Strategies to Embrace Work/life Balance
So finally I want to talk about work life balance, life and work routinely clash when you work from out one story I have that really brings it into focus is for the longest time I was responsible for much of what happened in gadget and almost every major decision had to run through may we were rebuilding the site we didn't have enough people that had been there for a while and I was over at aa holiday event with my family and some of these people I had not seen in years two or three years so we're all of this gathering we're all together everybody made an effort to be there and I'm over in some corner you know, on my phone just hammering away on email and text and putting out this fire in that fire and it's just you know for an hour goes by and look up and I haven't haven't communicated with anybody in the here and now fully engaged in this but not at all engaged in this a flesh and blood I was there but mentally completely checked out this happens a lot with remote workers it is it's ...
easy to fall into that type of thing where you're so engaged with work at a place that looks like home you have to make the transition out of it when it's required and so sometimes though clash and you just got to make it happen urgent client calls come in right in the middle of a family gathering it's no different than if a ceo got home from an office an urgent client call comes in you might have to deal with it, but if you don't make a purposeful effort to take work in life and make them separate, they will run into each other on and it's it's not good for your sanity, your health and the health of the folks that love you so you have to create boundaries this this is a time when I'm going to be outside of work even though I'm here with my home office, I'm going to be here present not at work when you don't have the luxury of physically leaving the work space, you have to make sure that you build that barrier um better your health with retain commute time this isn't this is something that I've done since I've been working remotely is I said, you know what? Some of the time I got back I want to put towards my health I want to try to work out daily whenever possible. It's it's a great use of your time it's a super rewarding it keeps you grateful it keeps you grounded when you get time with something that is bettor's your health it doesn't have to be working out maybe it's better in your community or whatever it is but when you're done and you think, wow, I did this instead of commuting if you keep focused on that it's it's it's a good driving factor what happens when you bring work into the living room how do you deal with being home but unavailable and most importantly what if your dog barks during a critical conference call? Um this is not a theoretical hypothetical question this has happened a number of times in all seriousness I actually have an answer for this last with this my favorite so if you hop onto a conference call and you already know it's going to be two hours it's just going to marathon call you know that fedex is supposed to bring a package today they haven't shown up yet I just get on the condom like you know what if the dog barks on this call please forgive me he's just having a better day than we all are on that's what will happen on the calling? Everybody immediately loves it like it just breaks up the day you're honest with them, he like fedex is going to come and when he rings that doorbell it's going to break loose you know I mean the dog is just gonna lose it I'm just warning you ahead of time it just might happen, but truthfully what that does is it gets everybody else on the call thinking and I should probably approach my manager about working remotely seriously, so if anything else, it helps it helps spread the message and get people on the same page. There's nothing wrong with being honest with people that you know, what? I'm I've got a dog in my office, and I'm dealing with it the best way I can the second one, though, is is a bit tougher. How do you deal with being home but unavailable? And this is particularly painful if you have neighbors or friends or family that are nearby, and they really need your help from twelve to three on wednesday. And you've got an incredibly important client call from twelve to three hundred wednesday that you just can't live. They know you're home. I mean, they could drive by and see the cars there. It's very tough to say I'm home, but I'm not available, you know, if they if you weren't in office, you wouldn't even have to. I have this conversation like, oh, he's in the office surely here, she's not available, so you just have to be honest with the people you work with the people you live with, the people you love, you work from home, but sometimes you can't be there right away. The good news is as soon as that call is done, you're two steps away from the car and you can go help it's much better than being trapped in the office he like well, I can't get to you until tomorrow it's given take its compromise it just takes some education because it's still a pretty novel concept for most so this is one from me in my book the best to remote workers realize that life can often be interrupted by work, but maintaining perspective that you're able to work from anywhere enables you to tackle those interruptions with a positive attitude remembering to be positive and grateful goes a long way to making ume or efficient mohr empowered more trusted and eventually more hirable in promotable perspective is everything you'll have those situations where you'll have to tell a love one look, I can't help you today and it feels tough it feels bad but maintaining perspective that you can go help them right after instead of having to wait another day keeps you grateful. Sometimes you'll get projects throwing to you on the weekend because they know you're answering email on the weekend everybody else left their laptop at work you're the one guy but you know what they can count on sometimes it's worth it to be the person that would do it at awkward hours for the team take one for the team if you're working remotely it's worth taking every now and then so this is just a few shots of me so this is me working mid trail so I had an important message come in what do you think about this? The cli needs to know if we can change this page I could have been really upset