Why I’m Not a Multitasking Momma

Why I’m Not a Multitasking Momma

Is it possible to stop multitasking and get more done? Well, as a work-at-home mom with two preschoolers, this may come as a shock to you but —

I don’t believe in multitasking!

Insanity, right? But as a mom and as an efficiency strategist, I want to share with you why I think we need to stop seeing “ability to multitask” as a strength, because frankly…

Multitasking is impossible.

When you think of multitasking as more than just “chewing gum and walking at the same time”, you’ll quickly realize it’s not actually multitasking at all, but task-switching. And when you’re asking your brain to CONSTANTLY switch gears, it’s no wonder you’re exhausted all the time and feel like you’re getting nothing accomplished.

There are certainly times in which you can do two tasks at one time – checking e-mail while jogging on the treadmill, for example – but even that only goes so far. If you had an important e-mail to write out, you’d almost certainly wait until you were done exercising. It’s the same reason you turn down your radio when you’re driving and think you may be lost; your brain can only stretch so far when attempting to do more than one thing at a time.

Multitasking is not efficient.

It’s also important to note that multitasking is also incredibly inefficient; the more you try to “multitask”, the more apt you are to make mistakes.

How many times have you accidentally used baking powder instead of baking soda because you were trying to make muffins while checking your child’s homework and also writing out a grocery list? Or how many times have you misplaced your keys because as you come into the house you’ve suddenly got three people wanting ten different things? It’s not just the stress that makes you feel frazzled, but it’s your inability to break the multitasking habit.

Speaking of stress, though…

Multitasking is stressful!

Multitasking stresses you out, not just from the mistakes you made, but also going back to one of my original points: you’re exhausting yourself and your brain.

When you try to multitask, you use up what’s called your “working memory”, your auditory and visual-spatial memory. Because of this, you’re basically bottlenecking your thought processes, but rather than filtering them through one at a time, you’re trying to jam them through all at once – hence the stress.

Along those same lines, just as you’re more apt to make mistakes, you’re more apt to inadvertently ignore other things going around you when you try to multitask.

For example, I originally fleshed out this idea of banning multitasking while on a walk with my son. Do you remember the viral video a few years ago about counting basketballs and in the middle of it, a gorilla walked by and almost all of us missed it? It’s because our brains were so focused on the basketballs that we missed the “beauty” of the gorilla.

So likewise, when you’re looking down at your phone while waiting for a bus, you may miss the love of your life walk by. Or maybe you’re watching TV while reading this post, and you’re losing out not only on some productivity tips, but you’re wasting your time by even trying to process what it is I’ve written.

Should we stop multitasking altogether?

Despite everything I’ve said, I don’t mean that you should stop multitasking all together, because let’s face it – there are times when multitasking is a MUST (whether we like or not!)

Take this morning, for example:

Kids woke up when I did at 7am and I offered them 30 minutes of “tablet time” in exchange for the freedom to knock out a few e-mails to my clients.

They agreed to it…until 7:10am when I heard “MOMMMMM! I’m STARRRRRVING!” (This comes from my oh-so-dramatic 4 year old son.)

“Okay, bud,” I responded, “Do you want some cereal?”

“Hmmmmmm….how about french toast?” he said with his signature charming smile.

“No,” the 3 year old piped in, “Pancakes!”

Oy…

So now instead of writing that email, I had to settle a debate between the children regarding which kind of breakfast bread they wished to consume.

(Spoiler: We settled on french toast with the promise of pancakes tomorrow.)

brown hair toddler reading a book

My daughter doesn’t take my multitasking advice; she prefers a bit of light reading with her breakfast…

And of course as I started to make french toast, I realized I should also feed the dog and the cat. Oh and finish up some dishes. Oh and see if dinner requires any early prep work today. Oh and….

My e-mails!!

So rather than trying to juggle it all at once, I took a breath, grabbed my headphones, and used voice-to-text to map them out while the smell of butter and cinnamon filled the early morning air.

And as I was talking out my e-mails over the sound of egg-battered bread hitting the skillet, I found myself smiling. Because even though life is often a bit chaotic, it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted.

I’m my own boss (if we don’t count those two little ones who call me “mom”) and I get to spend my days not only living out my own dreams, but helping others do the same. All at my own pace, by my own choosing.

