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.

The third option

It’s easy to fall into thinking that you only have 2 options.

Do nothing or do what everyone else is doing.

Sometimes that works out okay but other times you need a third option.

That third option is to carve you’re own path and do what feels best for you.

And sure that might draw attention to you or people will have something to say about you straying from the norm but it’s better than the alternative.

I’ve learnt that it’s important to be able to stand in your truth without considering other peoples opinions and thoughts before you’re own.

It could be pursuing a career that others see as risky, taking a solo trip or even speaking up about issues that are important to you.

It doesn’t matter what it is but it does matter that you do what’s right for you.

You might need driving lessons

One of the biggest surprises I’ve had since starting work is the fact that I have to be a driver (drive your career, propel things forward in your desired direction), as in steer my own ship.

In school you do what you’re told and you can’t really defer from what doesn’t interest you in fact it’s discouraged and sanctioned. But in the workplace it’s almost the opposite.

You’re rewarded for going after what you want and if you don’t take the initiative to be a driver, well you’re doomed.

I’m really starting to understand what Godin means when he talks about cogs and Linchpins.

If being a driver isn’t in your nature you might find yourself feeling discontented at work, wondering why you’re career isn’t going as you thought.

The only choice is to change.

Maybe, you don’t know how.

Or maybe you just need to learn how to drive.

And if that’s the case know that driving lessons are available.

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.

When you don’t feel like it

So here’s the truth, you’re not going to always feel like doing the thing that needs to be done. And if you wait until you feel like doing it, it may never get done.

You have to find a way to commit to doing the work wholeheartedly so that you’re not reliant on how you feel in order to get it done.

Once you manage that you’ll see things start to change. You’ll also be better at creating new habits.

If you never feel like studying you might fail your exam.

If you rarely feel like doing the dishes, you’ll run out of plates and your place will be a mess.

If you hardly feel like going to work, you might end up getting fired.

Instead of focusing on how you feel about doing it, focus on why you’re doing it.

You’re studying so that you can get good grades in order to get onto a particular course for a particular career.

If your why isn’t enough to get you to do what needs to be done, then maybe you should try ding something else.

 

 

Embracing temporary things

Wake up, wake up! The world is changing.

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve noticed a big change in the way that people work. Self-employment is on the rise along with jobs in the gig economy.

Perhaps as a society we believe in ourselves more or we’ve opened up to the idea that we don’t have to commit to a single career.

Maybe work can just be something you do to fund the life you want rather than being where you gain your sense of self and something you want to grow and develop in.

You might have a career or means of income in mind that you have yet to actualise, so on your journey to bringing that to life you do temporary, flexible or short-term jobs like hospitality and Uber driving.

You could be that person in your late 20s or early 30s and to some what you’re doing may seem risky or not the sensible choice. But it’s actually pretty amazing to be able to trust your vision of what you want in life enough that you’re not willing to settle because so many of us settle.

The world is changing and you have to find a way to evolve and adapt.

…endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

The Origin of Species

Charles Darwin

Office work and acting

Things get much more interesting if we think of ourselves as actors.

Something I’ve learnt is that people probably aren’t going to go above and beyond for you. But if you practice confidence and you make yourself visible you’re more likely to get your needs met.

It’s like actors in a show. The main character will always get more attention than the one that just plays a minor role. And in the workplace you get to choose which role you play.

Of course it’s not easy putting yourself in the main role whereas it’s as easy as cherry pie to take the role of a background character.

When you play in the background there’s little expectation, you don’t get much attention and if you don’t show up nobody cares.

So, what happens when the background character wants more responsibility and the opportunity to show up and actually do something that matters, like a main character.

Turns out you can’t have it both ways.