Category Archives: Work-Life

BBC Worklife 09-15-Jan-2021: Why Self-Compassion – Not Self-Esteem – Leads To Success

Worklifefeed_BBC Worklife 09-15-JAN-2021 Why self-compassion – not self-esteem – leads to success

Episode: BBC Worklife 09-15-JAN-2021

Topic 1: Why self-compassion – not self-esteem – leads to success.

Extract: A wealth of research shows that self-criticism often backfires – badly. Besides increasing our unhappiness and stress levels, it can increase procrastination and makes us even less able to achieve our goals in the future.

Instead of chastising ourselves, we should practice self-compassion. That is, we should give greater forgiveness for our mistakes, and make a deliberate effort to take care of ourselves throughout times of disappointment or embarrassment. 

“Self-esteem is contingent on success and people liking you, so it is not very stable. You could have it on a good day but lose it on a bad day.”

Kristin Neff
Image credit: Alamy

Measure how much you are cultivating self-compassion. On a scale of 1 (almost never) to 5 (almost always), rate yourself on the statements below:

  • I try to be loving toward myself when I’m feeling emotional pain
  • I try to see my failings as part of the human condition
  • When something painful happens, I try to take a balanced view of the situation

and

  • I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies
  • When I think about my inadequacies, it tends to make me feel more separate and cut off from the rest of the world
  • When I’m feeling down, I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong

The more you agree with the first set of statements, and the less you agree with the second set of statements, the higher your self-compassion.

For many of us, the struggles of isolation, remote working and caring for the people we love have provided the perfect breeding ground for self-criticism and doubt. While we cannot eliminate those stresses, we can at least change the ways we view ourselves, giving us the resilience to face the challenges head on.

Topic 2: Why living with and tending plants is good for you

Extract: Both Millennials and Gen Z grew up in a landscape that was increasingly obsessed with living online. This then continued into adulthood. “We took jobs that were increasingly online, and expected instant gratification from apps on our phones: dating, takeaways, cabs, handymen – everything could be gleaned swiftly.” 

credit: Hilton Carter/ CICO Books

And the antidote to that fast and furious digital life? Tending houseplants and gardening. “With gardening, nothing is instant. Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing can be tapped on a phone. It is a slow, physical, and patience-testing activity. All of which I personally find hugely relaxing when the rest of my life is so rapidly paced.”

“In a sense, having plants is like having pets – they bring you joy, but they also need love and attention. And having this living thing in your home, makes you focus on the daily caring for something that you’re now bonded to. There’s something in the caring process that’s therapeutic. You can use it to meditate or escape. And for two hours once a week, completely zone out.”

“Plants are like people, they need your help. Without you they don’t live.”

Sue Stuart-Smith

For younger generations, the lack of gardens and high-rise living in cities has led to a “disconnection” with nature. Houseplants are a way to re-connect with nature, and emotionally, they are helpful to mental wellbeing. 

Being in the presence of indoor plants – or looking at scenes of nature – have prompted people to make decisions that showed higher levels of generosity and trust, and had a sociability effect.


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Welcome to Worklife Feed articles and site-files indexing and adaptation series. BBC Worklife 09-15-JAN-2021

Happiness Cannot Be Described, But Can It Be Pursued?

Happiness Cannot Be Described, But Can it Be Pursued_ worklifefeed

Some think it is time to stop pursuing happiness, and I wonder why? I would not concede that it is because happiness cannot be described or because it is unattainable. Even if it is a Utopian pursuit, it might just be possible that the cost of trying to get it, might be paid off by any benefit that may be inherent in the exercise.

Illustration by James Melaugh

Like many teenagers, I was once plagued with angst and dissatisfaction. These were feelings that my parents often met with bemusement rather than sympathy. They were already in their 50s. And, having grown up in postwar Britain, they struggled to understand the sources of my discontentment at the turn of the 21st century.

“The problem with your generation is that you always expect to be happy,” my mother once said. I was baffled. Surely happiness was the purpose of living, and we should strive to achieve it at every opportunity. I simply wasn’t prepared to accept my melancholy as something that was beyond my control.

The above last two paragraphs were by David Robson, in “Why it’s time to stop pursuing happiness,” Act 1, Scene 1.

