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10 Ways to Minimize Distractions & Still Get Work Done

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Finding yourself without a choice and having to work from home?

If you aren’t fully accustomed to working from home, it might seem like a vacation at first.

The kids at home, lounging around.

No alarm at 5:30 a.m.

No tedious commute, half-hour lunch break, office bustle.

You can work in your pajamas, spend quality time with family, and binge watch your favorite Netflix shows whenever you want.

But a few days in, reality might just hit – and hard.

This is not easy.

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The kids are bored, grumpy, and rebellious.

The house is a mess.

It’s 3 p.m. and you still haven’t started the project your boss sent in yesterday.

Cue the tears.

What do you do?

Can you survive working from home?

If this sounds like you, remember.

It’s going to be OK.

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It’s OK if you haven’t gotten your act together just yet.

In fact, it took me years to figure out how to run no less than five brands from home, write my three books, plus raise my daughter – and work with my husband.

But it gets easier, I promise.

All you need is determination and a few tricks and strategies here and there.

In this blog, I’ll show you how to do it.

10 Things You Should Do If You Want to Be Productive Working From Home

Stick to these 10 tips and tricks and your home will soon be running like a well-oiled machine.

Plus, you’ll get your work done on time and impress your boss!

1. Don’t Treat Working from Home Like a Vacation

It’s super tempting to wake up at noon and check your emails while eating breakfast in bed.

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Don’t do that. Just don’t.

What you need to get productive is structure.

  • Set your alarm for the same time each morning.
  • Create a schedule for the whole family, including specific time slots for each activity.
  • Eat meals and go to bed on time.
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You’ll be surprised to find you don’t have as much time in a day as you think.

When you set a routine, you’ll stay on track and accomplish everything you need to get done.

2. Dress the Part

Resist the urge to work in your favorite silk PJs.

Instead, take a shower in the morning. Get dressed in attractive clothes. Do your hair.

This will wake you up and tell your body it’s time to get to work.

Remember, you don’t need to wear the full suit-and-tie getup. Simply changing out of the clothes you slept in will do the trick.

3. Keep Your Blood Circulating

Take regular breaks!

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The longer you sit at your computer, the less productive you’ll be.

I work best in sprints.

For example, I’ll set my productivity timer to 30 minutes.

For 30 minutes, I’ll throw 100% of my energy into my work.

When the timer reaches 30, I get up and stretch for 5 minutes.

Then, I return to work for another 30 minutes.

This activity keeps the brain creative, active, and fresh.

Trust me!

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4. Create Your Schedule around Your Biological Prime Time

Your biological prime time is the time of day when your energy levels peak.

Here’s an example.

biological prime time for energy

This prime time is different for every person.

That’s why we have “early risers” and “night owls.”

Once you find your biological prime time, use it to do the tasks that demand the most creativity and energy.

Save the easier jobs for when your motivation and focus drop.

5. Plan the Kids’ Activities

Humans thrive with routine, and this includes kids!

Routine will give your kids a sense of purpose and keep them from feeling bored and grumpy.

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  • Plan fun kid-friendly activities in advance.
  • Negotiate with your partner. For example, I have my own designated “working hours” where my husband plays with our daughter while I focus on work.
  • Think of technology as a friend. Don’t feel guilty about giving kids extra screen time, especially if it’s for educational activities. Personally, I love Khan Academy Kids and Education.com.
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6. Negotiate with Your Family

Be clear about boundaries.

You don’t want your kids yelling in your ear because of a petty fight when you’re deep into a project from your boss!

To avoid this, plan for times when you’ll be “off limits.”

During these times, family members leave you alone to focus on your work.

7. Decorate Your Workspace

At first, it seems like a great idea to work with the kids around.

One big happy family around the living room, right?

Not so much.

In a while, you’ll realize working with the kids around is distracting.

What you should do is create your own dedicated workspace.

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Then, make this workspace as comfortable and beautiful as you can.

Invest in an ergonomic desk. Add some art and greenery. Line up your books by the window.

This is what my personal home office looks like.

Julia McCoy's work from home office

8. Treat Yourself to Quality Tools

Great tools inspire you to keep working even when your energy levels drop.

What tools should you invest in?

Really, it depends on your taste and how you like to work.

But excellent examples include a dual-monitor setup, a fancy mouse, and even a music player to get you in the right mood.

9. Don’t Let Your Social Life Die Out

Humans are social creatures, which means too much time in isolation will make you feel irritable and depressed.

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But thanks to technology, you can always hop on a Zoom call with colleagues and talk about your current projects.

Or you can start up a conversation with friends or family through Facebook Messenger.

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The idea is to keep your social channels open so you feel alive and inspired throughout the day.

10. Be Kind to Your Body

I simply cannot stress this enough.

Take care of yourself.

Eat the Right Food

In a trying time like this, you’ll be tempted to pop a TV dinner into the microwave and call it a night.

Don’t do it.

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Remember, your body’s output depends on the kind of food you take in.

So, if your diet consists of processed foods, sweets, and unhealthy snacks, you’ll end up feeling exhausted before the day is done.

Instead, eat right.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.

For instance, a simple salad of leafy green vegetables will give you more brainpower than a frozen pizza.

Drink a Ton of Water

Keep hydrated! Water flushes out toxins in your body and leaves you feeling energetic and refreshed. Plus, it’s calorie-free!

Take Time to Exercise

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You don’t have to do a full-body workout every single day.

Simply follow the right guidelines for staying physically active to keep healthy and strong.

