“WORDS ARE POWERFUL. THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO CREATE A MOMENT AND THE STRENGTH TO DESTROY IT.”
– SUSAN GALE.
Words have the power to attract, love, and to hate. By listening to the right words we can see the things we have not seen before. Words can make that much of a difference. They can transform your life or somebody else’s.
There were times in my life when I wanted to give up, but then I would put on motivational video or listen to TED Talks about never giving up. It was because of their motivational speeches that I would feel inspired and motivated again. By listening to the powerful words, not only has my life changed, but I have also learned what a big difference someone can make to the lives of others, simply by saying something that resonates.
If you are unfamiliar with Reddit, it is an online social media community where users vote on content. Some Reddit users submit links to online content and vote on which links are important. In my opinion, one of the greatest aspects of Reddit is the AskReddit.
It is essentially a forum where a member of Reddit can post a question and the entire community can join in and give their opinion on the matter. Some are interesting, some are funny, and some are incredibly inspiring, like the one that you are going to read about in this article.
Some Redditors were asked the question, “What is something someone said that forever changed your way of thinking?”
Here are some of the top answers:
“When I was 38, I contemplated beginning a two-year Associates Degree in Radiography. I was talking to a friend and had almost talked myself out of doing it. I said ‘I’m too old to start that. I’ll be 40 when I get my degree.’ My friend said, ‘If you don’t do it, you’ll still be 40, but without the degree.’ I’m nearly 60 now, and that degree has been the difference between making a decent living, and struggling to get by.
“When I was young and having what I thought was a serious relationship talk with my first real SO, I told her that I just wanted to find the right person. Without missing a beat she said, ‘Everybody is looking for the right person, and nobody is trying to be the right person.’
That stopped me in my tracks.”
“My mom was dying. A friend told me, ‘You have your whole life to freak out about this– don’t do it in front of her.'”
“I was 13 years old, trying to teach my 6-year-old sister how to dive into a swimming pool from the side of the pool. It was taking quite a while as my sister was really nervous about it. We were at a big, public pool, and nearby there was a woman, about 75 years old, slowly swimming laps. Occasionally, she would stop and watch us. Finally, she swam over to us just when I was really putting the pressure on, trying to get my sister to try the dive, and my sister was shouting, ‘But I’m afraid!! I’m so afraid!!’ The old woman looked at my sister, raised her fist defiantly in the air, and said, ‘So be afraid! And then do it anyway!'”
“’It’s only embarrassing if you’re embarrassed.’ Changed my life forever.”
“I met a person who was in a wheelchair. He related a story about how a person once asked if it was difficult to be confined to a wheelchair. He responded, ‘I’m not confined to my wheelchair – I am liberated by it. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my room or house.'”
“’The person that you will spend the most time within your life is yourself, so try to make yourself as interesting as possible.’”
“Paraphrasing what another Redditor told someone, but it was basically, ‘Don’t be a dick to your dog. He’s a few years of your life, but you are all of his.'”
“‘Everyone you meet knows something you don’t.’ My grandfather told me this, and it’s been a good reminder that I am surrounded by teachers.”
“A good friend once told me, ‘You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.'”
“’I’m not afraid of death. It’s the stake one puts up in order to play the game of life. – Jean Girraudoux.’ It is the only thing I’ve ever read that helped me deal with my own mortality.”
“‘People won’t remember the words you say, but how it made them feel.”
“’Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but, when we look back everything is different… – C.S Lewis’.”
“‘Education is expensive, but no education is more expensive.’ Definitely took school more seriously after someone said that to me.”
“‘Next year, you’ll wish you had started today.'”
“In an episode of Louie, he tells one of his daughters, ‘The only time you should look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure he has enough.’ I’m sure Louis CK didn’t invent that on his own, but it was the first time I’d heard it, and it’s stuck with me.”
“’Do it to do it, not to have done it.’”
“’You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.'”
“I rather live a life of ‘oh wells’ than ‘what ifs?’”
“A small thing, but vastly more important than it sounds:
I was sitting on a bus once, and we came to the railroad tracks. There were some cars sitting in between us and the next red light, so if a train came, we’d be stuck until it had passed. That was always a couple of annoying minutes.
Then the light turned green, and the bus went across the train tracks without having to wait for a train. Phew, crisis averted. Then, behind me, a mother said to her small child: ‘That was too bad, we didn’t get to see the train today.’
That was the perfect way to frame that. Why not enjoy what you get?”
Featured photo credit: First Descents via firstdescents.org
Published on September 21, 2021
How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)
The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.
In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.
1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks
Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.
But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?
Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.
Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.
Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.
While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.
Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.
2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout
At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.
Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.
Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.
Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.
McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout. And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.
From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.
3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work
An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.
McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.
Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.
Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?
Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.
So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?
The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.
If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.
Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive
Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com
|||^||DeskTime: 52/17 updated – people are now working and breaking longer than before|
|||^||Buffer: The 2021 State of Remote Work|
|||^||McKinsey & Company: What employees are saying about the future of remote work|
|||^||World Health Organization: Mental health and work: Impact, issues, and good practices|