career, Career development, Motivation, Personal Development, Success

Working from home or Homework?

‘Have you done your homework?’

‘Er, sort of Miss.’

What does that mean?

‘Well, I started it but then my mum washed my school bag, and then the ink on the paper run. So I tried to dry on it the radiator, but it was ruined.

Ah, the dreaded homework.

We all remember the nagging Sunday feeling, waiting for our parents to bellow the words we wish they would forget. Or dreaming up the much needed excuse for the teacher in the morning. What is it that stops children just making a start or taking action? The reasons for this can be varied.  For some  it can be a lack of belief in a certain subject- particularly if they feel their peers are doing better. It can be difficult for them to motivate themselves if they don’t truly believe they can master it. There is also the natural variant of academic ability, and of course the actual interest or love for the subject. Children are also easily distracted by technology, having fun, or connecting with friends.

However the most pertinent point is the phycological element, home is where they relax, and switch off. They don’t naturally associate home with work, or pushing themselves.

Sound familiar. . .

So where does this leave adults in the current climate?

When so many of us are now being asked to work from home?

Have your childhood strategies about homework really left you? With no teacher or parent to push you-the need to self motivate and take action whilst in your place of comfort has never been greater.  What do you truly believe you are capable of? How much time are you spending are on social media looking at what others are achieving? Are you being distracted by something more fun or chatting to friends and family?

When you are working from home,  you have much more time to think, and more things to think about.  You’re not an just an entrepreneur, business owner or work colleague. You’re also a mum or dad. You’re a partner. You also have your own wants and needs. Therefore it’s vital to acknowledge that you can’t be all things to all people all the time. Moving between the many ‘hats’ you wear at home and being able to switch into work or business mode can be very challenging. It can easily lead to procrastination, distraction and ultimately a loss of productivity or quality in your work.

So- what to do about it? There are three key things to remember.

  • Knowing when to say no  
  • Commitment to the moment
  • Creating a headspace

The hardest part of working from home is knowing when to say no, and concentrating what you need to do in that moment. That moment can be in any of the hats you wear, just make sure that  whatever you’re doing – you commit to it! This will create a better headspace, which will increase your motivation, drive and ambition.  If you’ve had quality time with your children and partner you’re far less likely to feel guilty about working. When you really commit to your work in the moment, you will won’t be distracted by family time.

You are many things to many people. Knowing who you need to be, and when, is what’s important.

Now, what’s the dog done with my tax return.  .

If this sounds familiar then please get in touch. I’d love to help.

Career Coach, Life Coach, Performance Coach, Personal coaching, Personal Development, Success

How successful are you?

I was talking to somebody very close to me the other day, and we started to talk about her book. It is being developed as despite strong interest from agents it ultimately didn’t get taken on. I could sense her understandable frustration and I was eager to talk to her about what she defines as success for the book. So I asked her to give me a picture or image of what her future success looked like. Is it money in the bank? Amount of sales? Personal gratification? Peer approval? After a lot of chat, and a customary glass of wine.

She replied- ‘It’s seeing my book on the shelf in a store.’

So success to her is measured by the satisfaction of seeing her work published for public consumption.

Great.

But what happens if it’s not published and she doesn’t see it on the shelf? By her own thinking will she not be successful anymore?

How often in our lives are we caught up in the end goal? We chase success, but struggle to define what it means. Often I will ask clients to visualise their future, because if we don’t see it we can’t let our subconscious work towards it. But this is hard balancing act because if we place to much conscious importance on the image it can place unnecessary pressure to achieve it. Additionally it can mean we miss and ignore our own growth and development. We don’t focus on the skills we learning, or our resilience in hard times, we ignore the two jobs we may have done to support ourselvesĀ and our family. Each of these examples provides us with resources to better ourselves, but they are easily missed and crucially not built upon if we fixate on the picture in our mind.

Another glass was poured.

‘But I don’t agree that if the book isn’t published, I can still think of myself as successful’

The key to that sentence is the conscious insistence on her picture of success. It neglects her crafting of language, the emotional intelligence it requires to give characters a real voice, her resilience to not give up, the learning and development of her writing, her ability to promote herself and pitch an idea. Her increased self belief. Her ability to take her imagination and through hundreds of hours of work turn it into a tangible and highly credible piece of work. All of these skills are used to great affect in her other career. . .

But they don’t match the picture in her head so they aren’t recognised or given credence.

To want success is highly commendable. It shows motivation and drive but it mustn’t come at all costs. Nor should we lose sight of what success truly means. It’s about constant renewal and growth, it isn’t about who you know or what you can buy. It’s about what you have learnt, what you given, and what you can do next. Success (whatever the picture turns out to be) is the by product of hard work, resilience, and passion for what you love. It can come in small places, and sometimes it’s not what we thought or expected.

Maybe her picture of success will come true and the book will appear on a shelf.

Maybe it won’t.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter.

It’s about the journey she’s taken in writing it.