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Does your workspace work for You?

Especially for those of us who work from home, it is imperative to have an effective, functional workspace to maximize productivity. So how do you make that happen?

Think, plan and then act. What do you use most? What do you rarely every touch? How is most of your work day spent? What do you need right at your fingertips? What can go into the cabinets or storage that is a little more out of reach but you know where it is when you need it? Can you set up a space for your desk and computer work, a reading corner or anything else to segregate tasks and organize? To make this happen, if you need to invest in a good desk, filing cabinet, bookcase, wall shelving, a bulletin/whiteboard, desk caddy, and stackable trays, a garbage bin, paper shredder, and a good chair – do it. You and your business are worth it.

HomeOffice

Keep it Neat! An unorganized or cluttered workspace degrades productivity, and increases tension and frustration as well. So now that you’ve determined what you use most often, sometimes, and rarely – get rid of the clutter. Trash what you don’t need, and file away papers and files that do not need to be all over the desk. Do not mix personal space with your professional workspace. Sure, have a photo of the family hanging on the wall, but other than that – no personal items that will distract your attention from your work. So yeah, leave the hair brush, nail file and tinker toys in the other room!

Less is More! Arrange the tools that you need daily to be right within reach. Your computer and monitor positioned ergonomically correct, your to-do list, a couple of pens (you don’t need 75!), 1 notebook, the telephone, video recorder and microphone if you do recordings and these types of items within your reach and in the same place every day. Over by the printer you keep printing supplies such as paper, labels and ink.

Light the Way! Natural light brings energy into your space and also makes the best lighting for videos so if your office space is near, or can be near a window – let the sun shine in! No fluorescent lighting allowed! It’s too harsh, and straining on the eyes. To reduce eye strain, have soft lighting over your reading area, over the computer, and behind you so that there’s no reflection off the computer monitor.

Add Your Touch! Add some fresh plants, a waterfall, or some music to make your work atmosphere as positive, effective, inspirational yet comfortable as possible. Your workspace needs to help create your productivity, not distract from it. Make it work for you!

The low-down on Protein

Why do we need protein?


Protein is one of the big three macronutrients along with carbohydrates and fat. Adequate protein intake is essential for good health: It’s necessary for maintaining the body’s normal growth and its muscle mass (which is mostly protein), its immune system, and heart and respiratory functions.

So how much protein do you need?
As a general rule, between 10 percent and 15 percent of your total calories should come from protein. So, if you consume 2,000 calories per day, at least 200 should come from protein, or about 50 grams. You should try to eat around one gram of protein per one kilogram of body weight, or around 0.4 grams per pound. An easier way to figure this out in your head is to take your weight, divide it in half, and subtract 10. The total will be the number of grams of protein you should consume each day. So, if you weigh 120 pounds, you should eat about 50 grams of protein.  If you do exercise however, your protein needs may increase since resistance training and endurance workouts can rapidly break down muscle protein.
Can you get too much protein?
Not really. Generally, the only danger is if you have liver or kidney disease. That’s because these organs are your body’s “workhorses” that metabolize protein. So, if you have kidney or liver disease, such as cirrhosis or fatty liver, talk to your doctor.
Ok, so what are the best sources of protein?
This is obviously going to vary depending on what type of diet you follow such as vegetarian or eating clean. But the key is to focus on lean proteins.
Egg whites
Turkey and chicken breast – stick to the white meat
Seafood – sole, cod, or salmon fillets, shrimp and even sushi!
Tofu
Beans    
Soy
Dairy  non-fat or low fat milk, yogurt or cheese. Choose dairy carefully because calories and fat can easily add up.
And of course low-fat healthy Supplement shakes like shakeology and whey protein
Did ya know the word “protein” is derived from a Greek root meaning “of first importance”?  For good reason!  Your body needs it!

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How can you lose the last 5-10 pounds?

How can you lose the last 5-10 pounds? It really takes focus on your nutrition and meal planning. You additionally have to build a work out program complete with weight training, flexibility, and interval training. I suggest HIIT training. Many people are successful at losing a good amount of weight when they start their weight loss journey. If you have ever watch The Biggest Loser with Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper. You have seen this happen. Many will get results as soon as you start scheduling and putting focus on your training and diet. But typically, when it comes down to fine tuning your weight loss, leaning out, developing a 6 pack, it takes a lot of focus and adjustments on your schedule. I am an ACE personal trainer as well as certified in AFAA primary group exercise. I have been training people for group exercise for 20 years. Additionally I work for fitness celebrity Chalene Johnson as a presenter for Turbo Kick, PiYo, Hip Hop Hustle and All-Star Presenter Camp.

How many calories should I be eating?

caloriesA recent poll showed that about two-thirds of people can’t accurately estimate how many calories they need. It’s important to have a grasp of how much you should be eating, whether you want to lose weight or maintain a consistent healthy weight. There are approximately 3500 calories in a pound of stored body fat. So, if you create a 3500-calorie deficit through a combination of diet and exercise, you will lose one pound of body weight. To lose 1 pound a week, you need a deficit of 500 calories a day, which you can get by eating less or exercising more. To lose 2 pounds a week, you need a deficit of 1,000 calories a day.

So the first thing to do – is determine how many calories you need daily depending on whether your goal is to lose or maintain. Your specific caloric needs are determined by several factors, including your current weight, height, age and activity level. If you are a club member with Beachbody, you have access to the customized Meal Planner to determine your target calories and layout a weekly menu. But there are other free calorie calculators out there:

http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm

http://calorieneedscalculator.com/

http://www.calorieking.com

Ok, so you’ve figured out how many calories you need for your goal – now what?

