Keeping it simple and going back to basics

My last post might have been a bit long-winded, I think…

So today I am doing something different. Basically putting out a checklist of what I am focusing now during these strange times. I like to write short lists to streamline my thoughts, especially after watching or reading something inspirational or motivational.

  1. What do I love most? How can I translate that into a digital business/product?
  2. What truly fulfils me?
  3. What I am most passionate about (work wise )
  4. Prioritise based on my answers to Question 1-3
  5. Stick with it
  6. Organise other things that I don’t like, things that sap my energy, things I am not particularly good at
  7. Cut out things that eat my time
  8. What takes me away from my priorities – based on my answers to Questions 6-8, cut them out or at least minimise them

Yep, so that’s it for today 🙂

 

Working from home – because that is the only way now…

So…I have completed several weeks of work from home now. And just few months ago I thought that I will never work from home again….

This time round I found it quite hard. I was distracted by what was going on around me. I spent hours watching videos about the pandemic; what to prepare, how to survive and videos about what will happen next.  As a result, my productivity dropped immensely not mentioning zero motivation to work. Anxiety and fear crippled me for hours. I am not ashamed to admit it. I believe that it is O.K. to be scared and worried. It is a normal reaction. It is good to admit to yourself and your loved once. If you do that, you will be more understanding towards yourself and others will be more understanding towards you. When I realised my feelings and failings, I moved to the next step. If you read my blog regularly, you already know that I love to follow steps 🙂

I created a new routine for myself and decided to keep it. Morning routine stayed almost the same as on the “normal” work days. I created a little workspace that is shielded from my family and is fairly quiet. I have put up my board with a weekly timetable and deadlines. I left my phone in the bedroom and limited my time on the media. I have set a time for breaks (I have cut out my trips to the fridge). To make my work day more appealing, I have shorten my ‘actual’ work hours. I started my work with few silent minutes of ‘tuning’ into my work. This is an important little step for me as I need to sound friendly and enthusiastic when I talk to the clients. All of this, helped me to get into a certain tempo.

Once I moved on from feelings to action, I realised that I am actually still interested in what is going on. I even looked at new technologies that I can use and found some free courses I want to take. All of that helped me to settle into my ‘remote’ mode of working.

Did the worries disappear? No. I still have them. I don’t know what will the ‘world of work’ look like after the pandemic is over. Some people say that it will be better and some people say that it will be worse. I think – no one really knows 🙂 All I know is, that I need to have a back up plan, in case I lose my job. I know that people often recommend to go deep and focus only on one thing. But I think, for me personally, this is not a good strategy. I am looking at my skills and thinking – what can I offer to this new world which is coming but I know nothing or very little about.

Here are my very crude notes:

1/ I know, that I have to diversify.

2/ What skills do I have, what can I offer.

3/ How can I enhance my skills in the shortest time possible.

4/Can I start providing this service now at least on a small scale, perhaps during that time I gained from working at home?

I will end up this post by some basic observations that might be good to share with you . I think that I am not wrong if I say that people will always – meaning even in our uncertain future – be interested in:

  1. Health
  2. Happiness
  3. Wealth

Are you able to provide service, advice, expertise in one of those areas? Can you solve some problems people have in achieving these? Can you teach them or help them?

Last time, when I was mentioning some hot jobs, I omitted completely the tech industry. Mainly because I am totally useless with anything technology related. But if you have those skills – you might go really up now. I can see around me a great demand for apps or educational software that are simple and useful.  Or can you offer services geared up towards the industries that are under so much stress nowadays? That would be great too. Think about nurses, doctors, fire fighters , police force…Do you have something that will make their life easier, can you provide something that would be of a value to them? Or can you produce some cleaning or hygienic products? I can see a massive demand for those.

Or why not start with something small? I noticed that even now there is a demand for dog walking. Or you can offer to be a personal shopper and deliver the shopping to people who are not able to do the shopping themselves.

And one last note to end up this post with. But an important one. Never ever think that you can’t do anything. New opportunities are there already while some new once are slowly emerging. We need to notice them and decide which way we will go.

