For those that know me well enough, I love a good quote.
Infact, I have created an album in my phone with over 2,000 of them, so when I (or someone else) needs a dose of inspiration it's easily accessible.
Two of my favourite ones have been front of mind as of late. So, if you would indulge me for a moment whilst I share them with you, and explain how they have helped me (and perhaps may help you) with putting into perspective our new norm of working…
Optimist: Someone who figures that taking a step backward after taking a step forward is not a disaster, it's more like a cha-cha.
Life as we know it is different now, and for someone who is a bona fide workaholic, I admit it's been a challenge to create a decent balance between my work and personal life since everything is a bit of a blur…like what day is it again?
So it’s fair to say I’ve been dancing the cha cha like no one is watching…literally and figuratively speaking…whilst I trial and test the new ways of working and living in the comforts of my apartment. Knowing that if something doesn’t seem right or I had spent too much time working and not resting, then I would try and make a conscious effort to make changes to my routine in order to take a new step forward.
I have realised how important it is to mix things up so that there is a healthy variety of tasks in my day to keep the motivation levels positive, but also to try and not be so hard on myself when things do take a back-step. Especially since we are all trying to create and develop our own alternate manual on how to live in this new reality.
Which brings me to my second favourite quote...
Don’t count the days, make the days count.
I, like so many people I know, went into a positive mindset when 2020 began. 2019 was a difficult year for me, so I was ready for what the new year would bring, and made it a point to do a lot of the things that I had wanted to learn and experience but kept putting off, whilst also making time for self care. Something I had neglected over time since I care more for others than I do myself.
Of course most of those plans, trips and events I had booked and registered for this year have now been put on hold or postponed to next year, which is naturally disappointing, but completely understandable under the current circumstances. So although it's quite easy to just accept the current ways of life for what it is and countdown the days until I’m able to hopefully do all these things later in the year, I’ve realised there is still so much more that I can do now, that I wasn’t able to do before or as consistently, which will ultimately help with changing my habits and mindset into a more positive and healthier one.
I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason, and the simple truths that I am learning during this time is something that I want to make sure that I take forward with me, even once things return to ‘normal’.
So here is a snapshot of one of my WFH days…
6 : 30 A M - 7 : 30 A M
Although I’m not commuting into work at the moment I still try and wake up this early, so that I can use this opportunity to activate and awaken my body and mind through a 30mins stretch session, followed by a 30mins ukulele session.
I bought this basic ukulele in January- one of the things that I’ve wanted to learn this year- so have been self-teaching through youtube! I discovered by starting my mornings this way, I have a greater sense of calm and readiness for whatever the day would bring.
But don’t get me wrong, if my body wants to sleep in till 7:30am then I let it, as I know having a decent amount of sleep is just as important. Especially considering I use to leave my apartment at 6:30am in order to catch an early bus into work.
7 : 30 A M - 8 A M
Breakfast is one of my favourite meals of the day, and since I’m known to be a slow eater (I see it more as mindful eating) I love the fact that I have more time to make and eat a decent one each morning before starting my day. On the menu today is bacon and eggs with avo on toast, and a side of fresh lemon tea.
8 A M - 9 A M
Multitasking at its best- pampering with a hair mask in my slick new shower cap, whilst I check and sort work emails at the same time.
9 A M - 1 1 A M
Start to action my work to do list, continue to respond to emails and slack messages as they come through, whilst listening to my favourite playlist!
Since I don't have the distraction of people, I’ve had to put an alarm on my phone every 30mins-60mins.
By doing so I have a better sense of time in the day, and it reminds me to stand up and take a break from my computer screens. Otherwise, without this, I would probably work straight through to the evening and not even realise it.
1 1 A M - 1 1 : 3 0 A M
Time to wash out that hair mask but before I do, I’ve decided to try out a new recipe I found recently. Homemade carrot fries! Soo good! And such a great mid morning snack to have- my brain is tricked into thinking I’m having normal fries and my waistline is thankful for it!
1 1 : 3 0 A M - 1 : 3 0 P M
Power through my to do list, collaborate with colleagues regarding work, as well as check in with them to see how they are travelling with everything. It’s so easy to just keep working without connecting and having the “water cooler’ conversations with people, so I try and make sure I check in with anyone I reach out to.
Infact, one of the things that I have appreciated whilst working from home are the genuine connections I have developed with people I might not have otherwise crossed paths with under normal circumstances.
1 : 3 0 P M - 2 : 3 0 P M
When it comes to food I’m very much a visual person. So if it looks good and then smells good, I’m hooked in to taste. Today I’ve decided to plate my food like I’m on Masterchef to keep things interesting! Of course I am the contestant and judge in this scenario…
2 : 3 0 P M - 5 P M
Last part of the working day consists of zoom meetings, phone calls, emails and tackling admin tasks.
5 P M - 8 : 3 0 P M
Since I’m an avid runner and still focused on training for my running events later in the year, (hope to be completing my 16th consecutive City to Surf this year and trying my luck on another marathon) I’ve tried to run at least 4-5 times in the week.
Running has always been my form of mediation, so going for a run has become a non-negotiable in my routine at the moment.
I also know connection and communication with my family and friends are important, especially during these social distancing times, although I admit there are days where I have to put my own self care before others, particularly after a full on day at work.
But today is not one of those days, so whilst cooking dinner, I call my mum, I check in with my sister and some friends and share some funny memes and videos, as brightening up someone else’s day feeds into my own mind, body and soul!
And, just in case you’re curious what my final Masterchef dinner dish was... Roasted pumpkin and fetta pan fried ravioli topped with bacon, dressed with coriander and truffle oil. Bit of a mixed fusion of flavours I know, but trust me it works!
Dessert: Two Kiwis and two Ferrero Rochers… I have a massive sweet tooth, so have to end the day with a sweet treat!