Now that my 2nd little monkey is off to school this year and I finally have some time to myself – it’s all about me! I am joining the gym and making sure to look after myself like I haven’t been able before.

I have never been very good with snacks though – the go-to has pretty much always been toast – so I am very happy have found this fab infographic from GoToMeeting which has given me plenty of great ideas on what to graze on during the day. Still not too sure about kale though…

15 snacks to boost energy

Like what you see? Head to their resource centre where you can find more great visuals.

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keeping mumI imagine that being a mum, running a business and ensuring that you’re eating healthy, nutritious foods is not always the simplest of tasks. There are always things to do and places to be, and your health can become the least of your priorities. Here are four steps to help you integrate nutritious foods into your eating, while being a busy working mama.

1. Plan ahead

Yep, the old P word. You’re a business owner; you know that planning is important.

• Consider creating a scheduled weekly food shopping time. Create a habit that will be difficult to break out of. It could be first thing Monday morning after you’ve dropped the kids off to crèche or school, or every Saturday afternoon. Whatever works best for you.

• Plan your main meals ahead of time. Carve out half an hour each week to sit down and write out the main meals for the coming week. From there, you can more effectively plan your food shopping and food preparation.

2. Prepare your meals in advance

BREAKFAST

• Whip up a smoothie or juice for breakfast for a quick nutritional boost. Make a green fruit and veggie juice, a smoothie with yoghurt, milk and fruit, or mix it up. Throw in some banana, berries, kiwi fruit, apple or oranges for a colourful, nutritious drink.

• Consider the benefits of taking the time to eat a healthy breakfast if you rush through or skip breakfast. Breakfast shakes, bars and snacks can be high in calories, as well as sugars and can take the enjoyment out of eating.

LUNCH

• Boil a number of eggs, ready to go for lunches at home during the week. Leave as they are and put in the fridge.

• Have a selection of veggies on hand. A great thing you can do to ensure you are eating healthy, nutritious foods through the week is to have fresh vegetables at home, ready to go. Bring consistency into your eating and choose a selection of vegetables that you know you will enjoy and use throughout the week. For example, I always like to have spinach leaves, lettuce leaf mix, tomatoes, cucumber and red capsicum on hand, which can be incorporated into lunches, dinners or snacks.

DINNER

• Consider committing an hour or two for a big cook up on Sundays. Prepare and cook up batches of food and put in containers in the freezer to bring out during the week.

• Get the slow cooker out Monday morning. Create delicious, healthy soups, casseroles or rice dishes for the whole family to last for a few meals. Plus, it will fill the house with delicious smells and you’ll be looking forward to dinner time!

3. Food shop well

Is it possible that you could leave the kids with your partner, family member or friend to go and do the weekly shopping at the same time each week? It might help you save time and ensure you can follow your shopping list, as well as give you a chance to have some alone time during your week.

Another option is to bring the shopping to you. Have you ever considered using a fruit and veg delivery service, or ordering your supermarket shopping online? This could be an investment worth looking into.

4. Have healthy snacks ready to go

It is so very easy to reach for the biscuits, coffee or chocolate as a quick snack when you’re feeling a little tired or overwhelmed. Ensure you have healthier snacks on hand to eat at home or on the run. Here are some ideas that could work for you:

• Add easy to eat foods onto the shopping list, such as grapes, apples, bananas and berries

• Cut up celery or carrot sticks and keep them by your desk during the day

• Put together a trail mix of nuts, seeds and some dried fruit (e.g. unsalted almonds, cranberries, pumpkin seeds) and put in a snap-lock bag in your handbag for an easy snack on the run

• Out and about and ready for lunch? Opt for a takeaway wholemeal salad sandwich from the café, sushi, or a salad (chicken, quinoa, cous cous… there are a lot more healthy options out there these days offering nutritional benefit).

• Fancy a treat? Popcorn is a great option! Go for popcorn without flavourings or added salt or butter.

