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Prevent Burnout with Office Plants

Burnout is a word that every entrepreneur is at least a little familiar with by now. As workloads increase and connectivity becomes a 24-hour thing, far too many of us fall  to what could otherwise be known as the “worker’s disease.” This is especially the case for those breaking away from the 9-5 and who work from home.

The idea of “doing it all for yourself” may seem appealing, but burnout is significantly more likely if you share a home and workspace.

However, I’ve found that having indoor – and outdoor plants –  is an easy way to help me get a break from work. 

Indoor gardens are a little easier to come by than outdoor gardens. All you need to do is find a garden idea you like, ask yourself ‘how long do building permits last’ after you’ve applied per regulations, and hire someone to make it happen.

Here are three reasons why you should consider adding some plants to your indoor and outdoor spaces.

Less incentive to “just keep working”

For home workers or, frankly, anyone in the process of starting a business, there’s always a temptation to work past the working day. And, why wouldn’t you when you’d otherwise only be in the next room watching television or something equally menial?

Because burnout is guaranteed if you don’t give yourself at least a few hours of recovery time each evening. Luckily, this ongoing work mentality should become a thing of the past once your garden office is in place. After all, you’re far less liable to traipse through the dark undergrowth to get back there once you’ve officially ‘gone home’ for the evening. 

Clearer work/life boundaries

Inevitably, work and life boundaries become a thing of the past when you work from home. Where burnout is concerned, this alone could spell trouble. The issue is, of course, that your surroundings will spell relaxation while your brain is telling you to work.

This is a work/life crossover like no other, and it could see your home and work efforts suffering, leading you to work longer hours and invite burnout into your life with open arms. It’s a nightmare, and it’s one that a separate garden office could put an end to once and for all with boundaries that, frankly, couldn’t be clearer.

A fix of fresh air

Working from home also has the downside of not providing much fresh air. While you’d love to tackle this with a daily walk, you just don’t have time, and suddenly burnout starts to set in as you go stir-crazy. Again, garden offices can calm the issue before it gets out of hand by providing you with regular fresh air fixes as you move between home and office.

Two or three minutes of freshness each day is still pretty limited, but even these short bursts of natural goodness could see you in a better mindset, and avoiding the dreaded “b” word for good.

Image by Roberto Nickson: CC0 License

7 Creative Writing Apps Every Writer Needs

Whether you write for a living, for your blog, or just for regular email, it’s important to create quality content and work.

Regardless of your expertise, here are apps you need to excel as a writer.

Grammarly

Free and easy to use, Grammarly can be installed immediately on Google Chrome. Essentially, Grammarly is like your own virtual assistant for writing. This app can detect errors as you draft emails and offer suggestions for word choice, comma placement, and more. Additionally, Grammarly integrates with other project management platforms and social media.

Hemmingway Editor

Hemmingway Editor is an app that serves to help you create content that is bold and clear. It can easily be installed on your desktop and highlights even the most complex of grammatical errors in your content. 

The Brainstormer

The Brainstormer helps combat writer’s block by generating new ideas and topics to write about. With ideas regarding various topics, this app will help tap into your creative instincts with prompts to get you started, allowing thoughts to flow more naturally.

Wordbook

An easy and accessible dictionary, Wordbook allows you to search rapidly for language to use in its dictionary and thesaurus. It includes pronunciations and etymologies for increased understanding in addition to bookmarking and notetaking features to broaden your vocabulary and enrich your work.

Scrivener

An all in one solution, Scrivener allows writers across genres with long-form writing. More than a typical word processor, Scrivener includes different features like outlines and organizational tools, keyboard shortcuts, side by side editing, and much more. 

IA Writer

The perfect solution for shorter projects, IA Writer is a clean and distraction-free writing environment to focus your mind. Highlighting their plain text and total focus solution, this easy to use software serves as a word processor to allow you to focus on your craft.

MindNode

For visual learners and processors, MindNode allows you to get thoughts out with a visual representation of your ideas. If you’ve ever enjoyed mind maps in school, MindNode will enable you to take your ideas to the next level by providing a clear and cohesive structure to your thoughts.

