In the lull between one magazine going to press and another two awaiting a shiny new flatplan next month, it’s been a week of admin. Sounds dull, but the geek in me loves nothing more than making lists and happily ticking off item after item.
My friend Chiara ticks each item and crosses it off too, for double satisfaction. My Mum puts things on her list she has already done, and gives herself a pat on the back for her hard work. I have adopted both habits and it makes me feel swell. Yes indeed.
This was a short week for me, as I took Thursday and Friday off to venture northwards and see my Mum. I’m from Wick originally, and most of my family still lives there, so twice a year my Mum and I meet half-way, in lovely Inverness. We do some shopping, have dinner and stay in a nice hotel. It’s a great chance to catch up and set the world to rights.
Unbelievably, it’s been a year since I quit my job in favour of a freelance career. So far, it’s been full of ups and downs, but I’m pleased to say more of the former than the latter. What have I learned along the way? Of course everyone works differently, but for me the key to surviving working from home is:
1. Get up, get dressed
In my first post-Channel 4 days I woke up bright and breezy at 7am, but as time has passed this has slipped to a more luxurious 8am start. I find that getting out of bed, getting dressed and generally making myself presentable has a huge impact on both my productivity and my mood. There are many practical business benefits, like not sounding half asleep if a client calls at 9, and being ready for short-notice meetings. But there is also a psychological feeling that you’re a hard working professional and not a couch potato.
It’s been a varied week, ranging from articles about dragon boat racing to learning about German financial markets.
The former, an inspirational story from a lady in her 50s who was diagnosed with breast cancer but “refused to slide into a sedentary old age”. She took up the ancient Chinese sport of dragon racing, and her team is now ranked no.2 in the world!
My other highlight of the week was an exclusive interview with the CEO of a large German business. He told me – rather frankly – that the British spend far too much time debating and dithering in meetings when they should be delivering results. Oh, I hear ya!
To round off the week, a positive conversation with a potential new client. Woop!
Strathclyde People is published by White Light Media for the University of Strathclyde, and I manage the editorial for White Light Media.
The autumn issue has an enterprise theme, and as well as chatting to home-grown billionaires, we have also visited Whitelee wind farm for a picture-led feature on renewable energy; explored the final frontier for a feature on space research; learned about business in the Big Apple and brought together a number of inspirational alumni stories.
Read the full issue. (copyright White Light Media and the University of Strathclyde).
The highlight of my working week was a preview tour of the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM). This £55m centre brings together some of the world’s leading researchers in stem cell science and regenerative medicine. It’s the first site to open on Scottish Enterprise’s BioQuarter development, which will eventually house innovative life science businesses.
I was there to write about the new SCRM for the University of Edinburgh’s fundraising magazine Edinburgh Friends (published by White Light Media).