So do we multitask…or no?

If you’re like I was a few months ago, maybe the thought of not multitasking has never even crossed your mind. Or maybe you read this post and thought “DON’T multitask? HA! Yeah right…” But why not give it a shot?

I challenge you to try going just ONE day — it’s only 24 hours! — without multitasking. Meaning no podcast playing while you drive to work. No Facebook scrolling in the bathroom (gross). No folding laundry while watching TV. Only single-tasking allowed!

I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how difficult it is. Our brains have been trained to want to multitask, no matter how harmful it may be to do so. It’s like when you try to quit sugar – you don’t realize just how addicted you are to it until you try to stop.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a toddler eager to serve me some play-doh cupcakes. 😉

blonde toddler holding playdoh

Oh but before I go – what do you think…

Will you try to quit multitasking for a day? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

My Top 6 Gift Ideas for a WAHM

My Top 6 Gift Ideas for a WAHM

As a work-at-home mom, I don’t ask for much — just quiet children, a clutter-free work space, a muse that never shuts up…ya know, simple things.

That said, I’ve been blessed with two VERY vocal children, a folding table shoved in the corner of our guest room, and a brain that thinks about sleep more than writing. So rather than dwell on that which I’ll never have, I want to share with you what’s on the top of my gift wish list as a work-at-home mom and why I love them so. I’ve picked out these gift ideas specifically for work-at-home moms, but I’d be willing to bet ANY mom would love them!

Please know that some of these links may be affiliate links, which just means you’ll help fund my coffee habit should you choose to click through and make a purchase.

Unique Gift Ideas for a Work-At-Home Mom

Noise Cancelling Headphones – $30

Oh please, oh please, Santa, bring me a pair of these! It’s so hard to focus on writing a blog post when I can hear my children downstairs begging for attention. Note: Their dad is with them, but they’re like that guy you were into Freshman year of college who only started liking you back after he found out you now have a boyfriend.

Fun Twisty Tripod – $15

I have a regular ol’ boring tripod and it functions fine, but this one looks SO fun!! Not to mention it would make my life oh-so-much easier when I’m trying to do a livestream on my “desk” and I have to put the keyboard on the floor in order to make space.

Ring Light – $10

Remember when I mentioned the whole “sleep vs work” issue? This ring light could fix all of that! Well okay maybe not ALL of that, but hey, it’d at least make the bags under my eyes look a little less frightening for young children. 

Inspirational Mug – $10

I am a mug addict. There. I said it. But you know what? I’m also a coffee addict, sooo…

Oh and if you’re going to pick up a mug, you may as well grab a mug warmer, too. Heh because if you give a mouse a cookie… 😉

Bulletin Board Paper – $10

This one seems weird, I know, but stick with me – I use bulletin board paper ALL the time to map out work plans, goals, blog posts, etc. I can tape it up high enough to keep away from the kids and won’t run the risk of misplacing it. Plus it’s big enough that once you’re done, you can take a picture of it and then toss it to the wolves children to shred. Errr or maybe don’t do that, unless they’re also willing to sweep it up later, which in that case, send them to my house next.

Another great one is dry erase paper – did you even know that was a thing?! It is. And it’s amazing. Find it here.

A Warm Meal – $17

I am such a huge fan of Blue Apron, especially during the holiday season. Not only do they save you time (no meal planning, no grocery shopping, no worries) but they offer such DELICIOUS options, often times things you can’t get in your area. I’ll never forget one of our first meals from them, it was a breakfast tostada with watermelon radish and oh. my. goodness. It was heavenly and immediately ensured I’d be a repeat customer. Yum.

I could continue on down the list of things you should buy for the work-at-home mom in your life, but I’m confident this will at least give you a decent head start on what to buy. Oh and if you want to buy something for your favorite blogger (that’s me, right?) send it to: PO BOX 694 Springfield, IL 62705 (I’m only like half joking…)

I would love it, though, if you’d comment below and tell me one thing YOU’RE hoping Santa brings you this year!

