Just Work It Out

Challenging myself daily. Taking action. Achieving my goals

6 Realities of Working From Home

When I told my friends and family that I was going to start working from home, there was not a person among them that didn’t seem jealous and I was pretty smug about it myself. I had always wanted the freedom to manage my own time and work from home, in an environment where I felt I would get more done. Plus who doesn’t want to go to work in their slippers?

I should mention here that I do not work for myself and the company I work for decided to transition to having remote workers.

  1. The way people view how you work changes

The amount of “jokes” I get on a daily basis.

“Are you still in your pyjamas?”

“What time is it? Oh that means you must have just finished watching homes under the hammer”

Pretty funny the first time around, but soon becomes tedious. One colleague actually managed original and funny jokes for about 2 months, but then began to recycle them. Joke re-cycling is not good for the planet or my sanity.

It gets to a point where you start to actually believe you are lazy and got doing enough work, as you are disjointed from the normal human context and body language that would come along with their comments. I just know I will go to the toilet one day, miss a phone call and get accused of being off on holiday or something and not at work.

  1. You become some sort of hermit

Walking 10 paces from your bed to your place of work cannot be healthy. At first working from home gave me a great opportunity to get up and for a run in the morning, using the time I would normally commute to shower and eat breakfast.

However, I know exactly how long it takes to get ready; I know I can stay in bed until 20 minutes before I need to be at work. I have somehow decided I am an efficient lazy genius, I know exactly how little time I need in the morning, no make-up or smart clothes required that saves time, no need to prepare lunch, if I am still eating breakfast I can finish that at my desk, no need to pack everything I need for work it’s all there. I can even check my emails as soon as I wake up for anything urgent and get that out the way whilst face down in a bowl of cereal, in less time that it takes to go for a run.

By the time the end of the day rolls round I have to prize myself out of my seat, I get up and look out of the window, decide it looks way too real outside and plonk myself back at my desk to get on with my blog and any other personal admin.

Not being forced to leave the office, get in your car and drive home at the end of the day does nothing for your motivation, I used to get home and go out on my bike now I just sit in front of my screen “internetting” or watching youtube videos of someone else biking.

Never again will i have to go and retrieve my parcels from the courier, no ‘sorry we missed you ‘ notes, I’m  always in and therefore will never miss a delivery, bliss you say? Just another excuse to never leave the house, what’s more I can just order my favourite snacks, even less leaving the house, best order some bigger pyjama trousers too.


  1. You get more done

Now I thought I would get more done when I moved my office home, but I hadn’t really had visions of becoming a “domestic goddess” I thought my actually work productivity would increase immensely. On the way to make a cuppa I can put the washing on, at lunch I can empty the dishwasher, put yesterday’s washing away and if I am feeling particularly adventurous put the bins out. I used to use my lunch to call friends and work on things that meant something to me and my future, but it’s hard to do that with a pile of dirty dishes staring at you and household chores building up, at work I could forget about them.

There is no commute at the end of the day, I use this time to continue working and don’t normally get up until my other half walks through the door, full of the joys of his day in a busy office. I used to use my commute to listen to pod casts or call family… now I am just perfecting the arse groove in my office chair.

  1. You feel “behind the times”

Working from home for long enough, you start to feel out of touch with the real world. I sometimes feel the need to go and hang out in a busy public place to see if the world has radically changed whilst I have been sat at my desk with my head in my computer, or to check if I actually still exist. I find myself frantically scrolling through YouTube looking at the latest trends before going out, in case, god forbid I have to make small talk with my fellow humans, apparently messaging the person sat across from you is not as socially acceptable as I thought.

At the weekend your friends are full of hilarious work stories, how Janice turned up with last night’s make-up on stinking of booze and how Tim is now sleeping with the boss. I’m sat there coming out with things like,

“funny story,  a pigeon nearly walked in through my office window the other day”

  1. Human interaction becomes awkward

The first chat of the day with your colleagues when you haven’t yet utter many words, the one where your first words, sort of come out like you smoke 50 a day. Well that no longer happens at 8am, that embarrassingly happens at about 1’clock when you nip into town to grab a sandwich and the woman behind the counter looks at you like

“I wish I could stay in bed until 1, lazy b****)”

Or even worse at 11 when your joker of a supplier rings with their daily pyjama joke and you sound like you have in fact just got up.