“The constant desire to feel happier can make people feel more lonely. This can make us become so absorbed in our own wellbeing, we forget the people around us.”

Opening The Blockade to Happiness

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt imposed a diplomatic, trade, and travel boycott on Qatar in June 2017. The group accused Doha of supporting “terrorism” and having what they deemed, a too close a tie with Iran.

The Saudi-led coalition had alleged that Qatar violated a 2014 agreement with the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), of which Qatar is a member.

Qatar repeatedly denied the allegations and said there was “no legitimate justification” for the severance of relations.

However, in the week of 5th January 2021, all of that changed. The “blockade to happiness” – the borders – were opened. And for the first time in more than 3 years, Qataris drove across the land border into Saudi Arabia on 9th Saturday. At least 70 vehicles passed through the crossing into the Kingdom on the first day and 20 travel in the other direction.

While the “de-escalation” of the crisis may not have addressed the core disagreements between Riyadh and Doha, it provides some useful lessons. Psychologists analyzing those who crossed the border between Saudi Arabia and Doha may still insist that happiness cannot be described. But those who had the “happy” experience, knew what they felt.

Why It’s Time to Stop Pursuing Happiness

David Robson in the Guardian Newspaper article titled, “why it’s time to stop pursuing happiness” provided different perspectives on the subject. But different twists and conclusions can also be shaped by those perspectives.

Photograph: solidcolours/Getty Images/iStockphoto
  • Avoid paying constant attention to your mood so you do not miss out on enjoying everyday pleasures.
  • Don’t have such a high standard for achieving happiness, that you do not appreciate the small and simple things that are really meaningful in your life.
  • If you really want to succeed, you’d do far better to engage in “mental contrasting.” This involves combining your fantasies of success with a deliberate analysis of the obstacles in your path, and the frustrations you are likely to face.
  • Keep a “gratitude journal” to regularly count your blessings and increase your overall wellbeing. But not like a chore, or in overdose quantity. Rather, it should be something you actually enjoy doing.
  • Frequently re-assess and reset your expectations. Accept that no matter how hard you try, feelings of frustration and unhappiness will appear from time to time. And actually, in reality, certain negative feelings can serve a useful purpose.

If happiness cannot be described because the outcome is always personal, the acts to getting there can be described. Ultimately, you might adopt the old adage “Prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and be unsurprised by everything in between”. Ease the pressure off yourself, and you may just find that contentment arrives when you’re least expecting it.


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BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021: Why Our Pursuit of Happiness is Flawed

Episode: BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021

Topic 1: Why our pursuit of happiness may be flawed.

Extract: What do you want from life? You’ve probably had the opportunity and the cause to ask yourself that question recently. Perhaps you want to spend more time with your family, or get a more fulfilling and secure job, or improve your health. But why do you want those things?

Chances are that your answer will come down to one thing: happiness.

“Happiness is not an emotional state so much as it is the excellence of the relations we cultivate with other people.”

worklifefeed_BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021
credit: Mike Kemp/ Getty Images

A life with loving attachments has been shown to be linked to happiness but it can also cause us great pain.”

Like the two quotes above, is life too a bed of contradictions?

Topic 2: How ’15-minute cities’ will change the way we socialise.

Extract: When the pandemic shuttered city centres, he says, it showed how important social links are – but through a different prism. “Many people never visited shops close to their homes before because they were busy. They didn’t know their neighbours or the parks nearby. The pandemic made us discover this. We have rediscovered locality, and this has improved quality of life.”

credit: City of Paris

The two-month lockdown that began confined her to a 1km radius of her home gave her a nuanced, enriching view of her neighbourhood. “I discovered it’s possible to feel like you’re in a small village in Paris,” she says.

“To get to know your neighbours, to maintain good links with shopkeepers, to favour local craftsmen and shops over large supermarkets. I even joined a citizens’ movement where people prepare food baskets for homeless people. I thought I would have a hard time living the lockdown, but I was perfectly at home, in a quiet place.”

“We know sometimes large cities can be tiring and can create a sense of anonymity,”

 “Unexpectedly, this experience strengthened the bonds I had with some people. It led me to criss-cross the small streets of my district more than usual and thus to discover magnificent places just a stone’s throw from my home.”