about that it could have been like you know what I'm on vacation I'm on this hike but really cannot really complain probably not so you know take it with a smile do what you have to do and then look up every now and then to realize this scenery sure beats an office so you know what if you aren't in the situation to change careers you still got some time left you're in you're in a situation where you're working at a place you really want to work remotely just make it happen every job that you're currently in that doesn't involve manufacturing it could be a removal it's just on you tow lay the ground work have the conversation and prove yourself go ahead and get it guys before we wrap up I want to know any further questions from you guys we got a lot of information and I know all of you are sort of different different parts of this remote dream like doing working remotely any final questions before we wrap up with aaron from you guys and I have a question er so I like he didn't talk about it, but when you travel, do you work? And what does your advice do? Yeah, okay, so really good, but most of the time, I'd say probably ninety percent of the time when I travel, I do work it's I mean, realistically, I've been to forty countries today there's just no job in the world that I found it would have allowed me to take enough time to visit forty countries without me working on some of that, but the truth is, if you're gone for a week or two weeks, checking email every now and then is not that bad when you consider the alternative of not having gone at all. And so if you have that perspective it's it's worth doing now, it's tough, because when I travel overseas, even finding a decent internet connection is a chore on its own. We've had entire trips where full days have been just trying to track down an internet connection she don't hear about that when you see these pictures like all that looks amazing, but like the day before, this was completely shot because I had dr over some shoddy roads into this one store in town to try to find a sim card for my phone so I could use my phone to answer an email that's tough and some people aren't willing to do that you're like that's too much hassle too much trouble I'm going to stay home where I know the internet works and that's fine that's why I say the bucket list could be different for different people but yeah I do I work a lot most of the time in the evenings so during daylight hours if I'm in a new place I'll go explore ohio go go see things I've never seen and then right when I come back I just plow through it into it's bedtime so it works for me I have no interest in night life or eating fancy dinners so I'll just come back do the work I have to do get up the next day and go hike oh did you there was one other thing about that about what is my wife do yeah ok it helps that my wife white works remotely as well s so that's always good mary a remote worker that's great advice no my wife is a wedding photographer and so she works very heavily on the weekends in my job predominantly operates during the work week so you would think that's kind of a terrible situation because when I'm off she's not and when she's off I'm not but if she has weddings that she has to shoot and I know that I'm going to need to be somewhere for work during a given week we can schedule it so that she comes with me and schoen it during the week while I'm there and I'll do some work while I'm there as well it's ah it's a complicated schedule it's a it's almost a full time job just to manage what what week will this work what week will this not work but mostly she does it in north carolina right yes she should so prominently in north carolina that's right so when she has shoot scheduled she has to be there I mean that's where it's at physically has to be there to capture that but she books are scheduled such that there are some periods of you know what I'm taking a break I'm going to decompress a little bit and there are some weeks where she hasn't she doesn't have to shoot anything but she has lots of and it's backed up and this happens with a lot of freelancers where they'll be they do a lot of in person physical meetings they'll get a lot of the work and then say ok it's due in four weeks I'll see you in four weeks so we might use that time to travel somewhere but during that four weeks but she's still working really hard on I'm getting that stuff done so during the times when she doesn't have to physically be there and allows us to travel but it doesn't give us the luxury of not working while we travel thanks question about setting deadlines so I don't know how much you're responsible for setting your own deadlines, but I'm responsible for setting a lot of my own deadlines even work clanked give me, which is nice, but I notice I chuck have to juggle a lot of projects and some things get slipped off the calendar and then they lose track of them, and so I'm noticing that I don't have actually a very good to do system because putting it, I actually put it on the calendar as a block of time, so I actually see it as like an appointment, but then I might go, I might move it around, but then I might forget to even do it, even though it's sitting right there staring in the face. So it's it's a it's like I have, I'm juggling and things airdropping. Yeah, my wife does the same thing in putting the block of time. What I do is I use evernote and I have two different ever notes. One is a twenty four hour to do list one is a weekly to do list, so I give myself a lot more flexibility than she does like she gives herself a very specific four hour block, but my days are way too hectic to say I can definitively do this on these four hours on that day I'm better off knowing it has to be done by this day and have a week to find it and then what I tell myself in the pressure cooker mentality get these doing as fast as humanly possible because you don't want to be up against that deadline if you take pleasure and be knocking things out before the deadline, you'll you'll be able to do things like that. So for me, what works best is a to pain to do list one with realistic things that need to get done by tonight and then another that has to get done by the end of the week and what I love about that is on a calendar if the days which is forward you load up your calendar, everything that happened the day before it's pretty easy to