You can’t help it that you haven’t actually uttered any words that day so far and you have just been typing away in your own little world. Maybe I should be aspiring to do voice exercises in the morning, rather than motivating myself to go for a run.

  1. Your diet changes

It’s suddenly like being a student again. There is no-one here to see me eat cold pizza for breakfast so who cares; Julie from finance isn’t judging me because I had 2 doughnuts with my coffee, ok three.

“I have so much more time to do a weekly shop now and make healthy choices”

Turns into

“I haven’t left the house today, why start now, let’s play fridge roulette and see what I can knock up”

or worse

“hello, pizza hut?”


I find myself thinking on a daily basis, would it be different I it were my own business or is this way of working just clashing with my personality. I love working remotely, give me my laptop, a busy airport lounge, the back seat of a taxi, the top of a mountain and I will be the most efficient worker you have ever seen, stick me the same room day in day out and I will turn into a lab monkey, eating my own weight in bananas and rocking back and for the in the foetal position.

My advice to you, take some time and figure out the environment in which you work best. If you have identified that you don’t work well in your current environment then change it. The next time you are envious of someone’s working situation, try it out first, don’t commit and make your job more stressful.

We spend so much of our lives working, where and how do you want to work?

We Need to Change The Way We View Alcohol Consumption


For a couple of months now I have not been drinking alcohol as I am being tested for a medical condition. Being someone who enjoyed a glass of wine in the evening or socially with friends it has been rather tedious to say the least. However even more dull than actually having to give up alcohol has been the stigma attached to it.

Everyone seems to understand giving up for few weeks for charity or jumping on the band wagon of “dry January” but the concept of giving up completely seems to make you “untrustworthy” or strange in some people’s eyes.

At a recent function I declined a drink and almost immediately everyone stopped their conversations and began the Spanish inquisition. “Are you pregnant? I didn’t know you had a problem with alcohol? What charity are you doing it for?” In hindsight I should have just set up a just giving page and raked in the cash for a charity of my choice, but I wasn’t that quick thinking. I was like a rabbit in headlights, which didn’t help the situation and just seemed to give people time to make up their own minds.

What gives people the right to question why a person is not drinking? For example if the reason I had given up was that I had a problem with alcohol, how unsupportive and distasteful would it have been to turn round and ask me outright? (I should just point out here that this was a group of acquaintances rather than close personal friends). Why did I now feel I had to stand there and explain my medical situation to a bunch of people whom I had only met a few times?

If I had declined an orange juice or a glass of water, no-one would have even batted an eye lid. It would seem we now live in a society where, not only is drinking copious amounts on a daily basis socially acceptable, but not drinking it for an “accepted reason” brands you as an “outcast”

Since I have not been drinking I have missed out on invites from friends, their line being “well you aren’t drinking I didn’t think you would have much fun” Alcohol isn’t some magic “fun juice” why would the lack of this affect my ability to have a good time? In actual fact I dare say I could have a good time and go on to get up early the next day and enjoy a myriad of fun, with a clear head, whilst my peers were festering in bed or in search of the perfect hangover meal.

Don’t get me wrong I cannot wait to be able to relax with a glass of wine if I choose to or partake of a cocktail or two this coming summer, but if medical results dictate I can’t, I am not looking forward to a lifetime of embarrassing questions every time I turn down a drink.

I have gained an insight into this “abnormal” social situation and perhaps, as I have not done so by choice I am slightly bitter. However if I do ever get to enjoy a glass of wine again and encounter someone who would rather not, I will certainly not chastise then for doing so. So next time you are faced with someone who is tee-total give them a break and don’t exclude or embarrass them, they may think something you do it “weird” but the difference is you are not being forced to tell them or explain yourself.

