They do say time flies by faster as one gets older or perhaps it just feels that way in this 24/7 hi tech world in which we live! Whatever the reason, it is important to stop and consider what really matters in one’s life. (A bit profound for 10 to 7 in the morning!!! 🤔)
My life over the past 18 months has been frenetic. I’ve been learning a new job, making business relationships, and dividing my time between Scotland and England. Although I feel I’ve got into the swing of things work wise, there is ALWAYS something else to do, another call to make. The danger, when working from home, is for boundaries to become blurred. I’ve frequently found myself sat at the laptop long after most ‘office’ workers are relaxing in front of the telly with a glass of vino or at the gym! I mention exercise because that is something that has fallen by the wayside to the detriment of my health. It is not just exercise that has been lacking but living in two places means that time to potter and sort things out at home is missing. Time for a plan of action!
‘Schedule exercise into your diary’ was a suggestion I heard recently. It makes absolute sense to me. The 10 minutes you might spend chatting at the water cooler with a colleague in an office could be used for a quick walk round the block, if working from home. Decide to park the car that little bit further from the customer’s premises and walk. This is not so attractive a proposition if you’ve lots to carry and it’s raining however!
Be disciplined and switch the laptop and phone off. That should be straightforward, but not so easy to ‘switch off’ the brain from thinking about work! I try to give myself something to look forward to after at the end of the working day. It can be something as simple as a pot of my favourite tea.
Tackle the not so appealing tasks in bite size chunks or delegate! Not so easy if you live on your own! I used to feel guilty delegating the ironing to the local ‘Steam Team’. But you know what, to hell with that, I work hard and I’d rather be doing something I enjoy. Set the kitchen timer for 15 or 20 minutes when de cluttering or tidying. Stop when the buzzer goes off, go do something else you enjoy for a while and set the timer for another session later. It does actually work and stops you from becoming overwhelmed.
Get out and see people. It is all too easy to become entangled in the web of social media, the internet and become hermit like, especially when living alone. It does take more effort when you are on your own. Weekends are the hardest. During the week there is work and the social contact that brings. At weekends I find myself thinking I don’t want to disturb people as it is ‘their’ weekend or they are having family time. I’m pretty happy with ‘me’ time but occasionally it is nice to share an experience with another human being rather than doing something alone. It doesn’t have to involve anything grandiose or even much by way of meaningful conversation. Last weekend I woke up feeling rather sorry for myself, after a tough and rather frustrating week. I called an elderly friend and persuaded her to go to Audley End an English Heritage property. It was a beautiful day and we dawdled, had some lunch and sat on a bench and enjoyed the view. None of this had any earth shattering significance, no major decisions were made, we were just happy to sit there and be.