentioning that your diet can definitely have an impact on how you feel. Eating food that is unhealthy will almost always have an impact on the way you feel and all of your emotions. It can increase feelings of fatigue and cause you to experience low moods and feel completely lethargic even in the middle of the day. That’s why if you are feeling down in the dumps you may want to look at your diet. Try and add some more fruit and veg and see what kind of impact that has because you might be surprised. More importantly, do your best to stay away from processed foods.

All foods are too an extent processed however it’s the ready meals that are the real issue. These meals are packed with sugar to add flavour, and the levels of sugar often contained tend to play havoc with the body.

Run For Your Life

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Last but not least, you might want to consider heading out for a run if you’re feeling tired and run down. This might seem counterproductive. After all, surely running is going to tire you out even more. But according to research, running can be beneficial for levels of stress and may even have an impact on ageing. As such, it could certainly be worth giving it a shot. The benefit of the running, of course, is that it actually gives every area of your body a workout. This is one of the reasons why, despite the strain, people tend to feel invigorated after a long run.

We hope you find this advice useful and work to build yourself back up when you’re feeling completely out of it and run down.

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Age Is Just a Number: Fun Ways To Keep Fit With Older Relatives

They say you’re only as old and you feel, and regular exercise is one of the best ways of staying young. If you enjoy fitness and you’re keen to spread the word and get your relatives involved, what better way to spend more quality time together than finding fun ways to keep fit? Here are some examples of activities you can try with your parents or grandparents.

Swimming

Swimming is a brilliant form of exercise for people of all ages. It has benefits for your stamina, strength and endurance, and it can be particularly beneficial for those carrying injuries and those who suffer from chronic aches and pains. When you’re in the water, it bears your body weight, making this is a much gentler form of working out than running, jumping or lifting weights.

Walking

Going for a walk enables you to get some fresh air, have a chat and get those muscles working. Walking is less intensive than jogging, and you can do it anywhere you like. Being in the outdoors is proven to improve mental health, and you can burn around 100 calories per mile if you go at a steady pace. Walking may not always be the most suitable option if you have an older relative who suffers from joint pain or the effects of previous falls or injuries. If you are thinking about trying to integrate walking into a therapy or rehabilitation program, call McKnight Place for advice and information. Exercise can be hugely beneficial, but it’s important that every individual engages in activities that will improve their health rather than putting them at risk of injury.

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Yoga

Yoga is a type of exercise, which offers a huge range of benefits. This is a low-impact activity, which is designed to strengthen the joints and improve suppleness and flexibility. As you age, it’s common to become stiffer, and yoga can help to loosen up the joints and make you more mobile. Yoga is also a great stress-buster, and if you go to a class, this is an excellent opportunity to meet new people and be sociable.

Dancing

If your parents were movers and shakers back in the day or you’ve got a grandparent who wants to be more active and have fun at the same time, why not look into dance classes you can do together? There are so many different types of dance, and you don’t have to be naturally talented to take something out of every session. Develop your skills, meet new people and enjoy the time you have together. Dancing is a great way of letting your hair down and having a laugh, but it can also help you burn more than 400 calories per hour.

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Exercise is a natural way of boosting your health and well-being. If you’re keen to spend more time with older relatives and encourage them to stay as active as possible, why not try some of these fun activities? You get the chance to see each other more often, and you’ll be enjoying a host of health benefits too.

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Self Improvement: Taking Steps Towards A Happier You

When you have a busy work and home life; it can be easy to forget about your wellbeing, and often you’ll get pushed to the bottom of your priority list. It’s easy to focus on other people, and make sure that their happiness is paramount in all you do. However, maintaining your own satisfaction, health, and happiness can be far more difficult. If you don’t focus on yourself a little more; you’ll end up suffering from stress and fatigue, and looking after your other responsibilities will have to take a backseat while you recover.

Therefore, there no better time to start thinking about all the things that will improve you as a person and your lifestyle as a whole. Get your notebook and pen ready, and write down a list of things that you’d like to achieve in the near future. Work backwards from each point or goal so that you end up with the steps you’ll need to take towards self-improvement and happiness in the coming months. The following are some ideas, inspiration, and advice for those who are seeking a little push in the right direction to learn how to achieve positive changes in their life.

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If You Can: Fix It!

