Is working from home for you?

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Have you ever dreamed of working from home to avoid the traffic in the morning? Or just to have more flexibility and save commuting time? I was one of those wishing it. Now, I work from home and I love it! But… it’s not all a bed of roses. Working out of a home-based office is certainly not for everyone. I’ve pulled together those pros and cons I’ve experienced – feel free to share yours!

Pros of working from home:

  • I save time. Not having to commute to work every day saves me time, money and sometime even stress.
  • The flexibility to wear what I feel comfortable with, working on my most productive hours and fitting potential appointments that need to happen during business hours.
  • I reduce some distractions such as interruptions from other co-workers or phone calls.
  • I save money, not just on the commute but on coffees, lunches and shopping during lunch breaks! I can also claim a portion of my house as a home office expenses.
  • My work/life balance has improved.
  • Mindfulness: I feel calm and relaxed, under less stress.

Cons of working from home:

  • I need a lot of self-discipline: getting up, not getting distracted with things that need to be done in the house (that’s a big one!), etc.
  • Working all day on your my, without contact with co-workers and colleagues, can be very isolating and make me feel lonely sometimes.
  • It’s harder to shut down. Less distractions can make it harder to shut down and more likely that you will overwork.
  • I lose living space as the spare room has become my home office.
  • Relationships are harder to form as it’s difficult to establish trust and develop relationships when you are on your own. I have to make an extra effort to go out and network/connect with people, prospects and clients.
  • When I worked at an office I was exposed to learning and development from my company and peers. When you work from home, you will need to make an extra effort to seek out networking and learning opportunities on your own.

For me, the most challenging aspect at the beginning was self-discipline. I had to make an effort to avoid getting distracted with house to-do things as I always found things that needed to be done. I had to do a mindset shift in order to keep focus on my work when I go to my home office.

Having a separate office works great. However, my husband prefers to work in the living room which made him struggle a bit at the beginning as he felt he was the whole day at work. Ideally, we’d like to have a bigger house where we can have an office space separated from the living space so we can clearly focus on work with no distractions.

Overall, I love having the flexibility to work around my own times and commitments. I love being able to design my day, my week. Love getting up in the morning and going for a morning walk in the park and I’m getting better at differentiating personal from work life when I’m at home – sometimes difficult! I also need to make an extra effort to go out there and connect with other people, which is also good as it helps me to leave my comfort zone.

So, is working from home for you?

With lots of love,

Laia

The power of your morning routines

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“Once your mindset changes, everything on the outside will change along with it!” – Steve Maraboli

I have recently learned the importance of cultivating your mindset and having a morning routine to be ready for your day (I always say, to smash my day!) 🙂 If you investigate successful people’s mindset they all have something in common: focus and believe. How do you think they achieve this? Most of them use techniques such as meditation and mindfulness, visualisation and emotional intelligence.

I was introduced to meditation through my yoga studio and to mindfulness through my partner, who gave me the best gift I’ve ever had: a book called Mindfulness for women by Vidyamala Burch and Claire Irvin. I was finding very hard to meditate as I have a very busy mind (very very busy!) and always thought I couldn’t do it. A year ago I started going to yoga classes once or twice a week and loved it, however it wasn’t till I read the book mentioned above and started practising mindfulness and meditation every day (plus going to yoga classes 3-4 times a week) that I felt an amazing shift on the way I dealt with things.

Back then I was under a lot of stress due a demanding job and the bad news of a very close family member going through a serious illness. I needed to find the way to relax and find my inner peace and decided to give meditation a serious go through Vidyamala’s book – you can take it as a 4 week course where you do daily and weekly exercises designed to cultivate your body, mind and spirit. If I’m honest, the first couple of weeks I thought “this is bullshit” (forgive me the expression!). However, after a month doing my morning and evening 10 minute meditations and weekly exercises, OMG – I started feeling something I had not felt for long time: inner calm and peace. Even I was still under stress, the way I coped with it was so different. It was awesome! I found a way to calm my inner self and be just happy – another kind of happiness, a balanced one no matter what happened in my life, good or bad. Therefore I decided to keep going and never quit it – it was my medicine 🙂

And then, funny enough, when I decided to start my adventure as an independent consultant, I joined a brand which focuses in its people and they personal growth. I loved the fact that they believed on personal growth to reach business success therefore they invested on it. It was then when I was advised to do my personal power hour every morning. My first reaction was: “well, I already meditate every morning”. But this was going one step further than my regular meditation. My power hour now includes meditation, visualisation, positive affirmations, moment of gratitude and reading. Love the reading part – do you know why? Because reading is one of my hobbies and I had hardly practiced it for the last couple of years. This new morning routine helps me now read couple of books a month with all the knowledge it gives me and all the joy it causes me.