13 Professional Habits You Should Implement

Considering professionalism is an expectation that goes without saying in any career, it’s important to cultivate habits and disciplines that will set you up for success in the workplace.

Here are 13 professional habits you should be implementing now if you’re not already.

Show up 15 minutes early

Though the saying “better late than never” does have some truth to it, it’s better to never be late.

Ever heard the saying that if you are on time, you’re late, and if you’re early, you are on time? Striving to early allows for additional time for the roadblocks that many people see as excuses for a lack of punctuality. Plan to show up 15 minutes early to everything you do, and you likely won’t have to fear to be late again.

Be the first one in the office and the last one out

Though you don’t have to maintain this precedent for your entire career, being the first one in the office and last one out – at least while you are new to any position or company – will help you gauge the pace of your team. Additionally, it will help you remain disciplined to put in more hard work and show your peers your dedication.

Communicate directly

Sarcasm can be funny in high school, but communication is critical to your growth and success. In a fast-paced or growing company, it’s likely that your boss isn’t going to be assessing your every need or handing out raises left and right.

You are your own advocate, so speak up, and be forthcoming about what you want and need to be successful in the workplace.

Learn when to be “off”

Though the mindset of work-life balance is being shifted to a work-life harmony, being “off” is still important to your rest and recovery.

In a fast-paced culture where we can access our email at any hour of the day, boundaries are important. However, sometimes not checking your messages can give you more stress than if you quickly glimpsed at them.

Know your limits, be present, set boundaries, and make sure you carve out time to be both on and off the clock in a manner consistent with your lifestyle.

Respond within 12 hours

Respond within 12 hours to any communication. Some people will say 24 hours is common courtesy, but in my experience, 12 is best.

If you only check your inbox once a day, make sure you’re communicating with the people who are contacting you even if it’s to say that you’ve received their inquiry and that you’ll have a response within a certain timeframe.

Allow for extra time

Be careful not to over or underestimate your time, or how long it may take you to accomplish certain projects. Always budget more time than less, but if you struggle with this, try using a project management solution, or even a stopwatch and note on your phone to see how long it takes you to complete tasks.

Own your mistakes

Rather than casting blame, take personal responsibility for anything you may not have done fully and correctly. Apologize sincerely, learn how to improve, and adjust for the future.

Dress the part

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Your clothing communicates the message you want to send, the respect you have for yourself, and sets the tone for your first impression. If you need more help on this topic, check out this article.

Stay off your cell phone

Though cell phones are an effective way to communicate, being on your phone at the wrong moment can send a negative impression. Even if only to take notes, staying on your phone during a meeting appears unprofessional. Try another communication channel like Slack instead.

Plan your day

Planning out your day or even your week will help you prioritize the objectives and projects you need to accomplish. This mindset takes a proactive approach to your work instead of reacting to issues as they arise. Planning out your day will take away the constant need to put out fires and allow you to better focus.

Learn to do things yourself

We’ve all witnessed that one person who just can’t seem to figure things out without any assistance. From storing files to staying on track, we’ve all been around someone who just appears clueless.

Instead of being reliant and asking for help on every project, take initiative to develop new skills or watch tutorials on your own time instead of constantly and consistently relying on others.

Find a mentor

Mentorship can be instrumental to the growth in your career. Find a mentor who’s willing to watch you thrive, and make this part of your continuing professional development.

Know your value

Know the areas that you specialize in bringing and adding value to a team, and exercise them well. Knowing your strengths will allow you to contribute better to any and every team you’ll be a part of, and will also make you indispensable to your employer.

Don’t work for less than what you are worth, and know your value so you can ensure you’re being compensated accordingly.

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Preparing taxes is overwhelming, annoying, and just downright stressful, but I’ve learned some tips and tricks that help me make sure I’m not paying one cent more than necessary.⠀
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I wrote, "Get Independent: Tax Filing Tips for Millennials," for @affnetwork two years ago, but it's still as relevant as ever this tax season. Read more at the #linkinbio ⠀
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Is one of your New Year's Resolutions to get your passport?  Visit a new country? A new continent? ⠀

Take my advice: pick a location, buy the ticket, and just GO. 🌎✈️
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(Taken at one of the thermal pools in Switzerland where cameras are prohibited, oops!)

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