Kids and Chaos: Three Ways to Take a Break When Your Day Gets Manic

As parents, our kids are of course the most important people in our lives; we’d do anything for them and their health and happiness truly is our number one priority. However, as anyone with kids will tell you, sometimes they can seriously stress you out. At the end of the day we’re only human, and a day of crying, moaning and bad behaviour is enough to grind anyone down. Sometimes all we need is a short break to clear our head, compose ourselves and get back to it. Here are a few ideas for things you can do get a quick break when your kids are driving you bonkers!

A hot  shower

Baths are great- the hot water eases tense muscles, it reduces blood pressure and it’s a quiet place to think and relax. But as busy parents, we don’t always have time to luxuriate in the bathtub and so it’s all about quick showers instead. While they might not be as relaxing as submerging in water, showers can also reduce stress and so are a good option when you’re feeling a bit irritated and overwhelmed. Once you’re out and feeling fresh, you might well find tackling any issues you come up against is that bit easier.

A cup of tea

There’s nothing quite like a soothing cup of tea when things aren’t going your way. If the kids are scrapping and moaning and are generally getting on your last tether, step outside and give yourself five minutes to enjoy a brew. Whether you take milk and two sugars or prefer green or herbal tea, there’s something relaxing and refreshing about sipping the hot liquid and again you can return to what you were doing with a much clearer head! If you’re flagging and your stress is being added to by tiredness then go with a coffee instead, sometimes we a caffeine boost is what’s needed to get through the tough days!

A game of something fun

Sometimes a fun distraction is what you need, to take your mind off things and lower your stress levels. Whether console games or live casino sites are your thing, taking a break to enjoy a game could be just what the doctor ordered when your day gets chaotic. You might not have time to sit and watch a full movie or even a full tv episode, but you can play a quick game of something you enjoy and it could help to balance your mood again.

Instead of losing your temper or getting into a mood yourself, when things get stressful just give yourself a few minutes. One day your kids will be all grown up, and you’d do anything to hear them fight, moan and cry for your attention again! For now, take a break when you need it and then return to your duties with a smile on your face.

How do you deal with things when your kids are driving you up the wall?!

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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12 Organization Tips For Your Office

The kitchen is where your body’s nourishment comes from, and your bedroom is where you get your daily dose of good night sleep. Even so, your home office is the nerve center of your entire home as it’s from where you work from so that you can finance all facets of your household. For it to maintain its function, a home office requires good organization. Good news is that you neither need to be an astute do-it-yourselfer nor have a huge budget to create a well-organized office. We are happy to share some simple, smart and cost-effective office organization ideas that will make your working space functional and dazzling.

  1. Extra Large Cork Board

Don’t let the high price tag attached to rolls of cork deter you. You can make yourself a large pin board by making use of cheap IKEA cork placemats and lattice from the local hardware store. Follow this tutorial for insights.

 

  1. Cover Office Chair with Fancy Fabric

Source : Little Green Notebook

Nothing does a better job at changing that dull-looking office chair to a comfy glamorous office necessity like some fancy fabric and Mod Podge. When making a pick, be sure to choose a fabric that complements your style and color scheme.

  1. Toss Routers into Decorative Paper Boxes

Source: Sweet Sanity Designs

While electronics are every home’s must-haves, they can create a mess if their cables are left lying around. Keeping them in decorative paper boxes is a sure way to keep your office space tidy.

  1. Make Printer Storage out of the Dresser

Source: PB&J Stories

Believe it or not, your dresser is one handy piece of furniture that could help get the printer out of the way. Check out this quick tutorial that gives you instructions on how to transform one of your dresser’s drawers into a perfect hideaway for your printer.

  1. Get Crafty

Source: Mod Podge Rocks

While cereal boxes and old paper towel tubes are one man’s trash, they can prove to be quite valuable to you. With glue, paint and scrapbook paper, you can easily craft your inexpensive yet alluring desk accessories from them.

  1. Kick Confusion Out with Cord Tags

Source: The Chic Site

Ever spent a couple of precious minutes trying to make out what plug belongs to which electronic device? We all have. The best way to put a stop to the confusion is to use adorable washi tape tags to each plug.

  1. Turn Simple Cans Into Glamorous Cups for Pens

Source: Creature Comforts

Do you always throw away soup cans? Don’t underestimate their worth. You can easily turn them into glamorous cups for pens and pencils. Just add metallic leather cording around the cans and secure with hot glue.

