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7 Dead Ends in Life and How to Avoid Them

7 Dead Ends in Life and How to Avoid Them

Everyone wants a carefree life, but few ever attain it. Since we’re bound to encounter obstacles at some point, it is wise to think ahead about how to avoid them.

Some problems in life are effectively “dead ends” that take a lot of work to get out of. Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, take note of these seven common pitfalls and learn ahead of time how to prevent them.

1. Getting fired

Many people worry about losing a job when things start going bad. You might get on the wrong side of the boss or realize you don’t have the necessary skills to do the work.

As soon as you realize the problem, take steps to address it. Schedule an informal meeting with your boss to explain your determination to do a good job, asking how to improve the situation. Get additional training or ask for a transfer if you can’t master your current position.

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Don’t wait to get fired. Be proactive. Make a goal right now to always do your best in every job you get hired for. You might not love every job, but if all of your employers give you good references, you’re sure to stay on the right path.

2. Being in a bad relationship.

When the relationship you’re in just isn’t working, decide whether to keep on going or call it quits.

Sometimes a little extra effort can repair a troubled pair, but other times it’s best to amicably throw in the towel and go your separate ways rather than wait for tensions to escalate.

3. Receiving disappointing health news

Most people will get an unwanted health report at some point in their lives.

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Whether it’s something they can individually control like the need to lose weight or a newly-discovered congenital disorder, the goal should be to stay as healthy as possible to either prevent bad news over things you can control or minimize negative effects by being in the best physical and emotional shape possible to deal with something that pops up eventually.

4. Choosing the wrong college major

After selecting a major and taking several classes you may realize a particular career path is not for you.

By then you’ve already invested considerable time and money. Before enrolling for classes, take a major aptitude test to find out what you’re naturally good at or what interests you before you start working on earning your degree.

5. Buying the wrong home

No one wants to make a sizable down payment and end up in a home they don’t like.

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Make a list of essential home qualities you must have, such as a fireplace and a finished basement, along with a list of those you won’t tolerate, like a small lot or noisy neighbors. Then when you shop, you’ll be less likely to fall in love with a home that has plenty of charm but few of the amenities or necessities that should be X factors.

6. Making a bad investment

It’s easy to be lured into investing in a killer new stock that’s predicted to explode and make tons of money for investors.Due diligence is critical before putting money into an unknown stock, bond, or other investment.

Study the stocks on a regular basis to see which perform well before sinking your money into one. Then be prepared to sell off if it begins to nose-dive. Don’t leave all the major decisions to a stock broker.

7. Getting a really bad deal on a purchase

Most of us worry about getting ripped off on a significant purchase, like that new 40-inch television you bought a month ago that blows up, without a warranty.

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For peace of mind, you can buy an extended warranty on major purchases. To avoid buyer’s remorse, it’s also important to compare models of things you plan to buy to see which has the best ratings and performance record,

With some added thought and effort, you can avoid some of life’s major issues and frustrations, and keep yourself on the right path, far from dead ends. If something does happen, you can take comfort knowing you did your best.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Dixie Somers

Freelance Writer

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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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