The feeling that we all are in this together is more obvious then ever. So I wish us all – sunny days ahead 🙂

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Working from home again – what next?

Working from home become the new norm in a last couple weeks. Even people who never intended work from home – simply have to.

I found myself paradoxically at home again. Nothing new to me and I eased to it quickly. However, my old fears and problems reappeared: …I can be made redundant any time. How long before I am asked to take a pay cut? And so on.

Rather than listening to these lurking thoughts, I am looking at the new opportunities. I am asking myself, where are they? In what areas? Where is my place in this?

Here is a list of few ideas that might be booming in future and might be worthwhile to explore bit more:

  1. online education and tutoring
  2. care service offering remote activities
  3. fitness trainers providing online sessions
  4. delivery service
  5. providing of interactive activities for all ages
  6. anything to do with and audio – audiobooks and podcasts
  7. blogging might see a Renaissance
  8. all crafts should be blossoming again right?  (maybe a wishful thinking)

I am sure there are many more and I will add them as I go…

In the meantime I am off to polish some of my tutoring skills.

Take care and stay healthy everyone 🙂

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What I have learnt from the Corona Virus so far…

It has been a while since the first Corona Virus patient appeared in the media. Since then lots of things happened. What changed in my life and what I have learnt.

  1. I was not ready. I did not have masks, disinfectant gels and alcohol cleaning products at home. Once I ventured out, they were sold out.

Solution: I will need to keep few of those in my storage room from now on and maybe adding some gloves and goggles.

2.  I was touching my face, rubbing my eyes and so on without knowing. This is apparently a big no-no. Bad habit. Wearing a mask is something that helps you to stop that.

Solution: I remind myself not to touch my eyes or face. Washing hands every time before any meal or snack while avoiding using hands when eating.

3.  I followed lots of social media and that made me feel more panicky and unsettled.

Solution: I chose channels and you tubers who seemed straight to the point with practical advice and cut out or reduced the rest.

4. I stayed indoors a lot. Actually going out and getting some fresh air is good provided you are not on a crowed metro or surrounded by people.

Solution: I avoided social gatherings (hot pot style dining), I reduced hand-shaking (there were big clusters of infection from social meetings) and I avoid small poorly ventilated places.

4. I thought that people will cope and will stay positive. But many people started to feel down, were extremely bored or worried.

Solution: I have upgraded my tech skills and stayed in contact with everybody via Skype, email, Google Meet and so on. Basically I stayed connected and did not withdraw although there were times when I did not want to talk someone and wanted to do my things.

5. I always thought that I am good at cleaning but had to ‘upgrade’ my skills.

Solution: I am more focused on disinfection. Cleaning doorknobs and switches, bathroom taps and flushes more often (plus keeping shoes by the main door and disposing of the face masks properly)

There might be more points I learn as we go. If this post helps you a bit, I will be really happy.

Stay safe and stay healthy 🙂

Update:

My head is spinning from all the news coming from all sides. I am taking some extra time  to be in a peaceful environment. I am reducing media in general just for morning and evening news. Not checking updates during the day as there are too many and some of them are fake. I am taking extra Vitamin C and Vitamin D. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar with honey in the afternoon for a quick pick me up. I heard that probiotics are also a good for prevention. Unfortunately, I don’ have any at home. I am not taking any chances. Wearing mask when out and practising  social distancing. I don’t laugh at these measures as they worked during the Spanish Flu and were verified as an efficient tools by it. I really like this doc and the info he puts out. If you want to check him out follow this link:Dr. John Campbell and his videos.

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Working from home for 8 years – my experience

Well, eight years is a long time and I thought that I should share my own experience. I do see lots of different posts on working from home, passive income and great part-time opportunities.

