Can I do better?

A question I’m learning to ask myself without judgement?

It’s easy to judge yourself and in doing so you’re not likely to answer the question in a way that is helpful.

You’ll be likely to find yourself caught up in a woe is me story-line. Your answer will be something like: ‘Well, I’m trying and it’s just not working out the way I want and I wish it could be better but maybe I’m just not good enough…’.

That sort of mentality isn’t helpful and it won’t result in growth, development or progress.

When it comes to improving on something you can’t attach emotions to your critique because it isn’t personal.

When asking the question Can I do better? it isn’t even really about a yes or no answer because one could argue that you can always do better. Instead it’s about whether you are happy to put out the thing you’ve created or the work that you’ve done.

The best work

Right now might be the right time to start exercising your creative muscles.

Write, paint, draw, photograph, film, style etc

Make time for the thing that you’re interested in whatever it may be. Use the time you have to practice and experiment, try something that will challenge you.

When you’re just starting out creatively you’ll often find yourself drawn to following what has worked in the past or simply mimicking something you’ve seen.

But the best work will always come from within. However, you have to work your creative muscle to find it.

I’m learning that a big part of that is being vulnerable.

Restructuring your work day

Yesterday, I wrote about replicating work life at home.

But, it’s also worth considering how you work best.

Take advantage of the time you have to experiment with how you structure your day.

Maybe you’ll find that:

You prefer to start at 7am instead of 9am

You’re more productive in the evening than the morning

You feel better when you take a break away from your laptop

You like to vary the hours you work day to day

It might seem pointless to change the way you work for this period of time. However, it is worth remembering that if you give yourself the chance to do things, in a way that suits you more, you’ll probably produce better results

 

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.

What we can learn from working from home

Turns out that the 9-5 isn’t as necessary as it once was.

With everything going on in the world meetings are becoming emails or being done by video, travel has come to a halt and working from home may become the non-optional office alternative.

Despite the unfortunate situation that has caused things to change, I can’t help but notice that there is something to learn.

As someone that works in an office less than 50% of what I do requires me to be in the building or to interact with my co-workers.

But I can imagine a time when people used typewriters or even computers that you couldn’t physically take home. Back then, being in your office was necessary to undertake your work.

These days all you need is a laptop and you can use that anywhere.

I’m not championing no longer having an office at all. However, I do think it is worth exploring how often you actually need to be in the company office and the purpose that it serves.

For many it’s the social aspect of going to the kitchen for tea and a catch up with a work pal, it’s meeting people when you’re new to the city, it’s having a space to work for those with limited room at home or those wanting to maintain separation between work and life.

Having an office to go to isn’t necessary for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week but it does come with benefits.

It introduces us to new people, gives us a routine and gives us the opportunity to be part of a culture.

A reason to say no

Sometimes you might find yourself saying yes to much more than you can handle. It’s often for one of 2 reasons.

The first reason is because you want to push yourself, test your limits and see what you’re capable of.

The other reason is for other people, you want to help and be seen as valuable or hardworking.

It’s all good and well saying yes in the moment. However before you make a decision, ask yourself if you have the capacity to do it well.

You’ll be much better off saying no than saying yes and producing poor results.

 

Checking in with your 2020 new years resolutions

We are currently in the period where your new years resolutions may have fallen away and you’re now back to your normal (pre new years resolution) self.

It’s a common thing, it happens to everyone at some point, I’m certain.

It can get frustrating to feel like the person you thought you’d become this year might not be as feasible as you thought.

But a helpful thing to do is remind yourself that although it’s feasible it will never be as easy as simply wanting it.

So often we commit to the end goal but not what it takes to get there.

Go through your 2020 goals or resolutions and ask yourself what have I done to make this happen?

If you haven’t made much progress, chances are the answer will be nothing.

It could be helpful to reassess your goals and think not only about what you want but what you’re willing to work for.