Working From Home With Kids: How To Remain Productive

A while back, working from home was a dream for many people. It meant no commuting, a more relaxed dress code, and generally more freedom and flexibility to get work done. Today, that dream has become a reality for many people around the world who are now working from home. But here’s the challenge, if you’re also trying to take care of kids at the same time, how do you remain productive? Let’s take a look at some tips.

  1. Get dressed for work

Getting dressed for work can help you get into the right mood for work. So, get up and get dressed like you’re going to the office. This will help put you in the right frame of mind to start working. Additionally, your kids will also see that you are “going to work” and will be less likely to disturb you.

  1. Set office hours and stick to them

It can be tempting to let work take over your life when working from home. However, you need to set some boundaries between work and home. One way to do this is to set office hours and stick to them as much as possible. Let your children know your office hours so they know they should not disturb you during those times. Turn off your phone or put it on Do Not Disturb mode so you’re not tempted to check it every five minutes. And, when your office hours are over, try to resist the urge to keep working.

  1. Take breaks and move around

Take breaks, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Get up and walk around, play with the kids, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, check out the Red Stag casino bonus, or step outside for some fresh air. Taking regular breaks will help you stay refreshed and productive.

  1. Set up a dedicated workspace

Set up a dedicated workspace in your home where you can go to work every day. This might be a spare room that you can turn into an office, or it could be a corner of your living room or bedroom. A dedicated workspace will help you stay focused and avoid distractions. Ensure the room is well-lit and comfortable, and make sure you have all the supplies you need so you don’t have to keep getting up to fetch things.

  1. Avoid distractions

There are many potential distractions when working from home, from the TV to social media. Not to mention children who tend to be clingy when parents are home.

If you know you will be tempted to watch TV, put it out of sight. If you are easily distracted by social media, log out of your account or delete the app from your phone. And, if you need complete silence to concentrate, invest in a pair of noise-canceling headphones.

  1. Set goals for the day

Before you start work, take a few minutes to plan out what you want to achieve that day. This will help you stay focused and on track. Make a list of tasks you need to do, and try to break them down into smaller, more manageable steps. For example, instead of writing “write a blog post,” break it down into “research topic, write an outline, write the first draft, edit and proofread.” Having specific goals will help you stay productive and avoid getting overwhelmed.

  1. Establish a routine

Children thrive on routine. If they know what to expect each day, they are more likely to behave and respect your working hours. If possible, try to establish a daily routine when working from home. This might include setting office hours, taking breaks at regular intervals, and working on specific tasks at certain times of the day.

Having a routine will help your mind know when it’s time to focus on work and when it’s time to relax. Additionally, having the routine in place will help your children know when they can disturb you and when they need to be quiet.

  1. Make time for social interaction

One of the benefits of working in an office is social interaction. When working from home, make an effort to stay connected with other people. Schedule regular video calls or coffee dates with friends, join a co-working space or attend networking events. Social interaction will help you stay motivated and connected and can also be a great source of inspiration.

  1. Give yourself some grace

Working from home can be tough, especially when you have kids. There will be days when you’re not as productive as you’d like. That’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day. Just getting out of bed and starting your work is a win. Remember, tomorrow is always a new day.

  1. Have fun

Imagine working and at the same time being able to bond with your kids- now that would be a dream come true! You can have fun with your kids while getting your job done, such as turning on some music and dancing in between tasks or even setting up a little scavenger hunt for them to do while you’re on calls.

Wrapping Up

Working from home can be a great experience if you take the time to set yourself up for success. By following these tips, you can create a productive and enjoyable home office space that works for you and your kids.

Liz Mills: a Trailblazer in the World of Basketball

Liz Mills, the first woman to coach a men’s national team, brings down walls in sports, proving gender is not a barrier.

Coaches generally enter the court and begin focusing on the game as soon as they do. Examples include the strategy, lineups, and matchups that male coaches consider. For Mills, though, every decision—including the choice of her attire—must be carefully considered.

“When I went to Mozambique, they said: ‘You can’t wear the boots. You’ve got to take them off because you look too feminine,'” Mills recounted.

Nevertheless, she dismissed the committee’s requirement, stating that she entered the court regardless of the interaction.

“I’m very proud to be a woman. But don’t you forget about it, but I’m here to coach. And that’s what I want people to talk about: the coaching.”

Mills and her stint in coaching

Mills came from Australia and grew up following the Women’s National Basketball League. But unlike many others, Mills found inspiration from the instructors on the sidelines.

“I always say that seeing coaches like Carrie Graf and Jan Sterling, these were head coaches of women’s teams in the 90s and early 2000s. So, I think that put the idea in my head that I’m not going to be a great player, but I could be a great coach. I saw these strong, successful, intelligent women winning the league. If they can do it, I can do it,” she said.

The accomplishment she has made today is beyond anything she could have imagined. Women’s basketball was something Mills aspired to compete in. However, she has become a trailblazer in men’s basketball, so it appears fate has bigger plans for her. Mills became the first female to lead a men’s national team. She asserts that sports suit any gender, despite men dominating the scene.