  1. Make an Office Gem Out of a Used Cabinet

Source: Two Twenty One

New metal file cabinets don’t come cheap. Sadly, they usually carry some boring look that doesn’t match their hefty price tags. If you’re on a budget, it would be wise if you obtained use-but-good ones from thrift shops. You can then add a fresh coat of paint on them to give them superior aesthetic appeal. 

  1. Adopt a Color-Coded System for Your Files

Source: A Bowl Full of Lemons

Do you have stack of files you keep meaning to put somewhere? Disorganized files make for a cluttered mess that can make it hard for you to work efficiently. Before you over-think your labeling system, think of how a simple color-coded system will do and try it.

  1. Glam up Storage Boxes

Source: First Home Love Life

Small office and craft supplies make for the most clutter in the office. Putting them in storage boxes is the sure way to get them out of the way. When painted and labeled, the storage boxes can double up as storage spaces and decorative pieces. Talk of hitting two birds with one stone!

  1. Make Use of Wall Space

Source: Style By Emily Henderson

Storage boxes can take up lots of floor space. You can free most of that space by utilizing wall space near or above your work desk. With the things you need to put away in mind, you can design simple yet stylish wall pockets to keep all that clutter off your desk.

  1. Utilize Bookcases to Store Magazines

 Source: In My Own Style

Do you have a large collection of magazines that you just can’t find it in your heart to discard? Well, instead of letting them lie around, you can tuck them nicely into bookcases. Wrap the storage boxes with pretty paper to add style. Also be sure to add labels to the boxes to ensure that you’ll retrieve any magazine issue you want with ease.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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The Dad’s Guide to Working From Home

Working from home can be fantastic yet it isn’t without its drawbacks.  Indeed, one of the greatest drawbacks is that whilst working from home can be much more convenient, it can make you less focused.

See, the temptation to watch YouTube, Netflix or check up on the land of social media is far too tempting and in addition to this, when faced with the prospect of getting down to work on a sunny day, most dad’s would lack the willpower to resist a family picnic by the river.  Then, there’s the distraction of children watching TV in the background, which whilst providing entertainment so that your kids aren’t disturbing you – the background noise can be distracting.

In summary, there can be a productivity cost when working from home in terms of focus, particularly if you struggle with discipline or concentration.

It’s therefore essential to set up a good space to work in; meaning a space that will allow you to feel comfortable and relaxed yet focused and productive.  You’ll want to create a distraction free environment that allows you to focus, and is ideally, differentiated or perhaps even removed from your actual home.

This space should be yours, and yours alone; meaning that when the door is closed you won’t be disturbed.  It should essentially feel like an annexe to your home rather than part of it, as this way, you’ll feel less distracted and more in “work mode”.

Here are three tips to help you focus when working from home:

  1. SET UP THE SPACE

You’ll want to create a distraction free environment that allows you to focus on work without distraction, therefore decluttering the space that will become your office will ensure a minimalist environment that assists concentration.

  1. FURNISH

You’re going to need a desk, as even if you are working from a laptop you’ll probably want to spread out in order to arrange your thoughts and focus on work.  Similarly, this is your home office and should be tailored to your unique needs – for example, if you are left handed then it’s important to find the best left handed mouse rather than struggle with a conventional mouse.

Also, what you sit in is extremely important, as this chair is likely to get extensive use, perhaps  upwards of eight hours a day. For this reason you’ll want a chair with plenty of padding and decent ergonomic support.

  1. ROUTINE

The most important thing in terms of having a routine, is that it provides structure and keeps you focused – that’s what a lot of people that work from home lack.  They lack the structure and routine of the daily commute, the set lunch hour, and home time. It can help to set yourself a lunch hour between a set time each day and even get dressed for work, as if you were going to the office, as this can put you in a more focused emotional state.

In summary, you want to create a space that allows you to focus.  See, it’s all too tempting for your attention to drift anywhere other than on work; particularly when working from home, and therefore you might need to parent yourself and set up your own version of ‘parental controls’ that keep you focused; there’s a brilliant app called Freedom that offers this type of filtering functionality.

This post is a collaborative effort by St. Louis Dad.

