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Laura Smith

your mind and health matters

Your mind and health matters!

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Taking care of your physical and mental wellbeing might just be the single best thing you could do for yourself, your career, and for the people around you. In this regard, good management from employers means creating a healthy working culture where wellbeing and health is valued.

Mental health has lately been under discussion on media. Several campaigns and public figures have been working to remove the still-existing stigma around it. Unfortunately, in the result-driven business and work environments stress-management and mental wellbeing of employees is often overlooked.

The importance of a healthy mind is known (almost just as well as we know to eat well and exercise to get our body in-shape), but the actual steps in achieving a healthy balanced mind are not always there, especially in our work lives. People are different, so are employees – some work at their best under pressure and tight deadlines, some need reliable routines. Of course not all work is for everyone, but within many positions there is flexibility to adjust the routines and working schedule to best fit the worker. This is something employers should keep in mind – one glove doesn’t fit all!

Employers should also make sure there are recourses available to support mental health and wellbeing. If someone needs help to manage, help should be available. Providing a good medical plan and links to therapy etc. special care goes without saying. Additionally, trainings on stress-management, time-management and on creating a healthy working culture might be a small investment, but they surely will pay back over time. An open and supportive work environment takes stress seriously and handles it before the burning points occur. Burn out is no joke, and it can take long time to overcome. Sometimes it seems like it’s something almost admirable – to work so hard and to be so driven and perfectionist that the brain literally tilts and can’t function well. Yes, results are needed and it’s awesome to be driven, but the outcome is even better when employees have a healthy balance in place.

Get moving! Physical activity has been linked with better mental health and higher energy levels

It’s a known fact that physical exercise reduces stress and improves productivity and general wellbeing, strengthens the immune system and fights illnesses. It has positive effect to mental health. For employers, it’s not a bad idea to have a healthy (I mean quite literally healthy) environment where physical activity and healthy lifestyle is encouraged, admirable, and perhaps even a common goal. This could mean for example benefits such as gym memberships, healthy lunches, or sporty team building activities. Active employees might just materialise in fewer sick leaves and more driven staff. It’s a total win-win situation!

Some employers have brought physical exercise to workplace by building a gym or a yoga studio for example into the work premises – and they actually pay their employees salary for the time spent taking care of them selves. Sweet! There has even been discussion about making exercising at work compulsory.

Take your health seriously and work to improve it

If your productivity is low and you are constantly tired, it might be time to have a hard look at your routines and work environment? Are they healthy? Are you eating good nutrition and treating your body right? Is the stress manageable or is it too much to handle? Are you turning your mind off from work-related things on your free time, and doing things that make you feel good (mentally and physically)? If you feel that better time-management, stress-management and quality free time, together with a healthier lifestyle are not helping, or you struggle with a mental illness, you might benefit from professional help. Take the necessary steps – your mind and health matters!

Author
Laura Smith
Marketing and Communications #Superassistant

Wannado’s SuperAssistants are true freedom fighters and problem solvers of the business world. SuperAssistants are not bound to any time or place, and can work remotely, flexibly, and cleverly. Irina Viitala and Anna Degerholm founded the multitasker team, Wannado Ltd, in 2011. Today, Wannado has over 30 experts in the fields of marketing, digitalization, event production, and general office & assistant work. #SuperAssistants

may_the_creativity_be_with_you_wannado_superassistant

May the creativity be with you – How to master the creative flow

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Creativity and inspiration often go hand-in-hand. One can’t really force them but one can, in fact, learn them. Creativity is not only something we are or aren’t born with.

Everyone who ever tried to do some type of creative work is probably familiar with the term creative block or writer’s block. That feeling when nothing comes out and the paper stays as white as the snow. For some people, starting is the most difficult part of a creative process, for others it’s finishing as inspiration slowly fades away during the project. How to overcome a creative block? How to be over all more creative – even if it’s not something that comes naturally?

1. Don’t wait for the perfect idea, and don’t be afraid to create nonsense.

Start, start, start – even if you don’t have the perfect idea, the perfect inspiration, or the perfect situation. The most important part is to start doing something to make it all happen. Often the creative flow doesn’t start until one really gets into the process.

