How to Boost Productivity While Working from Anywhere

Working remotely is hard. Incredibly hard. On paper, it sounds good – you get to choose your own hours, stay connected with your colleagues through a chat for teams, and you can even work in your pajamas. Sounds wonderful, right?

boost productivity

But working remotely can just as easily be defined by poor productivity, low energy, and the slippery slope of procrastination. You spend half your time battling distractions and the assumption that you’re just lazing around at home. Here are some tips for how to boost productivity while working from anywhere:

  • Organize a must-do list each day

List-making is often derided as pointless and silly. But how are you supposed to be efficient and productive if you don’t even know what you need to do on any given day? Whether it’s good old pen and paper or Fleep Tasks, it’s important to make a list of your essential tasks for the day. Otherwise you’re going to waste time attending to less important things while missing the items that you really should prioritise.

Also, learn to delegate tasks that really don’t need to be done by you. Jess Murray from Essayontime comments “I used to try to get everything done myself to show what an efficient super-worker I was. Then I wised up and realised that I actually got far more work completed – and done well – if I delegated tasks that other people could perform just as well.”

  • Wear headphones to minimize the risk of audible interruptions

Are you often distracted from your work by the noise going on around you? Wearing headphones will shut out external noise such as children playing or traffic. You can obtain noise-cancelling headphones if you prefer to avoid the distraction of music.

But if you’re going to listen to music to drown out the sounds around you, then choose carefully, as the wrong music will hold your attention rather than making it easier for you to concentrate on your work.

  • When you hit a wall, take a walk

People often confuse staying at your desk with being more productive. Yet conversely it can make much more sense to take a break and step away from your desk. If you’re finding it hard to concentrate, get up and take a walk outside.

Not only will the fresh air clear out your brain, but it will also help you feel physically more relaxed. So you’ll return to your desk feeling refreshed and able to do more with the rest of your day than if you stayed glued to your workspace trying hard to get something done.

  • Make a schedule that’s realistic, not idealistic

Trying to shoehorn too much into your day is quite definitely going to be counterproductive, rather than productive. When you see how much you want to get through, your brain is going to freeze and refuse to work! Instead of trying to achieve too much and getting little of it done, or doing it all badly and inefficiently, draw up a realistic schedule that you can manage comfortably to complete.

You should also learn to prioritise so that you can leave less important tasks for another day and get what really needs to be done out of the way. It also makes sense to schedule more important and more difficult tasks for a time of day when you’re most capable of doing your best work.

  • Keep Your Work and Personal Spaces Separate

The problem with working from home is that it’s difficult to keep your work and home life separate. You’ll find that the children interrupt, friends call round because they think you’re not really working, or you waste time being distracted by the housework. Make an effort to keep your work life and home life separate, both literally and metaphorically.

If you don’t have a spare room to use as an office, set aside a corner of another room and don’t allow anything other than work-related items into that space. And make it clear to everyone when you are working and should not be disturbed.

  • Don’t multitask

Ah, multitasking. It’s so often lauded as a sign of true productivity, demonstrating that you’re so efficient you can concentrate on several things at once. Women are often praised as born multitaskers, especially when they have to juggle work and children. But if you try to complete too many tasks at the same time, the likely result is that you’ll give none of them your full attention. It’s far more efficient to focus on one thing at a time and do that properly.

So when you find yourself slaving away without actually getting much quality work done, stop and get organised. These few simple tips will help you focus and boost productivity drastically. Look back over your work week and you’ll see how much more the new you achieves!

Brenda SavoieThis is a guest blog post written by Brenda Savoie, a content marketer, private English tutor at UK- dissertation, and desperate dreamer. Writing her first romantic novel. Seeking contentment through mindfulness. Find her on Twitter and Facebook

 

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6 Awesome Hacks to Make You More Productive

If you clicked on this article, chances are you have a sneaking suspicion (or is it a certainty?) that you are not plumbing the potential of your productivity as much as you can. Don’t worry, you are not alone.  That’s why we’re sharing 6 awesome hacks to make you more productive.

hacks to make you more productive

Most people rate their productivity as a 5 on a scale where 10 is the most productive. Not everyone has a conscious desire to be a 10. You probably do, because you are reading this right now, and that puts you ahead of the pack.