The ‘15-minute city. The concept is to improve the quality of life by creating cities where everything a resident needs can be reached within a quarter of an hour by foot or bike. The 15-minute city requires minimal travel among housing, offices, restaurants, parks, hospitals, and cultural venues. Each neighbourhood should fulfil six social functions: living, working, supplying, caring, learning, and enjoying.

Topic 3: The saboteurs you can hire to end your relationship

credit: Alamy

Extract: In Japan, you can pay private agents called ‘wakaresaseya’ to seduce your spouse or their partner.

Hiring a wakaresaseya helps you avoid confrontation. It’s a way in the short term of resolving a difficult situation without conflict. There’s a market for everything in Japan. This includes a variety of relationship-based services like renting faux family members. There are additional services offered by wakaresaseya firms, such as assistance with romantic reconciliation, separating a child from an unsuitable girlfriend or boyfriend, or preventing revenge porn.

The continuing existence of the wakaresaseya industry suggests that money and deception may be uncomfortably threaded into relationships more often than people recognise.


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Welcome to Worklife Feed articles and site-files indexing and adaptation series. BBC Worklife 01-08-JAN-2021

Worklife Crafting Because Worklife Cannot Be Balanced

Work-Life Daily_ WORKLIFE CRAFTING BECAUSE WORKLIFE CANNOT BE BALANCED

Once in a while, I get called to make contributions to LinkedIn conversations around work-life balance. And there was this LinkedIn post that goes like this, “I don’t believe in work-life balance. The word, balance, seems binary and implies taking from one in favor of another. I think of life as a puzzle. Time is limited, so I carefully choose the most important pieces to craft the kind of life I want to live, and everything else stays on the table.” Guess what jumped at me, worklife crafting!

“You have the option of carefully choosing the most important pieces to craft the kind of life you want to live.”

The post was by Irina Gerry. But it is what Ariel wrote that touched me further. It practically summed up for me, what it means to be doing worklife crafting because work-life cannot be balanced.

The Most Important Pieces To Craft

“I love the way you think Irina Gerry“, Ariel started. “For a while now, I’ve felt the term “work-life balance” is outdated because it implies that there is a standard that applies equally to everyone. Before I had kids, I was shamed for investing so much time in passionately pursuing and giving everything to a career I loved. But I felt balanced, because I was inspired, and motivated by a sense of purpose,” she said.

“Years later,” she continued, “I realized that pace was weighing on me and I needed to reassess my priorities for the season I was in and pivot. I refocused my time on being a better leader and building a legacy I could be proud of. Once I had kids, I realized I couldn’t do it all. And that I needed to make tough choices about how I invested my time. I said no more. I set boundaries. My friendships changed.”

At this point, I could feel the pain, re-echoed so quite often. The echo and tough choices that women always have to make.

Ariel thereafter took a six-month break to just BE with her newborn and she also volunteered at her church. Along the way, she learned that work-life balance is not as simple to achieve as the term may suggest. She concluded that “ultimately, achieving true “balance” was up to me to own.”

Hopefully, someone will learn from her through this post. Ariel did not hide the pain she went through during the journey. “It’s hard,” she said, “and I’m still figuring it out.” And for the rainbow after the thunderous heavy downpour, she concludes that she, “love the mindset of carefully choosing the most important pieces to craft the kind of life you want to live.”

The Hardest Is Deciding What Not To Be Involved In

Sunny also so much love the shared perspective. For her, she has learned that having the courage to say “no” to things and deciding what not to be involved in or spend time on has been the hardest. “There is a feeling of being judged or not feeling like you’re doing enough. But, at the end of the day, I’m learning to focus on the things that truly matter to me and my family, and how we can all help contribute to a better society,” she wrote.

“So dear friends, find the elements of your own worklife puzzle, and fix the jigsaw.”

Whatever we want to do, it is up to us as individuals to act. But not to go on naive, we need to know that there is going to be pain and joy to face. For example, some have chosen not to have children because they are afraid, not knowing how to reconcile parenting with professional life. This possibly is not a fantastic choice for some others, since “family” is a great part of life for them.

We all, therefore, have a great challenge, as those charting the narrative of this generation, to find a way to reconcile all the pieces of the puzzle in our lives. So that despite the odds loaded up so high against us, we can still ensure we have a prosperous and healthy life.