 

 

Five Ways to Start Working From Home Today

Five Ways to Start Working From Home Today

Every day more and more people begin the adventure that is working from home. While I’d never say it’s “easy money” getting started doesn’t have to be a huge investment (of time or money!) When I first got started as a blogger, I found all sorts of different ways to make money online so that I could eventually invest in the tools needed to launch an e-course and today we’ve got Alexe Chasanov to share with us a few of her favorite ways to work online and make extra income from home.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is an easy job and a source of easy money. It said to be the art of promoting or advertising a companies’ product with the main goal of having a percent share in every product sold.

It is a stress-free job that you can look for online. Amazon is a site where you can find a job as an affiliate marketer. There are some guides on the internet how to sell products on Amazon. In selling a product on a network, remember that you have to be sure and settled about your choice of brand and after that join the affiliate network in order for you to sell more. Promote your ID and stay online, the affiliate gives you a link alongside your ID once you join the network. When they are checking through your link, then click and buy the product, and that’s it, you will automatically get a commission and earn.

Blogging

One of the coolest ways to earn money online is by starting a blog. Be sure to keep on updating your blog site with interesting topics and latest happenings. If you are able to do it right, your blog will surely generate hundreds of viewers, and that will be the time you’ll start earning money out of it. If you are able to generate enough number of people, you can also incorporate affiliate marketing by using your own website instead of using Amazon or any other related sites.

In doing this, you will earn money easily plus you do not have to work under pressure with someone who bosses you around. But remember, it is not that easy as it sounds as problems may arise due to competitors and the customer’s method of payment. And there are so many things you have to learn if you just started as a blogger, you have to familiarize yourself with the systems and the things you can and you can’t. Blogging is indeed a cool way of making money online while being comfortable in your home.

Work From Home Ideas You Can Start Today

ideas to start working from home today

Content Writing

Content writing can be an easy task if you do it with passion and if it is a product of your pure fancy. You can write an article related to any topic as long as you clearly know how to present ideas and efficiently use your experiences in writing as a freelancer. This job is highly in demand especially for businesses around the web, and you are lucky because there are a lot of different clients who need your service for their business and brands.

Writing articles related to random topics can help you in making money online. Here, you will be paid based on the number of words you used or based on the level of your writing skills. Content writing only needs your focused attention, a good reading habit, and hard work. But another challenging part of this kind job is balancing your time, trying to ignore distractions, and meeting the deadlines. If you have a strong passion for writing and you are simply good at expressing ideas, content writing is the best cool way for you to make money online from the comfort of your home.

Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant must be good in managing time, making a schedule, preparing online meetings, and planning. One must have strong communication skills that can be used in customer service duties, answering calls, and responding to emails. A virtual assistant should help the business owner since he or she has many tasks to do and must be responsible for keeping the owner on track and updated of what is happening in the business. So as a virtual assistant, prepare yourself on doing calendar management, telephone inquiries, booking of appointments or tickets, client follow up, emails of your boss and clients, and lastly is the database and file management.

A virtual assistant earns an average of $10 up to $30 on an hourly basis but this may vary depending on your expert level. And if you are looking for a job as a secretary while enjoying your home, the virtual assistant job will be the coolest way for you to earn money online.

Freelance

Freelance jobs are the best job for people who wish to enjoy home while earning money. Due to advancement and high technology, it is not possible to have an online job offered by the virtual world. Freelance jobs involve providing a different kind of services asked by random people online. This kind of jobs let you work either full time or part time and it depends on your decision.

Another privileged of being a freelancer is that you will be the one to set the terms of your work and you have the freedom to arrange it in a way that it can let you work on different projects at a time. There are so many services offered by freelancers and it includes web developer, web designer, search engine optimization, article writer, and social media marketing.

Making money while home-based cannot be easier than this that is why you need to get started as a freelancer immediately. And in choosing what service to offer, think of any skills you have that may fit the jobs mentioned above, you can also try looking on the freelance marketplace and apply there or jobs. Remember that in looking for the best freelance job, align it to your passion and interests so that you don’t have to worry procrastinating in finishing your project and meet the deadlines.

Author Bio:
Alexe Chasanov is an e-commerce community manager in California. She also works as a consultant for a start-up company to help them in their marketing and growth hacking efforts. She loves writing about fashion trends here and there, and on her free time, she loves outdoor sports and martial arts.
From Busy Mom to Freelance Writer in 9 Easy Steps

From Busy Mom to Freelance Writer in 9 Easy Steps

Being a stay-at-home-mom is a rewarding job, but the pay is garbage!

