6 Ways to Stay on Track with Your Goals

Easier said than done, the expression goes! But at the end of the day, it’s always important to get your tasks done, no matter how hard! Slacking on your to-do list can cause serious damage to your business, side hustles and other projects! Still having trouble with motivating yourself? Here are a few tips for staying on track when it feels like you can’t get anything done.

1. Write Everything down

When it comes to keeping appointments and meeting deadlines, it’s crucial for you to write them down—sometimes in multiple places! The same trick works with personal goals. Without visually “concretizing” your aim in writing, your goal is likely to vanish from your mind until it’s too late. Sticky notes, calendar reminders and planners can all help with this.

2. Set a schedule

If your goal doesn’t have a due date, then you can always keep putting it off. This is especially true if other life things get in the way, or even if you plain don’t feel like it. Put the goal on your calendar and treat that deadline like a work deadline. And if it’s something big, don’t try to cram too many other things into the days before your deadline.

3. Break it down

Your goal will be easier to accomplish if you break it down into digestible steps. When architects plan a building, they don’t just put it up in one day: it’s built in parts, from the foundation up. The same is true with your goal. Break it down into weekly, monthly, or even yearly chunks, depending on how far out the deadline is.

4. Become More Accountable

Studies have shown that when you have to report to someone else, you’re more likely to stay on track. Pick an accountability buddy. It could be a friend, relative, partner or even someone working towards the same goal – like a gym partner, fellow entrepreneur or someone from your parent group. Set up times when you’ll check in and notify them of your progress.

5. Be Positive

Positive mantras are everything! Remember the story of The Little Engine That Could—he was able to climb the hill because he kept on saying “I think I can, I think I can.” You should have the same reaction towards your goals: verbal and mental positivity. Use affirmations, positive thinking, and support from those around you to reach for the clouds.

6. Treat Yourself

When you hit a milestone, do something nice for yourself, whether it’s gorging on sweets or buying a new article of clothing. Plan a special event or prepare to claim a prize when you reach your goal! Teachers especially are great at leveraging this tactic: when their class hits a behavioral or educational goal they throw a pizza party. Why not use the same strategy and celebrate with a nice treat when you reach the end of the road?

Setting goals, achieving them, and rewarding those achievements are all huge for keeping your business – or even your household – running smoothly. Use this list so you never fall off the horse!

4 Self-Care Tips to Reignite Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Guest post from http://economymom.com/

This year so many small businesses closed their doors for good because of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Countless more are weighing their options, deciding how to adapt and adjust to this new normal. Small business owners who put their hearts and souls into their companies are experiencing a really potent form of loss trauma, grieving the death of a dream that is unexpectedly ending.

Are you trying to recover from your business loss so you can start looking for the future? That’s proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is stronger than we think! TV Tray Desk presents four ways to get your world back on track after closing a small business.

Exercise for stress relief and self-care

Self-care may seem like a luxury these days, but if you are burned out you stand little chance of getting back on your feet. Tracking your health and well-being can help you track your recovery after a business loss. Many free or inexpensive fitness tracker apps let you monitor exercise, food, water, and sleep. But if you really want to prioritize your fitness self-care activities, smartwatches can really help. For example:

  • The Apple Watch SE tracks heart rate, acceleration, ambient light, and elevation gains, to name a few.
  • The Fitbit Inspire tracks steps, calories, active minutes, and distance, among many other fitness goals.

Take care of your whole body

Although exercise can keep you in great physical condition, you need to look after other aspects of your well-being — and this includes your emotional and mental health. So, look for ways that can help you unwind after a long day or address things that you may feel self-conscious about. The point is to look for ways to apply self-care.

  • Take steps to improve any dental issues to help boost your self-confidence. For example, if you have crooked teeth, find ways to fit a solution into your schedule.
  • Look for ways to relax at the end of a long day. For example, if you have an interest in meditation, use apps like Headspace to ease yourself into the process. Just remember to have patience; meditation takes a fair amount of practice to get right.
  • Feel free to indulge in a little “retail therapy” every once in a while. If you want to treat yourself to something nice, do it — just make sure you can afford it.

