Tips for working from home

I’ve been struggling to find the motivation to write about things like iPads with everything going on but thought I could be useful with some tips for working from home. As someone that’s been home based for a while here are a few things I try to follow

  • If you have a smart watch (or set a timer) then set some stand or movement reminders. Get up from your desk every hour to have a walk around the house or a stretch
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep some easy to access and healthy snacks on hand
  • Set yourself a schedule, for example work from 10-12 then break then 2-5
  • It’s ok to play video games or watch TV in your breaks
  • Pick some exercises you can do indoors, I’m no fitness guru so you’ll have to look elsewhere for what these are unfortunately
  • Set up your office or work environment. Make sure you’re not uncomfortable when working and get some speakers so you can listen to music
  • Check in with your team via Skype or messaging

Got any tips to share with me?

Swapping social media for creativity

I’ve noticed in the past (and rewriting this post as a reminder) that if I want to create more I need to swap my Twitter habit with a creation one. I’m finding that in downtime that I’m scrolling my feeds in Twitter or Reddit instead of doing something to benefit my mental health like playing my guitar or jotting down my thoughts here or hey even going out for a walk.

I’m going to be taking a break from Twitter especially over the next month to see if I improve my mood and frequency of output I’m happy with.

Join in with me and see what happens to your creative projects you’ve been looking to spend more time on.

Don’t worry about engagement on your blog

I’ve fallen into a bit of a trap after a great month stat wise in January to now seeing a 60% drop in traffic since and feeling down about my creative endeavours. But weirdly swapping to Tweetbot and not seeing engagement has actually helped me realise the blog is about getting stuff out of my head and sharing my thoughts. It’s not a money maker (costs me to run it) and after several failed attempts at Patreon I realise my content isn’t worth paying for but I still ploughed on – I needed an outlet to talk about passions I can’t do in my day to day.

This’ll continue whilst I have the energy to put it out there.

Being consistent

Being consistent is something I’ve always struggled with, I have flourishes of being really good and moments of being terrible. I’m not just talking about writing on my blog but in general. I’ll have a good spell with my mood and have a positive effect on the world around me then I’ll have a big dip and seem to make everything worse.

I don’t check stats too much but look at this massive dip in traffic over the last couple of weeks. I’ve not been consistent again, when I start to write again the traffic picks up.

I guess I’m rambling with this post but I what I’m trying to say, especially if you’re doing something creative is to try to be as consistent as possible.

How I’ve felt with a week off Twitter and YouTube

This started as soon as Disney+ came out, see we don’t have it in the UK. I jokingly thought that with my love of Star Wars and the fact I don’t want The Mandalorian spoiled for me I’d see how long I could stay off various platforms.

First up I’ll address the worst offender- YouTube. It’s impossible to use this service without the algorithm showing you click bait and negative videos. Even if you stick to your subscriptions you’ll have recommendations thrown in your face. I decided this was a big risk and first off deleted it from all of my devices. I have to say that I don’t miss it at all. I use to go down rabbit holes that would either result in my feeling bad or looking at making a purchase (don’t mention mechanical watches to me at the moment …). Cutting myself off from YouTube really has improved my mood and I’m finding I have more time and focus back to my days. The time back is somewhat down to my lack of self control but the mood improvement is definitely down to not being presented with stupid click bait negativity.

Now onto Twitter. This was harder as I’d developed a habit of checking the slot machine, mindlessly checking my feed when I had a spare five minutes. Deleting the app and using Safari a few months ago has helped curb that little habit but I still checked on notifications. Turns out this habit change has made dropping the service completely a lot easier. I’m over a week now with no Twitter and whilst I do miss the interactions I’m feeling in a better place without it. Twitter has become the place you go to get something off your chest, somewhere to complain. I’m guilty of this too and not being on there I’m not contributing. Yes there is some positive but I’ve found the negative outweighs the positive, especially at the moment. I’ve also found I’m perfectly fine not knowing about stuff as it happens and I’ll check my RSS reader for my news a couple of times a day.

Quitting these services has been the best move for my mental health I’ve made technology wise for a while and I’m hoping I can stick to it for a while longer.

The Cortex Theme System Journal

I’m trying an experiment of using a paper journal. DayOne has let me down recently and to be honest I’ve been looking at going back to pen and paper for a while. I’ve settled on the theme system. I’m not ready to share my setup just yet but I’ll update you on how I’m getting on.

I have though picked a few themes, created my daily journal format and created a few daily habits I want to keep track of.

A change of focus (taking a step back)

I’m feeling a little burned out by technology at the moment and I’m having a bit of a rethink about where I put my creative energy. Now the iPhone has such a great camera for video I’m debating changing my focus to video, maybe going back to the days of music related content. I don’t pick up my guitar much these days and having an outlet to help me relax is going to be pretty significant to me at the moment I think. This is a little bit of a ramble but it’s really here to let you know that the blog (and me) may be a little quiet while I figure this all out.

Writing about technology has given me a good outlet for my thoughts but working in the software industry for 7.5 hours a day then sitting back down and writing some more at the iPad in the evening isn’t great for my wellbeing. Given that I don’t make anything from this I need to refocus and think about where I want to put my energy.

I’ve also pretty much stopped trying to keep track of any sort of to do list app and this also comes back to me doing a bit of a refocus. Technology has served me well and helps me know what I have on day to day but for me at least it’s been a double edged sword. I need to take a step back with pen and paper and get some perspective about each element of my life and do some brain dumping. Whether this will end up in an app who knows but a paper journal has actually been pretty nice to get away from technology for a bit.

So that’s my ramble, I’ll keep everyone updated on where I am but for now I’m going to be stepping back a little and trying to figure this out.

Heads up

It’s not until I stopped using all social media on my iPhone and tried to triage with my Apple Watch that I realised how many people around me have their heads down in a phone. Even at things like swimming lessons with my family I am realising how short some of our attention span have gotten.

Too many inputs

I’ve been in and out of the beta of iOS 13, installing social apps and listening to loads of podcasts and I’ve realised it’s gotten on top of me again. I’m ok testing the beta (I can’t write about it yet) but I’ve gotten sucked into spending too much time looking at others content and thoughts rather than creating my own.

I’ve got too much input and need to slow down again. My mind is very busy and having too much in my head is an issue for me, I’m going to have to pair it all back again and get creating.

I’ve got a few projects I’d like to get my teeth into and give me a creative outlet that I desperately need right now.

This is where my heads at right now and this post should serve as a reminder to me to slow down and focus on what I want to create rather than focus on others content and success.

Dropping Reddit for my mental health

Over the last year I’ve gotten sucked into Reddit but lately it’s given me the same negative vibes as using the Twitter app and following threads. I’ve been using Apollo (a great third party app) but have deleted it from my devices to help give me some headspace back. Following Apple subreddits is mostly where I spend my time but even the most innocent question results in corrections on grammar or sarcasm. It’s the same for me as following a thread or replying to someone popular on Twitter, something I stopped doing. So, to help my mental health I’ve stopped using it.

I’m not saying you need to stop using it necessarily just as someone that gets caught up in people’s feelings and more sensitive to this I’m out.