12 Rut Busting Tips to Increase Your Productivity

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How JenSpends met Her English Husband

This is a true love, I met my love online, story being shared by Jen from JenSpends.

Our story is kind of nerdy. Back in 1999 it was a big deal to have your own personal website if you could figure out how to make one. I spent many hours after school my senior year of high school scanning my art portfolio and uploading it online. G also had his own website where he uploaded photos of his scouting adventures and some poetry he had written. Back then “webrings” were also a big deal. You could join up with groups of like-minded webmasters and everyone placed links at the bottom of their pages so that visitors could navigate to other blogs in the same “ring”.

One of G’s friends, also a nerd with a website, had created a webring called “Bored Students Webring”, which I found one day while I was bored at my summer job. It seemed like a good fit for me, so I joined and explored his friend’s site. It’s funny because the first photo I ever saw of G was edited by his friend to make him look like Spock from Star Trek. It was also an old photo, and he looked about 12 years old, so I didn’t give him much thought. I left a message in his friend’s guestbook. G didn’t have Internet access over the summer, but several months later I was very surprised to find a message from G in my own guestbook. He had visited my website, where he saw his first photo of me–I had pasted my face onto the Mona Lisa. He left me a brief message saying that he liked my website and my art. I emailed him back, and so our correspondence began.

I was at college in Buffalo, NY and G was in England, where he is from. I was a complete anglophile at the time, so the idea of corresponding with an actual Brit was exciting to me. I discovered that he and I were the same age, both in our first year at college, and he was a lot cuter than that Spock picture I had seen. I think the fact that we came from such different places is what really ignited the spark that became a relationship. We enjoyed talking about the ways in which our lives were very different, yet the same. Both of us had rather shy personalities, but being able to write our thoughts gave us a lot of confidence. There were some “perks” to having a long-distance relationship. We learned to communicate very well, and we both enjoyed exchanging good old fashioned love letters on a regular basis (it was so exciting getting a letter from England in the mail!). It was also good that I was able to have my independence as I worked my way through college. I was an architecture major, which was very grueling, and I think it would have been difficult to maintain a traditional relationship while keeping up with the insane schedule and workload.

Of course there were several downsides to a long-distance relationship as well. First of all, I felt like there was a stigma attached. Back then online dating was still relatively new and there were always horror stories about people turning out to be axe murderers, twenty years older than they claimed, a different gender, or scary looking. I think even I believed some of it–I was terrified to give G my mailing address when he wanted to send me my first letter, and I was embarrassed to explain to others that I was having an online relationship. I referred to him as my “penpal” for a long time until it became obvious that he meant a lot more to me. I had to bookmark a dictionary of British slang so I could work out whether G was trying to compliment me or insult me sometimes, but even without the language gap there were times when one or both of us misunderstood what we were trying to say. The time difference was another issue–it was difficult to find time when we were both available to chat or talk on the phone. When things began to get really serious and I realized that we might spend our lives together, it was difficult thinking about one of us leaving our family and everything we knew behind.

We finally met in person in 2001, and a few months later I traveled to England to study abroad for a year. Even then, it was still a rather long-distance relationship since I was in northern England and he was in the south. We did see each other a lot more often, though. The day that I had to say goodbye to him in England, I bawled. We had grown so close, and I didn’t know exactly when I’d see him again. He was able to visit about twice per year after that.

Maintaining a long distance relationship was difficult, but it felt absolutely magical when we were finally able to be together for good.

Although we first started talking in 1999, we consider the point at which we officially started dating to be the first time we met in person, on August 22, 2001. G immigrated to the United States in June 2005, and we were married on July 23, 2005. Sometimes it’s amazing to realize that we’ve known each other for so long! I spent the first 18 years of my life not knowing he existed at all, and now I can’t imagine life without him.

If you just can’t get enough of Jen’s story please check out the story How I Met My English Husband in Walmart.

Charge Clients for Every Work Hour

You arrive for work in the morning at the office and clock into the time clock, from there every minute you work is tracked by your employer. There is no worry about “how many hours did I work” or “did I take my break today” because your employer keeps track of all the small details in their human resource department.

When you work from home having the time clock track all of your work hours is not an option, although you can track your own working hours using software like TimeLoc, you still need to be sure to clock every possible hour you worked for each client to ensure you are being paid for work completed.

