Working Remotely: Forming a Morning Routine

This is the first post in a series on working remotely, the series will be occasional, sharing what I’m learning and how I make it work for me.

It’s taken me a while to figure out my remote working groove. I’m one of those people who are really great at starting new things, envisioning the big picture, and figuring out how things should be. Taking care of the details, showing up every day to actually do the work once the project has started – well, that’s the department I’ve always needed improvement with. At first, I just told myself to suck it up, because to make anything I envision a reality, I have to show up and do the work.

The problem was, I knew that. I don’t not want to do the work, I’m just not good at keeping it up. That sounds like an excuse, but it’s pretty legit. It took months (and I mean months, we’re talking 8+ months) of floundering and trying this way and that, but I’m getting into my groove now. I tried working at a coffee shop, working in an academic environment, staying up and working according to my night owl tendencies (definitely one of the better experiments in terms of showing up and doing the work), and god knows how many different schemes and methods and systems. Continue reading

Paying Attention to Politics

I think my first legitimate interest in Canadian politics was sparked in Social class in grade 12 (because I had the privilege of being taught by this amazing teacher). It was an interesting year. I have kept an off and on interest in what’s going on in Canadian politics ever since. Twitter helps a lot, I happen to follow a lot of outspoken people who often tweet about these topics. Actually, Facebook helps too, because I’m friends with quite a few people passionate about politics.

I once had a huge argument with someone regarding one of Harper’s policies on Facebook. I got slammed by people who knew much more and were outraged by my comments and told me I shouldn’t even participate because I had no idea what I was talking about. This month, I lightly ventured into the realm of making a public comment about politics and the youth disconnect, it was an exploratory thought. A few people messaged me once again [privately] to advise me to shut up because I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.

Some of these people are the same ones you’ll publicly see trying to encourage more people to participate and pay attention. So here I am: paying attention, venturing an opinion – and getting slammed for it. Continue reading

Who Do You Want To Be?

Every single choice you make in a day defines who you are. Do you want to be someone who takes the time to water her plant? Do you want to be someone who lies in bed watching Youtube videos all morning?

Most decisions we make are not inherently good or bad, in fact, usually there isn’t an unequivocal ‘right’ decision in most cases. But every decision says something about you, your character, and who you want to be.

Pretty heavy, right?

Who wants to pause and ask themselves before every decision, Is this the kind of person I want to be? You’d literally be asking yourself that every other minute. Continue reading

Improve Your Skills by Embracing Emptiness

Every person who creates something has to learn how to deal with emptiness. A painter has to learn to deal with a blank canvas. A writer has to learn how to deal with blank paper or a blank document and that blinking cursor. A chef has to deal with an empty dish she has to fill.

The art of creating requires you to look emptiness in the face and get comfortable with it.

I used to get creeped out by the empty document; I’d either stare at it for ages or be discomfited by it and have to get up and leave the computer. Eventually, I’d tell myself to JUST WRITE SOMETHING. Once I had a couple sentences down, I’d calm down and be able to focus on my actual writing. Continue reading

Come Undone

“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.”

― Cynthia Occelli

I’ve kept this quote open in a pinned tab in Chrome for days. I have thought about it off and on in light of what is currently going on in my business. It has given me the strength and courage to deal with changes that can be difficult to explain to outsiders, and the patience to work through uncertainty when I can’t even explain it to myself.

I am tremendously excited about the direction my business is taking now. The changes, however, have required us to stop many of our past operations, so the social media channels are silent, there are no new newsletters, and no new blog posts on the business website. The work is hard, sometimes slow, and very exacting, and it’s taken a mental and emotional toll on me. Which is why even my personal blog has been silent. The only consistent thing has been training, which compelled me to write last week as well. Continue reading

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