A taste of normality

Right now a lot of people are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, the slow return to normalcy. Granted it’ll be a long time until things are back to how they were but as they say ‘slow progress is better than no progress’.

This normality will be positive for some and for others, something they are dreading.

There are people that have been furloughed from jobs they don’t want to back to.

There are people who have finally been able to live without feeling obligated to be social.

There are people who miss being in the presence of friends, family and lovers.

There are people who miss going to work.

But I think that what many are forgetting is that even when things go back to the normal, it won’t be same, too much has happened.

A pandemic is a pretty big deal.

It’s changed us.

Improving average

Would you rather do something average and deliver it on time or to a high standard and late?

Many people get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. It can get to the point where it’s difficult to hand in the completed work because that means letting go. Now the work is in someone else’s hands and you’re open to their critique or feedback.

On the other hand, submitting something average might seem like the wrong thing to do but that’s not always the case.

Firstly, let me clarify that by average I mean something you haven’t spent an excessive amount of time on. Some thing that is good but if you had a few more days or weeks would be so much better.

The thing is that sometimes progress is better than perfect.

In the case of my original question, you have two options.

You can submit late and to a high standard and then hope overtime you get better at meeting deadlines.

On the other hand, you can commit to always delivering on time and know that with practice your average will get better.

Little wins

As much as it’s great to archeive something big, some days it just doesn’t happen.

Some days are slower, you feel a little lost or perhaps you’re not sure where to begin.

At the end of it you might feel like your day has been wasted or that you should have done more.

You might feel this way because you know you could have easily done so much more if only you put in the effort. On the other hand you might feel like you’ve failed your own expectations even though you tried your hardest.

However you feel, there’s no point beating yourself up about it. Some days are meant for the little wins such as: finishing a chapter of the book you’re reading, tidying your living space and a long phone phone call with a close friend.

Value and oversharing online

In the age of social media it’s easy to overshare. You can go from sharing behind the scenes of your business, hobby or creative work to showing people what you ate for breakfast, how you ruined your manicure and asking for suggestions for your new hair colour.

For some people, it works, they like sharing themselves with people in that way. But for others it would be considered too much.

It’s can be challenging to judge whether you need to push yourself to share more online or if sharing more is the wrong thing for you.

If you find yourself caught up in uncertainty over what to share online, consider why you want to share those details.

Does it add to the work you create, does it add value, is it something you’re comfortable doing or is it just more ‘stuff’ to scroll through?

 

 

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.

Breaking up the day

If you”re working on a laptop from 9-5 and spend your evenings scrolling social media, watching youtube and binging the latest fantasy thriller series, you’ll have spent most of your day staring at a screen.

You aren’t going out to restaurants, going for drinks, visiting museums, catching up with friends in a local cafe or going dancing like you used.

When you’re spending your days staring at a screen, it’s no wonder the days will start to blur into one.

Obviously you can’t eliminate the 8 working hours from your day but being at home means you have some level of flexibility when it comes to how you choose to structure your day.

What are you doing in-between work, emails, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Whatsapp, Facebook, Netflix etc?

What are you doing to break up your day?

Now might be the perfect time to find some offline hobbies that you can easily do from home, things that don’t require a screen.

It could be hand embroidery, baking, gardening, reading, drawing, making body butter, mixing essential oils, writing in a notebook or sewing on a machine.

It’s not about ditching your screens but instead acknowledging that you might get more fulfillment from an hour of baking in the afternoon instead of an extra hour on social media.

What will you run to?

This time inside is no doubt forcing you to step away from somethings you’d rather run towards.

But there’s probably a few things you have space from right now that you don’t want back in your life.

It could be a job, people you spend time with or the places you used to go.

Being forced to stay inside gives your mind the space it so often needs to really think about what it wants, what you want. You’re no longer in this routine of always going from one place to the next, rarely alone, rarely getting the chance for silence or a moment to think how you feel about the way you’re living your life.

But now you have that chance, what are you thinking about, what is on your mind?

Are you craving a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon at your favourite bar with a lover or friend?

Are you secretly hoping that you never have to go to go back to your current job?

Are you realising that you don’t miss the people you’d normally spend the most time with (outside of work)?

Once you’ve given that some thought, what will you do about it now and once lockdown is over?

Engrossed in the work

When you think of work, what sort of works come to mind?

Is it fun, exciting, thought provoking, challenging and interesting…

or is it more along the lines of boring, difficult, repetitive and time consuming?

Work often comes with a negative connotation that has nothing to do with the actual work.

The truth is work can be interesting and difficult or thought provoking and time consuming. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t enjoy it.

Of course if you’re inner monologue is on a loop about how boring your work is you probably won’t have a good time doing it.

The work often gets better once you engross yourself in it instead of having ‘negative’ feelings toward it.

Will we still have meetings post-pandemic?

A while from now we’ll be living in a post pandemic world. Companies and businesses will have to make decisions about the way they will choose to work moving forward.

Presentations, discussions, conversations and updates are all being done remotely when normally they’d have required meetings.

Those meetings may have involved: a journey to another city by car or train, a large group when only a small few were needed or time wasted because it could have easily been a 10 minute conversation over the phone.

But when the world goes back to the office, back to the normal 9 to 5 lifestyle, I have no doubt that there will still be unnecessary meetings.

And so a question worth pondering on is, ‘Why do we meet when we know we don’t need to?’

Bored of familiarity

Often when a person finds themselves craving something new, it’s because they’re bored with where they’re at.

As much as familiarity can be comforting and pleasant, for many people they find themselves at a point where they want more.

You find yourself wanting something different, not because what you’re used to isn’t working but because you want to remember the feeling of newness.

It’s like taking a different route home every once in a while. You do it to switch things up not because you never want to take your usual route again.

This idea can apply to so many things and one of them is the work you do. When you’re doing the same thing over and over you’ll get sick of it after a while because you’re no longer doing it consciously, you’re not thinking or stretching your mind and you want to be challenged.

So, you put yourself forward for a new type of work. It’s new and unfamiliar and you enjoy it simply because it’s not what you’re used to.

The beauty of this kind of situation is after you’re tried something new, you can go back to what you were doing before often with new found appreciation.