So what do you do when you want to remain at home with your children, but…

the money is tight…

the budget is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to the limit…

couponing is getting you nowhere fast…

and you just don’t have enough to go around…?

You start a business.

Today’s post is brought to you by Tiffany A. Ingle of Taingled Web – 

I know what you’re thinking: “Me, start a business? I don’t have a degree! My kids need too much attention! I’ve been out of the workforce too long. I don’t have time!”

Listen, Mama – I understand how you feel. I’ve been there! But excuses don’t pay the bills.  And I can assure you that, yes, even you can start a business.

To be clear – when I say business, I’m definitely not talking about joining some slimy MLM and selling to your warm market (a.k.a. harassing your family and close friends to spend their hard earned cash on overpriced makeup, oils, wraps, and shakes). Those businesses are founded upon an unsustainable model that is designed to enrich a tiny percentage of folks at the top while everyone else loses money more often than not.

What if I were to tell you there’s a skill you already possess that could earn your family an additional 4 or 5 figures every single month? Not only that, you already do it every day…for free.

If you guessed writing, you deserve a gold star.

The time you currently spend keeping boredom at bay at social media watering holes could be used to begin a satisfying and profitable business as a freelance writer.

Best of all, this is a business you can start with very little money. All it requires is the ability to string a decent sentence together, perseverance, the ability to research, and creativity.

The following is a basic guide to getting your freelance writing business up and running. If you put these steps into practice, you will be headed on the right path toward a brighter financial future.

1) Set your mind to it

Attitude is everything. Treat your business seriously from the get-go. You’ve got to make some mental adjustments in order to step into your new reality as a work from home mom.

First, audit your schedule! Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. While it is true there are some who can afford to buy more time in the form of hired help, even a mompreneur (that’s you!) can carve out time by trading non-essential activities for business building habits.

That reality show you use to escape the realities of never-ending housework? Out the window. Your favorite, addictive social media game? Kiss it goodbye.

Remember why you’re doing this. How would it change your life if you had an extra $1,000-5,000 or more each month? With hard work, this is how much you could be making with freelance writing.

2) Pick a specialty (niche)

Writers who are very knowledgeable about certain topics or writing styles make more money and find more work than general writers. The best specialties are those which pay high rates, draw upon skills you have, that you would be interested in learning about.

Were you a programmer before leaving the workforce? You could make a killing as a tech writer. Spent 5 years as a financial advisor? Ka-ching! That’s the sound of you cashing in as a freelance finance writer.

There are various writing niches you could explore, but I am focusing on business blogging in this post. Learn how to write in more technical styles and you can really cash in!

3) Develop your craft

You do not have to have a degree in English or Communications (or a degree at all) to be a successful freelance writer, but you do need to know how to write reasonably well.

Brush up on your grammar with The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation (available 100% FREE online) and hunt down a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk & White.

Select a few top blogs in your niche to read daily so you will become familiar with the type of style you should use. Studying good copy will make you a stronger writer.

4) Re-purpose social media

Social media can be very powerful tools for business. Make sure you have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and anywhere else your potential customers are likely to hang out.

Most importantly, set up a Linkedin profile. A Linkedin account is a must-have for freelance writers to connect with bloggers and business owners who will pay for your services. You could even find a mentor in the form of a more experienced writer who has been in your shoes.

5) Create samples

Once you have picked your specialty (or niche), it’s time to brainstorm various topics that relate to your field. Try to come up with at least 30 ideas for possible posts.

If you get stuck, try doing a Google search for blogs in the same field. Pay attention to the types of posts and other content being shared most frequently.

Whatever you do, don’t plagiarize! Take notes about what appears to work and try to incorporate those elements into your own writing.

Produce three samples that are 750-1000 words in length (the longer, the better). Does that number make you pause? I’m willing to bet you write more than that on social media or via text on a daily basis.

A word on how to format your samples:

Research how to write for the web. Make your pieces easy to scan. Use lots of white space, bullet points, section headers, and ellipses. Stick with simpler language and short paragraphs with no more than 2-4 sentences each.