Find Your Own Life Puzzle

So dear friends, find the elements of your own worklife puzzle, and fix the jigsaw. Time is a very unique resource. It is the one and the only resource that is divided equally between rich and poor, young and old. And we are all given enough for each person’s worklife crafting to be done. So, from now on, your whole life living, the rest of your worklife puzzle is up to you!

I carefully choose the most important pieces to craft the kind of life I want to live, and everything else stays on the table.

Priority is key. Be thoughtful about what matters most, and be ruthless about everything else. You do not need to make trade-offs. But you have to make choices. And after you have made your choices, live in peace with them until the time comes to make new choices. Happy worklife crafting!


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Productivity Is About Your Systems, Not Your People

Productivity Is About Your Systems, Not Your People

Click to read: Productivity Is About Your Systems, Not Your People

Source: Harvard Business Review

Snippets: The pursuit of individual productivity is healthy and worthwhile. However, unless you work independently outside of an organization, the benefits of most “tricks” will be limited. To make a real impact on performance, you have to work at the system level.

“Complex organizations are defined by inter-dependencies among people, and it’s often these inter-dependencies that have the greatest effect on personal productivity.”

Make work visible in the systems, productivity is about your systems. Most of the work in an office environment is invisible, they are buried in people’s computers or their heads. As a result, it’s difficult to know what people are working on or whether they’re overloaded and unable to take on more tasks. Physical or virtual task boards (such as Trello, Asana, Airtable, Zenkit, etc.), can be used. There, every task can be represented by a card specifying who is handling it and its status. This enables a more equitable distribution of work. It also eliminates both countless status check emails and the need to cover that topic in meetings.

“Companies can make work easier for people if they specified channels for urgent and non-urgent issues.”

Align responsibility with authority. Too often workers are made responsible for tasks but aren’t given the authority to deliver results. This misalignment leads to frustration, stress, and overburden. The rule is simple: if an employee is responsible for an outcome, they should have the authority to make the necessary decisions. And they should be able to do this, without being forced into an endless string of emails, meetings, or presentations.

Also, employees should be allowed to make “above the waterline” (i.e., low-risk) decisions on their own. And only requiring approvals for “below the waterline” (high-risk) decisions.

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Sadah Store Injects Fun Into People’s Lives

SADAH STORE INJECTS FUN INTO PEOPLE'S LIVES

Arab-focused pop and contemporary art gifts are a growing trend in the Arab world, especially in Saudi Arabia. Many new brands have emerged in recent years. However, surviving competition is not always easy. The Saudi startup, Sadah is an online gift store. It grabbed the attention of a wide range of customers in the Kingdom in its first year of business.

Founded in August 2019, Sadah offers a variety of products with unique cheery designs, that are inspired by contemporary Arab music and culture.

Sadah means something of a plain color or patternless shape or print. This is the opposite of what we offer at our store. But that is exactly what I liked, because it always brings questions from followers,” Sadah founder Nasser
Al-Jazwa told Arab News.

How It All Started

Al-Jazwa, 22, is a graphic designer who previously worked on projects and products for different companies. But he was not happy that the product outputs did not match his vision for what he wants to do. He decided to put an end to working for others and created his own product line, Sadah.

He started his online store from his house in Al-Qassim. But soon found himself in need of an office and employees. This he soon acquired.

Sadah now has over 30,000 followers on Instagram. It ships its products to Gulf Cooperation Council countries and is expanding to an international market. According to customer reviews, Sadah has a reputation for distinguished designs
and attention to the tiniest details. “What makes us different is that most of our products are uniquely designed by
us. And they beautifully represent an Arab and Khaliji flavor,” said Al-Jazwa.

He believes that products can be manufactured anywhere. And that the most important part of introducing a product to a community is making sure that it relates to their culture.

He said: “The product that carries your thoughts, ideas, and culture is closer to you. And you can easily relate to it, regardless of where it came from. For example, no one would appreciate our oud instrument pin, which is made in China. Except those who appreciate what the product is representing.”

Sadah’s Products Are Designed to Inject Fun Into People’s Lives

Sadah’s products are designed to inject fun into people’s lives through a variety of socks, stickers, pins, mugs, pillows, cards, and more. The store targets young adults and teenagers by investing in their memories as well as modern trends. Some designs are inspired by songs, TV series, movies, as well as memes, And others by sweets and candies from past and present.

