Working mostly from home, I spend a lot of time with my dog, Grace. She’s great – cute, energetic, a bit needy and sometimes demanding. Watching her, she’s been a surprising source of inspiration.
Here’s what she’s shown me:
1. Be present and enjoy the here and now
The past has gone and we can’t change it. We can learn from it but there’s no point hanging on to it, wishing things had been different. The here and now is what matters.
2. Enjoy the simple, fun things
Find pleasure in simple things. Take a moment to smile at a kitten video, message a friend or just relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy the moment.
3. Be excited at what’s to come
Know what makes you happy and make time to do it. It doesn’t have to be running after a stick or jumping in mud, but book things in to look forward to.
4. Know your routine
Freedom is great. It’s liberating. But having a routine can be liberating too and it’s a sure-fire way to get your basic needs met. It also gives you things to look forward to.
5. A task done well = a reward
Give yourself a pat on the back when you’ve done something well or met a deadline. Working at home, it’s hard to get feedback or acknowledgement so learn to be your own coach and hand out the treats.
7. Take a break when you need one
Grace lies down when she’s tired. Wherever that may be. We all need to recharge our batteries and, personally, I do my best work in short, concentrated chunks of time. Sitting at a desk for 10 hours is actually counter-productive, it’s far better to have mini breaks and wander about to re-set your focus.
Sitting at a desk in your home office (or at your dining table) isn’t great for your posture so, like Grace, stretch each time you get up. Maybe give yourself a good shake too.
9. Don’t let the kitten take your bed
OK, so this last one isn’t quite so pertinent but the point is, sometimes you need to stand your ground and let people know there are boundaries.
What have you learned from your pets that could help you in your personal or professional life?