Eating more nutritious foods will help you to perform better, be more productive and have more energy throughout your day. I hope these tips help you, and I’d love you to get in touch and let me know how you go!

 

keeping mum

 

Kate Mackay is a health & wellness coach at Invigorate Wellness with a passion for helping business women & entrepreneurs get energised and productive in their businesses & lives through building healthy lifestyle habits.

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This post brought to you by Di Bella Coffee
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It’s rumored that the average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime, so it makes sense that people are continually trying to improve their performance in order to reach a sense of accomplishment and further their career goals.

If you’re someone who struggles to find new ways of staying focused, then check out the 5 tips below to help improve your performance at work.

1. Caffeine Fix

Fatigue can be one of the biggest hindrances for people who are trying to get large quantities of work done in a limited time. While you should aim to eat healthy and keep a balanced diet, a caffeine fix can be the quickest way to wake you up and keep you focused on the task at hand.

The best way to do this is to stock up on plenty of quality coffee for the office. If you’re short on time, Di Bella Coffee is a great supplier as they allow you to order online ad have it delivered directly to your workplace – it doesn’t get much easier than that!

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2. Prioritise

Often a dwindling work performance can come down to the way you manage your workload – you have to organise and prioritise in order to be efficient. Don’t just have deadlines in your head; break them down and record the completion (or incompletion) of every individual task so you can instantly see the urgency of each one.

Managing interruptions is another way to prioritise – schedule a time in your day when people can come and chat so that your work flow doesn’t constantly stop and start.

3. Healthy Habits

To improve performance, try focusing on your physical and mental well-being. A lack of care when it comes to your mind and body can result in tiredness at work, upset stomachs due to incorrect eating, and an overall lack of ‘wellness’. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can lead to not only a healthier you, but a happier you in the process, who wants to get in and get work done.

4. Up-Skill

Improving your work performance doesn’t just come down to having the right frame of mind; it is also about having the right attitude, and this means knowing your strengths and weaknesses.

If you feel like you’re lacking in specific skills that could directly, or indirectly, benefit your career, then consider upskilling through training or studying. For example, if you work in publishing, an online course in graphic design could help to further your knowledge in layout software programs such as InDesign.

5. Set Goals

For most people, work is usually made up of a number of long-term goals that often feel impossible to reach. Because of this you might find yourself lacking motivation. To refocus and improve your performance, set smaller goals in the interim, while you still work towards the end result. Break the larger tasks down into segments, each with their own demands and schedules, then congratulate your achievements every time you complete or reach one of these goals.

Everyone is different, which means everyone will benefit from the above tasks differently when it comes to workplace performance. In the end, to improve performance you need to be kind to yourself, not take on more than you can handle, and know how to ask for help when needed.

What are your tips and tricks for keeping yourself on-task at work? Discuss your answers below.

Images courtesy of tiramisustuido and Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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This post brought to you by SmartWorkerphasinphoto

Are you at a loss of what how to start your resume, or not sure how to improve on your current one to cater to more contemporary audiences? When writing a resume, your goal is to make yourself stand out against all others in a job application. Here are some resume tips to help differentiate your application from the rest.

Visual display

Make your resume stand out by focusing on how it looks, not just the content. Consider a different layout. Find new ways to display the information that is helpful to the reader while remaining engaging. While the information on a resume does not usually scream excitement, an eye-catching format can be the just extra push you need to get to the next stage in the selection process.

Active words

When listing your past achievements and previous work tasks do not use passive phrases that put your reader to sleep. Use active language that shows a job being done. Instead of using ‘I often was asked to assist in writing meeting minutes,’ say ‘wrote meeting minutes.’ The phrase is clearer, more succinct, and is easier for a reader to grasp during a quick glance.

Keep it Simple

A resume is a way to highlight what you’ve done and where your interests lie. While you want your resume to also highlight your personality and stand out from other applicants be careful to not be too extravagant. A revamped resume should be interesting and different, but should also be professional and polished. The best course of action is to keep it simple.