“Our biggest goal is to please our beloved customers, who we call ‘Sadah friends.’ Therefore we want to expand our reach, and diversify and increase our products further,” Al-Jazwa said.

However, he added that the current business climate caused by the coronavirus pandemic is posing challenges for newer startups like Sadah. “We are finding it difficult with logistics even as manufacturing and shipping prices are also increasing. However, the positive side of the crisis is that demand has suddenly become higher. More people are shopping online, but the current issues are slowing down the work,” he said.

Like any commercial enterprise, Sadah evaluates its success through sales numbers. However, Al-Jazwa noted that “producing distinctive products is a success in itself.” He added: “Though I am the founder, everyone who encouraged me to start the idea and those who supported me are contributors to its success.”

All Sadah products can be found on http://www.sadahthings.com. You can find the original version of this article at Arab News.

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When The World Sink, Will You Escape Up, Down Or Get Vaccinated?

WHEN THE WORLD SINK, WILL YOU ESCAPE UP, DOWN OR GET VACCINATED

When the world sink into a rage and go down into nuclear wars. That is, before the survivors start to eat the dead, and the warriors no longer have a commander. Will you escape up, down or get vaccinated?

At a time when a little unseen virus hunts down mankind; and panic strikes every heart. When Kings and Nobles respects themselves, maintaining simple protocol you order a child around to do. Wash your hands before you eat. Don’t swipe your mouth and face with your dirty fingers after playing all day out side.

Just when countries are competing to announce the immediate deployment of vaccines against COVID-19. Notwithstanding the death toll, there is the usual self defeating race of champions over corpses.

“Covid-19: Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine judged safe for use in UK from next week,” the BBC announces. “The scientists have done it,” says Boris Johnson as he hails vaccine approval. Britain therefore became the first Western country to allow mass inoculations against the coronavirus, granting emergency approval to Pfizer’s vaccine.

The Economic Times headline screams, “Putin asks his govt to start mass COVID-19 vaccinations in Russia next week.”

And when you think the “world policeman” will let this moment pass by without a show of presence, the New York Times reported that the US Center for Disease Control (C.D.C.) has recommended that nursing homes and health workers should get the vaccines first. That is coming few days after drugmaker Moderna said it is seeking emergency authorization in the United States and Europe to distribute its coronavirus vaccine. According to VOANews, the latest tests results showed it is 94% effective.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX’s And The Journey To Mass

SpaceX’s CEO Elon Musk says humans will land on Mars in four to six years.

“Perhaps a Nobel peace prize is a single ‘vaccine’ shot to address world conflicts. But it is definitely not enough. Multiple shots are required. Especially since the world problems mutate like a coronavirus.”

Robert Vicino’s Vivos And The Journey To Super-safe Underground Bunkers

You should have heard of the existence of underground cities. And interconnecting tunnels like underground train links, that takes the powerful to safety far away from calamity. And if your neighbor doesn’t have a backyard bunker, you must have heard of at least a president or military personnel that have taken refuge in one. But Robert Vicino is preparing a city of bunkers so that some people can survive a nuclear rage to rebuild the world, perhaps a year after the wars.

Hooray! Now We Can Focus On Other Problems

Now that we have found vaccines to deal with the world’s current and most troubling problem, the COVID-19 pandemic, perhaps we should not fear that the world may sink again.

Practically, the whole world went into a lock down. And global effort went into finding a solution in earnest. Therefore, just as fast and focused as the world have fought against this pandemic, in the same way, a vaccination (sorry, solution) should be found against climate change; then malaria, world hunger, inequalities, conflicts and wars. Perhaps a Nobel peace prize is a single ‘vaccine’ shot to address world conflicts. But it is definitely not enough. Multiple shots are required. Especially since the world problems mutate like a coronavirus.

But what of the logistics challenge in delivering such potent solution to the worlds myriad of problems? And the enormous cost that poor nations will have to bear. Who will get the first shots – and enjoy peace, good health and begin to overcome aging?

COVID-19 Vaccines, Conflicts And The Great Reset

Sorry, breaking news. War just broke out in the Strait of Hormuz. Special ships carrying vaccines through one of the world’s most important shipping routes have been attacked. It is suspected that the ships are not carrying vaccines but suspicious cargoes meant to be used to destabilize the region. This is a drill. I repeat. This is a drill!