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Fate favored the female coach

She began teaching both boys and girls basketball in Australia. But a colleague offered her to see a men’s basketball team when she flew to volunteer in Zambia. Passionate about the game, Mills attempted to converse with the team’s manager in an endeavor that would eventually boost her coaching career.

“I go up to one of the players and ask, ‘Do you have a club president or anything here?’ And he introduced me to the club president. He worked for the World Bank, Maziko Phiri, and was very open-minded, so we had a chat, and he said, ‘OK, you can have an hour of practice,'” she recalled.

In due course, Mills got appointed Heroes Play United’s head coach. She took charge of various teams for over ten years, including clubs in Zambia and Rwanda. After landing a coaching position with the Kenyan men’s national team, her career began to move onto a bigger base.

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The magic with Kenya

Throughout the AfroBasket 2021 qualifications, Mills mentored the Kenyan National Team. In a nail-biting match against Angola, the team’s forward, Tylor Ongwae, hit a buzzer-beater to win the game and advance the squad further in the tournament. However, in the round of 16, South Sudan defeated them. Nevertheless, despite the defeat, Mill’s coaching helped the Kenyan squad accomplish a goal they had diligently sought to realize during its entire history.

Mills looked at North African clubs after Kenya before securing a role with the AS Sale. She makes history as the first woman to lead a team in the Basketball Africa League, leaving her mark on the sport (BAL).



Ukrainian Youth Help War-Stricken Communities in a Fun Way

Ukrainian youth decides to help the country’s communities rebuild their homes and other infrastructure in a fun and enjoyable way.

Hanna Yurchenko, a 66-year-old Ukrainian, sees her destroyed home one afternoon. The structure got hit by Russian bombs on March 7. As she walks past her home, she can’t help but tear over what was once her humble abode. Thankfully, the initiative, begun by her country’s young men and women, sparked hope in her.

“I’m retired, and I can’t do this cleanup myself. I’m just so grateful for these kids,” she said as she wiped her tears off her face.

The volunteers are aged between 20 and 30. The “kids” understand the gloomy setting of realizing the damage the Russian-Ukrainian conflict inflicted upon both sides. However, they try to finish the job in a light mood. And they do it by dancing and laughing as they work through the rubbles, bringing a Bluetooth speaker.

Ukrainian for Repair Together

The young Ukrainians volunteer for Repair Together. Young citizens make up the organization, raising money to aid Ukrainian communities. With the money they collect, Repair Together allocates it to the impoverished and the needy, especially those who lost their homes due to the war.

According to the program organizers, Repair Together aims to revitalize the sense of community among Ukrainian youth and, by extension, the whole country. Seven months of war caused pain and hopelessness among the nation’s citizens. However, Repair Together reignites that hope and a better outlook for the war-stricken communities.

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Helping with a smile

The organization recently traveled to Kolychivka near Chernihiv City to extend its help. Earlier in the war, Russia destroyed several areas in the region. So Roman Tarasiuk, 27, finds himself on top of a trailer, dancing to the tunes playing from their speakers as he empties a bucket full of debris to throw. The Ukrainian lost his job during the war, and now he decided to join Repair Today.

“Volunteering in Ukraine it’s become a way of our everyday life. We all just want to feel useful,” he said.

Meanwhile, Viktoria Sitovska, 20, holds the shovel, cleaning the nearby debris while she dances to the music. When the war began, she traveled back to Ukraine from Germany. Today, she joined the organization to help others in need. According to her, the jolly mood of the volunteers is necessary.

“Right now, we all feel anger and a lot of destructive emotions. Listening to music keeps us balanced, so we can keep working,” the young Ukrainian said.

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Ukrainian friends helping each other out

The war between Russia and Ukraine undeniably defaced many communities. The damage displaced many. As a result, young Ukrainians started to volunteer, reaching out to the community. This marked the start of Repair Together. However, at the time, their number was too small, and too many communities needed the help. Subsequently, friends called on other friends, who called other friends as well. As a result, the network grew larger, so the Ukrainians formed the organization.

“Some people say, come on, you can’t have fun, it’s a war! But I say, we’re doing something good. Why can’t we also have fun?” said Marina Hrebinna, 34, one of the organizers.

“We’re not builders, yeah? We’re just normal people. But we have our bodies, we have our arms, we have our health,” she added.

Taylor Swift Releases New Album, “Midnights”

Taylor Swift dropped her first original Album in two years. Called “Midnights,” the Album hits hard among fans.

Taylor first announced that she plans to release a new album during the MTV Video Music Awards. During the awards night, she received Video of the Year, and when she went on stage to accept the recognition, she teased people about her October album. So naturally, Swifties, a term for Taylor Swift fans, went into a frenzy, excited with what their idol prepared for them.

The 11-time Grammy Award winner has been tirelessly working with her team in recreating her past albums after a fallout with her former label, Big Machine Records. “Midnights” proves to be a different taste of Taylor’s music. From the folk-rock vibe of her Folklore and Evermore albums, Taylor chose to take a more mainstream sound.

“Midnights is a collage of intensity, highs and lows and ebbs and flows. Life can be dark, starry, cloudy, terrifying, electrifying, hot, cold, romantic or lonely, just like Midnights. Which is out now,” Taylor wrote.