Don’t fall into the dangerous self-critique trap, or do the mistake of desperately wanting to create something perfect and flawless from the start. It gets better – not by waiting but actually by doing. Don’t be afraid to create nonsense while getting better at it.

2. Search inspiration. Learn.

Like any skill in life, creativity is learned by practising it. Good writers wrote a lot to get where they are at. Good photographers photographed a lot. And so on. This is not rocket science (although that is also something that is learnable with enough practise, of course).

Get familiar with others’ work. Watch videos, pictures, and art. Read books, texts and blogs. Suck information and influences – different styles and ideas. Steal inspiration and put together old ideas in new ways.

”Good artists copy. Great artists steal”

Pablo Picasso

3. Motivate yourself with goals and deadlines.

What better way to increase motivation than by having a little stress created by a closing deadline? If your project doesn’t have a set deadline or if you are doing the project just for yourself, it might be a good idea to set a deadline yourself. And stick to it as well. Let others know what you are working on and when it’s going to be done.

Work hard and precisely to make the goal happen in time. Innovate at night if you need to. Ask a friend to help bounce ideas around. Ask feedback, and learn from it.

 4. Take distance, it’s healthy.

When a creative block hits and the inspiration is gone, take a break. Don’t be afraid to take some distance and to do something else. Fill your brain with something that doesn’t allow you to think about your project at all. The project will not run away. The winning ideas will come back, don’t worry.

It often helps to change surroundings, to look for new influences, to take some air. A walk outside might be a good idea to get some much-needed oxygen and blood into that stuck brain. Once that’s all flowing, the ideas will flow as well. And then it all comes back to point one; start doing, start creating.

The surroundings are unlikely to ever get perfect. A creative master works hard and patiently, even when there is no great inspiration. Creativity is not merely a special quality that we are born with – it’s a way of working that can be learned and bettered.

Author
Laura Smith
Marketing and Communications #SuperAssistant

Wannado’s SuperAssistants are true freedom fighters and problem solvers of the business world. SuperAssistants are not bound to any time or place, and can work remotely, flexibly, and cleverly. Irina Viitala and Anna Degerholm founded the multitasker team, Wannado Ltd, in 2011. Today, Wannado has over 30 experts in the fields of marketing, digitalization, event production, and general office & assistant work. #SuperAssistants

Wannado Blog - Long-distance work - the great unknown

Long-distance work – The great unknown

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Today I’m writing this while sitting at Scandinavia Coffee House in Bury St Edmunds. I’m working remotely, and loving every drop of it, just as much as I’m loving my fresh coffee with soymilk.

Wannado has offices in Helsinki, Finland and in Fuengirola, Spain, but our knowledge or work is not bound to a place. I live in England and get to help customers all around – the true beauty of this day and age. Key to working remotely is excellent communication. Rather too much of it than too little of it.

Still today, some organizations might find long-distance work strange or unreliable. Let’s face it; many of us are afraid of the unknown. There are however known benefits of remote and flexible work (in the fields where it’s possible). These include better productivity and creativity as well as healthier employees, just to start with. I do mostly creative work: Content creation, Facebook marketing, photo editing and videos. For me office is not the ideal place to concentrate and to let my creativity and ideas flow. Thankfully, there are more than enough tools to communicate efficiently with customers and teammates, even when we are situated in different countries.

I’m so happy, that I found Wannado – a company, which truly believes in modern ways of working and in the importance of teamwork. Now Wannado’s team is spread through out Europe with contacts all over the World. Remember: The World is just as small as we make it. I am sitting at a Scandinavian cafeteria in UK after all. Not more than two months ago, I was living in Namibia, in Southern Africa, and had my job interview with Wannado via Skype.

In addition to other benefits, working remotely together with modern communication tools give whole new possibilities on an international scale. If you are not too afraid that is.

Author
Laura Smith
Marketing and communications #Superassistant at Wannado

Wannado’s SuperAssistants are true freedom fighters and problem solvers of the business world. SuperAssistants are not bound to any time or place, and can work remotely, flexibly and cleverly. Irina Viitala and Anna Degerholm founded the multitasker team, Wannado Ltd, in 2011. Today, Wannado has over 30 experts in the fields of marketing, digitalization, event production, and general office & assistant work. #SuperAssistants