Carly Ferguson: Working from home, boundaries, burnout and questioning busy

Mental Health

Life, career and business coach Carly Ferguson joins Happiful’s podcast to share her thoughts on making working from home, work for you

Carly Ferguson is all too familiar with the working life changes COVID has brought about for many people. As a practising life, career and business coach she’s had to totally reinvent the way she meets and interacts with her clients although, she shares, this change has brought positive benefits after the initial work to transition.

“I have many more global clients now and that’s one of the great benefits for people looking for a coach, you don’t have to choose a coach local to you, you can choose the right coach for you who could be practising from anywhere in the world!”

Here are a few of Carly’s thoughts from the podcast…

Working from home

  • Your needs and toolkit for managing WFH very much depend upon your home situation – some people are lucky to have home offices, some people are living with housemates, working on coffee tables and trying to work while homeschooling too. Everyone’s experience is so different – but trying to implement some rituals that help you start and finish the workday can help. Put away your phone and computer if you can, or close the door on the room you use.

  • I’ve been encouraging my clients to try to reimagine what work could look like moving forward. There were lots of things about the old way of working that were really toxic, bad for the environment and wasteful in terms of both energy and money. Rather than dwelling on the things we miss, I encourage them to imagine what the future of work could be like for them, so they can be part of that conversation rather than it being imposed upon them.

  • We’ve been conditioned to work in a certain way that isn’t necessarily good for our wellbeing. Look at how you can take control of your day, rather than your day taking control of you! That can be done in small ways, how you start and end the day, taking breaks and assessing what is in your diary and whether it requires your time and input.

  • Again, creating new rituals for yourself can be helpful! This is about creating moments in your day that you look forward to. This could be going for a walk before you sit down to work, going out to pick up a coffee at lunchtime etc. These breaks are important for you.

  • Question the regular calls and meetings that happen. Do these need to happen at the same time in the same way? Could you create a new team ritual, maybe do the call on the phone while out walking so everyone gets out and it makes the experience more joyful?

  • Look at your diary and question every single thing in there too. Do you really have to be in every meeting? Is there something you can share or delegate? How can you actively free up time?

Carly’s three top tips

  • Slow down to speed up. We’ve been in survival mode for almost a year. Now is the time to slow down and reassess, in order to gather pace again.

  • Again, question and challenge everything in your diary. Be strict with yourself and dig deep. Do you need to be as busy as you are to be productive?

  • Language is important. Challenge disempowering language that you use and ask colleagues to help you by pointing out when your negative self-talk is coming through. You could do the same for them too. Make it a team effort!

Listen to Carly’s episode and hear more about your use of language, the value you bring to your workplace over time spent, the culture of busy and how to question what you spend your time on.

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