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3 Easy Steps to Being a Better Teacher

3 Easy Steps to Being a Better Teacher

As I sit in my office this morning, I just had a conversation with a colleague of mine – Someone I coach and train, and someone who constantly makes me think in return. I love his attitude. He is one of the most positive people I know. Today, however, we did not see eye to eye, which is not to say we argued but just had a difference of opinion.

We were speaking about luck. He brought it up in a casual way. He said, “Maybe I will get lucky today.” That caught my attention. I am a teacher of salespeople; I do not believe in luck.

Now I am a superstitious guy, not in a serious way, just for fun, but I do have my quirks. I always put on my left shoe first. I have no idea where this started, but I have done it my whole life. Sitting on my desk is a large wooden Buddha, I rub his belly every time I enter and exit the office. I don’t think these actions do anything for me; they just comfort me in a way that I can’t explain. But I know I do not do them for luck.

There is no such thing as luck.

Opportunity is a different word. Opportunity does come at random sometimes but more often than not it is the result of a specific action and just plain hard work.

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What would it take for my friend to feel like he had “gotten lucky” today? A new client? I happen to know that is what he wants. But why leave that up to luck?

He is smart, talented, and good at his job. But sits by the phone waiting for luck.

The only luck my friend needs is belief in himself and to get off his rump and hustle. The harder you work, the more opportunity you will have. Luck has nothing to do with it.

So, how can we as educators help to change the way our students think? Or, how can we, as people, just help to change the way we think and process information?

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How about this?

3 Small Changes, 1 BIG Difference

1. Listen More

Most educators, instructors, and teachers I know are brilliant minds who know the topics they teach in their bones. But how many of you have been teaching the same topics for years? Have your classes evolved and changed or are we thinking about learning through the same lens that we used even 5 years ago, much less 10 or 15 years ago.
We need to rethink our curriculum and listen to the students we teach. What are they most looking for in a class, a breakout session, a workshop? Are we addressing their needs for education or are we stuck offering the same classes over and over?

Try this, put out a poll to your students or employees asking what classes or topics they would most like to learn more about. I think the responses may surprise you.

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2. Break Your Own Routine

The simple fact that you have read this tells me that you want to achieve more, to get better, to improve. The very best way to improve will always come from within. You have not gotten to this position in life by being average. You have an amazingly creative mind that has propelled your success thus far. But be honest, are you in a bit of a routine? I would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that you are happiest when you are creative. Designing new classes. Sparking a new charitable campaign. Thinking differently!

Try this, Next week take a different route to work EVERY day, and don’t take the same way home. This small change, while it may sound silly, will force your mind to think creatively on your route. No more autopilot. Putting yourself in new situations causes your mind to think differently, and to wake up. You may just get that one spark you are looking for when you take that third left instead of the second.

3. Dare To Be BOLD

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Is there an itch in the back of your mind that you have thought about over and over but never attempted to scratch? A wild crazy thought that when you dream big enough, just may work?! Please listen to this: Anything you do advances us all. Anything you do advances us all. BE BOLD! Take that shot. Start a blog, write a book, open your own website, your own school. No one ever looked back on their life and said: “I wish I had done less.”

Try this, wake up every morning and say to yourself “What’s next?” “How can I be a part of it?”…..or better yet, sit down with a piece of paper, put that itch into words. Make it happen.

So to help our students and colleagues, we must think differently and reject luck.

I believe in magic, and love, and opportunity. I believe that a good hearted man with a passion can become a success at anything and that a smart, confident lady will change the world. I believe in baseball, flowers for no reason and good manners.

BUT I refuse to believe in luck. For that, I will just get back to work.

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Glenn Killey

Author, Motivational Speaker, Mindset Coach

What Is Your Defining Mental Picture? What My Teenage Daughter Taught Me About Simplicity What An 86 Year Old Man Can Teach Us About Procrastination The Randomness of Life: 3 Steps to Take Back Control The Law of Reversed Effort

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

Reference

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