Learning from mistakes

In the moment missing a day of daily blogging feels like failure but in the grand scheme of things I know it’s not that bad.

If you look at it one way missing 8/365 days isn’t much at all.

But on the other hand can you really call yourself a daily blogger if you don’t post every single day.

When I first started daily blogging it really bothered me when I missed a day, mainly because it was never intentional. It frustrated me that I could forgot to post and not realise until the next day and by then it was too late.

Luckily, I’ve now realised that when you make a mistake if you focus on learning from it instead of getting mad at yourself it’s much less likely to happen again.

And of course this applies to so much more than just blogging

How to be more productive

If you ever find yourself wanting to be productive but struggling to get things done, here’s a simple solution.

Get the materials you need, go somewhere where you won’t be disturbed, start and don’t stop until the task is complete.

Being productive isn’t as complicated as we often make it.

Of course if you’re sitting with your fave show on and your phone at your side the task you’re working in will take much longer than it needs to. You have to allow your mind to focus.

Once you take away the distractions, you might start off slow but you’ll build up momentum and find yourself working much more efficiently.

Slowly building

Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were helpful habits.

If you want to start reading more, getting up at 6am every morning, eating more nourishing food or committing to your creative projects, one day won’t make a difference on it’s own.

It’s a series of days, one by one, bit by bit that make the real difference.

One day isn’t enough to build a habit but that’s where things start. That one day will become 30 days and then 90 until that thing you’ve been doing each day is now part of your daily routine.

When you’re getting started, it’s worth remembering that change takes time. Don’t be disappointed after 3 days if you don’t feel like it, your brain is still getting used to your new way of doing things. Instead focus on it one day at a time and remember that you’re working towards something long-term.

And on days when you don’t feel like practicing your new habit, it won’t matter in the short-run but in the long run you’ll probably be glad you committed to it.

The importance of a working from home routine

I believe that a new way of working requires a new routine. Up until the past couple of months most people that worked  9-5 office jobs spent most of their days in the office. However, that has now changed we are (pretty much) all working from home.

One of the things that many have overlooked is implementing a routine for working at home. Most of us have a particular routine for days in the office, whether it’s the time we get up in the morning, preparations we do the night before, the time we start working and the time we log off.

You need that sort of routine for working at home too. It doesn’t need to be exactly the same, but you can’t expect to work at home the same way you do in the office if your day has no sense of structure.

Something as simple as starting and ending your day at the same time each day can work wonders.

It may not seem important to implement this and maybe you want home to be more fluid and free. However, it turns out that without some structure to your day you’ll be more likely to work longer hours and you’ll probably be much less productive.

The challenge of representation

How do you include everyone?

It’s not as simple as black and white although in some cases that might seem like enough. I suppose I’ve learnt and am learning that it’s about having minorities be seen.

Sometimes people make the mistake of being bare minimum. They use a sea of sameness with one person that’s ‘other’ in order to look like they’re being inclusive. In reality they might just be trying to tick a box.

But it’s not always straight forward because when you’re used to only focusing on one type of person, how do you grow away from that authentically?

And then we have to ask the question of what’s authentic anyway and who decides?

I’m online enough to know that everyone is a critic these days and people only need to see a glimpse of something to get the pitchforks ready and call you out.

If a brand went from showing one type of person to a wider variety people will day they’re jumping on the bandwagon or that it’s not enough because what about xyz.

It’s easy to be critical but it’s worth asking yourself if it’s actually helping or if you’re just adding to the noise.

Replicating work life at home

For a lot of people they will have reached a point where they have realised working from home just isn’t the same as being in the office.

Because it isn’t.

You might find yourself less focused, less productive and more distracted, especially if you live with other people.

And so it might be helpful to find ways to replicate how you feel at work in your home.

A few ideas are:

Create a suitable working space – Even if it’s just setting up at the dining table each day. Working from the sofa or your bed isn’t a suitable environment because they’re unlikely to places that you associate with work. Also it’s helpful to create some separation so that when you log off for the day you can move to the sofa to relax or tuck yourself into bed and read.

Get dressed – Not into your work clothes but wear something presentable instead if staying in your pyjamas or wearing a worn out pair of joggers.

Follow your usual routine – Whether that’s starting your day with a cup of tea at your desk, a mid morning snack, going through your inbox for the first 30 minutes of the day, having lunch at 1.30pm, whatever it may be.

It’s just a part of life

Some things are meant to happen but that doesn’t mean they’ll be easy or that they won’t make us sad.

But we often have a way of making these things worse.

We often think that ‘bad’ things or inconvenient things aren’t supposed to happen instead of just acknowledging that they’re apart of life.

Things like heartache, rejection, stress or challenges in life.

I’ve learnt that these situations often end up so much worse because of how we react towards them.

For example you don’t get the job you wanted and you react by thinking that there must be something wrong with you, that it’s hopeless, that you’ll never find a job.

But in reality every human that has ever lived has experienced rejection at some point. People get rejected from jobs all the time because when 10 people are interviewed for one vacancy there can only be one winner.

A good tip is to train yourself to acknowledge these things as a part of life and have a plan for how to manage them. So, maybe the next time you get or feel rejected you can just take it for what it is instead of internalising it.

 

High expectations

Or perhaps the title should read ‘How to be eternally disappointed‘.

I don’t believe in working yourself to the bone (well it’s not for me anyway) however if your expectations are sky high, you might have to.

You can’t sit around passively going through life like a sociological ritualist and expecting the world.

You’ll only end up disappointed.

You can’t be half-hearted either.

You gotta go, go, go with full gusto.

But to avoid burnout you have to be smart about your approach and find ways to be productive and get things done whilst maintaining  your overall well-being.

A few ideas are to have set working times, get at least 7 hours sleep a night and make time to do something relaxing like meditate, get a massage, or go for a walk.

What to do if your manager isn’t helpful

You might feel frustrated but all is not lost.

In a previous post I wrote about job satisfaction and I thought it might be useful to delve into some practical tips. It’s all good and well telling someone what to do but it’s sometimes helpful to tell them how.

So, let’s say you work in an office and your manager is not much help with anything that you need help with. It could be about the work you do or maybe even career progression etc.

What do you do?

It probably gets frustrating but it’s always useful to remember that you always have options.

First up, ask for what you want/need?

Ask confidently, ask a second time.

Don’t be afraid to call people out (politely) when they don’t follow through after assuring you that they’d do xyz.

If you feel like it’s not working, ask someone else.

Chances are even though a manager is their as a main point of call, there’ll be someone else that can help you and someone else that will.

Lastly don’t expect too much from people.

Yes, ask for help when you need it but don’t be reliant on others to drive your ship,¬† they have their own stuff to do too.

Putting it into practice

If you have an idea of what could be done or what is possible, would you be willing to put it into practice?

It’s really easy to talk the talk full of excitement and enthusiasm. But actually doing the things you talk about is a whole other story.

It’s easy to give advice when things are going well or tell other people what to do.

But what about taking your advice first?

Why not actually do the thing before you talk about it?

It’ll add some validation when you later recommend it to others and that might be what they need in order to listen.