Monthly Archives: January 2017

How to Eat Healthy as a Telecommuter this New Year

My vision of working remote was that life was going to be perfect. I was going to get enough rest, exercise, eat healthily, and live happily ever after!

I was wrong.

We need to make a healthy diet a priority this New Year. There is enough research to support this statement, but this NeuroGenesis TED Talk by Sandrine Thuret hit home for me.

Here are some tips that have worked for me:

Pack your lunch: Pack a lunch after you eat breakfast, just like you would if you were going to work. If you are packing lunch for your family, just make one more lunch bag. When it is time for lunch, all you need to do is grab your healthy lunch and enjoy it—no need to worry about making it.

Enjoy your food: Yes, it seems odd to sit by yourself and eat quietly, and it will take time to adjust, but being mindful while eating is very helpful. Sit at the table and enjoy your meal—no technology, no distractions. After listening to the TED Talk, I think it would also be wise to add some dense foods that you can bite into and chew.

Buy smart: If you don’t buy junk food, you can’t eat junk food. Experiment with this and see if it works for you. I like the 100daysofrealfood blog about keeping processed food out and packing healthy lunches. I’ve used Lisa’s ideas with good results.

Plan your meals: I need to keep working on this, but I have friends who spend Sunday afternoons planning the coming week’s worth of meals, and it works perfectly for them. Lisa’s blog, mentioned above, also has meal planners that you can use; otherwise, you can use one of these apps. The advantage of using an app is that you can work on your meal plan while you are waiting at your kids’ practices or other activities.

Keep it on the table: Keep healthy fruits outside and visible, so when you have a minute, you can grab something healthy. When the kids come home, they can also go for the healthy option first (or so we hope)!

Set a time: Have lunch around the same time every day to ensure you maintain your sugar levels. Put it on your calendar, just like any other meeting. Eating at a set time is especially hard if you are in a different time zone and will require commitment.

I hope these tips help you, and please share any ideas you have used successfully:


Resolve to Single-Task This New Year as a Telecommuter

Multitasking is exhausting, so this year, resolve to focus on a single task with these tips:

Step Away: During a call, if you are not sharing your computer screen or viewing someone’s presentation, physically step away from your computer. Find another chair to sit on or walk around. Stay focused on the call. If you need to close your eyes to understand the content, do it—no one can see you!

Do Not Disturb: If you got the cool “do not disturb” sign as a Christmas gift, now would be a perfect time to start using it. Use a visible indicator that you need to focus, and inform the family that you are working.

Chat Settings: If you are required to log into a chat service to communicate with your colleague, you can use that same app to show that you need to focus on a task. Use the “do not disturb” setting in your chat app.

Notifications: Turn off notifications that are distracting while you work, like e-mail notifications. This one is a major distraction because we want to respond promptly, but every time you look away from your task, it will take you 15 minutes to get back to where you left off. Instead, set times to check your emails only a few times a day.

If you want to keep exploring ideas, this article on Forbes has additional tips for single-tasking. If you have other suggestions, please share with

Start the New Year with a Retreat and Resolve

Happy New Year Everyone!

Having resolutions can help you accomplish your goals. For the next few blogs, I will focus on areas where we all can improve. To get it all started we need to first take time and decide on our goals and objectives.

As a working mother it is hard to take a few days to relax and plan so here are a few ideas on how to take a mini-retreat in the middle of our busy lives:

During Sports Practice: This is my favorite time of the day. I use the time to exercise, listen to online courses, TEDTalks, parenting videos, etc. Now I am also going to add goal setting and planning to this list. The first 45 mins I will exercise and then take the rest of the 45 mins to set a goal and plan.

I have a solid four hours per week of planning!

It took me a while to realize the value of this time. Now that I have realized it’s value I used it productively. I was able to complete two online courses from Stanford using my time wisely.

During Business Trips: I love the fact that I have focused time on the plane. I use this time to think. What are the current challenges I am facing, what is within my control and what steps do I need to take? I also use this time to connect with my friends and collogues.

This adds up to at least ten hours per trip of thinking and connecting.

During Lunch: As a remote employee, this time, is mostly ignored, and I continue working. I am hoping to change that. I plan on either doing yoga, painting or meeting a friend for lunch during the break. This will be part of my mini-retreat.

This adds up to five hours per week of relaxation.

Sunday Nights: I like football, but the rest of my family loves football. So while they are enjoying what they love, I enjoy what I love. After we are done getting ready for the week, I retreat to my space and do what I feel like doing without any guilty. There are always nights when I sneak in and watch the game.

Summer: WeWork has a summer camp for telecommuters and entrepreneurs—what a brilliant idea! Attending the camp is on my to-do list. I think it will be great to connect with other telecommuters. It helps create a bond and a relationship of mutual understanding.

Time is the most valuable resource make the best of the time we have been given. If you have other ideas that have worked for you. Please share: