Tag Archives: mother

Are you Introverted? Here are some tips to help if you Telecommute

One of the challenges of telecommuting is being isolated—lack of human interactions. To ensure you stay connected and have face-to-face interaction you have to be diligent about it. As an introvert, this can be very hard. Here are a few tips I use to stay connected:

Your current circle: When I moved to a new city I thought I needed to have the same level of connections and interaction as I had in the past. I continued looking in vain. Eventually, I realized the best option was to connect with the friends I already had in addition to seeking new ones. I was amazed at the satisfaction I felt even with a text or a phone conversation.

Intentional: It is hard to have small talks as an introvert so try joining a book club or volunteer to help with the school or after school activity where you are not interacting with as many people but still staying connected and adding value to the community.

Nature: As an introvert for me the best connection has been nature. I used to stay in my office all day focused on work, and I would be exhausted by the end of the day. I realized that I needed to get out either for a walk, a run or just to write. Now I take my laptop and head to the park. I enjoy the sounds of nature take a walk and work. The park is my version of a coffee shop.

Conversations: It is hard, but I find a few moms that I can connect with and who have the same priorities. I set up a walk or a lunch date. It helps me stay abreast of the activities happening in the area and talk about non-work related items. I plan these on my calendar for once every few months.

Shopping: Sometimes for an introvert to get the human interaction being around people is enough—at least for me. Once in a while I will go shopping—walk around, smile at a stranger or talk to the cashier. Just go to a store and learn. Finding new items sparks solutions for me that I need to find.

Work with your personality and preferences—do what works for you. If you have any tips, please share: info@telecommuterstalk.com

In-Person Conversations to Have During Reorganization Phases

Reorganization means changing how everything works. Change is good, but also creates a reason to be more vigilant about your career, your priorities, and your focus on growth. Change can be a time to ask what you want from your career.

During my recent in-person meetings, we had a few of these conversations that I want to share with you:

What is your new role?: Get clear directions on your roles and responsibilities for the new assignments. Use a Gantt Chart or MS Project for you and your new team. Account for schedule changes, hours of operations, additional meetings, and time zone impacts.

What are the other team members’ roles?: If your new responsibilities entail a leadership role, understand the roles of each person on your team and the extended team. If it is a global team, understand their location, time zones, and culture.

What is the transition plan?: If you are taking over an existing project, ensure that you ask for a transition plan with the latest updates on each section of the project. I have used Excel for this purpose with success.

What is the transition timeline?: In addition to the plan document, you will need to agree on the duration of the transition. If you will be managing a complex project, account for a few months of transition. New items will come up just when you think you have wrapped your head around the various pieces of the project.

When is the transition meeting?: Meet with your manager and teammates involved with the transition. Have the document updated and ready to share. Review the document, and confirm that both managers and employees understand the tasks and approve of the plan.

What communication channels do we use?: Decide on one or two communication channels for urgent situations. Find out what works for the team, and, if possible, come up with one channel that works for everyone.

Please share additional tips that you may have at: info@telecommuterstalk.com

We Need Help as Telecommuting Parents

All parents should set boundaries and ask for help. Not enforcing limits and overcommitting seem to be natural parts of parenting these days, but they do not need to be.

You need a community and lots of apps to manage a family!

Here are a few suggestions:

Meal planning: There are some useful apps that help you with planning and creating grocery lists. Cook Smarts, Pepperplate, Ziplist, and Paprika are a few options. Here is a breakdown of their key features from LifeHack. There are also calendars and services that will plan your meals for you.

Meal Delivery: This is an ingenious idea! Here are some options: Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Home Chef, Plated, and PeachDish, to name a few. This article from Forbes breaks it down for you. Or, if you are a Tom Brady fan, you can get his meal plan. Enjoy!

Spring Cleaning: You can sell items you don’t need via Letgo and other apps. Here is a list of eight apps that can help.

Cleaning: Hire local help as needed, or ensure that your family has a schedule and a list of household responsibilities.

Yardwork: Hire local help using Angie’s List or your network.
Please share any apps or sites that have worked for you.

Please share any tips you may have.

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: info@telecommuterstalk.com

 

How to Fit in Exercise While You Work Remotely

Exercise is the first thing I give up when I get busy, even though I know that it should be the last thing I should give up when I am stressed.

Here are some tips I am trying to implement to ensure I get the exercise I need:

Put it on your calendar: I had heard this suggestion many times, so I put it on my calendar, but I just continued to pass on it. So, I started using Google Goals, which helps me take the first step and get up! Once I am up, I walk away to take a break or take a walk.

Brainstorm: See what works with your schedule and your family’s schedule. I like to exercise in the mornings, but that is also the busiest time at work, so I found another option: during the kids’ afterschool activities. This schedule has another benefit—the “mom guilt” is less, because I am not taking away my time with them. Instead, I’m doing my thing while they are doing their thing!

Fit it in: Whenever you can. Do a 7-minute workout during your break or walk while the kids are at practice. They practice, and I walk. I walk with other moms, which gives me a chance to have some human interactions. Connecting face-to-face is critical as a remoter.

Use the weekends: Weekends can be just as busy as the weekdays, but there are pockets of time when I know I can fit in some exercise or meditation. Try diligently to stick with that.

Go for a hike: Make this a family activity. It will teach the kids the value of both exercise and nature. HikeItBaby is a great resource for finding hikes in your area.

I hope these tips help you, too. If you have additional suggestions, please share.