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7 Important Things You Have To Start Doing In The Coming Year

7 Important Things You Have To Start Doing In The Coming Year

It seems only yesterday when Pokemon Go was just released; when the Olympics has just started in Rio, when Leonardo DiCaprio, against all odds, has finally won his first Oscar Award. Yet without us realizing, time has flown by without leaving so much as a hint, and once again, we are left with unfulfilled goals and resolutions, questioning what we could have done better this year.

Nonetheless, crying over spilt milk is but a pointless endeavor. As Philip James Bailey put it beautifully in his poem, “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial.” It is crucial that we understand that we should set out to achieve something in our limited time, or we might as well not do anything at all. If you are still undecided on what you want to achieve in this new year, you might want to take a look at the following ideas!

1. Focus on your family, your friends instead of your phone.

How much time has passed since you peered down to that glimmering, colourful layer of glass? How long has it been since you take a proper look at your father as he slowly hobbles across the garden, instead of walking straight and brisk as he has always done? When is the last time you took your significant other on a date, without replying to those seemingly endless amount of texts?

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Perhaps it is time. Time to put the phone down, give your mother a hand as she prepares dinner, laugh along with your friends and give your kids a hug and your wife a kiss.

2. Leave or set clear boundaries for the toxic people and manipulators around you.

We have probably all been guilt-tripped before, coerced by the dejected tone of lines like this: “Oh sure, go ahead, I’ll just cope with this all by myself. It’s not like I comforted you two years ago for a whole month after your breakup.” We are aware of how these people always seem to have a problem with everything, blaming the world for not giving them what they want. Then they frame it in a way where you are the only person who would see the truth together with them and support each other.

These people are toxic, because they never see past themselves. They devour your attention and care, leaving you with little energy to care and fend for yourselves. Take the initiative and cut them from your life. If they are close to you, then set up clear boundaries to specify what kind of behavior you would tolerate.

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3. Pack for a trip and travel alone.

Staying in a place for too long turns a person stagnant. Our ideas, mindset become compressed into the small box we call “home”. The benefits travelling offer are enormous – but most importantly, to travel is to escape from the familiar, and acquire new eyes and perspectives. It is to see the same things in a different light, and provoke curiosity even upon seeing the most mundane things. Once we have seen different cultures, practices and people, it frees us of the mould we have fitted ourselves into and makes us a better person.

4. Spend time with people who are there for you.

How many ups and downs have you experienced this year? How many times have you been thankful for having a shoulder to lean on, or someone to hold you and tell you “it’s okay”?

Human beings may be social creatures and have higher intelligence than other animals, yet even we do not offer our help and care to everyone. Therefore, cherish the ones who made time for you, took care of you, and treated you with love and make time for them as well. After all, if they supported you at your worst – they deserve you at your best.

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5. Face your negativities and let them go.

From a tender young age, we were taught to suppress our negative emotions – namely anger, envy, fear, sorrow, and so on. We were told that showing these emotions present a side that people dislike.

However, for many of us who watched Inside Out, it might be easier to comprehend that we need a balance of emotions for us to function normally as human beings. One can only be peaceful with oneself when he/she understands the roots of his/her negativities – and allow them to dissipate in the wind.

6. Pay close attention to your goals.

Too many of us enjoy the thrill of writing down new goals but fail to follow up on them one that period of determination has passed. As a result, plans are never achieved, diets never completed, gym time never increased.

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But not all hope is lost! The trick is to make these goals reachable, and ensure you are motivated to complete them every day. By breaking down your goals into small and achievable tasks, setting due dates and rewarding yourself for each completed task, and measuring your overall progress, you are on a one-way highway towards accomplishing your goals!

7. Focus on yourself.

There is nothing more important than living for yourself. To quote Dr. Seuss, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one in you life that’s more important than your own self. Live because you are a miracle for yourself, and for others. Live for your wellbeing, your happiness, and stop comparing your life with others.

A new year has come. But it does not have to be the same as the last one – get up, get out, and get moving!

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Eamon Suen

Student, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Life Is Not Supposed To Be Fair, We’re Supposed to Learn To Live With It If You Want To Be Successful, You May Need To Cut Off Something From Life The Earlier You Understand These Truths Of Happiness The Better Accept Where You Are And Happiness Is At Your Fingertips Your New Habits Will Stick With These 5 Killer Strategies

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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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