Yelly Writes

Start of the week

Well, that’s half the working day gone!

I’m trying to figure out when I should go and get stuff but I’m thinking it should be soon. It doesn’t look too lovely outside with the rain threatening to come down. I need to go to the supermarket to buy stuff, I think!

One thing that’s been a constant these days is my daily to-do list. I know! There are so many articles saying to-do lists are the death of productivity. I disagree. If I don’t have a list, it kind of feels like I’m not working towards a purpose.

A few months back, Sara Tasker had Nir Eyal on her podcast (it’s Episode 82 and they’ve got a follow-up episode as well!) and I learned something nifty from Nir Eyal that has revolutionise my time control. He said that people should schedule their time in time blocks and to allow yourself time for yourself (I’m paraphrasing very liberally here!). I find that allowing myself time to faff is time well spent. That way, when I do get distracted and go off-piste then I don’t beat myself up with a stick that usually grows exponentially because my conscience will always go heavy on the emotional self-flagellation.

Excuse the chicken scrawl but I did want to share a picture of what I meant (if you want to see what my day looks like, let me know! Haha!). My next target is to learn to properly time block…to actually set time deadlines. It actually scares me because I’m worried that if I add another element to my workday scheduling, the restrictions will trap me into immobility. BUT baby steps. I need to actually grow into this habit. It is my goal to consciously be kind to myself.

What do you do so that you keep on track of things? Please share them with me in the comments!

Yelly Writes


Sometimes I wonder if anyone is listening…if anyone actually reads my posts or if they’re just looking at the pictures. I’d like to think I have interesting things to say. But sometimes when people don’t write comments or react to your posts, it’s hard to gauge whether the content you put out is relevant.

I like writing as much as the next blogger and I like to think that they way I express my opinions can be entertaining. But when you are met with radio silence, visions of tumbleweeds rolling in the dust fill my mind. I’m constantly asking myself if I’m actually reaching someone.

One voice in my head says, “Yeah well, you don’t blog often enough for people to pay attention!” This is true. Everyone says that for your content to have traction, in this oversaturated social media environment, you have to post not just meaningful content, but you have to post regularly. Even though I know this, a small part of me thinks that somehow I’m reaching someone.

And then days like Saturday happen:

@yellywelly on Instagram

Thank you so much! You made my day! You know who you are.

I know that my chilli belly pork recipe is, by far and away, the most active of all my posts but I rarely hear from people who actually try the recipe. To be thanked for sharing a recipe that I actually tested several times before I posted it on my blog means the world. It’s actually galvanised me into action. It is the elixir vitae to my inertia! I am hoping this sustains my writing drive. I’m glad to know that my virtual “Yooohooo! Anyone out there?” was heard and someone, sight unseen, has replied “Yep! I hear you!”.

Please leave your comments! My “I’d love to hear from you!” pronouncements are genuine. I really would like to hear from the people who read my blog. Besides, if you’re someone I’d rather not hear from, you’d know it!

Yelly Writes

Are you winning 2020?

I know times are difficult but it helps to try to look at the bright side of life. If you’re down in the depths of despair, there’s nowhere else to go but up.

I saw this post on LinkedIn today and I wondered what Boris and his cohorts would say…

My responses to these are:

  1. Never really possible so yes;
  2. Our lives are constantly in flux these days, with all our foundations constantly shifting, so yes;
  3. I have accepted that we won’t ever go back to normal, so definitely;
  4. I’m a worrier so that’s going to be a tough ask, but every day is a new day;
  5. See Number 4!

What would Boris et al might say:

  1. Yer, but nah, but yer, but nah, but maybe!
  2. You must all change the way you live (but we won’t, we’re the privileged few!)
  3. I’m channeling Winston Churchill (and failing miserably)
  4. “This app will be a world beating corona virus app!” (the app doesn’t know the Isle of Wight is actually an island!)
  5. What? Were we supposed to be properly thinking?

Yelly Writes

Being back

My work-life balance has been atrocious since I’ve started working again.

Since being brought back from furlough, it’s been hard to draw lines between what is my workspace and what is my at-home space. I think it’s a dilemma that everyone living in a shoebox-sized flat has battled with.

I miss the office noises. I remember finding office noise apps and sites that just played ambient office-related white noise. It was okay to hear but annoying as I guess my brain knew it was mechanically manufactured.

It was also very odd because I was an office manager without an office to manage!

When lockdown finally eased, there was the occasional opportunity to travel to the office. I could meet with suppliers and service providers, do a bit of post scanning (this was part of my day to day when I worked for an accounting firm, so to not do it regularly was very odd), prepare the office for the eventual return to office-working. Of course, between Boris Johnson saying, “Work in the office if you can” and his declaration (because there was a spike in coronavirus cases) to “Work from home if you can”, our office spent a considerable amount getting the office up to social distancing guidelines scratch. Of course, management did not require us to work from the office. We were allowed to choose the work situation that worked best for each of us, individually. The office was there “as a resource”.

I’m finding working from home very intense. I think it’s because you’re more focused on each task and sometimes it’s hard to stop when you’re on a roll. I’m also finding that because I’m working from home, I tend to start when I wake up (which is early…about 5am most days) and finish when it’s time for supper (usually when the BBC evening news starts, so about 6pm). If you consider that time frame and factor in any breaks I take, that’s at least a solid 10 hours of working.

I enjoy travelling into work because it provides variety and gives me something else to do. However, in these trying times where there is a deadly virus about, and no vaccine is available, it’s hard not to be obsessed with infection control. Because let’s face it, not everyone thinks about germ transmission. People here have to be reminded to sneeze into tissues, for goodness’ sake! My rants about people and infection control can be a whole other blog entry! London is also not quite the same right now. It’s very quiet and the buzz and hum of the city seem to have disappeared. And even though stricter lockdowns haven’t been put into place, everything is eerily quiet and empty.

How have you been?