Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Managing your time

For a lot of us, working from home has been something that we have done by choice, or it’s a new way of working since the Pandemic for some companies. Some companies do have a blend of work from home and work in the office, and it all depends on each individual company. When you work from home, there is one thing that you must manage, and it’s your time.

Managing your time so that you still get the day of work done, but you also stop working, is important. When you work from home, you must ensure that you have some good discipline because either your personal life or your work life can start taking over the other time. Being able to ensure that you can keep focused during the day and get the work done is important, and waking away at the end of the day is something else that you need to do.

Working from home does have some advantages, but there are also disadvantages to this. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages that I have found.

  • People think that because you work from home, that you can help them out during the day. This isn’t how it works because there is stuff that you need to get done, and you can’t just do things for friends and family.
  • No travel time to and from the office, this can be both an advantage and disadvantage because you don’t have time to de-stress after work before stepping into family time. It is a cost savings because you don’t have to pay transit fares or as much vehicle costs when you work from home.
  • You don’t have as much people interaction because you aren’t in an office where there are other people to talk to. This again is both an advantage and disadvantage as the number of distractions are limited when working from home, but you can’t quickly bounce an idea off someone else.

So, managing your time can be a challenge when working from home but if you have the discipline, it can work well for you. It does give you the ability to get the work done without the other distractions that can office environment provides. For me, I have my planner always open on my desk and when I think of something that I need to do, I document it. Being able to manage my time can be a challenge some days, but being able to focus on the tasks at hand without all the other distractions is also nice.

Companies have found that some employees are getting more work done since they have been working from home. This is probably because of the fewer interruptions that happen each day. Some other companies have asked their employees to go back into the office on a full-time basis because they found people were not getting the required work done. Each company is going to be different with how they handle the working from home versus the office. So, if you are one of those individuals that enjoy the people interaction, you may enjoy having a blend of working at home some days and then working in the office other days.

Managing your time, no matter if you are in the office or at home and working, is something that we all need to do. For me, my planner helps me keep my focus, and it shows me at the end of the day what I was able to accomplish.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Fire Alarm Testing


If you live in an apartment or a condominium, you will probably have experienced the testing of the fire alarms. I know that it is required here in Ontario, but if you are in some other places, you may not have these requirements. It is something that we deal with and for someone that works from home you get to learn about them both on a monthly and yearly basis.

Monthly Testing

The monthly testing is one that doesn’t take long, and it is just an inconvenience for a few minutes once a month. So, in our building there normally post in the common areas when the monthly testing is going to happen, and it's no big deal. What happens during this test is that the fire alarm technician comes on and announces that they are going to be doing the monthly test and the fire alarm sounds for a few seconds and it’s over. This test does impact the elevators for those few seconds, but other than that it is quick, and it’s done.

On the monthly testing day, you really hope that you are not on a conference call or even a phone call when it happens because it is loud.

Yearly Testing

Here is the test that impacts everyone and in our building it’s a two-day process, so yes it can be a bit of an inconvenience as it is noisy. In our building they try and do five floors at a time and that is normally quick for each unit, but it is something that does impact us. What the fire technician must do is come into each unit and test the smoke detector and listen to hear if they can hear the speaker in the unit. If the smoke detector or speaker have been disconnected, they are immediately reconnected. This doesn’t take long, but what makes this noisy is that they must leave a microphone active during these tests, so we get to hear people buzzing to get let in and as well people coming and going out the front door of the building. Overall, the yearly testing isn’t much of an inconvenience when the technician comes in, it’s just the noise that we must hear for the two days while every unit is done.

The noise we hear has been reduced over the years as our superintendent got the fire technicians to turn off the sound of each unit alarm being tested, that we previously heard. This has meant that yes there is noise that we must deal with, but we are constantly hearing an alarm being tested.


Yes, the fire alarm testing is something that can be an inconvenience, but I would rather deal with the sounds and those interruptions than find out that the alarms either in our building or our unit aren’t working. Also, the other thing is when they are doing the unit inspection, they also check to see if the smoke detector needs to be replaced or has been disconnected.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Do the things you love

I saw this comment a few days ago, and it made so much sense to me. Do the things that you love, as that will make it a lot easier to be happy. I know that for so many of us there are things that we enjoy doing and then there are those things that we must do, but we don’t enjoy as much.

What I have found works for me is making sure that I break up the things that I don’t enjoy doing as much and spreading them between things that I enjoy doing. Just being able to spend some part of your day making sure that you enjoy doing the things you love, but also getting the other things done as well.

I have also heard that put the things that you don’t enjoy doing at the beginning of the day so you can get them all finished, and then you have things to look forward to after that. That can work but breaking up the different tasks with things you enjoy can also make you want to start your day.

For me, I normally start my day by writing, which is something that I really enjoy, and then I spend a couple of hours working on those things that I need to get done and may not always enjoy doing them. This at least means that I have started my day doing something that makes me happy.  The other thing that I try and do is end my day by doing something that makes me happy.  Doing the things that you enjoy all the time and ignoring the things that you don’t enjoy doing doesn’t work because if you just keep putting those things off you are going to have to spend lots of time at once making sure you get all those items done. Breaking up the enjoyable and not so enjoyable tasks means we are doing what makes you happy as well as getting those other things done. My days are flexible, which is good, but I always try and have a mix of things I love to do and things I need to do.

Yes, do the things that make you happy because it means that you will happier overall, but don’t forget those other tasks either.