Use tools like Grammarly and Hemingway to check the spelling, grammar, and readability of your pieces.

After you’ve written your sample, take a break from it for 24 hours. Re-read it out loud and listen to how the words flow. If anything sounds awkward while you’re saying it, it’ll be awkward for others to read it.

Get a second pair of eyes on your copy to catch anything you may have missed (your spouse is a good candidate).

6) Create your website

You’ve got to market your services in order to begin making money. Your own website is the best way to introduce the world to your amazing skills.

This is where you will end up having to spend some cash on your business. You can get away with a free option in the beginning but plan to save some money to have a proper website built for you or to purchase the tools you need to do it yourself (no coding required, unless you like that sort of thing). A professional website is not that expensive and it can go a long way towards getting you high paying writing jobs.

To start, a free portfolio on Contently or on WordPress.com will work. If you have a little money to spend each month, you may want to look into Squarespace.

7) Guest Post

Remember that list you made of blogs in your industry (see step 3)? Get it out again and check to see whether they are accepting guest posters. You are going to use your samples to showcase your abilities and land the writing opportunities you need to beef up your portfolio.

Aim for 3-5 solid guest posts on established blogs. When the posts are live, be sure to share your work on social media.

Include 3-4 images to go with the piece you’ve written. You can find free pictures on unsplash.com, pexels.com, and pixabay.com.

Warning: Artists provide their work for free on these sites, but some do require to be credited if their work is used. Don’t get into legal trouble here.

Support the points you make in your post by linking to reputable sources. Notice I have done that throughout this post. Not only is linking out a good way to support what you are saying, it is also a good way to optimize your content for search engines.

8) Cold Pitch

Now that you’ve got a nice portfolio with live, bylined posts, it’s time to pitch for paid opportunities. Set a goal to send 5-10 cold pitches daily during nap time. Make sure to include links to your best pieces and propose a piece you think would be great for the blog for which you’d like to write.

 

Important-make sure you’ve researched whether someone has already written about your proposed topic. Do a search on google for “[proposed topic]” site:[website.com]to find out. If someone has covered your topic, think of something else to write.

 

Keep track of where you are pitching and remember to follow up. Editors and business owners are busy people. Remember, today’s “no” could be tomorrow’s “yes”. Check in periodically with blogs that have turned you down in the past to see if there are current opportunities that are a better fit.

Become a freelance writer

 

9) Improve Continuously

Good writers keep improving their abilities. You don’t need a degree, but you do need to develop yourself with ongoing training.

Get a library card and check out books on writing.Use that same library card to get a free account on lynda.com to learn skills you need to run a business.

Udemy has regular sales of courses for as low as $10. Subscribe to their mailing list so you can catch the next one. Try to pick up some (or all) of Shani Raja’s courses when they are discounted. Thank me later.

Some of the best writing courses for first-time freelancers also have pretty affordable payment plan options:

Write to 1k

Killer Cold Emailing

Earn More Writing

Subscribe to the newsletters from the following blogs and put what you read into practice:

Copyhackers

Writers in Charge

Freelancer FAQs

Feeling overwhelmed?

Take a deep breath. The journey to build a business is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time and do it the right way.

Every business requires hard work and investment to grow. Ultimately, you will get out of this experience what you put into it.

The ball’s in your court! What changes are you going to make in your schedule to make financial freedom a reality? I want to hear from you in the comments!

 

 

Tiffany A Ingle is a content marketing strategist and B2B blogger for hire running the one woman show known as Taingled Web. She’s also a wife and homeschooling mother of two. She’d love it if you would say hi on Twitter@taingledweb.

Making Money Through EBay

Making Money Through EBay

eBay is the most searched platform for buyers looking to buy items be it new, old or vintage. It’s easier to shop on, you get what you want delivered to your door step and you don’t have to dress up, go out to multiple stores to find what you are looking for. You must be wondering why I’m giving you all this information? That’s because, you too can make money with eBay by selling to other consumers if you really try.

(Today’s post is brought to you by Garima Talreja, the hearts and brains behind Curious Babe)

One of the easiest ways to make money on eBay is to sell items you don’t use anymore, your old clothes, that corner table gathering dust or your old shoes. Why let old stuff lay around the house, occupy more space when you can sell them on eBay, make money and buy new things?

