Keep Learning

Photograph by Shannon L. Buck copyright 2015One thing I have learned over the years is it is important to keep learning. Whether you have a diploma, a degree, and/or 20 years of experience does not matter. There is always something new to learn. Something that will benefit you in one way or another.

There are many examples of how learning different things will help you build a better career. These will get you started with ideas.

Family

  1. By learning different techniques for getting what you need from your family, you will be less stressed and not have to worry about wasting time getting back on track with work after you are interrupted. One way I accomplished this was with a note system. Whenever my girls wanted something, they were to write it on a piece of paper and tape it next to me on my desk. I would obviously see them as they left the note, so I knew the it was there. During my next natural break, I would read the notes, call them in to talk, and give them answers. For instance, if a friend of theirs called and wanted them to do something, they would hang up letting the friend know they would leave me a note and call back during my next break. When I was ready, I would give permission for them to do what they wanted. (After all, they were being darn patient and deserved a reward!) They and their friends soon got used to this system. However, if they were injured, ill, or there was an accident, all bets were off. I was to know immediately. Having such a technique, no matter how you go about it, in place teaches family members important lessons when someone works from home. Respect for someones time, respect for their career choice, and the all important ‘patience’ that so many people today lack.
  2. Learning to schedule family time is just as important. Figure out how to have regular family time so your children and partner are do feel neglected. A family walk on the weekend, time with your daughter Wednesday evening and your son Thursday evening, and a date with your husband on Sunday afternoon. Don’t forget to have a meal with them each day to discuss whatever is going on in their lives, and to prepare at least one of those meals with them each week.

Home

  1. Learn how to create chore or task charts for each member of the family, including yourself. We had these while the girls were growing up. Each of us had a list that was separated into 3 parts: Morning, afternoon, and evening. There were also separate monthly, seasonal, 6-month, and yearly lists. We were expected to get chores done when they were scheduled, because if they weren’t someone else couldn’t finish their chores later. No excuses, except when they were away from home, or sick. This taught everyone teamwork and responsibility.
  2. Learn how to cook for the freezer. Take a couple of days off a month, shop one and make food the next. Or shop and do prep work on the first day. Get the family involved, or do it yourself, whatever works best for you. On a small-scale, you could simply do this for lunches you will need while working when everyone else is away from home.
  3. Or, do some online research to help you in preparing for a week at a time for your family and yourself.
  4. Look up instructions for installing a window box outside your home office window, and place a few pots of flowers on the inside window sill. This will lift your spirits every time you look out the window while working, and is good for mental/emotional health.
  5. Learn to cook oatmeal in the slow cooker overnight for a hot breakfast in the morning.

Personal (Taking personal time and staying healthy help make each day less stressful and keeps you healthy)

  1. Learn how to walk or do another type of exercise the correct way, so you are getting the most out of each workout. Being fit will aid you in staying healthy.
  2. Find out what healthy eating for you is, and eat that way.
  3. Learn ways to keep healthy snacks in your work area, or at least in your fridge. Same with lunches.
  4. Keep some fruit water, iced tea, or lemonade (Learn to make these for your  health!) in your fridge.
  5. Learn to meditate, or at least relax, for a bit each days.
  6. Learn a new hobby. Scrapping and knitting are just two options.
  7. Spend time with friends. Learn a hobby with them, or take a cooking class.
  8. Take breaks. Learn how to set time aside to just do nothing.
  9. Stay positive. Learn techniques to stay happy!

Career

  1. Learn how to organize. Clear your desk each evening, so you start with a clean desk each morning. And keep what needs to be on your desktop organized.
  2. Organize your research information and other paperwork so you aren’t always looking through piles of stuff when you need something. Learning to keep things in their place is important. Doing so will cause less stress than a mess, and will make it easy to find what you need.
  3. Schedule a day once a month for decluttering, and get rid of or file away anything unnecessary right then. Learn about and try out different organizational methods until you know what works best for you.
  4. Learn the basics of setting up a business blog and how to make it a success, if you don’t have one already.
  5. Have a tote or briefcase at the ready for when you want to work outside or on the go. Learning to work on the go is a must if you have children in a lot of activities, or if you have many appointments on the go.
  6. Take a day or two to spring clean your office each April or May. Learn to schedule it on your calendar each year. Make it a habit. Put it in your planner. Open the windows and air the room out as well.
  7. If you still have to set up your office space, research how to do so in a responsible manner.
  8. Learn how to organize your email and get rid of any subscriptions and other things you no longer need.
  9. Learn editing techniques.
  10. Learn how to write your own special reports, email courses, and eBooks to sell on your site.
  11. Practice photography so you can eventually use your own photographs in articles, on book covers, and on your site.

As you can see, there is much to learn to have a well-balanced work-personal-family life. To be healthy, organized and at your most productive.

What important things have you learned? Or, what do you need to learn to further yourself in life? Let us know in the comments, or email me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com. I respond to all emails.

Shannon L. Buck

About Shannon L. Buck

Hello. My name is Shannon, and I'm a single mother of two young adult daughters, and Memay to one precious Little Man. I work as a writer from my home in Orono, Maine, and as a Front Desk Agent at an inn. Writing is my life, second only to my daughters. I enjoy writing nonfiction, as well as fiction in a number of genres. At some point, I would like to travel. It would be a true writing adventure.

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