But just then, Elon Musk’s SpaceX blast off to Mars, carrying a few privileged aristocrats.

Robert Vicino’s Vivos company was having a hard time pushing back the wealthy who are flashing their Black American Express card. “Any amount in gold bars, cryptocurrency or raw cash, just to have a safe passage while the world sink,” they plead. Yes, even when the world burns daily, while the poor go to bed hungry, and the middle class work their life out, the few privileged ones are in the world’s safe cocoons. Secure and profiting from the worlds stress and daily calamities. Whaoh, what a great bet, the stock exchange just had a bull run. Wine filled glass cups clings, cheers.

Life and all it’s confusion, trappings and allure! Worklife, and it’s dangerous offerings, surreptitiously used to hold workers captive, with the goodies of work, all of their life. Work-Life balance, a legitimate desire, a pursuit in hope! It is time to reset and find, or possibly rediscover the purpose of this journey of life.

Thanks McKinsey, before the world sink, there is a COVID-19 and the great reset! Thanks.

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Walking Away From A Bullying Client Who Causes Your Team To Suffer

Walking Away From A Bullying Client Who Cause Our Team To Suffer

Click to read: Walking Away From A Bullying Client Who Causes Our Team To Suffer

Source: Campaign Asia

Snippet: We were working with our largest client at the time. And we were giving everything to service an account worth £1m. Sadly, we found out that our team members were being destroyed by the negative values that this client held. Also by the way he was treating our team. Unfortunately, some of our team members were already living with mental health challenges. And I had also had a mini-stroke and heart surgery since starting the company.

Consequently when we were deciding on what action to take, we chose to put our employees first. We walked away from the account.

Just because we showed where our company’s values were, we gave our employees a better work-life balance and a healthier mindset. This simple action also meant that clients will receive a much higher standard of service from the team.

Corporate Kindness

When people are supported, they enjoy coming to work. This ultimately leads to increased productivity. And that is why I co-founded “Corporate Kindness,” an initiative to encourage companies to lead with kindness.

A great example of “Corporate Kindness” was the open letter by Brian Chesky, chief executive of Airbnb. In the letter, he explained how the company arrived at its decision to downsize and who to let go. He also talked about how the company was supporting those it could no longer employ by helping them to find other jobs.

Corporate kindness can help employees know when to make the call and start walking away from a bullying client. Studies have shown that kindness improves productivity. It also lowers employee recruitment and training costs.

Kelly Allison is chief executive of digital and brand experience agency KVA. Also co-founder of #CorporateKindness

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Home Office Burnout Is Real: Here’s The Way Out

Home office burnout is real: here’s what you can do about it

The global work-from-home experiment has rewritten the productivity playbook. Working from home or living at work? Thriving, or simply trying to survive? The home office burnout is real!

By now, the thrill of trading in the office commute for a few short steps to the desk has long worn off. Now faced with fewer (if any) face to face meetings with colleagues, there is the overnight evaporation of casual corridor conversations. And what were once interactive workshops are now reduced to sharing screens.

Whereas, whilst the workplace dynamic has shifted, the relentless pursuit of delivering impactful results has not. Also, there is the increasingly blurring boundary between home and work life. This have paved the way for the rise of the ‘always-on’ home office. With the increasing risk of burnout.

According to a recent study by Forbes, more than two-thirds of workers surveyed in the US have reported an increase in burnout symptoms. Clearly, changes are needed. To promote a better work-life balance, here are three simple ways to improve productivity from the home office.

Focus On The Output, Not The Hours

Rather than measuring success base on the number of hours spent at the desk, set a list of impactful deliverables to complete. Prioritize the most impactful tasks first and worry less about trying to get through your entire to-do list.

Lights, Camera … Action!

From all the calls you attended last week, who left a memorable impression on you? Chances are, it was those who had their camera switched on. And whilst it may seem easy and often tempting to opt for audio-only, switching the camera on can have a profound impact on your presence in the virtual meeting room.

Most importantly, remember to look directly into your camera’s lens. Whilst it might take a bit of getting used to at first, looking into the lens equates to looking directly at your audience – just like being in the office.

