Every Friday I post a “here’s the thing” blog. “Here’s the thing” is something my mum (and many other wise people) like to say when they’re about to make a good point. Hopefully these posts are also good points.
There have been lots of big shifts in my life recently: how I work day-to-day, how I get paid, how I manage my time and – not insignificant – where I work.
Working for a big company, even one as lovely as notonthehighstreet.com, is a very different environment to working from home, on your own, every day. There are things I really love about it, like being able to listen to my own music, and having the windows open as much as I like.
There are other things that have been an unexpected challenge. And it’s not just about my desk and chair and temperature.
I’ve discovered that, for most of my adult life, I’ve ignored some of the basic needs of my body while I’ve been working. And I know I’m not alone in this.
It sounds (very, very) silly, but when you’re working in fast-paced environment, sometimes it’s easy to “forget” to go to the loo, because you’re about to head into another meeting or you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone important who never replies to your emails, so you just have to talk to them now.
And you eat the cake and chocolate because it’s there. And you forget to go outside because you need to do five more minutes of work. (Okay, I’m still guilty of that one.)
Now that I’m out of the office environment, and broadly in charge of my own time, I’ve been trying to notice what my body needs, and when it needs it. Like eating when I’m hungry, resting when I’m tired, drinking when I’m thirsty – not exactly complex stuff, but it can be so hard!
One of the things I achieved last week was buying a pair of shoes that actually fit. I’m really not a shoe person – I never wear heals, and I’m pretty fussy about what I like – but it wasn’t until the weather got a bit warmer and I couldn’t bear to wear my worn-out heavy trainers for my daily walk. Last Friday, a new pair of Birkenstocks arrived, and finally – finally – I have something I can wear that doesn’t rub my toes or squeak or leak.
And doesn’t that seem silly? But I know, I just know, that I’m not alone in dismissing the need for new shoes, or a tidy workspace, or a loo trip, or a glass of water, or (god forbid) a lunch break. We can all get caught up in being busy or thinking that we matter less than keeping other people happy.
But that’s just not true.
So here’s the thing:
We’re not robots. We need food, air, light, comfortable clothes and surroundings, and regular loo trips.
Your customers, clients, suppliers, colleagues, staff, friends, and family need you to be looking after yourself. If you’re not giving yourself even your most basic needs, how can you give them the creativity, quality, responsiveness, love that they deserve – that you want to give?
Today, this weekend, next week, listen to what you really need. Refuse to allow yourself to get too thirsty or too hungry. You might need to plan in some time to take proper care for yourself, maybe even setting an alarm on your phone as a reminder. Or you might simply need to do one thing right now.
It doesn’t have to be huge. Take two minutes to listen to what you need. Then go and get it.
I’d love to hear what your creature comforts are, whether they’re things you do every day, or something you just discovered right now – let me know in the comments!
Take care x
PS I found time this week to set up a testimonials page! If you’re interested in what it’s like to work with me, have a read.