There’s no use in worrying or moaning about something that you’re able to fix with a little effort and planning. Making positive decisions about your health, situation, and wellbeing is the best way to improve your life and yourself in the meantime. Therefore, whether you need to look for reliable eye centre for Lasik eye surgery so that your vision improves, or you need to visit a physiotherapist to sort out the pains in your knee that have stopped you exercising; there’s no time like the present. Often, it can be easier at the time to ignore those things you can live with. However, being proactive and changing things is the best way to improve your life, and you’ll never regret that boost of positivity.

Help Others And Grow

Aside from those in your immediate family and close friends that you feel responsible for; you may not have made much time to help others. However, volunteering and spending time with those in need will help you to grow and develop as a person. You’ll not only be improving another’s life; you’ll be able to reap the rewards and who knows where your actions may lead. Helping others can enhance your self-esteem, which will lead to inner confidence and self-worth; this might just get you that date you wanted, or a promotion at work, so it’s well worth investing your time.

It’s crucial that you look into each part of your lifestyle and yourself; you’ll be able to find out what you can achieve, and you can then ensure that you’re doing all you can to change things for the better. Stay positive and proactive, and make a conscious decision each day to do things a little differently so that you can make great decisions and have a bright future ahead.

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Mastering Adulthood One Piece At A Time

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For most people, the idea of leaving school when they are young is one of the greatest things imaginable. The thought of complete freedom and a life without school is very grand, and most kids will embrace it wholeheartedly. That is, of course, until they actually get to experience it, and are exposed to the challenges it can bring. Being an adult is never easy. But, it doesn’t have to be all hard, and this post is here to help you out. It will be exploring five of the most important areas of adult life, along with the ways that you can keep them under control for yourself. So, now, being nice and responsible should come as second nature.

Finance

The very first area to consider in this is finance. Budgeting, saving, investing, and even donating to charity are all a huge part of life, and you will need to get to grips with them before you can be confident in your abilities as an adult. The best place for help in this area is usually the bank. This sort of organization will be able to give you impartial advice, while also pointing you in the right direction to help you learn. As your knowledge expands, you can begin to look elsewhere for money or debt help, using all of the sources you can get your hands on. Of course, though, there’s no shame in getting help with something like this, and an accountant is an excellent way to do it.

Work & Career

Next, it’s time to start thinking about your career. As a child, you probably had loads of big ideas about your future, and most of them will have been unrealistic. Over time, a lot of people will lose touch with these aspirations, settling in a role they don’t enjoy. To avoid this, you need to always remain on the hunt for something better in your career. Whether this is a promotion or a new job, it’s important to keep on rising, or you might find it hard to change in the future. Not a lot of people will take this area seriously. In reality, though, this will start before you even leave school.

Social Life

The success you find in your career and financial life will greatly depend on the support of those around you. No one can get through life completely on their own, and most people will want to have a good host of friends to keep them happy. There are no set rules to this part of your life. But, to make sure you don’t end up alone, you will need to make sure that you keep in touch with a good range of people. Having a couple of close friends is very common. Along with this, though, it can also be good to have some other friends on the outside of your main group.

Family

Friends are going to be the only people you need to give time to in your life. Along with this, most people will also want to spend a lot of time with their family, though this can be hard when you’re starting out in life. When you’re very busy, days can become weeks since you last spoke to someone you care about. In most cases, this won’t diminish your relationship, but it could leave one side of the party feeling bad about it. To avoid this, you should work hard to keep a regular routine in place with your loved ones. Not only will this keep you in contact, but it could also help you to keep a stronger bond.

Health & Mind

Finally, it’s time to think about yourself for a little bit, with your physical and mental health as your key concern. A lot of people ignore these parts of their life when they are first starting out in the world. Keeping fit and happy can seem unimportant when you’re starting an exciting career or your own business. Of course, though, it’s not worth making yourself unhealthy for your job. Instead, you should be aiming to balance these parts of your life, making them work together. This might be hard, but achieving it will make life quite a lot easier.

When you’re first getting started in life, the important things will often be put aside for your other interests. Of course, though, you can leave things like this until later on, as they have to be carefully managed throughout your life. Thankfully, you’re not alone in this challenges, and there are loads of people out there to help you.