Take Breaks, And Take Them Often

When it comes to working effectively from home, taking regular breaks is an absolute necessity. Set aside a 30-minute meeting with yourself at least once a day.

This will give you time to clear your mind, refocus and reflect on your progress. It will leave you feeling significantly re-energised and enable you strategize on what you want to get out of the rest of the day. And if you find there are too many meetings in your calendar preventing you from taking breaks, get ahead of the game and block the time in your diary.

Your 30-minute break might be a short-sweat session, a meditation program, a call to your best friend, or even a walk around the neighbourhood.

Being At Your Best

Home office burnout is real, but by implementing and embracing new norms and ways of working you can make a difference. You can optimize for better physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This will in turn translate into improved productivity.


You can find the original version of this article as written by Robert Simons at www.thedrum.com. Robert Simons is head of partner and developer marketing, International Markets . He is also a member of The Marketing Society Asia.

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How To Redeem Your Broken Marriage

How To Redeem Your Broken Marriage

How do you redeem your broken marriage? Please note that no marital problem is bigger than another. But what if yours is battling pornography and infidelity?

Your relationship is in good condition, but you want things to be better. And surely your marriage can be better. This article is about a loving couple who seems to have a perfect marriage. But there were hidden issues below the surface that really threatens to tear their family apart. This particular topic, how to redeem your broken marriage is related to pornographic addictions; but can it be so true that a high percentage of men struggle with this issue?

“The most dangerous inadequacies and ‘fault-lines’ in our life are the ones that we think are anonymous.

If there is a hidden ‘fault-line’ that you are struggling with as a couple, just take it out from under the table and put it on top of the table. Definitely, it will require a lot of courage and grit, but the reward is huge for the entire family. Just like the experience of the couple, Dave and Kirsten Samuel whose story is to be shared here.

A Fabulous Marriage And Then A Niggling ‘Fault-line’ Showed Up

Happily married for 25 years and with 3 grown children. But ironically, they did not know each other. Comfortably just launching into empty nest years, they thought they have an absolute, fabulous marriage. And to them, sure they did. “To some degree we did. We never fought, and we always got along,” says Kirsten.

“We did love each other,” Dave chipped in. “And we were committed to each other… but the ‘fault-line’ that was niggling at me, that was under the skin for years, just kept raising its ugly head. The internet provided easy access to information that should not be.”

Then one day the whole bubble busted. Dave came home one night, and the signs were all over him. He went into the bedroom after dinner and Kirsten followed later.

The peace in the family was shattered with what came out of Dave’s mouth, “it is very likely I won’t have a job tomorrow.”

“Why?” Kirsten asked.

Dave replied, “because of a moral failure.”

Kirsten knee just gave way.

He Exchanged Me For Pornography

Kirsten recollect that when she heard him, she went through a range of emotions, from disbelief to ‘how dare you?’ Then followed by anger. “You couldn’t have struck a knife in my heart any harder than that, knowing that he exchanged me for pornography. I went between shock, anger, disbelief, and resentment. I don’t know you, I don’t want to be near you. It was like, who is this guy? This is not the guy I thought I married,” she said.

“The question that was posed to me was, what was it worth to me for my wife to be healed?”

“We need help,” she continued. And the first people she could think about, became their restoration team.

The Childhood Wounds That I Did Not Deal With Erupted

Then something opened up in her. The wounds she had been hiding for many years when she was abused. Kirsten recollect that she had never dealt with it when it happened to her since she was nine years old. “It reminds me, you don’t have any value, you don’t worth anything, you are unseen, unlovable, not pretty enough, not smart enough, that I do not matter. And since you traded me with pornography, therefore I don’t matter.”

“I love your dad because love is an act of the will. It is not an emotion.”

They reached out to their children and the son asked her the question, “mum, do you love my dad?”

That touched her and brought out a deep reflection. “Honestly, I love your dad because love is an act of the will. It is not an emotion. But right now, I can’t stand him. I don’t like him at all. But I love him because I made him a commitment in my wedding vows,” she said.

In the midst of the painful betrayal, a truth cannot be hidden as she thought of Dave’s performance on their wedding vow. “Dave kept forsaking all others – no he did not keep that one. I got upset about that. But I was guilty. I couldn’t throw a dirt at him, I was just as guilty.”