miss, but on a on a note where you have typed in a bulleted list of things, the only way those air disappearing is when you doing and it's a great feeling to delete it. But you want deleted if it's still to be done, but the other thing that does is it gives you continual a continual view of what's upcoming and if it's any point during that week, you say I can I can just tell this in this need to be pushed to next week clients really appreciate it if you five days before the deadline you're like I need five more days if you wait until the deadline and say I'm a five more days like the same thing is gonna happen either way do you need five more days but it's just the delivery of that message I'm giving you as much heads up as possible it just sits a little bit better so that's why I prefer the written in versus the calendar because it's too easy for me to just overlooked the calendar especially if you miss one remembering to move that ahead yes it's tough yeah, the thought occurred to me about I'm curious about how you do your space because I thought that had occurred to me in terms of my computer space that I would be well served by actually forcing myself toe to log in to my personal email and twitter, right? You know and I'm just curious how you handle that cause it looks like your space how you organize your space is a really important component too, you know, like you said, I think the work life balance and focusing right if you could talk more about that yeah the scissors and there's an application for mac, which is what I use called d v v v why givi so if you use max looking to divvy and there's most likely a windows component as well, but what I love about divvy is that allows you to arrange your workspace in panels and pains and you can program it toe always be that way. So as soon as you reboot your computer with one click it opens the things that you tell it needs open and puts them in the places where you're familiar with it so nothing ever gets forgot because it's easy a reboot with a fresh slate and then three hours into the day you know I haven't even opened up outlook right? It's it's easy to do if you get if you're if you open up a word and you're working on this project you think oh my gosh, I haven't even opened up my email and I was expecting something important this removes that it brings up the same work space and you can actually create different ones so if you have personal client work you know work space just for that and then if you have a corporate job you never works basis for that and so one click you could switch it is that so? Is that it? Piece of software is a built in dvd yeah it's a nominal fee I want to say it's under ten dollars point it's well worth it for keeping just mentally organized and visually organized it's great can you tell me a little bit more about how you use your phone? I mean I have a tablet that I think there's something similar but it looks like that your notification system how do you that's on your phone? So I have all of my email with working personal twitter logged in facebook logged in slack logged in any communication tool face time obviously and I haven't set up to apple allows you to set up notifications where it could just be a block in the middle of the screen or it can come across as a banner that will stay there in your notification panel until you get rid of so I have customized all of my large to come through that so really that is your notification s so you can do a lot of notifications on the computer as well, yes, but I prefer the phone for two reasons one it keeps my computer workspace clear so that if I look over and see a notification I glance it on that and I know it's not very important right easy to ignore this because it's physically separated but if it comes up on my mac screen, I might think I might think, oh, maybe that is important and you just you can just nose dive into something for half an hour and just lose where you were so so just sort of go back I mean, you said you had twitter and facebook so I'm assuming then you know what accounts are important relative to twitter so you have it you know you've really click carefully earmarked that's what bin of notifications are on the different channels so that you know if you know you have an important email that goes there is that kind of thing it is otherwise it could be such an impossible it's zero it's an almost o c d notification like us spent probably two hours just customizing what notifications I want I want to come through and how I want them to come through in an effort to not waste my time I don't want notifications coming through that I know or unimportant but also I did it because I wanted that as my notification pain and what I like about using that is if I do shut the computer down if if you're using the computer for notifications on lee you miss a lot you misurata and so at least with this he keeps track of it if I'm in transit or what have you want to put it back in I can see what I missed more easily then on the computer oh, I got tickets when you're on the road you know you want nothing comes through phone yeah, I see so it's it's it's two fold it's a phone but really that you know notification central yeah all right great. Thank you yeah and I like keeping them separate because it's it just forces me to really think about what is worth breaking my concentration? Yes. That's great that's a great tip. Thank you. Yeah, sure. All right, so I didn't want to think our in studio audience as well as three audience watching at home. You know, without you guys here, daryn is really just kind of talking to him. Thank you so much for participating today. We really did appreciate your comments, so I hope this this class was helpful for you. Yeah, absolutely. And darren, any any final words from you? How can people stay in touch with you? Any any place you want to drive? People point you please do search for me on linked in daryn murph, I'm fairly sure I'm the only deer and move in the world are free to hide, so you'll find me. I looked like this because I'm at darren murph on twitter and I'm at darren underscore murph on instagram because someone stole my handle digital problems digital problems but no, please keep in touch it's a small world work remotely so I want to keep in touch with everybody else. That does. Um yeah, thanks so much for tuning in. All right, all right. Let's give you