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How NOT to Deal with Stress

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Stress is an issue that affects all of us at one point or another. And you have probably already heard a whole host of advice that people offer about the ways that you can deal with it. Get plenty of exercise. Do some yoga. Spend time alone. While this is often sage advice, we will not be focusing on it in this article. Instead, we will be looking at some of the most self-destructive and damaging ways that you can tackle stress, which often leads to further problems somewhere down the line.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people only tackle their problems in the short-term. It is like putting a band aid on when what they really need is surgery. There are a whole host of coping mechanisms that provide a quick fix, but they don’t get to the root of the problem. While there is nothing wrong with indulging yourself or some escapism from time to time, these are not things that you should become over-reliant upon. So, let’s delve further into some of the ways NOT to deal with stress which are better off avoided.

Drinking, Smoking and Other Vices

Probably the most common way of dealing with stress is by overindulging in a negative vice. For some people alcohol or coffee, for others, this is nicotine or other drugs. And while any of these things may bring about positive feelings in the short-term, they are never long-term solutions. If you have a high amount of stress in your life at any one time, you could find that these things spiral into a bigger issue and may even lead to addiction. If you feel like this is happening to you, take a look at addiction and abuse treatment at Serenity at Summit. Ignoring these problems is never the answer.

One of the main issues with a lot of these habits is that they only increase the negative effects that stress has on the body such as raising your blood pressure, disrupting your sleep patterns and generally increasing your feelings of anxiety. This then leads to a vicious cycle of feeling more stressed out and going back to the vice over and over again.

Hibernation

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The thought of just curling up under your duvet until the problems go away is certainly a tempting one. But sleeping too much isn’t going to do you much good in the long-run. Some research has actually shown that the more sleep you get, the more tired you feel. And again, we are back into vicious cycle territory where you are not taking steps to deal with the causes of stress head-on. While getting enough sleep is good for your health, getting too much can have a detrimental effect. Human beings naturally tend to avoid problems where they see them, so instead of throwing the covers over your face, you need to face what is causing you stress.

Ignore the Problem

As we already mentioned, there is nothing wrong with a little bit of escapism from time to time. The problems arise when you are actively avoiding the issues that you have to deal with. A common way of doing this is by watching hours and hours of TV. In fact, becoming a sloth is more likely to add to your issues by making you feel depressed because you are not doing anything to tackle your problems.

While it may feel good to avoid your problems, there is always that constant nagging at the back of your mind that there is something that you should be doing. Instead, you should try to break down your problem and tackle it step by step. Start by writing out a plan of action detailing what you are going to do. Set yourself clear timescales otherwise these things could easily drag on indefinitely. Appeal to other people for help if you need it. Things always seem a lot easier when you have someone you trust who is also working on solving your problem. When you are clearly taking steps to deal with the causes of your stress, it will naturally start to diminish and dissipate.

Dwell on the Negative

Negative thinking is toxic, but it is also very easy to engage in. For example, if you have made a mistake at work, you may instantly start thinking that you are going to get disciplined or fired. In reality, the consequences are rarely as serious as you imagine they might be. And you have caused yourself a great deal of stress and anxiety simply by focusing on them too much.

Instead of blowing everything out of proportion, you should aim to be more realistic in your thinking. No one is going to be as hard on you as you are yourself. Even if you did make a mistake at work, it is highly likely that people have already moved onto the next thing while it is still keeping you up at night. Instead of berating yourself, try looking at things from a different perspective. Pretend that you are offering advice to one of your close friends. You are much more likely to have some constructive and positive things to say with this approach.

Eat Your Feelings Away

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Like the other harmful coping methods that we have already discussed, eating too much certainly fits into this category as well. If every time you feel stressed, you immediately open a big bag of potato chips or head over to your local drive-thru, your body and mind will begin to naturally link the negative emotions you have been experiencing with eating. And then, this will start to become a habit and you will do the same thing every time you feel sad, angry or stressed. Once again, we have to mention the vicious cycle as overeating can cause weight gain, which in turn, makes you feel worse about yourself.

Take it Out on Other People

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A common way of reacting when people become stressed is by lashing out at the people around them. So, you may become angry over a little thing that your partner or your kids does. Instead of dealing with the problem, you are instead transferring in onto others who are usually not the cause of the stress you are feeling. Over time, this can lead to divisions between your friends and family members. And you will probably add to your negative feeling stockpile by feeling guilty about what you have said or done to them.

Your friends and family should be there to provide you with support, and they are much more able to do this if you speak to them about what you are going through rather than speaking to them in anger.

These are the main harmful coping methods that people use when they are feeling stressed. And while they may all be tempting, they are not going to help you out in the long-run. So, if you have identified yourself when you have read through these things, it is time to learn some new techniques for stress management. There are plenty out there, so you just need to check out a few before discovering what works best for you. That is not to say that it is a big problem if you indulge in your vices from time to time. But you need to be able to differentiate between helpful and harmful stress coping mechanisms so you can increase the former and reduce the latter.