Take a listen, Part 1 – How To Redeem Your Broken Marriage

How It All Started With Pornography

Dave’s side of the story is also intriguing. “I was exposed to pornography probably when I was five or six years old by a neighbor’s friend”, he started. “One of those things … ‘hey, check out this magazine’. As a military family, we moved around all the time. I did not have a lot of friends that had a lot of history. That fed my insecurity of being a boy that wasn’t into sport. But I was more attracted to the art and music. I had more of a sensitive temperament, and I didn’t seem to fit in with my guy friends in school.”

At this point, it is time to grab the edge of the chair as Dave continued his story. “Pornography was my medication of choice when I felt insecure, scared and freighted. Like going to a new school for the first time, it was hard for me.”

“For most people when I ask them if they have a good friend, especially men, they say, no. How can you then find a team to help you?”

Dave went on to narrate his journey into the dark world of pornography. How before the internet it was pretty much hard to have access because it was pretty much controlled. This shielded the first part of their marriage from the horrid effect of pornography, and the marriage was therefore great. But around the time that the internet started getting into the homes, it really became a struggle for him. The access was there, the anonymity was there, the secrecy was there; all those things that can fuel addiction because one could get away with it.

Rescue Support System – Parents, Friends and Counsellors

“You have got to talk about it with the kids”, Kirsten said.

Dave remembered how conversation about similar sensitive topic was handled while he was growing up. Rather than the issue been faced headlong, adults retorting to anecdote. He counselled that parents should face the elephant in the room. Don’t tell kids that, “the birds can fly over your head but you don’t have to let the birds make a nest in your hair.” It communicates nothing and provides no real help to a struggling young man.

From the perspective of the show host, for most people when he ask them if they have a good friend, especially men, they say, no. “How can you then find a team to help you?” he queried.

“I had people that I know, but Dave was not comfortable with them. And he had people that he knew, and I was not comfortable with them,” explained Kirsten. “We struggled to come up with three couples who could help us as our restoration team, to work out a recovery plan that we had to come up with. And that is most people’s dilemma,” she said.

“What I was struggling with in the addiction was low self esteem.”

The show host then ask Kirsten a question, “Have you ever or are you considering taking your own life?” She was startled. “No, why would you ask me that,” she responded.

The host then said, “you have suicidal depression. You have PTSD and anxiety disorder and you need to get help now. You need to get on medication and if you don’t, I will put you in the hospital.” For Kirsten, the ground might as well have opened up and swallow her whole.

He was accurate.

Take a listen, Part 2 – How To Redeem Your Broken Marriage

The Book: Choosing a Way Out

Amazon Extract

“Because of a moral failure, that’s why.”

When Kirsten Samuel heard this confession from her Christian husband it took her breath away. Yet, she would realize her husband’s sin exposed the hidden deception in her own life. This uninvited crisis proved to be the beginning of her personal healing.

Kirsten writes that for most of her adult life she believed: She wasn’t good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or rich enough, or talented enough, or whatever enough. She felt invisible and forgettable.

In these pages of the book, you’ll encounter raw honesty and see a clear path through the pain. You’ll see no depression is too dark and no lie too big. And discover a powerful process, where you exchange isolation for accountability and deception for deliverance. Choose a way out, even in the bleakest of circumstances. God is greater than your pain.

A Dark Spot From My 9 Year Old Past Life

The ghost was let out when Kirsten started her story, “I have been hiding since my abuse. I was stalked at nine year old and was physically attacked by someone I knew and trusted. Though I was able to escape from that attack, I never told any body. The person I told was Dave before we got married. But I brushed it off. I said I was fine. Nothing happened. But emotionally, I was stuck at nine. I was ignoring it, and shutting it down.”

She said going through this can make one, a tough girl, a promiscuous girl or the good girl. She said she was in between the tough and the good girl. Fixing every other people around her to make sure they were happy.

“There was something in my attacker that made him did what he did. And when he died, I grieved”, she concluded.


Focus on The Family

Visit Focus on the Family, get more episode resources on how to redeem your broken marriage.

Get Kirsten’s book “Choosing a Way Out” to know how they redeem their broken marriage. And you can get a copy of the book for your donation of any amount @ https://donate.focusonthefamily.com/don-daily-broadcast-product-2020-11-04

Visit Dave and Kirsten Samuel website for additional resources.

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