Working from home can rock or you can totally suck at it, depending on how disciplined you are with the time you save from commuting. In the podcast, I describe how I get ready to work from home. Unfortunately, I cut off some of the tips towards the end, it’s all included below.

GET READY

You’re probably thinking, “Oh hell no, I’m NOT planning to get ready, I’m working from home, no one will even see me. It’s no pants day.” Relax, you can stay in pajamas or sweats if that’s your preference. Get up at your normal time, then workout it’s no excuses on work from home days, make it happen! Then shower and put on your favorite comfy outfit to get ready to work. Working from home gets you a pass to workout, so you don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day. Take care of you; workout, eat a great breakfast, make your to do list, all before checking email or social media. No social media, until you take care of you!

MAKE A LIST

I love lists, it keeps me organized, and it doesn’t take long to write. I use Reminders on the Mac or Evernote on the phone. You can add everything you need to do, from personal errands, work tasks, long-term projects, grocery items, anything that needs to get done. Get it out of your head so you have a visual of everything you need to do.

  1. Make a list of everything that needs to get done
  2. Categorize your sticky notes or tasks
    • Personal
    • Professional
    • Side Projects
    • Groceries
    • Errands, etc.
  3. Prioritize
    • Prioritize the top 3 things that need to get done today and do those first
    • Next figure out which errands can be grouped together then schedule those on your calendar. Type in the errands, place and what you need to do or buy directly into the calendar notice.
    • Schedule the other items on your calendar
  4. Take pictures of your sticky notes or sync the newly organized list with due dates to your phone.

WORK

I recently read about the pomodoro technique where you set a timer to stay focused on a task for 25 minute increments, then you take a 5 minute break to do non-work related things. If you suddenly realize you have something else you need to do, write the task in your To Do List. For the “work” intervals, you don’t go on  Facebook, email, Twitter, Snapchat, Periscope or whatever your distraction of choice is until after the timer goes off.

After you complete a pomodoro (25 minute “work” interval), make a tick mark on a sticky note. After you complete 4 pomodoro’s, you can take a longer break of 20 minutes. For a procrastinator, this technique is a dream because working for 25 minutes doesn’t seem daunting, so you can get to work pretty quickly.

RELAX

Since you’re not sitting around watching reality TV or talk shows or cleaning to procrastinate from doing work, you’ll have time to relax. Personally, the Pomodoro Technique was a game changer. It helped my mind stop procrastinating because  anyone can stay away from social media for 25 minutes, right?

P.S.

I’m challenging myself to creating 1 minute Periscope videos daily. Then repurposing these videos into blog posts, YouTube videos and podcasts. The brilliant idea I had this morning was to turn the Periscope into a podcast, which morphed into this blog post because I realized there were a few points I missed during the podcast. What do you think of my first podcast? What would you like to hear about in the future? Let me know in the comments.

RESOURCES:

Pomodoro Technique

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Periscope: LifeHacks, Social Media & Business for daily 1 minute videos on life hacks, social media and business. I’m sharing tips, tricks and epiphanies.

 

With the holidays approaching, I was looking for ways to cut or eliminate bills so I could spend more money on gifts for my family. The biggest bill after rent and the car payment is the hundreds of dollars I’ve spent on Verizon. It’s averaged around $175 or more per month for mine and my daughter’s phones. My iPad is on AT&T and I spend $30/month for 3 GB of data per month.

Then I thought, what if I use the SIM card from the iPad in the Verizon Samsung Note 4. I suspended Verizon service*, then I looked up the Access Point Name (APN) Settings and entered them into my phone. My phone isn’t jailbroken and since I use a Google Voice phone number, I could get text messages through Google Hangout and make phone calls using the Hangouts Dialer. If you expect to use your phone number, this solution may not work for you. A SIM card from a different carrier will have a different phone number.

Even if you’re not super tech-savvy, you should be able to test this out by following the instructions below. This setup works because I’ve been using Google Voice for years. The Google Voice integration with Google Hangouts and the addition of MMS/group messaging made this an attractive solution since I wouldn’t need to change the way I communicate. My phone battery died pretty quickly on Verizon, so I would take the SIM card out of the phone and put it in my tablet so I can stay connected while my phone charged.

How to Get a Verizon Phone Working with an AT&T Data SIM Card (no jailbreak required)

Before you get started, take the back cover off your phone and remove the Verizon SIM, then replace it with the AT&T SIM card. Make sure you don’t lose the Verizon SIM card, put this in a safe place, if you plan to use it again. I usually put the Verizon SIM in between the battery and the back cover so it’s always there if I need it.

  1. Go to Settings → Mobile Networks  → Network mode
  2. Select GLOBAL
    1. Once you click on GLOBAL, you will be brought back to the Mobile Networks screen
  3. Go to Access Point Names (APN)
  4. Click on + to add a new APN
    • Name: ATT Broadband (use this setting if you are using a SIM card for a tablet)
    • APN: broadband
    • Proxy: not set
    • Port: not set
    • Username: not set
    • Password: not set
    • Server: not set
    • MMSC: not set
    • Multimedia message proxy:  not set
    • Multimedia message port:  80
    • MCC: 310
    • MNC:  410
    • Authentication type:  Not set
    • APN Type: default, sup, mms, hip, fota
    • APN protocol:  IPv4
    • APN roaming protocol:  IPv4
    • Bearer: Unspecified
    • Mobile virtual network operator type:  None
  5. Click on the 3 dots in the upper right hand, Select Save
  6. Turn off your phone, then turn it back on
  7. To test your phone, turn off WiFi, then use the browser to go to a web page.
  8. Launch Hangouts Dialer and make a phone call
  9. Launch Google Hangouts to send a text message

This solution allows you use your data connection to make phone calls and text messages. If you use Skype, you can use Skype to dial phone numbers and you can go online to set your mobile number as the caller ID for when you make phone calls from Skype.

*Don’t suspend your cell phone service until you are sure you can make this work. My backup plan was to use my tablet to stay connected, that is why I suspended service until I could pay off the device charges.

Resources:

Manually Set APN Settings for US Network Providers
AT&T APN Settings