Find financial relief

Closing a business can be more costly than one might think. When those costs add up, so does the stress. And those costs can impact the financial foundation you have for your next idea. The good news is—there are financial options for assistance with closing your business and starting a new one. Learn more about:

  • Applying for government relief programs and debt-reduction grants.
  • Looking into debt consolidation options, as well as credit counseling, which can help stabilize your financial footing.
  • Exploring debt settlement agreement options that can give you the financial freedom to rebuild your company.
  • Talking to a financial advisor about your options for small business loans.
  • If you haven’t done so already, consider registering as an LLC with the state to ensure that you can use the tax advantages it provides.

Declutter your space

Many small business owners who have been isolated in their homes are seeing their work and inventory spill out into their physical and emotional space. If your home has become too cluttered by the past, you will struggle to process and move forward. What your space needs right now is ample amounts of positivity, self-love, and affirmation. Consider:

  • Eliminating the negative energy surrounding you in your home. Get a clean slate for your emotional and physical well-being in this next chapter of your professional life.
  • Purging items that may be holding you back, even the ones that hold some sentimental value. Take pictures of these items so you can always remember them or give them to someone close who will cherish them as you did.
  • Especially if you’re a pet owner, give that furniture the cleaning it’s been needing! Just browse Angi’s comprehensive ratings and reviews for the best upholstery cleaning services in your area.

Plan your next move

Thinking ahead can feel overwhelming, but if you start considering your next move you can really ignite your passion for the road ahead. One of the easiest and most effective ways to motivate yourself and boost your self-empowerment is to plan your next course of action. Make yourself open and receptive to your next big idea by:

  • Taking a few certification or online courses in a helpful aspect of business management, like leadership development or marketing.
  • Brainstorming different business ideas that can take what you were doing to the next level.

This year has been hard and the road ahead may be harder still. But just because this business venture is ending doesn’t mean you have nothing left to give. Explore these four ways to get closure on the business that was and move forward with excitement and authenticity into the next chapter.

TV Tray Desk wants to help everyone who finds themselves working remotely, either due to COVID-19 or by personal choice. We’d love to hear from you!

Tips for Navigating a Move While Launching a Home Business

Guest post from http://economymom.com/

When you run a home business, it’s important that your home environment can accommodate both living and working. You’ll need an office where you can work without distractions, storage areas for supplies and equipment, and possibly even a client-friendly space where you can hold meetings. Sometimes, moving is the only way to make room for a new business.

Moving and starting a business at the same time doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds. There are plenty of resources out there that can take some weight off your shoulders. Here are some tips from TV Tray Desk to help!

Determine Your Buying Budget

Before you begin house hunting, calculate how much home you can afford. How much money do you have for a down payment? If you can only afford a small down payment, make sure you can handle the monthly mortgage payments on your current income. Keep in mind that your debt service ratios and credit score will also impact your home affordability. 

Also, remember to consider how much money you need on hand to cover your business startup costs. Save money wear you can — for instance, save on marketing and design by using a free logo creator online. That way, you can still attract customers while saving money for other areas — like setting up that snazzy business website, printing business cards, or getting an EIN number online

Account for Additional Expenses

Buying a home comes with many hidden costs. Make sure you account for these when developing your budget! Beyond realtor fees and moving costs, you should also be prepared to cover upfront costs. Some common expenses include home inspections, buying new furniture, and having the locks changed.

After buying your home and moving in, you may need to spend some money on home repairs and upgrades. You can save a lot of money with DIY fixes. Try tackling simple, common repairs yourself before hiring a contractor.

Hunt with Your Business in Mind 

Once you’re clear on your buying budget, you can start looking for a new home. Try to keep the needs of your business and family in mind as you hunt for properties. To accommodate your business, you may need a home with an extra bedroom or a den that you can convert into an office. 