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Everything You Need to Know About Creating an Online Course

Online courses are everywhere nowadays. Universities and colleges offer students the chance to study online, around their other commitments and from the comfort of their own home. They can even study at a college the other side of the country or in a different country entirely, without ever having to attend in person. You can learn more about the advantages of online study at https://elearningindustry.com/5-advantages-of-online-learning-education-without-leaving-home.

Less formal online education is also growing in popularity. Bloggers offer online courses to share their skills. Professionals offer online courses, consultancy and tutorials to share their knowledge and help others, and there seems to be a course out there helping you to do absolutely anything. You might have even taken a few of these courses yourself. Perhaps to help advance your career, or to take your hobbies to the next level. Some people just enjoy courses just because they like to learn.

Have you ever considered offering a course yourself? If you’ve already got a blog or website of your own, you’ve already got an audience that listens to what you say and a place to add downloads. They consider you to be an authority. They respect your opinion, and they think you are worth their time. This could mean that you’ve got more to offer. Here’s a look at everything that you need to know to help you get started with your own course.

You’ll Need an Idea

The first, and perhaps most important thing that you need is an idea. Something that you know a lot about, and think others want to learn about. You might know loads about something really random and obscure, but ask yourself if other people want to learn about it?

If you have already got a blog, it’s a good idea to stick to your niche. You’ve got an audience already built. Then, it’s just a question of whether or not they are willing to pay for more. If you’ve been blogging for a while, if you’ve got a book out or you’ve written guest posts on other sites, you’re already out there. Your content is available. Have you already shared everything that you know? Your course needs to offer valuable content that your readers can’t already get for free if you are going to ask them to pay for it.

Consider breaking down something that you’ve already talked about, and is popular, into more detail. Give people more of your knowledge, and a deeper understanding of the topic.

Then a Platform

Now, you need to consider how you are going to share your course. Is it going to be available to download from your site? Will there be a secret link that people have to pay to view? Will you host in on another platform like teachable? Or will you sell it in an online shop? You could even start a brand-new website, dedicated to course content. This could be useful if you plan on offering further courses in the future.

There are many different platforms to sell your course from. From a plugin on your current site to a separate shop. Explore your options to find out which suits you, your course and your audience better than the rest.

You’ll Have to Find an Audience

If you’ve already got an audience, you need to build upon it. If you haven’t, you need to get one. Either way, you should try to find ways to let as many people know about your course as possible. Do this by creating some hype on your current site, by guest posting on other sites, with social media and email. Offer sneak peeks of what you’ve got to offer, or even a free short course to show users what they might be getting.

You could run special offers, giving people a discount if they sign up early or if they refer a friend. It’s important to get seen by as many people as possible. You should also remember that once your course is online, it’s out there. You aren’t just selling to this first wave of people. They’ll keep coming in the future, and people could be enrolling on your course for a long time to come. This means that your marketing efforts need to carry on long after your launch.

The Best Courses Have a List of Outcomes

Very few people go into a course with just the vague idea that they’d like to learn something new. Nor do they start with a specific idea of what they want. But, they do have ideas of what they’d like to get out of it. Advertise the outcomes of your course. Tell people what they will be able to do at the end of it. What they’ll have learned, what they will understand and what they will be able to achieve with this knowledge.

Start Collecting Content

Once you’ve got your idea, an audience and some outcomes, it’s time to start collecting content. When it comes to writing a course, you’ll start a little like you would if you were writing a book. They’ll be drafts, lists of things that you want to talk about, breakdowns how to include all of the detail. Write down everything that you know about your topic of choice. Do some research and spend a lot of time learning everything that you don’t already know.

Arrange it into Modules

A good course isn’t just reams and reams of writing. It’s broken down into smaller, easier to digest modules. Take all of your content and break it down into smaller topics. Include tests or assignments in each section.

Try to Add Variety to Your Teaching

You also need to make sure it’s not dull. A good teacher is able to capture their student’s attention, and then hold it even when the course content is robust. In some ways, this is harder to do online when you’re not stood in front of your audience. But, it’s possible. Include videos, use www.biggerbetterbackbeat.com to record audio segments, add pictures and infographics. Break things up with fun projects and pop quizzes. Try to add as much variety as you can.

Add Some Freebies

Adding some simple freebies to your course is a great idea. Printables like schedules, workbooks and plans are easy to attach and helpful to your students. You can also add things like stock photo and font downloads, or any other resources that you use a lot and feel could help others.

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