Keep it short

Keep your resume short and succinct while still providing all the relevant information. Tailor your details to the role you are applying for. If you have many years of experience, choose the three most recent, or relevant roles. If you are a seasoned applicant, a panel does not need information about your summer job in high school.

Market yourself

A resume is a place for you to show off. While arrogance is never warranted, your resume should display confidence. Provide your most impressive examples of why you are best suited to the position. The care you take in presenting the best resume will certainly be evident to any selection panel.

Include a cover letter

A cover letter is a great way to explain your resume in more detail. Instead of just listing duties you were responsible for, you can go into more detail about why these were beneficial for your previous workplace and for your personal and professional development. As the experts at SmartWorker say about writing a cover letter, “this is where you write, as you.”

A resume is a vital part of any job application. A good resume can be the difference in whether or not you get called for an interview. Take care when submitting a resume and pay attention to every detail.

Image courtesy of phasinphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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This post brought to you by Monash UniversityID-100382724

Between work responsibilities, having kids, looking after the house, pursuing hobbies and interests such as part-time study, and looking after yourself – you may be left wondering how on earth you can fit everything in.

The truth is, it is nearly impossible to do everything yourself, and the last thing you want to do is burn yourself out by trying to be ’Super Mum’. That being said, you shouldn’t have to forgo hobbies you love, or the opportunity to better yourself through extra study. The key to productivity is effective time management and prioritising your goals. With the right strategies under your belt, you could save yourself a whole lot of time.

Identify Your Goals

The most important aspect of time management is identifying what you want to achieve and defining your goals. Setting goals will provide you with a long-term vision, whilst also giving you motivation for the short-term.

Your goals should be broken up into yearly, monthly, and daily targets, in order to be realistic and achievable. This makes it easier for you to know exactly what you are meant to be doing with your time and resources on any given day, whilst breaking those bigger goals down into manageable chunks.

Just as it is important to identify what you want to achieve, it’s also important not to put too much pressure on yourself if you fall short of your targets – you’re only human! If you find that the goals you have set yourself become too difficult to reach, perhaps it’s time to re-think your strategy and adjust accordingly.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Once you have your goals outlined, it’s time to start planning! This involves working out when you can find the time in your busy schedule to work on reaching your objectives.

If you are trying to work on projects outside of your work or home life, it’s a good idea to make yourself a timetable to work around – could you fit in a few hours of work or study in the morning, before the kids wake up? Perhaps you are a night owl, and studying after everyone has gone to bed is more your thing.

If you have decided to go back to Uni and are trying to fit extra study into your life, take advantage of handy tools such as Monash’s online study planner, which generates weekly schedules based on your personal, work, and study commitments

Take Control of Your Environment

Distractions can wreak havoc on our productivity. Whether it be checking the latest on your Facebook or Instagram feed, impromptu dirty nappies, or a phone that never stops ringing – taking control of your environment during designated work times is essential.

Eliminate all distractions where possible, such as turning off your phone, logging out of your emails, and turning off desktop notifications. Let your family know when you are planning on studying, so they know not to disturb you. If need be, you can always hire a babysitter for the kids for a couple of hours while you hit the books.

Stay Realistic & Set Deadlines

Trying to look after kids, run a business, do the housework, take on extra study and be a supportive partner or wife is no small feat. If you do decide to undertake some extracurricular activity for yourself, it’s important you set realistic goals and deadlines.

Deadlines provide us with the motivation to achieve our goals, and a consequence if we fail to do so. However, the ability to make these goals and deadlines realistic is vital. Setting unrealistic expectations for yourself can end with discouragement and disappointment.  If your initial goal is unattainable, you are starting your journey with a handicap. Remember you are only human, and it’s okay to shift goalposts if you’re finding it difficult to keep to your plan. Set yourself expectations that you know are within your reach and don’t be too hard on yourself. With these points in mind, you’re well and truly on the path to success!

Image courtesy of khunaspix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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