Pay attention to the view outside the office window. Will you find it too distracting? Similarly, will you be distracted by neighborhood noise? MYMOVE also suggests looking for a home office that is far away from household traffic so you can keep your distractions to a minimum.

Declutter Before Moving

Decluttering before your move will save you time and money. By getting rid of stuff that you no longer want or need, you will have fewer boxes to pack and less stuff to load onto a moving truck. This will also leave more space in your new home for business supplies and equipment. And when you unpack in your new home, you’ll be able to get everything put away much more quickly, so you can get down to business as soon as possible!

Having extra space in your home for an office can have a significant impact on your productivity. When you don’t have to play musical chairs at the dining room table or lock yourself in the bedroom to escape from the kids, you will be able to get more done in less time. So do yourself and your business a favor and start hunting for that new home today!

TV Tray Desk is a blog dedicated to anyone and everyone operating out of a home office. If you have questions or would like to collaborate, reach out today!

Why Everyone Needs to Be a Photographer

Unless you follow me on Instagram, GuruShots or Redbubble, you probably didn’t know that I’m a hobbyist photographer! I’ve been snapping pics since I was 13, and my photos have been featured in several exhibitions across the globe.

Most of my pictures focus on capturing the beauty in ordinary life. Frost on the grass, trees on the sidewalk, graffiti and abandoned train tracks are just some of the subjects of my photos. Many of my photos are taken in my home state, usually while I’m just out on a walk or a drive.

Now, why do I think everyone needs to be a photographer? Well, photography can play a big role in our careers and our personal lives, believe it or not. How? Let me explain!

1. You already take pics anyways… so why not get good at it?

Admit it: you’ve already taken some pics today. Whether it’s your daily selfie or a snap of your adorable pup, you’ve likely already used that camera app before you saw this post.

And that’s okay! Knowing how to capture a moment and turn it into a lifelong memory is a great skill to cultivate. Before smartphones, moments came and went, and unless you had a digital or disposable camera on-hand, you had only the memory of the event.

There’s nothing worse than recounting a story, and having no way to actually show the person what you saw. Honing your photo skills will allow you to make great scrapbooks and digital albums to share with generations to come.

2. Photography can be turned into a business

Whether it’s a side gig taking portraits, or a full-blown business, photography is a much-needed service. Weddings, sweet 16s, family reunions and business headshots are just some photography services you can offer to clients – and make a pretty penny doing it!

We live in a hustle-and-bustle culture. It’s very hard for people to sit down and take their own pictures. And when it comes to events where everyone is distracted, outsourcing photography services

3. It’s important for social media work

If you run a small business, are trying to become an influencer or do any sort of work that requires online visibility, then photography is hugely important to your work. Your company’s social media will need pictures to capture people’s eyes.

Whether it’s a photo-centric app like Instagram or a primarily text-based platform like LinkedIn, you need eye-catching photos to complement the content your business is putting out. Plain text with no images is a great way to get lost in the masses!

4. You can make it a cool hobby

Ever wanted you pictures in a magazine, or a group exhibition? With apps like GuruShots and Agora Images, any photographer with enough talent can have their photos seen by thousands of people from across the world. I myself have had my work features in Athens, Melbourne and Venice, to name a few.

It’s a joy to share my work with with the world. It’s purely a passion project, and I’m always looking for opportunities to hone my craft. I encourage everyone else do it, too! It’s a useful skill that can be very lucrative.

4 Self-Care Tips For Extra Busy People

Finding time to invest in self-care can be challenging – especially when you’re a remote worker with an extra-busy life! When your days are spent bouncing between work, side hustles family and social commitments, you barely have time to catch your breath, let alone take time for your physical, mental and emotional health. If you are struggling to find time left for self-care, try these four tips to incorporate good self-care habits in your routine.


