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

Healthy living it’s a choice

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A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body – it changes your mind, your attitude, your mindset, your mood. It definitely changed my life when I made the choice to live my life on my own (healthy) terms. What is your choice? 🙂

With lots of love,

Laia

Motivational quote

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“If you are working on something that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. Your vision pulls you.” – Steve Jobs

 

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