• Jacqui Williamson

Staying home?

Updated: Jan 9, 2021

It’s April 2020, with many of us on lock down these are uncertain times for our health, our job security, our futures. However, whether we’re able to work from home, are still needing to go to out to work or are in limbo due to not being able to go to come and go as we would like. We need to stay focused and motivated; the lock down is not forever, but we’ve a while yet. It is important that we continue to be productive for our health and wellbeing and if you are in employment or looking for employment from a monetary standpoint. Many of us take our lifestyles for granted, this is a wake-up call. The two most important things in life are health and happiness, well those are my thoughts, yours may differ.

Why not pick up the phone check your great Aunt is ok, check on your colleagues, share updates, spread the love. Many people will feel very isolated, including those that would normally be out at work, not only those that are vulnerable. At this time regardless of age or anything else, it is important that we remember that. You may be the only person that someone has spoken to in days. It maybe you that feel isolated pick up the phone, interact with friends, colleagues, family, get online.

This is a great time to spring clean, whether it’s your home or your business. This doesn’t have to be in an entirely physical experience, virtual is just as valuable and necessary. Why not start on the small and tedious stuff anything after that may seem more like fun. Go through old paperwork, bills, letters be ruthless, photograph or scan anything that you may need to refer to before shredding. This of course may not apply to any legal documents, receipts, instructions that you have, file those away safely. Go through your photos, emails and text messages delete any that are no longer relevant and archive/protect those that are important to keep, have been read or actioned. Star messages any that are time sensitive or important to action and start working your way through those. Job done.

Progressively go through your home, home office and/or business sorting and cleaning. Now would be a great time to deep clean and re-organize spaces to better suit your personal or business life. Consider putting items aside to donate or give away when it’s possible to take them, or recycling/re-using them around your home or business if possible. This is a time when many people will be struggling to stay afloat and donating or freecycling may help in more ways than we can know – the freecycle network is I understand currently shut down, put items aside that you may want to give away when possible to those that may be appreciate them. As a small business this is the time to put some more time into your social media, look at your seo, tags, business marketing materials, boosting your business profile and options to offer (additional) online services. This may be a good time to write off/allocate for as sale; dead stock, props, fittings, gadgets and sell, donate/give away when possible.

Following clearing the clutter and spring cleaning, this would be a great time to move furniture around, or redecorate diy style, being a little warmer, windows can be opened during the day as necessary. Items can be put in other rooms, well covered in the garden, shed, garage to give you some wiggle room. Why not order paint swatches online and any other materials that you need. There are plenty of online tutorials to give you a kick start on you diy journey. However, be aware you may not get the finish that you would like that’s why we have professionals. If you are not confident about redecorating yourself please leave it to the professionals, no one wants a redo. A waste of resources, time and money and it's inconvenient. Diying can be extremely rewarding and fun.

This is a good time to learn something new whether it’s for personal enjoyment, leisure, career advancement, a career change, business purposes, laying the groundwork for self-employment or a side hustle. Why not subscribe to an online course, there are so many. Finances tight, not wanting to financially commit to a course, don’t let that stop you from learning a new skill, there are many free courses and tutorials online. Not online? You could teach or learn languages over the phone. It's low tech, but it's a great option. With more free time available to many of us this may be the time for training. Business people this applies to you too, why not incorporate staff training whether it’s in the form of official company material, recommended material online, virtual meetings, there are many ways to action staff training for employers that are still paying staff and wishing to give their business a boost post lock down when it may be more important than ever to be competitive.

This moment is also be a good opportunity for restructuring. Nope I don’t mean laying staff off, too many businesses have cut staffing to the bone. I get it, wages are one of the highest business expenses aside from physical spaces. I strongly believe that taking away too many staff members can sometimes be counterproductive, that may be a post for another time. Look at your role and those of people whom you employ and restructure according to the skills and potential of your work force. Dependent on which industry you are in, you in fact realize that it's necessary to employ more staff after the self-isolation period, do you have a contingency in place should this be the case? Stop being stingy employers if someone deserves a pay rise give it to them if they are key to the strength and sustainability of your business. But don’t break the bank if it’s going to hurt your business. Sometimes a thank you and small reward will suffice until you can do better. I have seen too many companies loose key staff because they have felt undervalued and it has hurt their business.

Always on the go? Why take advantage of this time for some self-care, whether it’s in the form of exercise, relaxation and pampering? You don’t need a lot of space to exercise and if you don’t have supply of pampering products get online, diy some, phone a friend to get their favourite recipes I’m sure they’ll be happy to hear from you.

This is a good time to reflect and look ahead. What has this period of self-isolation taught us? Is it time for a career overhaul? How can we live better? How can we help others? This may be a good to time to re-evaluate our work life balance. How can we do better, whatever better means to you? How can we better navigate our way through life and all of the challenges that it brings?

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