Establish a morning routine

Starting the day right is crucial to maintaining mental and physical health. This means a healthy, fiber-rich breakfast (don’t forget that granola!), daily exercise or meditation. Figure out what works for you and implement it daily. Over time this bit of self-care will become a habit, and will have a special place in your schedule.


Schedule time off

If you’re anything like me, the idea of taking a vacation can seem scary! Stepping away from projects can seem like a recipe for disaster, but you’re not doing yourself any favors. Make sure you don’t get lost in the chaos by scheduling some time off. It could be as simple as an afternoon away from your normal routine, or something more extravagant like a weekend out o town. Whatever you choose, taking a break will allow you to relax and rejuvenate.


Get enough sleep

It can be easy to prioritize other commitments over sleep, but the importance of sleep shouldn’t be ignored. Getting a good night’s sleep allows your body to de-stress and re-energize, helping you to perform in all areas of your life when awake. It can also be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle without proper sleep, as we tend to grab processed foods and avoid exercise when we’re tired. Sleep is critical for physical and mental health!


Set realistic goals

Help manage your mental health by setting realistic goals. If you commit to something that is unachievable, it wears on your mental health when it inevitably falls apart. Spend some time really figuring out which of your goals are feasible, and then work toward. In that same vein, you also need to set realistic goals when it comes to your self-care commitments. Anything added to your daily routine should work long term with your lifestyle.


With limited hours in the day, it can be nearly impossible to make time for self-care. Hopefully these tips help you put more self-care into your schedule – so that you can live life to the fullest!

Nice to Meet You!

Hi!

I’ve been blogging for a few months now, and I don’t think I’ve ever properly introduced myself!

My name is Briana Hernandez. I’m an entrepreneur, author, poet, lifestyle blogger and game designer. I’m currently working on two sci-fi novels and a fantasy short story, and have been published by The Ice Colony, Nail Polish Stories, and the 2019 and 2020 editions of Breakwater Literary Magazine – the student-run journal at Albertus Magnus College.

I work as a copywriter and social media manager. I take on some projects via Upwork, but I mainly work through my business, Briana Hernandez Copywriting. It’s fun being my own boss, and I get to work wherever there’s internet! It can be pretty demanding work, but it’s worth it.

I launched TV Tray Desk as a way to cope with losing my job after the lockdowns began. I had my business, sure, but it wasn’t making as much as I’d like. That loss of financial security, coupled with wrapping up my Master’s program around the same time was deeply upsetting. I needed… something to do. I had to somehow turn that negative into a positive.

Thus TV Tray Desk was born! I’ve been working remotely for a few years now, so creating a brand around the WFH/remote work lifestyle seemed like the natural topic to go for. The name pays homage to the fact that I’m usually working in my living room with a TV tray as my desk. It can be murder on the shoulder, let me tell you!

It’s fun to write about things that have affected my everyday life as a remote worker, like whether to have natural lighting or not, or ways to keep entertained after work is done. Suffice to say I’m just writing as topics come to me without a long-term goal in mind. For now I see this blog being a crash-course for those new to remote working or still struggling to adjust to working from home. With the pandemic still rampaging, a lot of us won’t be returning to in-person work for a long time. If I can just help one other remote worker with my writing, then this blog will have been worth it!

So, with much delay, nice to meet you! 🙂

Gig Work – Yay or Nay?

As someone who’s been working remotely in the gig industry for a few years now, I can definitely say that it has its pros and its cons. There are long, busy days and weeks where you get hardly any income. It’s a nonstop grind just so you can cut yourself the tiniest of paychecks. Yet having only yourself to answer to is an amazing, freeing feeling like no other.

Yet I bet that with so many still at home, people are wondering if the upsides of working gigs outweigh the downsides.

By no means do I have decades of experience, but as a younger Millennial with a few years of remote entrepreneurship under her belt, I have been able to see quite a few differences between gig work and 9-to-5 jobs. Here’s what I’ve learned so far!

It’s great to have a side business

If you’re not happy with the money you’re getting from your day job, starting a side business from home can help add to your monthly income.