  • Eat every 3 hours to keep fuel on your metabolism fire.
  • Plan your meals and snacks in advance, dividing your calories up throughout the day so you’re never stuck without something healthy to eat.
  • Become a label reader. Pretty soon you’ll know a lot of the calorie contents by heart.
  • Revamping your favorite recipes with lighter ingredients makes little impact in taste but a lot of impact in calories, fat and grams of sugar.
  • Eat your fruit and vegetables, they’re easy to grab and go.
  • Watch your portion size; portion out snacks and even meals ahead of time so that you know exactly how many calories you’re eating in that portion.
  • Keep water with you at all times, drink ½ your weight in ounces of water each day.
  • Do not skip a meal; that is a sure way to let the metabolism fire to go out, you need to keep it stoked and fueled all day.

And many people have asked, so I will share a sample of one of my daily menus. This is what works for me, based on my caloric needs.

Wake Up Green Tea

8:00 am 1 serving steel oats & 3 egg whites

10:30 am Shakeology

1:00 pm Whole grain pita with PB

2:30 pm Coffee

3:30 pm Shakeology or Luna Bar

7:00 pm 4 oz. Chicken breast & broccoli

10:00 pm Green Tea or Coffee

Total Calories = 1400 – 1500

So there ya have it. It doesn’t have to be difficult to eat healthy and achieve your goals. Once you get going, and repeat it over and over, it will become habit and second nature. You can do it!

Nutrition + Exercise + Accountability = Success!

Time Management Tips

Time is one of our most valuable possessions; and once it’s lost we can’t get it back. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, but it is up to us on whether we utilize it effectively or not. Here are some tips for time management, and some specific ones for those who work from home to help you be most efficient and productive with your time.

Sunday Night Strategy Session

Sometime each Sunday afternoon/evening take about 30 minutes to create and agenda and get my week in order. Put all the kids/family/personal appointments/sports practices on the calendar. Add in your appointments, conference calls and exercise. Plan your dinner menu based on what you have going on each evening. Creating an organized a weekly agenda can make a huge impact in your productivity.

Make a daily To-do List ~ with Purpose

Keep an electronic list or notebook by your computer always with your goals and to-do lists in it, all in one place for work and personal to do items. Whenever you go to your computer, have a definite purpose in mind. This helps prevent you from aimlessly checking email or surfing the net and getting lost. Know what you need to accomplish, write it down, do it, and move on to the next activity.

Establish Work Hours ~ and stick to them

This is REALLY important if you work from home! Establish hours that work for you, your clients, and your family and stick with them. They don’t have to be the same every day, but set them. If you have set your work hours for today to be from 9-12, then you don’t do housework during that time. Avoid the temptation to watch Oprah during this time – unless you schedule it into your day. (Of course, there is nothing wrong with running the dishwasher or dryer while you work – that is the ultimate benefit of working from home).

Having a routine for your household chores and business activities can really help with time management. When you have a good routine, you can do things without thinking, and they always take up less time that way. Keep your routines written down until they’re memorized. Use an organizing calendar or digital system…whatever works best for you. Make sure everyone else in your household knows the basics of your routine so that things flow more smoothly.

Analyze your activities ~ Identify time wasters and Outsource possibilities

Think about the steps you engage yourself in with your business and see if those tasks are really paying off for you. A lot of people who work from home do things like join safelists, traffic exchanges and other activities that most internet marketing experts agree are not the best use of your time.

Outsource as many tasks as you can afford. Consider hiring a virtual assistant if you have a lot of administrative tasks. Or pay your kids to do things for you that are age appropriate. Create a carpool with a friend so that you aren’t doing all of the running back and forth with the kids to sports practices. Hire a cleaning service. Barter for administrative help. Have a helper come over to play with your kids. And the list goes on. With a little creativity, you can save yourself A LOT of time and stress. Some can even be a tax deductible expense. Check with your accountant.

Eliminate complete time wasters like the TV, chatting with friends etc during your work hours.

Think Assembly Line for Efficiency

Group similar activities together. Don’t check your email all day, check it two or 3 times a day (at most) and answer all the emails at the same time. When you want to make changes to your website, list them all and wait until you need to make several changes at once. Run all your errands at once. When one child asks for a story gather them all around. Same thing for snacks.

Utilize Technology

Get wireless internet and a laptop if at all possible. This can make a drastic improvement in your ability to work online around your children. You can sit on the front porch and work on your website while your kids play in the yard. Or you can drop them off at a friend’s house and head to Starbucks and get online!

Use autoresponders, mailing lists and other resources to automate your business. If you find yourself typing out answers to the same questions over and over again, add pages to your website or create FAQ’s that address those topics and refer your customers or downline or whomever to those.

Use a Timer

A timer has so many uses. You can set it to tell your child when you’ll be available for them. Young children have difficulty comprehending time, and the timer will set them at ease so they won’t bug for you that entire period.

It also keeps you on track and helps you finish up tasks more quickly. Use it when you’re reading email, cleaning house, whenever you want to accomplish something fast.

Set limits

No one person can do everything. Your time and energy is valuable and you need to be firm in setting limits on how you spend it. Don’t commit to things that you can’t reasonably accomplish. Get enough rest. Learn to say No. Avoid negative people who like to whine.

We’re constantly working on time management, but with creativity and good routines, we can have a thriving business and a balanced life.

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