productivity

Put Your Pants On

Put Your Pants On

...and other practical pointers for those who work from home.

My first experience working from home was nearly ten years ago and it was born out of necessity.  I'd shared a very small office with a colleague and we were constantly butting heads.  It was tough.  I suggested to the boss that the only way we could achieve some sort of harmony in the office was if we each took a couple days to work from home every week.

My apartment was a 10 minute walk from the office and I was determined to make it work.  With a cell phone, desktop computer and internet access, I set out to make the most of a difficult situation.  

Within a few short weeks, my productivity was up, I was less stressed and our team was getting along much better.  

Since I started Fire Starter Brands in 2010, we've been a work-from-home company.  Each of our team members functions with a laptop, wifi, headset and a handful of cloud or web-based tools.

I've learned that working from home is not easy for most people.  It takes a certain level of discipline, focus and support to pull it off. Here are some of the most important lessons I've learned.

10 Things You're Probably Doing at Work That Say "I Don't Care."

10 Things You're Probably Doing at Work That Say "I Don't Care."

We’ve all been at a restaurant where the waiter forgets your special request and looks as though he’d rather be just about anywhere else in that moment. Then there’s the grocery store clerk who avoids eye contact and is annoyed with your coupons. Clearly these people don’t care, but is it possible we’re sending similar signals at work without realizing it?

Want People To Actually Read Your Emails? Use These Subject Line Tricks | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

Want People To Actually Read Your Emails? Use These Subject Line Tricks | Fast Company | Business + Innovation

There’s always that moment when you’ve crafted the perfect email, re-read it twice, confirmed your contact’s email address, and find yourself staring at a blank subject line wondering how to proceed. “Nice to meet you”?….no. “Kelsey Manning – Met at XYZ Party”…absolutely not. That subject line just stares back at you, unblinking, daring you to come up with something pithy and brilliant that will stand out in that person’s inbox. It’s not easy. So we brought in some experts.

5 Unusual Ways to Start Working Smarter, Not Harder

5 Unusual Ways to Start Working Smarter, Not Harder

By Belle Beth Cooper | Entrepreneur.com

One of the things I love about the culture at Buffer is the emphasis on working smarter, not harder. Our team is all about getting plenty of sleepexercise and recreation time so that ourtime spent working is as productive as it can be.

Working harder can be an easy habit to slip into, though. Sometimes it’s hard to switch off at the end of the day, or to take time out on the weekend and stop thinking about work. With a startup of my own to run, I find this even harder to manage lately. Whenever I’m not working on Buffer, I’m working on Exist, and it’s easy to fall into a pattern of “always working,” rather than working smart and fitting in time to look after myself as well.

If this happens to you, too, here are five methods to try that’ll help get you working smarter, not harder.