Being able to make money from home is also highly desirable, with the world still locked down and social distancing. The pandemic is affecting everyone differently – some have to work in dangerous environments, others cut their hours, while still others have lost their jobs altogether. Having money coming on the side can give some peace of mind, and can even flourish into a business that you can work on full-time.

Work/life balance is almost nonexistent

One downside is that, as with any entrepreneurship, you’re busy all the time. Searching for clients, chatting with investors, marketing the business, bookkeeping… you must wear many hats as a business owner, and your job is never done.

It will likely be years before you can make a livable income off your business and have a regular schedule. Until then, you’ll have days that fluctuate between being incredibly slow and incredibly fast-paced and busy. You’ll have to roll with the punches and simply understand that your work will take up a giant chunk of your day.

Perfect for people stuck at home

If you’re on layoff or have even been let go, working a side hustle from home is an excellent supplement to unemployment income. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, every extra penny can help.

If you’re a stay-at-home spouse looking to make some side money, working gigs while the kids are napping or after chores are done can keep you feeling productive.

Money is tight

Don’t expect to be able to quit your day job any time soon. As I mention above, you’ll be making peanuts for a long while. You’ll most likely have to land a few big, long-term clients before you can make a living wage off your business – which won’t happen without getting years of experience and building up your portfolio.

All in all, being a business owner is amazing. Becoming your own boss and calling all the shots while being able to work where you please is something most people don’t ever get to experience. But the journey to become fully established is hard – I’m not even there yet! There are cons with gig work and remote entrepreneurship, but the end goal is worth it.

Pros and Cons of Natural Lighting in Your Home Office

It seems that a home office never hits that level of comfort that a real office has. The lights are too bright or too dim, you either have to work on a big dining room table or on a low coffee table.

You see your living room window. You office could use some natural lighting, couldn’t it? Or will it just throw off the delicate rhythm you’ve found?

As small a question as it may seem, the slightest thing can throw you off your game and affect productivity, including lighting. And with many of us still working from home, we’re all dealing with different forms of lighting. You might be tempted to throw the window open and let in some sunlight – but should you?

Pro: You get fresh air

There is nothing worse than breathing in the same heavy, recycled air that’s been in your house all day. Getting a steady breeze coming in from outside will keep you refreshed and cool. This is especially great if your home office doesn’t have a fan or air conditioning!

Con: You won’t be able to take video calls

Unfortunately, with the sun coming in, you’ll get such a glare on your camera that anyone who calls won’t be able to see you. While you can always leave your camera off, if you’re giving a presentation, a webinar or anything that requires you to show your face, you’ll need to move your computer elsewhere or draw the blinds.

Pros: You’ll get more natural light in your office

The most obvious pro is that you’ll have natural lighting! Studies and articles show that natural lighting (albeit filtered) is great for eye health, whereas florescent lights are more harmful. That natural lighting will be a nice change of pace for your eyes, so used to backlit computer and phone screens.

Of course, if eye health is the goal, it’s also important to take frequent breaks away from any screens. That could be spent reading a book, listening to music or a podcast with your eyes closed, or going for a walk.

Con: It’ll be much harder to see your own screen

Devices like laptops and cell phones are backlit, which means they produce their own light. That means that they’re best viewed under other artificial lights. If you’ve ever tried to answer a text while outside, you probably noticed that it was harder to see. Now imagine that difficulty, but while you’re trying to work. Your productivity will tank!

Pro: You’ll hear more sounds of nature

Checking your email and sipping your morning coffee while birds sing sounds like something out of feel-good movie. It’s a relaxing way to ease into work, and it sure beats the sound of morning traffic. This is especially nice if you don’t live in an urban area. Don’t forget to refill your feeders and empty the birdbaths!

Con: You’ll also get more sounds not of nature

Is there a construction zone nearby? Or maybe you have noisy neighbors? Opening a window or two is going to let in more noise pollution along with the outdoorsy sounds. While you may be one of the few that can shut out the outside world and be laser-focused while working, it’ll still be hard to concentrate with all that sound. You might want to invest in some headphones.