However, you should realize that becoming more productive is not about working longer or harder. It is about working the right way. You can tweak how you do things and go about your life in such a way that you get better results and more things done with less effort and time. Here are 6 awesome hacks to make you more productive, and on your way to a 10.

  • Plan your day the night before

plan your dayWinston Churchill said, “Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning.” Of course, he was probably talking about winning a war or some such thing, but it remains true in any situation.

Most people spend a lot of time worrying about the things they have to do, which is pretty useless. Instead of worrying, plan your day the night before. List down everything you need to do in order of urgency and importance so you can get some perspective.

Writing it down gives you more control. You may still have a heavy workload, but your brain will have time to figure out the best way to get through it while you sleep (which is when you do your best thinking, by the way).

Moreover, organizing your tasks the night before makes you more efficient. You won’t be running around the next day like a chicken without a head because you have a plan of what to do in a logical way. Motivational Paul J. Meyer said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”

  • Schedule long term goals

Planning your daily tasks can make you more productive, but you also have to consider the big picture.

schedule long term goals

Some plans take a week, others a month, to come to fruition, and anything can happen in that time. Events and people can sidetrack you from your long term goals if you don’t keep your eye on the ball. Making weekly and monthly goals determines how you will plan your days to reach those goals in the quickest and most efficient way possible. Writing long term goals also serves as a reminder of to keep you on the right track.

When you know where you are going weeks, even months down the road, you gain more confidence, increase your self-esteem, and significantly cut down on your stress levels.

  • Become an early bird

Some people claim that they work better late in the day rather than early in the morning. This may have something to do with the fact that they stayed up all night!

The fact is, studies show that the most productive people tend to be early birds, because they have more hours in the day to do things, and energy levels tend to be higher.

This is something I learned working at Assignment Masters dissertation services, where deadlines are tight and the demand for quality work is high. I found that coming to work a couple of hours earlier than everybody else gave me the oomph I needed to handle my heavy workload, and I even had time to go out after work!

  • Identify your productivity cycle

Identify your productivity cycleNo one can keep going at peak performance all day.

You need to identify your productivity cycle so you can do the most important tasks when you are at your best. For example, if you feel more energetic in the morning schedule your core tasks at that time, such as brainstorming or doing an analysis. On the other hand, if you work best in the afternoon, check your email and do other non-core tasks in the morning.

There are also times when you feel extremely energetic and productive, but they are almost inevitably followed by periods of sleepiness. This is normal, and it is not a sin to take a break. In fact, studies show that productive people take frequent breaks to recharge.

  • Note your ideas and thoughts

The brain is a bit of a trickster.

When you are thinking as hard as you can to come up with an awesome idea, it refuses to work. However, when you are engaged in doing something mundane, like doing the groceries, the most incredible ideas and thoughts will just pop in there. You may not even realize that you have just come up with the solution to a big problem at work, or an idea for improving your work process that can save you a lot of time and effort.

Note your ideas and thoughtsThis is why it is important to note your ideas and thoughts, no matter how stupid or ridiculous it might seem at first. It can’t hurt to note it, after all.

Keep a small notebook with you so you can jot it down. You can also use your smartphone to write it down or record them. Whatever you do, don’t ignore it or let it slip away to forgetfulness. That’s a waste of potential.

  • Forget about multitasking

You might think you can do several things at the same time to increase your productivity, but that is not true at all. In fact, multitasking can actually make you less productive.

Studies have shown that the human brain cannot focus on two complex tasks at the same time. It switches quickly from one task to the other as needed, and this has a cost on your performance. For example, if you are driving and talking on the phone (even hands free) at the same time, you will not do either one as well as when you do each one individually. You might even get into an accident!