Everyone could learn I think or two about themselves by cutting out the booze. For instance I have found I am much more productive in the evening now, rather than plonking myself down in front of the TV with a glass of wine, I can have dinner then carry on being productive. I find it easier to haul myself out of bed every day of the week and exercise, fully hydrated and with no fuzzy head. On nights I was having a glass of wine I was consuming more calories than was healthy, not only through the alcohol itself but the snacks it made me crave, now I make much healthier choices and rarely eat past 8pm.

Giving up alcohol, although I thought it would be difficult has been surprisingly easy and has fuelled positive change. So I offer you a challenge, give up alcohol, run your own experiment and write about your experiences. Share them online and on social media and see if we can’t get a handful of people to change their perceptions of tee-totallers.


Beat The Blues and Get Yourself Back On Track

It’s already that time of year again: December was a blur, January was spent recovering and—somehow—we are in April. This is the time when we all start to properly take stock of our progress on the resolutions which we drunkenly made over a month ago, if we can even remember them.

Overindulgence is impossible to avoid over Christmas, be it with food, alcohol or sleep. We have all done it—binged for days on mince pies for breakfast and then proceeded to panic and make ridiculous plans, setting unobtainable goals for ourselves. “Lose six stone!”, “Run 10k every day!”, “Do everything on my bucket list by this time next year!”.

So, unsurprisingly, here I am in April thinking, “Why do I still feel crap and why have I not achieved a single thing I set out to?” My initial thought was that I am clearly procrastinating and not trying hard enough. But the answer, I realise, is simple: I am being way too hard on myself. So I have decided to approach my goals differently, you should give it a go too, and here’s how:

Goal 1: Get fit AND look fabulous

Instead of continuing to wear clothes which fitted me before Christmas, during which I ate my own body weight in potatoes roasted in goose fat and drank the bar dry, I am going to stop torturing myself. Wearing uncomfortably tight clothes would force me to think about my weight every second of every day. Instead, I’ve resolved to take them off, put them away, and go and buy myself something which fits and makes me feel gorgeous (although I won’t go shopping naked, that would have tedious repercussions).

Now, ladies, I am not saying that you shouldn’t try and lose those extra few pounds if you want to, but you don’t have to make it so difficult for yourself—you don’t have to feel hideous in the process. While you’ve got the plastic out, treat yourself to a new workout outfit which makes you want to exercise, you’ll be surprised at the power of a jazzy new pair of leggings (I went for sparkly unicorn-clad ones myself).

Perhaps you have set yourself the goal of improving your diet. Please don’t set yourself a series of mini-goals within that. I see so many of my girlfriends restricting their consumption of certain yummy foods and making themselves miserable in the process. Everything in moderation. If you want chocolate, have it, just don’t eat it excessively. Look into healthier alternatives which you will equally love (dark chocolate, anyone?). Be proactive. Go and do some product research, try new things and find healthier foods which are also delicious, not ones which you have to choke down just because you think you should. No one likes broccoli anyway, stop kidding yourself. Give yourself a break, how is eating things you dislike going to motivate you?

Goal 2: Be more efficient AND get the job done

I’m forever making endless lists for myself and never ticking anything off, getting myself into a right panic. We should all try to be a completer/finisher, even though it is easier said than done. Don’t flit from one task to another, make a methodical list and prioritise. If you haven’t finished that ‘big project’ by the end of the day, break it down into manageable chunks and work through them.

Another thing: when we get to the end of the day, why are we always beating ourselves up over what is still left to do? Look back at what you have achieved, not what you haven’t. Don’t let your list get you down, even when there doesn’t seem to be many ticks. I bet you did tons of other things without even thinking about it and they weren’t on your list. I bet you managed to dress and feed yourself and successfully ‘adult’ all day (well most of the day), that in itself has to be applauded sometimes. You are brilliant at what you do, so remind yourself once in a while. As long as you are doing something each day towards your end goal, you are on track.

