Not much happened last week but the week went as expected. The start was pretty busy in terms of work and required a couple of late work nights while the second part of the week I spent it working from home, which served as a reminder that it can be both good and bad. On the one hand, I enjoy the flexibility of being able to make it to a 12 pm HIIT workout, but on the other side, there are no limits as to how much time I spend working or how many breaks I take.
When working from home I tend to end up working longer hours – I can start earlier than usual and there is no formal ending to my workday anymore – and also somehow take fewer breaks which leaves me exhausted and mentally loaded at the end of the day. And so, I have been reminded how important is to set boundaries when it comes to working from home.
Also, I hope everyone celebrated a beautiful International Women’s Day. We did a HIIT workout to celebrate the day – and for every calorie, we burned a certain amount of money was donated to a good cause – and then topped it with coffee and cake. It’s been a lovely weekend overall and I am definitely feeling energized for the new week!
The Weekly Reads
The leader as a coach. Loved reading this piece from HBR on how manager roles in companies are evolving into coaching roles. This entails transitioning from providing answers to asking questions, supporting people instead of judging them, facilitating their development instead of dictating what has to be done. It’s all about “ask and listen” not “tell and sell” and I personally think the coaching element is a natural transition for a lot of managers but that also depends on the style. Very relevant read and filled with actionable advice. Highly recommended.
Twenty-first-century managers simply don’t (and can’t!) have all the right answers. To cope with this new reality, companies are moving away from traditional command-and-control practices and toward something very different: a model in which managers give support and guidance rather than instructions, and employees learn how to adapt to constantly changing environments in ways that unleash fresh energy, innovation, and commitment.
Answering job interview questions. Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but if there is one thing you can do to alleviate that is to be prepared. The Muse usually shares a lot of step by step answers to the most common interview questions, including how to answer tricky questions such as “Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with your boss”. I like that they always have practical examples and you can use the same framework for preparing answers to different questions.
Monthly admin day. I usually do my admin stuff on the go and as needed and while I usually end up dedicating a weekend afternoon to squeezing the most pressing things in, many times I still end up postponing things for months. I like the idea of having a monthly admin day to get all of my stuff done.
Prioritizing. Time management is only half of it, attention management is the other part. A lot of practical tips from this one by Adam Grant so you can get things done for the right reasons, in the right places and at the right moments. He also touches on this idea in an interview he did with Tim Ferris if you want to listen to the podcast, which I definitely recommend.
Often our productivity struggles are caused not by a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Productivity isn’t a virtue. It’s a means to an end. It’s only virtuous if the end is worthy. If productivity is your goal, you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to get a task done. If you pay attention to why you’re excited about the project and who will benefit from it, you’ll be naturally pulled into it by intrinsic motivation.
What I am cooking. I have been obsessed with making spicy tuna tacos this past week and I am quite proud of how it turned out, especially as I inspired my recipe from very random things – my favourite spicy tuna sushi, three huge cans of tuna that my mom sent me all the way from Spain (I was clearly obsessed with tuna at some point in my life) and that are soon going to go bad, and the blessing of finding crispy taco shells at the supermarket. While they are no contender for my recipe, here are a bunch of healthy dinner recipes for this coming work week.
Thank you for reading and I hope you are having a wonderful start into the new week!