It is the same thing in the workplace. Writing a report and giving instructions to a subordinate at the same time might seem like saving time, but you are likely to make mistakes because your focus is divided. It will take you longer to write the report, and give inadequate or wrong instructions to your employee. If you really want to be productive, focus on one task at a time, and delegate what you can.

hacks to make you more productive

There is no one formula that works for everyone when it comes to improving productivity. You can achieve better productivity if you understand how you work, and making strategic use of it. These 6 awesome hacks to make you more productive can get you there quickly and effectively.


Kate SimpsonThis is a guest blog post written by Kate Simpson, head of editing team at Assignment Masters. Kate is also contributing her own insights at news column.

 

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How to Improve Your Guest Blogging Skills

guest blogging

Undoubtedly, guest blogging is one of the most efficient ways to promote goods, services, and personal brand to a wider audience. It’s rather advantageous to both a website owner and a guest blogger, as the first takes a break from writing articles while maintaining the schedule while the latter promotes his services, boosts raise search engine rankings and attract new visitors.

Well, it’s not that easy to get such an opportunity, especially if you’re going to contribute to the credible resource while yours is still unknown. Although you have little chance, that’s not impossible in case the blog post is high-quality, relevant, catching, and unique.

In a highly competitive environment, you have to constantly work on your skills. Check the advice below and reach the best blogs, being a real guest post guru.

#1 Relevance of the Idea

The first and the most important guest blogging rule is that the guest post must correspond to the topic of the website. On the one hand, it narrows the number of websites on which you can post; on the other hand; you get the relevant audience that will likely read the piece and become interested in you in case the post is worthy.

Sometimes it’s quite challenging to come up with the topic so that to satisfy the website owner and make the research in-depth and grounded. Well, if you’re in such a crisis, the next ideas are at your service:

  • Informational post. Tell readers about a particular term or phenomenon or provide a detailed response to a specific question. You may write a post in encyclopedia style or a freestyle, depending on the specifics of the website.
  • Guide. Quite a popular genre, which always attracts a large number of audience. The mission is to provide readers with a step-by-step plan that will help them to achieve this or that result. Well, the alpha and omega here are to provide a consistent and error-free sequence of actions; otherwise, you’ll get reproaches instead of gratitude.
  • Classification. Share the varieties of the object and provide concrete and useful information about each one, backed by illustrations and specific examples.
  • Review. The best practice is to choose some useful online service, affiliate program, application software package, etc. and analyze it from A to Z. Set yourself a task to provide readers with comprehensive information and get at least questions as possible.
  • Comparison.  In fact, you make a parallel review of several programs, services, etc., specifying their general and distinctive features. Don’t make the conclusion in favor of this or that product – that’s the prerogative of readers.
  • News. If you have some hot news that must be shared with the world, don’t hesitate to ask the host about it. Of course, the main thing is to publish fresh materials that haven’t been announced yet. If you are the first – the job is done!
  • Interview. Let’s not go into details as it’s obvious that success of the interview depends on the chosen questions.
  • History. I doubt that the blog owner will allow you to share the personal history of your brand/goods/services (until the post is paid), but you may succeed in posting some instructive and enlightening, warning the readers or explaining to them how to act in a particular situation.
  • Rating. Obviously, that’s the most popular YouTube theme. Nowadays, YouTube is full of different charts. The best, the worst, the cheapest, the strongest, the biggest, the most shocking, etc. As a rule, an audience kindly appreciates this kind of posts.
  • Pros and Cons. The task is almost the same as in “Comparison” blog post. Try to be fair and objective so not let the reader get the impression that you advertise intrusively or throw mud at someone.
  • Methods/Tips/Advice. Here you can share your personal vision of the problem and give some advice on the solution. Lifehacks are welcomed!☺
  • Disclosure. In this kind of post, you expose some untrue news, myths and even harmful actions of specific individuals. I must say this genre is very difficult, as you risk amassing competitors and enemies. Don’t embellish or misrepresent facts.
  • Personal Experience. Tell about your experiments, both successful and frankly failing. That’s always interesting.