Goal 3: Demand the career you have always only dreamed of

Stop dreaming and start doing. Daydreaming of the career you want whilst working a job you aren’t suited to is soul-destroying and does nothing for your happiness. Don’t like it? Make a plan and change your career path it no matter how hard it may seem. I’m not suggesting you stand up, tip your desk over and declare that you are leaving—though flouncing out does sound fun sometimes. But you spend such a large chunk of our days working, you need to enjoy it. When thinking about a career change, people tend to make a mental list of why it would be too difficult to do so. Stop making yourself unhappy and take positive steps to make your dreams a reality.

Stop flipping through Facebook and thinking, “my friends have such wonderful lives, I wish I could be like them,” because you can. Sure, it’s scary, but if you are longing for a change then MAKE IT HAPPEN. Comparing yourself to others makes you miserable and you only see a snapshot of their lives. You are already subconsciously setting yourself an unobtainable goal of having someone else’s ‘perfect’ life. I bet that friend who posts constant selfies in different exotic locations has their own share of life’s problems, they just choose to show you the positives.

So, stop setting yourself up for a fall and being so hard on yourself. Take a step back, what are you doing to make your life harder? Are you giving yourself a mental pat on the back often enough? Nothing happens overnight, so give yourself a break, take baby steps in the right direction and everything will start to fall into place. If you want it go and get it. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want. It doesn’t matter, you are already halfway there. Accepting that the situation you are currently in is not right for you is half the battle.

And, for those smug people who have, so far, stuck to their seemingly unattainable goals for 2016, I salute you!

Charity- Giving Back- Day 2

Ok, so this is not something i have done today, but recently, that has had a positive impact on my goals and that of others.

I was looking to find an organization that i could give some of my time to, the British Legion, for me, was a natural choice.

After signing up online (which took no time at all), I found my local ‘branch’ through Facebook and asked how i could be more involved. A few messages later and i had set a date to go to the next meeting.

I rocked up to a traditional, old looking building and walked purposefully through the heavy wooden door. After wandering around looking lost for a bit, i found the meeting room, which also doubled as the pool room and took a seat.

Everyone at the British Legion meeting was very welcoming, but for the most part i considerably lowered the average age of the group. I sat and listened to the meeting, taking in all the information i could and asking the occasional question. At the end i was given the chance to put forward any ideas, an opportunity i seized, it felt great to have an additional creative outlet with the prospect of helping a charity.

Although i was younger than the majority i didn’t see this as a negative, it was a great opportunity to learn from those who were more experienced. From their point of view the members seemed motivated by my enthusiasm and voted me onto the committee that evening. The first meeting had truly been a great experience and i had immediately felt listened to despite my age and inexperience. I hope i enjoy many more years on the British Legion committee and hope to help raise both funds and awareness for the charity.

I would really urge anyone who has the time and does not already, to go and find a charity they are passionate about and see how you can help them out. Especially if you are a younger person with lots of ideas, it is a great opportunity for you to bounce your ideas of others, plan, budget and carry them out for a good cause. It will really boost your confidence, teach you a thing or two and allow you to raise money for your chosen charity.


Energising Morning Workout – Day 1

I managed to wake up at 5.30 this morning, it was a lovely clear day and i used this opportunity for a work out. I grabbed my mountain bike and headed out, i didn’t have a plan i just went for it, and ended up at the BMX pump track in the local park and took full advantage of it’s emptiness. If i had gone during the day it would have been full of teenagers doing all kinds of tricks, but at 6am in the morning i felt like Danny Macaskill (actually the a huge exaggeration) but i felt pretty good.

I hadn’t done an early morning work out for a long time and i had forgotten how well it sets you up for the day, i felt like i had achieved something before i even sat down at my desk for the day.

Don’t get me wrong it has it’s downsides, i didn’t really want to spend the rest of the day inside after enjoying the first hour of my day in the fresh air, i felt like a child being told to come inside and do their homework.

I had obviously not let this thought disappear entirely during my day and when i had time in the evening i managed to fit in a bike ride, along the coast, just as the sun was going down.

Specialized Rockhopper Expert


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