Winter Beckons

British Computing Society

I’m at a busy time in consultancy!

The only recent professional development to share is that recently joined the British Computing Society which I’m currently on the induction phase. More on that story later but yet another shiny badge right here. 

We’re fast approaching Christmas which means that winter is also looming for those in the northern hemisphere of planet Earth. Conditions in the UK are also becoming quite challenging. The cost of living crisis is making a real, human impact and we are also entering a period of economic recession. We’ve also got to adapt to Brexit whether we voted for it or not. With this in mind I’ve been making sure I’m as prepared for the winter months as best as possible to ensure I am mentally well.

I thought I’d share some tips for surviving work from home (WFH) during winter. These are written by an IT person so take and tweak accordingly.

  • Ensure you’re interacting with others and not just through glass – if you are like me and live alone this is not the greatest time of the year. It can get lonely and is very much a dehumanising experience. I attend Andy’s Man Club on a fortnightly basis to discuss my feelings and listen to other men doing the same in a mental health safe space. For women we signpost to Women’s Wellbeing Club as an equivalent.
  • Set aside your workspace – if you can make sure that your workspace is for work only, keep the door shut and talk to other inhabitants that live with you to set boundaries. This minimises the disruption and keeps your mind focused on work.
  • Maintain a line between work and home – on meetings ensure that you use a background, and also use a headset to ensure the conversation is kept private. At the end of the day shut down laptops & phones and then shut the door. You are done, you are human and it’s time to rest. Stick to set working hours and ensure you are setting time aside for self-care and rest. It’s not a guilty pleasure, procrastination or anything else. You need this time to reset.
  • Write your tasklist – write down everything you need to get done in a day. Prioritise the important things you need to do, delegate the tasks that you can to share the workload and plot the tasks that can wait for days when the load is lighter. Ensure that you ask for a deadline from colleagues and remember that “no” is not a bad word; it’s actually a good one! If there’s too much to handle you need to say it!
  • Exercise – get out the house daily for exercise whether that just be for a walk or for something more strenuous like a run. I’m indoor swimming now which helps.
  • Check in with Colleagues – keep communication constant even if that only starts with “Hello” on a morning and “Goodnight” in your team channel. Do share any big problems, unusual discoveries or even funny incidents you’ve had. This way you aren’t being forgotten about.
  • Journal – write down thoughts and feelings onto a suitable medium and keep a track of any persistent thought patterns. If you do identity anything that’s making you feel down make sure to act on it whether that being by raising it with your team, a manager or taking action yourself.
  • Get out for a day – contradicting a few points above but I’ve found it helpful to work from a coffee shop 1 day a week. I do have to provide mobile internet for security purposes but I’ve found that this breaks up the week and gives me something to look forward to

Please put a comment below to share your tips or just check in if you’re having a bad day. I’d love to hear from you.