If you already have a loyal audience, be sure to catch their hints for new posts. Continue to study and research, and you will find an infinite number of topics you can take. Dig deeper and write more than insightful posts!

#2 Writing Style and Formatting

Every blogger has an own unique writing style. Don’t be afraid of showing your personal style. Diversity contributes to the perception of the whole blog, as regular readers may get tired of contemplating one and the same style. Nevertheless, stick to the established rules and regulations. Be sure to check the guidelines before you start writing.

guest blog post

To hone your writing style and make the post more appealing, try to:

  • Put a quotation at the top.
  • Write an intriguing introduction; bring a few fascinating facts or statistics.
  • Vary long and short sentences.
  • Use bulleted lists and format the paper so that to ease the perception.
  • Use spellcheckers and special software to eliminate typos.
  • Remove meaningless sentences.
  • Put your word aside for a while and then edit it.
  • Read the piece aloud.
  • Share it with your family and friends to get some tips.

Look at the most popular guest posts on the website and try to stick to the same format and style. Pay attention to the size of paragraphs, headers, and images. Make sure that the images correspond to the content of the paper, have an appropriate width, and are labeled for reuse. Feel free to include screenshots for “how to” articles and guides.

#3 Editing Before Publication

It all depends on the website owner (editors/managers). Be ready that your post will be edited and changed before the approval. Firstly, it can be done to improve the effectiveness of the article – editors may come up with more engaging header or subheaders, highlight certain words and phrases, include images, remove “contentious issues,” etc. So do not be offended if this happens, even if you believe your piece is perfect. ☺

#4 Backlinks

It is clear that the author of the guest post should receive some benefit from the publication. Therefore, as a rule, it’s allowed put 1–3 references to a project that you would like to promote. Make sure that the links add some value to the paper and look relevant. Purely promotional links usually cause irritation and feeling of imposing.

If you want to promote safely, specify that the article is a guest post at the first chapter and add a link to your personal blog.

#5 Avoiding Typical Mistakes

If the whole process – from the request to the publication – runs smoothly, then you get a great chance to become a regular contributor. Well, even if you haven’t counted on it, why to refuse to stay in touch with the audience of the credible website?

Here are some of the common mistake made by both novice and experienced bloggers:

  • Non-personal inquiry. It all starts with sending the request. If the message begins with an impersonal greeting, the recipient may consider the letter as spam. Be sure to include the name of the company you’re writing to, and you’ll be treated as a professional.
  • Misprints and grammar mistakes. If you can’t write a professional offer, why would the editor of the blog decide the letter will be better? Take time to prepare proposals or hire an editor.
  • Topics that were already covered. Suggesting an article on a topic that was previously covered is the shortest way to miss the opportunity to publish. Conduct research before sending your list of themes. If you are looking to post on a particular topic to improve the issuance on keywords, look on the website to see which articles on the selected topic have already been published.
  • Underestimating your talent. Use your marketing skills! Show yourself in the best light; point to the main advantages and state the main reasons for considering you as an author for the blog. Sell yourself! If you have a successful blog or you’re popular on social networks, be sure to share this info in the offer.
  • Poor bio. Stick to the guide for guest bloggers. As a rule, a bio should include a few sentences that vividly describe the blogger. Treat this info as an elevator pitch.

guest blogging skills

Be sure to discuss all the terms and conditions, as well as the exact date of publication before sending the post on approval. Well-written guest posts will significantly speed up the indexing of your site and increase trust in the eyes of search engines and visitors.

Lucy AdamsLucy Adams is a writing guru and blogger from one of the best essay writing services. Check it out at buzzessay.com! She’s always in touch with readers and open to collaboration – feel free to reach out!

 

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Fleep speaks emoji now!

Emoji may not be a language per se, but it is an extremely popular way of expression. So popular in fact, that better support for emoji has been a frequent request from Fleep users.

Which is why we ‘re switching from Fleep emoticons to emoji! Well, it’s one of the reasons anyway.

Why?

Emoji is becoming the standard of emoticons across platforms. Emoji are getting better, there’s more and more of them, and they’re even becoming a part of the operation system’s offering. So, we’re more than happy to embrace them with complete support for emoji in Fleep across all platforms.

