Tips for Working From Home for Lionbridge

Since I’m still looking for full-time employment, a great way for me to still raise some funds has been to work from home for Lionbridge. Lionbridge is contracted by Google to rate and improve their search results. For between 10 to 20 hours a week, I can get paid to rate searches, mobile pages, and other Google services. This has worked out great, because I can still take substitute teaching jobs, run errands, and clean the house while earning money during my “down time”.

Working from home can still have some unique challenges. Here are a few tips for anyone working from home, especially people doing internet jobs like Lionbridge.

1. Give yourself credit. I had a hard first week with Lionbridge because although I fulfilled my minimum number of hours, it didn’t feel like I had done any work. It felt like I had sat at my computer all day. So my first piece of advice is to take time to pat yourself on the back for the work you do, because it is work, and it is valuable.

2. Take active breaks. Sitting at the computer can be rough on the human body, so make sure you take breaks (5 minutes for every 55 minutes of sitting) and make sure they are active. Vacuum a room. Do some plyometrics. Walk up your stairs. Get a drink of water. These will help keep your energy up.

3. Find a good podcast. I listen to podcasts and sermonds while I rate. Because most are an hour long, they are also a good indication of when to take a break. They keep me interested and are a sort of reward for sitting down and getting to work.

4. Acknowledge the brain drain. Programs like Lionbridge are time-dependent. Each task has a time limit, the rating toolbar tracks your time, and you’re expected to track your own time. This means that logging one hour of rating time means you really did one hour of solid rating work. Working under such focused conditions can make you say “It’s only been one hour?!?!”. Most conventional jobs have opportunities for stretching, daydreaming, side conversations, and other small distractions that help to break up the hours. Be gracious with yourself when this happens, and take more breaks if need be.

5. Master opportunity cost logic. Programs like Lionbridge sometimes run out of tasks, and the list doesn’t auto-refresh. So you can sit at the computer and keep hitting F5, or you can get up and do something else while you wait. Getting up runs the risk of missing out on tasks, but refreshing the page might burn up half an hour before you get any new tasks. Only you can judge the best use of your time, so don’t hesitate to set some ground rules and let go of any “what ifs”.

6. Set yourself up for success. Just like any conventional job, make sure your environment is conducive to good work. Keep your space clean, well lit, and comfortable. Get a new desk chair if you have to. Keep water and snacks handy. Make sure there is good lighting and that your keyboard and mouse are functioning properly.

My friend, S., at Northwest Pearls had the opportunity to work from home for her media job, and has some useful information for people who are not doing internet-based tasks: Tips for Working From Home

I hope you found this post helpful! What do you do when you have a long day of computer work ahead?

Everything Block

Just a quick post to be honest: I have writer’s block, artist’s block, cooking block, leaving the house block, everything! The theme of my life is things on hold: I’m waiting for two different applications to go through so that I can substitute teach, I’m waiting for exam results so that I can do a work-from-home job, and I’m waiting for this creative block to let up.

There are definitely posts in the works that you can look forward to, and perhaps listing them here will remind me that someone, somewhere, may be hoping I get to writing sooner rather than later:

  • Banana Bread recipe
  • Analog Creativity Day
  • Germaphobe Devotional
  • Instant Coffee Devotional
  • Favorite Kettlebell Workouts
  • How I Write Lesson Plans

My 2015 Vision Board

I was inspired by this post from Light by Coco to make a vision board. Here is how I am visualizing 2015!

2015visionboard

Images sourced from Pinterest searches

From right to left, top to bottom:

  1. Do a handstand. Build strength. Continue my yoga practice. Stay strong.
  2. Run more. Make a habit of it. Increase distance. Find new trails.
  3. Keep a prayer journal. Be consistent. Be faithful. Become a prayer warrior.
  4. Keep an art journal. Be consistent. Improve on texture. Improve on light.
  5. Keep knitting. Use yarn from the stash. Make my first sweater.
  6. Give better gifts. Remember birthdays. Don’t wait until the last minute.
  7. Maintain my blog. Post regularly. Keep up social interactions. Take more pictures for it.
  8. Do more “big girl” paperwork. Help with taxes, mortgage. Create and maintain a budget.
  9. Curate my wardrobe. Nicer shoes. Sleeker shirts. Increase professionalism.
  10. Pray more.
  11. Communicate. Makes more calls. Skype more. Remember birthdays. Friends, family, acquaintances.
  12. Eat what I love. Indulge in complicated dishes. Fill the pantry with my favorites.
  13. Bake a perfect loaf of bread.
  14. Handle my anxiety. Journal. Talk. Breathe. Fight back. Stay positive. Remember to smile.
  15. Work toward my dream. Get my sub license. Assistant teach. Stay sharp. Find a mentor.

The Uniform

I don’t mind having a uniform look. In the cold weather, it’s a long sleeved shirt, slim pants, boots, and a scarf. Really, it’s almost too common, but I try to add edge to it. Today, I tucked black jeans into brown boots and I clashed my maroon sweater with a rich blue, tasseled scarf.

028

Now I’m off to go choose a different outfit. I just smeared my sleeve in cinnamon roll frosting.

From the Browse

I’ve been browsing the internet for a whole plethora of things. The realization that I go back to school for my last semester in just three weeks has put me in a mood of self-improvement, bucket listing, and planning. I’m not only moving my life one last time, but I’m also leaving the household that, for all intensive purposes, I have been running since I got home from Tanzania. There will be voids to be filled, at least for the next four months until I come home for good.

For planning my fall and winter wardrobe, I’ve enjoyed the content from Caroline at Un-fancy. I’ll be working through her capsule wardrobe planning guides before I go back, although at this point I’ve been so spartan in my wardrobe culling that the best of the best remains. Even if you are like me and at this stage of wardrobe planning, there is nothing like going through this little guide to really feel like a curator. My posture improves just thinking about it.

Angela at Wool and Wanderlust makes me want to do all sorts of things. Photograph, bake, picnic, have lots of children, wear black eyeliner.

I can’t wait for Jennifer L. Scott’s new book At Home With Madame Chic to come out. Right now I’m reading through Lessons with Madame Chic (again) and it’s lovely as usual. I may write a “Lessons from Mama Africa”, would you like that?

Humbling of humbles. The Pacer app has informed me that I have only been active for 46 minutes today and I have only just walked 5000 paces despite a 40 minute jaunt after lunch. On the bright side, the counter makes me want to get up and do chores.

I’m going to go stay on my feet for a bit before I do some marathon knitting. My hemlock ring blanket is in the last third of its bind-off and all I can think is “this had better block out” because it’s rumpling like a dried up octopus. I want to finish the Seaglass Shell before I go back to school because I think I’ll be able to wear it for another month. At school, I’ll work on Christmas knitting. Last month (Christmas in July), I knit 2 1/2 socks and conquered some personal colorwork demons.

The First Mile

I went for a run today. The first one since I’ve come back from a runless four months in Tanzania. While I did get to do a lot of walking, April was an especially sedentary month. So today, everything was looking really perfect because it wasn’t snowing or raining. I walked for five minutes and then started to run. My legs protested immediately as if I had concrete in my shoes. The bargaining stage of running began soon after: “Just do five minutes.” “Look! A downhill!” “You can make it to the next street”. When it was all done, I was out for 1.8 miles and I had run 1.2 of that. My form fell back into line, my lungs strained gloriously to grab at the thin air, and as I walked downhill for my cooldown, I felt a little bit more back to normal. Getting over two inches of hair chopped off helped with that too.

So now I’m wrapping up an afternoon of unpacking and settling in. As soon as I got home from Tanzania, I had to start moving things out of my parent’s house. And that’s been hard too, because I’ve been living with the same 100 items or so for the past four months and doing just fine. So coming back to households in transition has been a challenge. In Tanzania, I wore stinky tired clothes and I lived in the present. I have a small paper trail of half-finished notebooks and a bunch of pictures. Bas. But now I have to meet with a paper trail I’ve been keeping my whole life, things like my father’s stamp collection, sketches I did between AP Art projects, my prom dresses.

I’m not too worried, though. I’ll curate my personal history the same way I run. One mile at a time.