Something I’m currently working on is being emotional present so I can give my full attention to the moment or the person I’m with. It’s not an easy task to do this all the time – we have so many distraction starting by our mobile phones. So every time that I’m experimenting something new such as a trip to a new place, or I’m reading, or just checking my emails, I turn my phone off so I can stay present, connected and focused on whatever I’m doing. As I said, it’s not always easy (still work in progress for me), and even more difficult when you work with your phone. But, it’s a great exercise of self-awareness to put your phone away every time you notice yourself going away from your activity, conversation, etc.

Another area that is new for me is visualisation. The purpose of visualisation is to see the results you want to create, before they happen. Lots of sports people do it and works – You visualise where you want to get, build a plan and take action to get there. It is a powerful tool that when you master it, amazing things happen. However, don’t forget to take action, because it’s here where most people get stuck (another full article is needed to go through this topic).

To bring this article to an end, I encourage you to look into the techniques mentioned above and incorporate them into your daily life. In the same way we work out to have nice bodies, we need to work out for our mind and soul (chose what works for you but do it 🙂 ). I found in meditation, mindfulness and being emotionally present my journey companions – they have improved my life, they have truly done it. And visualisation is now the tool I use you pull everything together and start my day with a clear vision of who I am and where I am going. It’s powerful to do it first thing in the morning so you are ready to “smash” your day. Would you like to try it?

Feel free to comment below and tell us your own experiences. It’s amazing to see how different techniques work for different people in different ways.

With lots of love,

Laia x

Embracing your greatness

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You were put on this earth to achieve your greatest self, to live out your purpose, and to do it courageously. – Steve Maraboli

Hi everyone! Today I’m posting live from the Goal Coast, Australia. Yesterday I attended a whole day workshop with Joe Rangel from 2Evlove and I loved it – It was enlightening and inspiring. What an awesome way to end the conference I was attending!

What got me on-board straight away was his philosophy of changing the world one person at a time. He encouraged everyone to share what he taught us to empower others – that’s truly amazing! The same way you recommend a good restaurant or a movie, why not to do the same with personal growth? The information he provided was life changing for many and is worth spreading.

Joe spend the day navigating us through fast action tools to leave our comfort zone and grow, as a person and in our business. The understanding (or lack of it) of the importance of growing as a human been in order to be able to develop your business is just amazing. I wish traditional business would also invests on this.

The power of making a decision was one of the topics covered. I’m not talking here about saying to yourself “I’ve made decision of xxx”, but really MAKING a decision and TAKING ACTION. Having a plan A with no plan B, just going for our plan A no matter what – this kind of decision, the one you’ll action and make it happen. Actually, I’ve recently learned that is the lack of action that holds us back most of the time, including me… Would you agree?

Let me tell you a little story about this. I had never heard people talking about taking action as much as in the last 4 months so it’s something I’m currently working on. Last week I was at home and went to talk to my husband to be (OMG it sounds so weird to use the word husband! 😁) and asked him to do some brainstorming to think of new ideas to promote my business. I told him: “let’s think out of the box together”. He turned to me, gave me his full attention and told me (with lots of love): “Darling, you spend so much time doing your power hour, meditation, reading, writing your goals, etc. Instead of spending so much time on these things, invest your time in taking action.” At that moment my response was: “well, I can’t take action if I don’t know what to do so let’s think”. And we happily discussed few ideas on how to attract new leads. Afterwards, I realised that he was kind of right. I say “kind of” because I still think that is very important to invest time (every day) in daily routines that set you for your day, but equally important is to take action. So… He was right.

Another thing that caught my attention was something along those lines: don’t wait to be perfect to take action, aim to be excellent and learn along the way. I couldn’t agree more! I’m the perfectionist type and I know I need to move away from perfection… So another thing to work on – keep up the learning curve! 😊

Also, I had to accept that I’m not taking the action that I should to attract leads, for example, so more work for me to be done in that space… BUT it was so great to realise that! No excuses. No buts. No blaming. It’s up to you how successful you are in life, personally and professionally. So, what are you waiting for to take action?

We were taken through great information and activities to cover topics such as vulnerability, the statements we use, our self-talk, focus, vision, gratitude, mindfulness, self-believe, etc. It was just brilliant – the way Joe engaged with the audience was outstanding. He showed his vulnerability and allowed others to do the same. We all connect at the same level. It was a joy to see how useful his contribution was to no just one person but 100 people. He didn’t change the world one person at a time. He did 100 people at the a time. How amazing is that?

To finish off, something he said and will stay with me forever was something along these lines: You can write your own book right now. You can’t change the beginning but you CAN change the ending.

So I would like to ask you… What’s your ending going to be? 😁

With lots of love,

Laia

PS. Feel free to be in touch if you’d like to go deeper in any of the topics mentioned above 🙂