Working from home is an amazing, fast growing industry these days and with the economy so up and down it seems it’s the only option that gives peace to entrepreneurs that they will have a consistent, steady job.  Since you are working from home to pay your bills and possibly support your family you must make sure that your time is being paid for so that in turn you can support your family fully on a home income.

Be sure to charge for phone conference hours, whether it be a Skype call or a text chat on Google Talk, you must be sure that your time speaking with a client is being charged. As with any job speaking with your supervisor is paid for, so why would you think otherwise when running your home business?

Whether you choose to bill for emails back and forth is up to you, but most work at home entrepreneurs don’t charge for the email correspondence between themselves and a client.  The hours that count are; phone conversations, research time, time dedicated to complete the project, and those hours spent doing immediate work for the client.

Make sure you are being paid for your hard work. Your clients will appreciate your professional, consistent billing ways just ensure that you release your billing terms with each client prior to contracting with them so that they know what to expect come end of work week when you send out their statement.

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Old Post, But Who is Your Funny?

Since I am going to be at Type-A Parent Conference and of course have to plan that trip and such I decided now would be the time to bring up some of my really old blog posts. I am talking from 2008-2009 era, I hope you enjoy and if you were not a subscriber back then well you will get some new content topics to comment on! Happy Reading!

I want to be real funny….

You know that kind of funny where everyone reads it and dies laughing? Well the only funny I get is that late night funny while working and attempting to keep myself and my friends motivated in working. Mainly I am thinking of a situation when I mooned MommaDJane … virtually that is via Skype. Totally cool that you can do that.

Anyways … I want to be that kind of funny that isn’t meant to be funny. That sacrastic comment, that stupid moment that makes everyone laugh, that goofy character that can make everyone laugh. The problem is .. I am really just not funny, I am ditsy and yes people there is a difference.

I can make people laugh at my ditsy behavior because they are laughing at me, not with me. I am not really a funny person, simply put I am a realistic, sarcastic brat … that’s all.

So who is your funny? Who is that person who can always make you laugh so hard you are crying? For me? I think it is a tie between my father and my sister.

  • Monday is One Day – Children Book Review (mommadjane.com)
  • Thank You Mom, For the Bug Zapper (momsvacationland.com)

I Am Heading To North Carolina #typeacon

I entered this contest in the beginning of the year to win tickets to Type-A Parent Conference where a friend and me would win conference tickets and our hotel. It was pretty easy for me to enter because the only thing you really had to do was tweet and most know I love Twitter.

Let me first start by telling you where my mind has been. I have always had a fear of flying but as I got further into blogging I realized some day I would have to travel. After being invited to an event in LA but not being able to attend I realized even more so how this fear of flying needs to be faced and removed from my life. I firmly believe people are not meant to fly, I would prefer to drive, yes even cross country, than get on a plane. Reality is so many people fly and yes I know all of the statistics of flying versus driving, but something has always kept me nervous. I have three children and right now they are my world, but this June I will brave it and fly to Type-A Parent Conference 2011 and meet a ton of faces I have only seen online.

Not only did I win this contest I entered but I entered to win tickets for my long time best friend, @mommadjane, you see it will be two years in July since we last saw each other. MommaDJane and I always have a way of working so awesome together, it’s like when we put our minds to something either to make money or get a project done, it gets done. We have the drive, focus and determination. Of course there were many random Skype chats of me making her laugh her butt off, because hey that’s what friends are for right?

So in June I am heading off to North Carolina to be roomies with @mommadjane who has attended #typeacon before and can help me get adjusted to attending a conference, as this will not only be my first flight at age 29 but my first conference since I started blogging in December 2008. By the way, the person who introduced me to blogging? Yup, you guessed it @mommadjane is the one who introduced me to blogging.

I am excited, nervous and starting to feel a bit panicky about leaving my children for such a long period of time and so far away but I know it will be great for them to spend time with their Dad’s while I go off to mingle and learn!

Thanks to @typeamom for hosting this contest and thanks to all who support everything I do!

OH and if you want to help me win some money to pay for my flight & maybe even FOOD while I am in NC at the conference…. click below to vote for me:

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