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Out of Office Reply: How to Enjoy a Stress-Free Vacation

It can be viewed as a positive that technology allows us to stay connected with the office and work colleagues when we are on the road but if you are trying to switch off and take a break for a few days that level of availability could soon stress you out.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to manage a stress-free vacation and unplug from the usual lines of communication, including how to prepare for some downtime, how to cope with tech temptation, plus a solution to help you truly switch off.

Advance notice

One of the best ways of ensuring that your emails and voicemail don’t start stacking up is to give plenty of notice to work colleagues and contacts that you are taking a break from work.

If you can notify everyone relevant that you are going to be out of the office and on vacation at least a couple of weeks before you head for the airport and the beach, that gives everyone time to prepare and expect your absence for a period of time.

Not only is it a good business courtesy to give advance notice of your intended vacation it should help to ensure that you don’t get anything like the usual volume of contact and correspondence.

Disconnection discipline

Venues like the Greenbelt Marriott Hotel Maryland are geared up to provide the sort of services you expect as a business traveler such as Wi-Fi access, but when you are trying to take a vacation rather than work, it can be a tempting dilemma.

If you use your smartphone and tablet as part of your private life via social media it means that you are unlikely to want to leave your tech at home, but that raises the temptation to check on your work while you are online.

Consider setting up vacation messages on your business email accounts and setup call-divert so that colleagues can field messages on your behalf while you are away.

Drawing the line between work and play can be a challenge but if you are going to properly relax on vacation and take a break it will involve a disciplined approach to going online.

Going off-grid

A good way of truly getting away from it all and removing yourself from the usual work distractions is to plan some travel where you put yourself out of cell range.

Giving yourself a digital detox by going off-grid can work wonders in terms of giving you time to clear your mind and recharge your own batteries when your regular tech tools are rendered inoperative.

Aim to delegate tasks and defer projects that can wait until you get back to work so that you don’t stress out unduly about not being reachable for a few days.

In order to achieve a good level of business performance throughout the year, it is essential that you make the most of your opportunity to unplug and unwind on your vacation so that you are physically and mentally fit and ready when you get back.

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Staying Motivated When You’re All Alone

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There are two sides to every coin. That is a fact. So while working from home has an abundance of benefits that always accompany it to the ball (either you’re either your own boss or you get to avoid your actual boss!) there are some downsides too, most notably trying to stay motivated.

It is one nasty double-edged sword. All of your responsibilities rely on you staying motivated but because you work from home staying motivated is like trying to get out of bed in the mornings – almost impossible at times.

In fact, a lot of work-from-homers find they stop striving to take their work or business to the next level and become content with what they are earning now.

If this is you. If you find your flow stops every so often, or you start slacking now and then and taking extended lunch breaks to scroll through Facebook, then read on because we have some tips that can help you stay motivated.

Short-Term Goals Only
Long-term goals rarely work for the simple fact they seem so unattainable. WIt is like the whole climate change thing. We all know that we need to do more but because it seems so unattainable we don’t do enough. But if we all started eating locally sourced food or taking shorter showers we would get there. The same goes for your goals. Keep them small and you will get there. Start with something small, like trying to earn an extra $75 a week, and then revel in all that extra cash you are making each month and push it again.

Get Inspired Again
We live in a day and age that is totally dominated by the Internet. But while this is a huge source of your procrastination problem, it can also be used for good too. You could use it to partake in MBA online accredited programs that teach you how to be a more effective business leader. You could set aside half an hour every morning to watch a TED Talk and get inspired by people that can help you improve. You could join a forum that is designed to help people that work from home. All of these will give you that kick up the rump you may need.

Look At Your Vision
There is a lot to be said for a vision board. It could be that you wallpaper the wall in front of your desk or just hang a pinboard to the right of where you sit. So long as you have a place where all your wants and dreams can be seen on a daily basis it doesn’t matter. It could be a house, a car, places you want to visit, a particular client that you want to land. By having something that constantly reminds you of why you are doing what you do you will find your motivation levels spike. You will have a reminder of everything you can achieve if you stop procrastinating and keep working hard.

One thing that is worth noting is the importance of a break too. If the creative juices aren’t flowing, don’t force them. That’s as important to your motivation as anything else.

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