On my trip to India a few months back, I saw a television ad which was promoting a “6 month break up” challenge. They were encouraging people to get rid of anything they haven’t used in last 6 months because statistically if you haven’t used them for 6 months, it’s likely that you won’t use them in future as well. So why not declutter your house and wardrobe and make some money?

Let’s talk about selling clothes on eBay —

More than anything, what keeps accumulating in our closet are clothes. Some are impulse purchases, others don’t fit us any more or may be out of season now. The best way to decide what to throw and what to keep is to ask yourself – if you had to shop right now, and saw this item on shelf would you buy it? If the answer is no, the item goes out!

Start small, pick one drawer and find out clothes to discard, once you have them, follow the following steps –

Step 1 – Research on eBay to evaluate the market for your garment. You can do so by checking on completed or sold listings to see what keywords are being used in association to it and how much are sellers selling them for.

Step 2 – Dry clean / wash and iron your garments. You can replace the missing buttons if you have extras lying around in the house, get any stains off it and ensure that it is in the best possible condition. This would help you get the price you’ll demand for.

Step 3 – Take clear and quality pictures of your garments. This is one of the most important steps to make a sale online. Since your customer can’t feel or touch your clothes, your pictures are going to attract them to open your listing and check it out.

When taking pictures, laying them down on a table or a floor with a white background. If you don’t have one, you can use a white sheet or board as base. Then, take pics from all angles – front, back, neck and prints / patches or anything you feel is worth highlighting. Also take pictures of any defects in the item. This way you don’t have anything to hide and the buyer would not return the item or do a case on you for false or misleading information.

Always take pictures in daylight, this will enhance the natural colors of your clothing. If you still feel there’s not enough light and your pictures have come out dark, clean them by using editing software. I always prefer to use Picasa, it’s a free editing software and you can download it online.

*Note – When editing, make sure that the image size is 500 x 500 px or more as required by eBay.

Step 4 – Once you’ve taken the pictures, your next task is to write down the measurements and other details like color, cloth material, size, pockets etc. Include anything and everything you feel is relevant to your clothes and the buyer should know about. Remember, buyers don’t necessarily like surprises therefore, it’s better to provide them with all the information to avoid returns and refunds.

Step 5 – Now that you have the pictures and the details of your garment, it’s time to list your item on eBay.

Make sure your title is clear and contains all the necessary keywords like brand name, size, color etc. E.g. – Blue Cotton On Jeans For Women Size 30 High Waist

Add the item specifics and describe the condition of your garment. You can also add the reason for sale in the condition description, thereby making an emotional connection with your buyer. In the description box, write all the information you jotted down in step 4.

Use the information from research in step 1 to figure out if you want to sell your item at Buy It Now or Auction it. Looking at similar items will also help you decide how much you can / should sell it for. Don’t forget to add eBay (10%) and PayPal fees (2.9% + $0.3) to your final price to avoid paying for it from your pocket.

For shipping with used products, it’s best to keep it domestic. My advice would be to add the cost of shipping to your selling price and offer Free Shipping. Statistics has shown that 46% of customers cancel their orders if there is no free shipping, whereas, 75% of the customers will purchase more when there is free shipping included. Select the standard shipping option and handling time for up to 2 days.

Voila! You’ve made your eBay first listing and ready to make some money!

Answer any queries that come your way from consumers and when the item is sold, secure it in nicely, add a “Thank You” note to your buyer, put it in a box and ship it. Once you do so, add the tracking number in your listing and leave a feedback.

Repeat the steps to sell out old items lying around in the house and make more space for new ones while making more money.

Have you ever sold anything on eBay before? Comment below and let me know!

 

 

My name is Garima Talreja and I’m the hearts and brains behind Curious Babe. It’s an online community for emerging women entrepreneurs who want to start their own online business. I got started selling on eBay when I moved to Melbourne in summer of 2014. It’s been a long and interesting journey from selling old items to now dropshipping new products from multiple suppliers online. My mission is to help other women who want to start their own e-commerce business and make money whilst spending time with their family. Find me on Facebook, follow me on Instagram, and let’s connect on Pinterest!