So with all that in mind, it’s up to you to decide if natural lighting is worth it, or if you’d rather stick with the overhead lights – for better or for worse.

How to Keep Grinding During a Pandemic

Keeping the motivation to work can be hard already. Keeping the motivation to work during a pandemic can sometimes feel impossible. Between Zoom fatigue, finding time to forget about the craziness happening in the world and possibly caring for kids or relatives, our productivity can easily tank.


But there are ways to stay motivated while working from home; ways to stay relaxed so that you don’t burn out and fall behind.


Yoga and meditation

Yoga is excellent for relaxation. There are plenty of YouTube channels that men and women can visit to do quick routines between meetings or at the end of the day. Lots of yoga instructors also curate routines so that they help promote relaxation and deep breathing.

Some instructors also put together routines that you can do in bed or at your desk; brief routines that exercise the shoulders, back and arms, meant to give you a pick-me-up for the rest of the day or help you wind down.


Scheduled breaks

When you’re in an office, it’s easy to take breaks. Trip to the restroom, visiting co-workers at their desk, grabbing snacks from the vending machine… those are all little ways we would break up the day. When you’re at home, those little interruptions don’t help take you out of the work mindset as much.

This is where scheduled breaks come into play. Taking ten or fifteen minutes each hour or two would do wonders. You can take this time to watch some videos, do some exercise, enjoy the weather, or really anything that helps you relax for a while. Be sure not think about work as you’re relaxing, that’s a common mistake we all make!


Background noise

Some kind of background noise can help keep you from getting too overwhelmed by work. Whether it’s music, a TV show or a podcast, anything that keeps you working in complete silence will save you from getting too caught up in your job that it’s hard to stop for the day. It’s important to have a balance even as you’re working; working from home makes it much easier for your work life to bleed into your personal life, so you have to work to keep yourself from slipping to deeply into a work mindset.

Staying motivated after months of working from home can be hard, but it can be done! So long as you strike that healthy balance, you’re sure to avoid burnout.

Quick Hairstyles for Video Calls

You’re still in your pajamas, hair is a mess, and you get an email notification. Your boss wants to meet in fifteen minutes with the rest of the team, and you know they hate the messy bun look.

Getting dressed is easy enough. You have a few blouses and blazers at the front of your closet. But the hair…

Have no fear! As someone with frizzy, waist-length hair who’s had dozens of impromptu video calls, I know a thing or two about throwing your hair into a quick hairstyle so you don’t look like you just rolled out of bed.

Ponytails

Nothing beats the classic ponytail! A bit of hair gel, a plain elastic and a brush are all you need to fix up your hair. And if you have lots of small baby hairs like I do, a few snap clips or bobby pins will keep everything in place until the meeting is over. A nice layer of hairspray after your ponytail is up will be sure to keep the flyaways away!

Hair clip pinch

Longer hair is a must for this look, but whether you have curly, straight or wavy hair, pinning your hair back with a cute clip is more than enough to get your ready for a meeting. Just enough hair is pulled back that your hair isn’t completely loose, and by pinning some of it back, you’re going to hide some frizz and tame your hair a bit. Some gel will keep everything in place for the duration of your meeting.

French braid

A braid has never failed to tame a head of hair. My hair is extremely frizzy, and a French braid is my go-to for when I need it to behave for long periods of time. It’s also a great professional look and casual look; I’ve word a single braid to meetings and conferences, and twin braids to fairs and festivals.

Headbands

You’re never too old for the girl-next-door look! A simple black headband with teeth on loose hair can easily help give you a cleaned-up look.

Gel headbands work extremely well, especially with fine and straight hair, and stiff headbands with teeth work well for curly and thicker hair. Once your headband is on, all you need is some hairspray, mousse or hair gel to help with flyaways and/or to tame your frizz.

Good luck and happy styling!