I have worked as translator and project manager for one internet company for many years. It was intense. I had to provide very high standard of service and had to be available any time as we had customers from all over the world. When I say any time – I mean it. I worked on weekends and I worked late nights. The pay was not fixed and depended on the bulk work done – hence me working during Christmas and Easter break 🙂 The pay was average and only if I have done 10 hours day, the pay was worth it.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I have done it for a reason. I could stay at home with kids. I have no regrets. However, my energy supply was limited and once I slowed down, I was not needed…

I think many people don’t see this side of “working from home”. My family members and friends often joked on my account saying that I am on holidays all the time. About that I WAS bitter. Although these were loving people, they did not see the work I did and assumed I don’t do much if I don’t go to work in the morning. Of course, they did not know that I am working sometimes till 3 am in the morning, that I am working when sick and so on. I felt that my work is invisible and not valued. I know many people can make it and work from home with a great success. But not me. And I thought that my experience might be useful for someone as we are usually told only the good things and then we lose time figuring things out.

My list for next work from home job would be:

  1. What is the success rate of this business model, 1 in 10 or 1 in 1000
  2. What is the pay structure and job guarantees
  3.  Will I have holidays and free time or am I expected to work in different time zones
  4. What are the future prospects of this job
  5. Make list of advantages and disadvantages

and then decide if it is worth it 🙂IMG_1119

Thank you for your likes :)

Once I wrote my previous post on toxic people an interesting thing happened – the people who bothered me and in a way inspired me to write the post went away.  What happened? Have they read my post? Have they recognised themselves and changed their behaviour? Well, that is very unlikely – although one never knows.

I think what really happened was that once I wrote my problem down on paper – my mind was able to take a distance and dissolve it. Of course those people are still there but somehow our paths don’t cross or their poison does not pierce my shield. At least for now. I can definitely say that by writing down my feelings, I was able to let it go and direct my attention on other things. Moreover the response I have received made me realise that other people facing very similar challenges.

My main takeaway from this experience is:

  1. don’t keep your feeling bottled up inside and share them in a way that is easiest for you
  2. draw strength from others who went through similar experiences
  3. don’t accept the status quo and think of different ways you can change it
  4. talk to experts
  5. take a look at the problem from a distance

And remember – there is no shame in feeling down, alone or different!!!

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On toxic people and on being yourself

This is an unusual topic for me but it maybe useful for some of my readers.  I am just putting few thoughts on the paper about toxic people and how to deal with them. Mainly because I came across few of them quite recently.

One of the decisions I have made few years ago was that I will be myself – not pretending anything and not playing social games. I feel lot more balanced and happier within myself. I stress lot less and I worry about things lot less. Lots of weight is off my shoulders as I care lot less what the others think or what they might think. So that is the good part.

However, not everyone likes it. And yes, I can confirm: “You can be yourself (as is promoted by so many influencers), but there is a cost.” You need to ask yourself if you are willing to bear the cost. Because – you will meet toxic people – there is no doubt about it. And they will test you and your decision. They will laugh at you, to your face or behind your back. They will try to make a little ‘haters’ group and laugh on your account.

It has been my recent experience and I can’t say I am above it. But it is not something that will overshadow everything I have achieved or I am achieving. It does make me sad if anything. If you are in the similar situation, realising the following may help you:

  1. There will always be one person (or more) that is toxic. They will pop up sooner or later. Simply because you can’t be loved by all. No matter how hard you try. So accept this as a fact and don’t be paralysed by this when you come across people like that. You will already know, that they have to come your way and you will be ready.
  2. Remind yourself that toxic people are that way for deeper reasons (which you can’t fix). Simply because the reasons come from deeper layers within them and were formed for many years throughout their childhood to their adulthood. It took many painful experience on their part to become that way. And although logically you would expect them to be nice (because they know very well what it feels like when some is horrible to someone) – most of them are not able to do it. They cannot leave that shadow behind and rather are consumed by it.
  3. What helps me when I meet people like that – is to imagine them as kids. What happened to this kid standing in front of you? Why he/she has to act that way? Do they suffer from lack of love? Was their self-confidence badly undermined? Were they ignored and ridiculed by people who were meant to give them unconditional love? I assure you, the answer is yes. People who grew up in love don’t feel the need to be toxic. They do not see any reason for it and they don’t get any pleasure from laughing at others. And that brings me to the next point.
  4. Toxic people get pleasure from hating on others. The pleasure gets even stronger if they find like-minded people who will chime in. And yes, it sucks that it is you who they are laughing at. But know this. That feeling they get from it, is very temporary. It is a brief moment. It will never bring them long-term satisfaction because the black hole in them is getting bigger every time they try to hurt someone. It is a paradox but they themselves have to realise this in order to close that big black space inside them. It is their journey. For you, it is enough just to know that. It is not really about you. It is about them. Their emptiness inside them. The beast that they have to feed but the beast that is never satisfied. The beast that will eat them up or the beast they have to defeat one day.
  5. We always think:”Oh there must be something wrong with me, if they are hating on me. ” However, it is exactly the opposite. Toxic people have a deep rooted problem. It is so deep that it gets outside their inner world and effects the environment around them.

