How to Adapt to Working from Home

Image by Anrita1705 from Pixabay

Like a vast number of people out there, you may currently be trying to adapt your working practices to function out of your own home. With so many people forced into home working, the business world is having to adapt quickly and efficiently to a completely new reality. This can be stressful and overwhelming, but to keep your work or your business flourishing, you need to be able to make the best of this situation. Luckily, there are a few simple (and clever) steps you can take to maximise your productivity and even use this opportunity to instill habits and practices which could continue for years to come.

Time-Keeping

The hardest part of working from home can be keeping to the same schedule as if you were in an office or outer workspace. It’s easy to start getting up that little bit later, letting your workday bleed into the evenings and weekends, and losing sight of scheduled lunch and break times. It might seem counter-productive, but those trips to the coffee machine or the water cooler are actually very important, giving your brain little moments of relaxation that aid productivity and focus overall. Without these interactions at home, it’s easy to end up at your desk for hours, even missing lunchtime – make sure you’re standing and going for regular little walks about the house to keep yourself active and focused. You can even set alarms on your phone to remind you, if you need!

Moving Online

Almost everything is having to move online, which is a massive shift to deal with. However, there can be some benefits, including efficiency, speed of communication and ease of access, which it’s useful to see as benefits rather than inconveniences. Of course, if you receive physical mail at your business address, this can be a difficult thing to negotiate if you don’t have access to it. However, this might be the perfect time to investigate a physical address; a method of dealing with letters where they can be mailed to an external company and then digitally sent to you wherever you are in the world. Visit https://physicaladdress.com/ to investigate the possibilities of setting this service up, allowing yourself to work from home without worrying you might be missing important communications.

Video Calls

Video meetings are here, and they are here to stay. Rather than shy away from them, it’s important to embrace the potential of this technology, and become an expert as soon as possible! Being able to run an efficient video conference will be a vital skill in the coming months, and the quicker you can get to grips with all their features – including screen sharing and comments – the better.

Home Working Practices

Of course, there are also some basic home working practices it will always help to follow, aside from just keeping to a timetable and making sure to get up at a reasonable hour! It’s important to dress appropriately – comfort is necessary, but wearing pajamas will adversely affect your mental state and ability to concentrate. Setting up a dedicated workspace away from partners, kids or other distractions will also be invaluable in setting a line between your home and your work, allowing you to focus and work as efficiently as possible.

Do you have other tips that you want to share?

Feel free to message me in the comment section below!

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When the Hum Stops

It’s funny that someway, somehow, life gives you something right at the perfect moment. It is as if for some reason, when you’re about to give up and every thing seems to be hopeless and meaningless, the world gives you something — something that inspires you and nudges and pushes you back right on track. That something may be a call from a friend, a kiss from a loved one, a passage from the Bible, a story form a stranger that you just met, a hug, and that something ultimately makes you feel alive and whole again.

That something for me was this Ted Talks video from my idol Shonda Rhimes. For those who don’t know her, Shonda Rhimes is the “titan” behind all of my favorite shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Scandal. I suggest that you watch her in this talk from TED.

I woke up, feeling better than I did last night. Last night, I had tummy cramps every so often and each cramp left a trace of pain that would build up and build up and build up. I found out I had GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). And the funny thing about having it is that I was not surprised it happened. When I work, I lose track of time. I forget to eat, but surprisingly, I don’t forget to to drink coffee. I think of coffee as food and as something that keeps me going and it keeps me sharp. This is actually how I live and I’m not proud of it. I know that this kind of lifestyle isn’t healthy and I know i’m just waiting for attacks of pain, just like this one.

“When I’m hard at work, when I’m deep in it, there is no other feeling. For me, my work is at all times building a nation out of thin air. It is manning the troops. It is painting a canvas. It is hitting every high note. It is running a marathon. It is being Beyoncé. And it is all of those things at the same time. I love working. It is creative and mechanical and exhausting and exhilarating and hilarious and disturbing and clinical and maternal and cruel and judicious, and what makes it all so good is the hum. There is some kind of shift inside me when the work gets good. A hum begins in my brain, and it grows and it grows and that hum sounds like the open road, and I could drive it forever. And a lot of people, when I try to explain the hum, they assume that I’m talking about the writing, that my writing brings me joy. And don’t get me wrong, it does. But the hum — it wasn’t until I started making television that I started working, working and making and building and creating and collaborating, that I discovered this thing, this buzz, this rush, this hum. The hum is more than writing. The hum is action and activity. The hum is a drug. The hum is music. The hum is light and air. The hum is God’s whisper right in my ear. And when you have a hum like that, you can’t help but strive for greatness. That feeling, you can’t help but strive for greatness at any cost. That’s called the hum. Or, maybe it’s called being a workaholic.” – Shonda Rhimes

Going back to that something that comes at the perfect moment, when you least expect it, it happened just about 30 minutes ago. I’m here lying on my bed, because this stupid pain on my tummy keeps bothering me. I know i’m sleepy so I try to watch a a few movies on Netflix, but nothing catches my attention. I decide to open TED instead to watch videos (wooohoo! This is my idea of fun!) and the one that catches my attention is obviously this video of Shonda Rhimes, my ultimate idol (yes, I know, I’ve said that). I have admired her for the longest time and when I saw the title of her talk, “My year of saying yes to everything”, I wanted to watch it immediately. I thought she was going to talk about how saying yes to everything gave her this successful career and status that she has, but it was about saying “yes” to playing with her child for 15 minutes.

After watching the video, I cried. I kept on saying “Damn, you Shonda! You’re just amazing! I hate you” over and over again. I hated her because she hit me right on the mark. I hated her because she made me feel better; I felt like someone understood how I was feeling.

The honest truth is that I love working. I love working, and at times I think I’m wonderful, noble, admirable, impressive, but sometimes, I think i’m irresponsible, unreasonable, pathetic and pitiful. My life has become unbalanced. This annoying pain in my tummy makes that evident. I don’t know how to go out on dates anymore with my husband, as I constantly need to check my phone. I don’t know how to play with my daughter, as I constantly think of the next business strategy that I need to map out while building lego blocks. Planning my daughter’s birthday party has become an event with a matching keynote presentation that I planned to present to her teachers. Things that can be turned into a business excite me now over things that I used to love, like new restaurant finds, new flavors of ice cream, a new dress, etc.

Then there came a time during the past few months when the hum stopped for me. I was overworked, depressed all of the time, tired, frustrated, angry a lot of times. And now I know that it was because, I lost that inspiration — I couldn’t hear that “hum”.  I was so focused in working my ass off that I forgot to “play”.

I have forgotten how it is to live and appreciate the seemingly mundane things in life. I have set aside going out on dates with the husband, playing with my daughter, going out on night outs with my friends, watching movies, going on ME-time shopping sprees, etc. I have forgotten that these simple things but are really important and it’s what makes living fun and life worth living.

So, thank you, Shonda Rhimes, for showing me that working is okay, for as long as I inject “play” time. Thank you for reminding me that work hum becomes more meaningful if mixed with play hum and love hum.  Thank you for singing out load to make me hear that hum again.