Every morning I sit with a cup of coffee on the porch and scroll through the news before heading to my desk. Before Covid much of the news was bordering on the ridiculous, and and after Covid it has moved to ridiculous and borderline frightening.
Don’t get me wrong; there are valid topics of great importance in the world, but with the frequency of the news cycle and the seeming inability to do anything but cover the top three constantly, brain fatigue and a vague sense of sadness can inadvertently set in. Sadness for my fellow humans and workers foremost, and a small hope that soon our country and global community can find a sense of peace with each other.
As someone whose first major was journalism, and who worked for some great editors through college, I roll my eyes dozens of times a day, blissfully remembering when my first day greeting was, “stay away from passive tense (still a bit of a vice for me), and remember it’s just the facts.” Somewhere between 2000 and today the last bit certainly flew out the window!
Add in the hours of virtual work and lack of in-person human interaction many of us still experience (with a family member at risk, I count myself among the current hermits), managing your mental health can require some coaching.
While my circumstances on the outside have not completely changed, I found happiness peace through centering my work focus.
I’ve worked with QuickBooks and small businesses for twenty years. Through that time the world has changed. I continued taking classes and focused both myself and my work culture on a sense of constant continuing education. Usually, this would mean conferences, the odd college class, etc, but with Covid those options are delayed or limited, and don’t come without a bit of a measurement of fear.
Keeping this in mind, I needed a distraction from the news and to better myself, so I deleted my news apps (I keep Reuters and NPR) in an effort to curate my content, which has become critically important for me, and I set about drafting my own homeschool-esque curriculum, if you will. My reasoning was that if the world has truly become inundated with information then it is time to use that to my advantage.
I focused on the subjects I’m the least comfortable in, but which have the most importance to my business. I also included subjects that are interesting to me, that I would like to learn more about. This list is not comprehensive, and is limited by the amount of time I am setting aside daily to study, I will lay this out in a list format. I am also considering setting up a study group, so to speak, to share some information on topics that we are learning that are helpful to us, in our various roles as employees, entrepreneurs, managers, and the like.
Languages are critical for communication, and I cannot currently list a country where we all speak one language any longer. I took three years of Spanish in school, but I’m rusty for sure. I can read conversational Spanish, but the grammar structure has always thrown me for a loop. I’m thoroughly enjoying the approachable and educational format of this app, and am looking forward to refreshing my Dutch next (my husband is Dutch, and I used to be almost fluent, but my time back in the States has dulled my Dutch literacy considerably). You can learn for free, or upgrade to support their language literacy efforts, which is more important by the day, IMO.
Time for brain training! I’ve tried several brain training apps in the past, but nothing ever seemed to really feel fun to work in. Elevate is comprised of English, Math and other quizlets that reward you for speedy answers and working through sections. You can get three sessions a day before upgrading. Their Brevity game is already positively influencing my blog.
Using LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, etc, I really wanted to look for a coding class to help refresh and reinforce learning the technical languages. I have a basic understanding of html, and have taken some coding classes in the past, both in college and through the years. We have developers we work with, and the fact that integration and development is only going to be more prevalent in the future cannot be denied.
While there were other classes for free, and Codecademy has free classes as well, I heartily recommend splurging on the Pro and starting with Foundations, if you have never coded before, or consider yourself a beginner. Currently, I’m working through a Python beginner’s class and finishing up Foundations. Whether you want to eventually code yourself or want to be more knowledgeable with your outside development team, Foundations is great.
Bonus: You can learn on the road through their mobile app. I take the heavy info online, and I practice the quizzes when I’m bored.
Code Foundations: https://www.codecademy.com/learn/paths/code-foundations
Podcasts are fantastic for learning new topics while working on paperwork, and I discovered how keenly ignorant I was of true social marketing by listening to Social Media Examiner Podcast. We are not currently on Facebook, but when we were I did a training track on how to do Facebook ads. The local Chamber of Commerce had a seminar on social media marketing, and between those two and a smattering of other learning sources I figured I had the basics down. Wrong!
This show has taught me that you don’t know what you don’t know, and in the age of Covid we need to navigate the online channels like so many of us are adept at navigating the in-person ones. They have paid courses, but I’ve learned quite a bit from their podcast, and it is one of my favorites at present.
My current learning has been to view the online process as something that needs to follow what I know of as the Scientific Method. Building a website? Research first. Otherwise, you could be marketing to an empty room. (Pssst – guess why I started the Google Analytics class?)
Social Media Examiner Podcast: https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/shows/
Asana Rebel Yoga
I’ve used Asana for years. While the purpose of this post was geared towards the mental exercise, it’s important to not ignore the body. Yoga is known worldwide for being an exercise regimen that both beginner and advanced yogis can enjoy.
Tip: If you want to cast to your TV, I recommend the Google devices. I use my iPad or iPhone without issue.
Asana Rebel: https://asanarebel.com/en/
OK, I threw this in here mainly because I enjoy the app. Their sleep stories and meditations are great.
There are several classes listed above. It seems like a lot at once, but I prefer to work through them as appetizers, or like a block of study, otherwise they get boring, repetitious, and you walk away. I work on each one between 20-30 minutes a day, and I’m very excited about using what I learn in my every day life and in my work.
No matter what the future holds I am confident that we can get through it together. While we are apart, just remember we are in this together. As always, if I can help, shoot me a comment or email me here.