As a person who makes a living doing freelance and contract work from home, there are two questions I tend to get about my job. The first is whether I work in pajamas. (The answer is no.) The second is how I manage to get any work done at all.
“If I worked at home, I don’t think I’d get any work done,” people often tell me. “How do you manage to stay productive for eight hours a day on your own?”
The simple answer? I don’t.
And, according to research about productivity in the workplace, you probably aren’t productive for eight straight hours either, whether you’re working at a laptop at your kitchen table or sitting in an office or cubicle. In fact, some research suggests that many office workers are productive for as little as three hours per eight-hour work day.
Check out five tips on how to get the most work done in the least amount of time so that you can head home early — or at least right on time – in my latest post on Wisebread.
As an online editor and writer who works with many other editors, writers, and all the people in between, I get a lot of email. Like, a lot. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the most of email, how to be efficient at it, and how to ensure that it benefits my work. I’m not the only one.
According to market research company Radicati, the average American worker received or sent 115 emails per day in 2013, a staggering figure that’s expected to rise to 136 emails by 2017.
That’s a lot of opportunity to make a mistake. So before you rattle off today’s 100+ emails, check out this collection of the 10 worst email mistakes you may be making in my new post on WiseBread.
Sometimes I work too much. There, I said it. It shames me a bit, to be honest. But what really bothers me about that scenario, when it happens, is that I don’t accomplish wonderful and amazing things. At all. Instead, I get really tired, and really grouchy, and I work more and more slowly and ineffectually so that I end up having to work even more. (See also: 6 Rules of a Productive Workspace)
It’s stupid, but we all do it. What I always seem to forget is that the point of working hard isn’t to work more but to get more done. And, if I can do that in less time, I can bugger off and spend the rest of the day doing something significantly more awesome. What that all boils down to is being more productive with the time I have. How? I dug up some research on how to schedule your day for optimal productivity. Check it out in my new post on WiseBread.
I think it’s safe to say that most people wouldn’t mind having a little more money in the bank. Maybe a lot more money. According to a 2008 survey by Pew Research Group, 43% of Americans report that being wealthy is “somewhat important” to them, while another 13% said that being rich was “very important.” Of course, wanting to be richer is one thing; actually accumulating that wealth is quite another. However, there’s plenty of research to support the idea that there are certain sorts of people who are likely to become wealthy — and I’m not just talking about the kind who were born that way. In fact, according to research by Fidelity, 86% of today’s millionaires are self-made. Check out 10 traits that tend to show up in the wealthiest people, and how those characteristics help them bring in the big bucks in my new post on WiseBread.
As the Olympics Games in Sochi approach, there’s one story we’ll hear again and again — the one about the athlete who emerged from injury, personal hardship, or the back of the pack to win Olympic gold. Those are the Olympic stories most people love, and these athletes inspire us because the best of the bunch refuse to give up, under any circumstances.
In other words, most of us naturally admire what you might call “grit,” or the ability to maintain passion and perseverance for a very long time to achieve very big goals. That’s why we’re especially moved by the stories of athletes who have the most to overcome.
Now there’s research to back up what we already know (funny how that happens): determination counts. In fact, research by psychologists Angela Duckworth and Carol Dweck show that grit is the most important factor for success. It’s more important than IQ and social intelligence and good looks. It even matters more than talent. The good news is that you can develop and nurture grit. Find out how in my new post on WiseBread.
Maybe you’re sitting at work right now, bored out of your wits and struggling for motivation. Don’t feel too guilty about it; you’re in good company. In fact, most of the people around you probably feel the same way, at least according to a Gallup poll released in June. It found that 70% of American workers are not “engaged” in their work. Eighteen percent of that group hate their jobs so much they actively try to sabotage their company.
That seems pretty extreme, but the cold, hard world of cubicle-land can break even the best of us, including yours truly. Want to do something you love? Get some words of wisdom to help get you there — and out of a job you hate – in my new post on WiseBread.com.
I used to see school as a sort of factory — one that ingested small children and spat out highly trained adults who would be snapped up by big companies that would pay them lots and lots of money.
Of course, somewhere along the way, we all tend to come to the (very crushing) realization that it doesn’t quite work that way. I think it happens right around when school stops pulling you along from one grade to the next and asks you what you’d like to do with the rest of your life. Oh, and by the way, your happiness, your financial future, and the respect of your family and friends all hang in the balance.
It’s kind of ironic that most of us head to college hoping to get smarter and end up feeling so stupid. This isn’t because college doesn’t teach you anything, but because it often tends to give the wrong impression. Check out a few things you probably didn’t learn in college — but maybe you should have – in my new post on WiseBread.com.
If it’s a workday, chances are you hardly have an ounce energy left by quitting time. About 40% of workers report feeling fatigued at work on any given day. I’ve definitely been there; too little sleep, too much stress, and the feeling that you just can’t get enough done can wear you right down until all you can think about is sliding into bed, pulling the sheets over your head, and staying there…forever.
The irony is that that cycle only drags down your overall productivity, not to mention your health and happiness. Plus, there’s something just a little sad about spending all afternoon counting down to the end of the workday only to slog home, collapse onto the couch, and spend all evening watching other people doing fun and exciting things on reality TV.
Want more energy to enjoy your own time? Check out some things that have worked from me in my new post on WiseBread.com.
Flickr/World Economic Forum
In 2012, 18 Fortune 500 firms were run by women. That’s a pitifully small number… a paltry 3.6 percent. As brilliant and brazen as we know we are, why aren’t more women scoring those top jobs? Some have suggested that perhaps women aren’t aggressive enough. Or dedicated enough. Or willing to make the right kinds of sacrifices.
Maybe, but we think not. Indeed, women who are in those top executive jobs are proving ‘em all wrong. They’re playing hard – and winning. Check out five female CEOs to watch in my new post on GoldenGirlFinance.com.
Rolling out of bed when you feel like it, kicking back in your stretchy pants and maybe squeezing in a jog at lunch. That’s what working from home is all about, right?
Well, that depends on whether you need to make any money. Although working at home can provide a lot of flexibility, the fact that you don’t have to trudge off to the office to put in your time often makes it feel like a perpetual weekend. For many people, that isn’t a good thing.
On the other hand, working at home can indeed work and be a great way for disciplined do-it-yourselfers to squeeze a little more into each day. We talked to Jennifer Forest, author of “Work Women Want: Work at Home or Go Part-Time” She interviewed work-at-home women about their jobs, their lives and how they make money. Get the lowdown on what working at home is really like…and what it isn’t in my new article on GoldenGirlFinance.com.