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A big Taylor hit

When Taylor released the Album, fans immediately rushed to Spotify to listen to the songs. However, the massive traffic caused Spotify to crash, and users reported the outage. Despite that, music enthusiasts still consider Taylor’s Album a success. The 13-track album is made possible by Taylor as its writer, producer, and performer. Of course, Jack Antonoff, her long-time partner, helped Taylor polish and finally drop the Album. Fans took to social media and expressed their awe for Taylor’s tracks.

“Can’t stop listening Midnights. This entire Album is amazing! You’re so genius, @taylorswift13!” tweeted a fan.

“Taylor Swift mothered so hard with Midnights no one will ever come close to her level of prodigiousness. This woman is not just a talented writer but also a clever musician. I never doubted her,” said another fan.

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Impressing critics

Although others noted some loopholes, music critics nevertheless lauded Taylor for another musical success. Alexis Petridis of the Guardian graded Midnights with five stars, meaning a perfect rate.

“(The sound is) pop rich with self-loathing and stereotype-smashing, (and) misty, atmospheric and tastefully subdued,” he said.

“Midnights delivers her firmly from what she called the ‘folklorian woods’ of her last two albums back to electronic pop,” Petridis added.

The critic also highlighted Taylor’s collaboration with Lana del Rey, and how it impressed him and the fans.

“Snow on the Beach (is) beautifully done – a perfect gene-splice between their two musical styles with a gorgeous melody – but it’s a long way from a grandstanding summit between two pop icons: there’s a striking lightness of touch about it, a restrained melding of their voices.”

Meanwhile, Mikael Wood of the LA Times and Matthew Neale of Clash Music both told of Taylor’s prowess manifesting in the tracks.

“She’s playing with cadence and emphasizing the grain of her voice like never before … eventually you stop caring what’s drawn directly from Swift’s real life and what’s not,” Wood said.

“Defined by dark nights of the soul and cast in the same bluish-purple hues, ‘Midnights’ offers little of revelatory purpose to those who have yet to succumb to Swift’s charms.” Neale explained.


Robbie Coltrane dies at Age 72, Colleagues Pay Tribute to Actor

Robbie Coltrane, who brought many characters to life including that of Rubeus Hagrid, dies at 72. Colleagues and fans expressed sadness and remembered the actor.

Coltrane and his career in the entertainment industry began even before he took on Harry Potter’s Rubeus Hagrid role. While many people associate Coltrane with different personas, owing to the multitude of films he appears in, the recent generation seems to remember him in his role as Hagrid.

As Hagrid, Coltrane took care of the young Harry Potter and helped him in perilous situations. The larger-than-life character made his first appearance within the first minutes of the movie series, bringing the infant Harry to his muggle relatives. He accompanied Headmaster Albus Dumbledore and professor McGonagall. Subsequently, Hagrid was the one who took Harry back into the wizarding world when he was of age.

When the news of his death broke out, fans took to social media to remember Coltrane. They gave tribute to the one and only ‘keeper of keys and grounds at Hogwarts.’ Who could ever forget the half-giant when he said, “Yer a wizard, Harry.” For many, that marked the start of Harry’s journey to the wizarding world.

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A tribute to Coltrane from his wizard friends

Emma Watson, who took on the role of Hermoine Granger, posted in her social media account. She worked with Coltrane for many years, both having reached the last movie of the series. Watson told of Coltrane’s compassion and the influence he made on his colleagues while on set.

“His talent was so immense it made sense he played a giant – he could fill ANY space with his brilliance,” Watson said.

“Robbie, if I ever get to be so kind as you were to me on a film set, I promise I’ll do it in your name and memory. Know how much I adore and admire you. I’ll miss your sweetness, your nicknames, your warmth, your laughs and your hugs. You made us a family. Know you were that to us. There was no better Hagrid. You made it a joy to be Hermione.”

Meanwhile, Tom Felton, who brought life to Draco Malfoy, compared the characteristic of Hagrid and Coltrane. According to Felton, like Hagrid, the star cared for others more than himself.

“One of my fondest memories of filming Harry Potter was a night shoot on the first film in the forbidden forest. I was 12. Robbie cared & looked after everyone around him. Effortlessly,” Felton wrote.

“And made them laugh. Effortlessly. He was a big friendly giant on screen but even more so In real life. Love you mate – thank you for everything xx.”

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‘I’ll not be here, but Hagrid will’

Naturally, fans got sad because of the news. But like every other star who passed, fans expressed their sentiments and high regards to Coltrane and the characters he played.

“Hagrid represented the concept of unconditional love. A true friend. Thank you, Robbie, for bringing this character to life,” said a fan.

“Another good one is gone. Rest in peace, Hagrid,” said another fan in a tweet with a photo showing Hagrid and Harry in a conversation.

When Coltrane appeared for HBO’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, he spoke of Hagrid as someone who can outlive him.

“The legacy of the movies is, I suspect, that my children’s generation will show them to their children. So you could be watching it in 50 years time, easy. I’ll not be here, sadly, but Hagrid will, yes.”