I was overhearing a conversation about how some people seem to always get out of doing things. Not just at work, but generally in life. Some don’t pull their weight within a family or community. Others just expect the world to give them what they want without them earning it. Some are just idle.
This was a tongue-in-cheek poem and meant to be a bit of a cynical reflection of modern life. But let’s face it, we all know people who seem to get away with doing very little.
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One of the things that I find most difficult about getting up in the morning is dragging myself out of the house ready for work. The reason I always manage it is because there is nothing I dislike more than being late. For me, being on time and keeping to time is always really important. If you become good at time management, everything else becomes efficient, at least regarding work, and you will then be able to have plenty of free time rather than time spent trying to catch up.
Being timely is good for you and everybody that you work with. After all, being late causes all sorts of awkwardness and inconvenience. So if you want to stay on time and prevent yourself from missing out on stuff and getting behind, here are my five tips for keeping to time.
1) Have more than one alarm.
I find it helps to have an alarm on either side of the bed. If there are two of you, you both have to turn them off and if you are alone you will have to keep reaching across until it begins to irritate you. With the snooze option and recurring sounds, you should eventually be awake enough to drag yourself out of bed.
Also having one alarm beyond arm’s reach is a good idea as you then have to get out of bed to turn that off. I suggest making this one the last resort alarm, set at the latest time you can possibly get up and still get to work without being late.
2) Change time
When I talk about changing time I mean altering the times that you note down meetings or appointments so that they appear to begin fifteen minutes earlier.
If I know a start time and allow extra time then I may end up cutting into that factored in time because I know the real start time. If I fool myself into thinking the event starts slightly earlier then I will subconsciously focus on this, making being on time much more realistic.
3) Don’t get distracted.
Sometimes you have good intentions and start to make progress towards getting to an event on time and then something gets in the way.
For instance, just as you are about to walk to your next meeting, the phone rings and you pick up, while deep down knowing that this call may not be brief. Or someone stops you for a quick gossip which turns out to be a drawn out conversation that again makes you late.
4) Don’t be too polite.
Polite people are lovely but often not good at keeping to time. Being afraid to stop a meeting from overrunning because somebody is in full flow or going off on tangents is a popular cause of lateness.
Even on a zoom meeting, going off topic or not following strict timings can result in those meetings taking too long and have the knock on effect of pushing other meetings back too.
5) Be organised
If you do keep to a schedule as much as possible and set reminders and alarms to keep everything going, then your work will be more efficient. Good time management is a real skill to embrace and makes things work more fluently. Even at home, having chores organised with time allocations stops backlogs of things to do and makes family life better as well.
I hope that these ideas were useful. They are just straight forward suggestions to help everyone stay on time for work, hobbies and family events. For another article about things that make me laugh, click here here.
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As Boris announces today that he wants everyone to return to their offices again to enable the economy to keep growing, it made me think more about this. I am lucky enough to do a mix of work, but the majority of it is not from home. My dream is to eventually work mainly in writing jobs, but even then I hope to have a good balance of work in a workplace and at home.
There are so many advantages and disadvantages for working at home. I like the idea of finding a reasonable balance between the two. Here are the pros and cons of home working:
1) No travel. Good for the environment and saves time being wasted. Why travel for meetings when you can still cover the material with online professional appointments?
2) No need to spend on snacking. All the food and supplies you need are already at home. This can be a downer too as you may be tempted to eat and drink more when working so close to a fully filled fridge.
3) You can take better control of your timetable, unless you are unlucky enough to have been given back-to-back zoom calls all day.
4) You are your own boss. Well, not literally, but at least nobody is actually breathing down your neck as you try to hit a deadline. At least if you need to buy some time you can say that the internet is down. Who will know?!
5) In theory you will get much more done. No distractions from chatty colleagues or noisy photocopiers can be used as excuses for a lack of productivity.
1) Although you don’t use any fuel, you may find it harder to make a distinction between work and home. Travelling to work is often a good way to disconnect from your home life and give yourself the brain space needed for a day at work. I often unpick a day on my way home from work and usually by the time I reach my house I am ready to move on and chill.
2) Pets and family members can get in the way. At work you won‘t be dealing with fighting cats or intrusive dogs. Kids won’t be arguing over computer games in the background. Of course office hours are longer then school hours so there is bound to be an overlap.
3) I found that when I had a period of working from home I missed the social interaction of being around my colleagues who always give me a sounding board and regularly cheer me up with their humour. Let’s face it, nothing beats a good face to face gossip either.
4) You are using your own supplies. At least at work everything is there for you. Working from home leads to dealing with printers, restocking ink and regular trips to the post office. Although you can claim for these, they can take up a lot of valuable time.
5) You can get tempted to relax whilst at home. I know people who end up getting up later and staying in their jogging bottoms all day. Sitting around can lead to bad backs and putting weight on. That trip into the office can involve walking or cycling and getting your daily dose of fresh air and exercise.
So yes, I like working from home a lot but it comes with a down side. Personally I have a mix of bothand like being able to have some days at home and others in a busy environment. Perhaps in future I will manage to make it a 50:50 split between them both.
For a related article about working from home click here.
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