Even if we would maintain the Fleep emoticons, we could not stop our users from posting emoji – and you are doing that already anyway. And so, as of today, Fleep emoticons are a part of Fleep’s history – and your emoticon pickers on in Fleep show and post emoji!

How to use emoji in Fleep?

You can add emoji to your messages in two ways:

  • Select from the emoji menu

Click the smiley icon in the desktop version to launch the emoji menu:

Fleep emoji

There is an emoji menu available in the Fleep mobile apps too, under the + sign (iOS on the left, Android on the right):

Fleep emoji mobile

If you wish to be able to see all emoji, though, you can use the emoji keyboard on your iOS or Android device:Fleep emoji keyboard

  • Type and send the emoji code

We use the standard emoji codes - all you need to do is type in the code and send it. If you’re not sure of the emoji code, you can also browse them by typing a colon followed by a few letters:

emoji codeNote that emoji codes are not supported in the Fleep mobile apps.

But that’s not all! If your message contains only Emoji, they will be shown supersize:

emoji

Erm, we’d encourage caution with these in group conversations…

If you have any questions, ideas for new feature requests, or feedback don’t hesitate to contact us at support@fleep.io. Let’s also stay in touch through our social media channels. We’re on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

Fleep quarterly review: Q3 and plans for Q4

It’s October! That means the Q3 of 2016 is over and done with. Here’s the Fleep quarterly review of Q3, and our plans for Q4…

Fleep quarterly review

The Fleep team at our Fall 2016 offsite, ready for action!
Especially our almost-invisible Katheriin in the middle.

First of all, here’s an overview of what got done in Q3:

  • Email list behavior – by default, all group conversations with email participants now act as email lists for everyone reading the messages over email. This ensures a clear and predictable experience for everyone involved, as all members of the list receive the messages, and all replies flow back to the right conversation for Fleep users.
  • Switch from Fleep emoticons to emoji – as emoji are becoming the standard of online emoticons across platforms, we are more than happy to embrace them. Emoji are now a part of Fleep, meaning you can easily choose and post emoji with your messages in Fleep.
  • Redesigned Fleep email notifications - all email notifications you receive from Fleep (forgot password, unread messages, etc) are now beautifully designed and complete with our Fleep cuties.
  • Add Fleep users to conversations as email participants - this functionality is handy if you need to send something to a Fleep user, but it has to end up in their email inbox. Perhaps they’ve asked you to send an attachment to their email address, or they are not an active Fleep user – in such cases, you can now add the Fleep user to the conversation with their email account.
  • Search improvements – we improved the search functionality of the left pane in the desktop version of Fleep. More specifically, you can now switch between the results to see which conversation is the one you’re looking for, and there is a new handy button that extends the search across messages.
  • Export message history per conversation – we developed conversation history export per account a while back, but now you can also export any specific Fleep conversation’s history! Export away!

What’s next you ask? Here are our plans for Q4:

  • Fleep for Business - we are working on a paid subscription that will allow for organizations to have more control over their employees’ accounts and conversations. Stay tuned!
  • Fork and merge – in short, these are two features that will improve how Fleep conversations work. Fork will ensure that adding a third member to a topicless 1:1 conversation will create a new conversation with those three members – and keep the original 1:1 conversation as is. Merge will help prevent duplicate 1:1 conversations, so that if you create a new conversation with the same members with whom you already have an existing topicless conversation, Fleep will direct you to the existing conversation.
  • Email list behavior 2.0 - this will build upon and improve the current email list behavior experience. We will make it possible for email users to see the members of the Fleep conversation if email list behavior is enabled, and add the possibility of customizing the Fleep conversation email address.
  • Multiple VMs support – in this quarter, we’re also continuing work on scaling our server infrastructure to better serve increasing server load.

We hope you like the direction we are moving in. As always, don’t hesitate to give us feedback via support@fleep.io. Let’s also stay in touch via social media! You can find Fleep on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.