  • Don’t sit down for more than 30 minutes at a time.
  • Follow an online workout routine.
  • Walk around the house, stretch, and set aside time for meditation.

How to Stay Sane While Working From Home

There’s no question working from home can be overwhelming and confusing. Especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

But also, it can be fantastic.

When you know the right tips and tricks, you can turn a nightmare quarantine time into something productive, enjoyable, and even memorable.

More Resources:


Image Credits

In-Post Image #1: A Life of Productivity
In-Post Image #2: Provided by author 

Searchenginejournal.com

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HOWTO'S

How SEO Works in Digital Marketing

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how-seo-works-in-digital-marketing

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an integral part of digital marketing.

SEO helps with brand discoverability. When done right, SEO can create the most consistent and by far the highest-quality traffic source which doesn’t require on-going maintenance.

Yet, SEO is usually the most isolated part of the marketing. Whether it is an in-house team or a third-party service that’s delivering your SEO campaigns, it usually exists on its own without really communicating goals, progress or results to the whole company.

This creates silos that can lead to poor results and even reputation crises.

How does SEO work in digital marketing and how can a business make it work better?

What is SEO?

SEO is a collection of tactics (content, technical, link building, even website security and usability) that ensures that your website is easy to understand for search engines.

Basically, it ensures a machine knows that your page will be easy to find to a human being who is looking to solve a related problem.

Search engine traffic is one of the highest-quality traffic for many reasons:

  • Unlike PPC (paid) traffic, it doesn’t require an ongoing investment to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic,  it doesn’t require an ongoing work to keep coming
  • Unlike social media traffic, you are not interrupting people’s browsing. Instead you give them what they were actually searching for.

In other words, it is consistent and it converts well. No other digital marketing tactic beats that.

Apart from driving direct traffic, search engine optimization helps build brand awareness by increasing your brand’s organic findability.

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Keep Your Whole Team Aware of Why SEO is Important

The great thing about today is that everyone understands the value of ranking high on Google! Sadly, however, many folks only know that they “need SEO” without having really understood what that means. 

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SEO these days is too hard for a digital marketer to do alone. Many SEOs find themselves in situations where an executive will simply come down and go “Why are we not ranking well for ‘dingwobble’?” 

Keep working hard with teams for them to understand how they contribute to the SEO process:

  • Product Marketers who are responsible for the business, personas and messaging understand that SEO is critical to driving the bottom line revenue numbers they are looking at. Part of the persona developing process should be the development of the “digital persona” – what websites and search terms are these people looking for? This helps the product marketer when it comes time to develop messaging, as that is going to be critical for developing the content, so the right search terms better be there!
  • Field Marketers responsible for the campaigns need to know how SEO fits within their campaign, how it in fact is core to our demand generation, and how to make sure to keep the campaigns integrated.
  • Marketing Communications is creating the content, so SEO should very well be top of mind for them, as the content itself will be critical in impacting how successful SEO will be.
  • But that’s not all! Often, other groups are creating content (Press Releases, Blog Posts, Presentations, etc.) that also end up on the web and impact SEO. Whether it’s Corporate Communications, Investor Relations or even Legal teams, working with them is critical.
  • IT manages the infrastructure and can be very critical to the technical aspects of SEO.
  • Sales and customer support teams are at the forefront of marketing talking to your future and current customers, so they need to be involved in the SEO strategy. Creating relevant content goes beyond keywords. It needs to address real problems and answer actual people’s questions, and your client-facing teams will be your best source of inspiration here.  
  • Executives also care! While they can’t often influence the day-to-day of SEO, they will care a lot about the bottom line, to which SEO contributes.
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Educating all of these people about SEO helps empower them, as well as position yourself, the SEO, as the subject matter expert who is not just someone back-office who gives very little visibility into the black box of SEO, but someone who is actively educating and contributing to the organization’s success.

Review and discuss common KPIs early and often to make sure everyone knows what victory looks like to the team.

Additionally, SEO should be a solid part of any project launch as it impacts every stage of product positioning. From choosing a business name to choosing a website builder, your initial efforts should be driven by SEO best practices.

What is the key to SEO success in a constantly changing environment?

As a practitioner of SEO, I believe that you need to look to ensure you are looking at both developing yourself in both depth and breadth of knowledge. A key danger in the name of being informed or being a part of the SEO community is spending all your time debating tactics and practices rather than testing them. 

Additionally, SEOs as with all employees need to look outside their field to stretch and learn how to be more well rounded. This could mean learning to code, or educating yourself in some other area of the business you work for.  This will expose you to ideas others may not have.

As a manager of people, success is really about diversity of expertise. Who you hire and the kind of people you hire will be far more valuable than much of what people invest in with regards to SEO programs. You have to have people who can roll with the punches and develop a skill for self-management and personal growth. 

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Finally, I think knowing what your real goals are in having an SEO program are the key to long term success. The reality is you may get more traffic, but if that traffic is not from qualified leads and generates real revenue then the benefit may be very little. Having well defined goals and metrics will also help you avoid chasing algorithm changes and focus on the big picture.

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Conclusion

SEO is the most essential long-term digital marketing strategy but to make it really effective, you need a knowledge team that is well-integrated into the company’s life. Good luck!

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat and many more.

Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid).

Ann Smarty’s content marketing ideas have been featured in NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more. She is known for her indepth tool reviews, innovative content marketing advice and actionable digital marketing ideas.

Source: Ann Smarty

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