What I do when I come across toxic people: I stay away. I don’t play their game. I don’t socialise with them.  I don’t pretend I like them. I stay polite and I try to be neutral. I don’t want to be pulled into their game and hate them back. That leads nowhere. At the same time I strengthen my own circle of people, who are there for me. I do things that make me happy. I think positive and creative thoughts. I socialise with people I can trust. And I try to lear from it all. I know it is not easy but I know that it can be done…

I wish you luck, strength and happiness dear friends 🙂

 

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Things that might look very complicated can have very simple explanation

Clothes prep to save 10 minutes

I tried to prepare meals for many times before and for some reason – I could not make a habit out of it. But I was desperate to save some time in the morning and I decided to try at least prepare clothes for the whole week and save some time like that. (I do have some changes at work and I am desperate for more time.) So instead of the meal prep I do – clothes prep. On the weekend I prepare a whole week wardrobe and I don’t have to worry about it in the mornings or evenings. It really helped! It saves me about 10 minutes. It’s not much, I know…but in the morning every minute counts especially because I am not a morning person.

At least it’s a start. Small steps right? I think meal prep is the next step and if it saves me another 10 minutes, I can look forward to a less hectic and more Zen mornings 🙂

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Intermittent fasting 4

This is going to be a short one but a happy one. I have been doing the intermittent fasting for a while without massive results. I did not see any big changes in my weight and was getting dispirited. Not only that. At the beginning I had some problems with my looks – big circles under my eyes, dry mouth, tiredness and stomachache after eating. I did not experience any of those wonderful things that are advertised in numerous  videos and articles. However, I did not stop. I knew from my experience with homeopathy that things get worse before they get better and decided to continue with the IF.

And this week – finally – first positive results arrived. The stomachaches stopped! Moreover, my co-worker said that she needs to ask me something; I thought it will be something work related of course. To my surprise she said that she has noticed I am losing weight and what is my secret! I was delighted. On scales I am more or less the same weight! Very interesting indeed. I sent her two videos to get her into IF and get some basic idea about IF. I am doing the easiest 16/8 hours. My advice to anybody would be to carry on if you don’t see result. The body will first focus on the repair processes inside the body. This may take time and it took me about 3 months to see some results. So don’t give up 🙂

Update: 2019 I have noticed more visitors are reading the post on IF so let me put few points together that might be useful for you:

  1. Stick with it longer – I have not seen results straight away, first visible results came about three months later
  2. Choose what suits you – for me the 16/8 works the best, I can last without food and not being ravenously hungry, I can keep my social meetings and family dinners
  3. Observe all the changes – I recommend a journal/diary, you will not remember everything in detail and some small changes may escape your attention, I thought there are no changes first but there probably were – but I just did not know about them
  4. When you eat, eat as healthy as possible – in the beginning I was tempted to eat the unhealthy stuff as I thought the IF will balance the calorie intake. But now I think that was one of the main reasons why I did not see any changes in my body.
  5. The beginning was hard – I did have some bad days, big circles under my eyes, bad breath, dizziness, feeling groggy etc. I took it as a ‘healing process, when body is focused on repairing the broken bits”. I did want to give up at one point.
  6. It is not cure all solution. It is just a part of your overall change for the better. Don’t stop there. Try to detox, try different power foods and so on.

I have completed a whole year. I am slimmer although not my ideal weight. My stomach is not bulging and T-shirts are looser. IF is something that I will stick with – it delivered.

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