Nostalgia

Nostalgia is a beautiful lie dressed up in sepia.

Hello, fellow Mumblers! My summer break is on right now and has been perfectly ruined by the ongoing pandemic. The thing I miss most about it is visiting my grandparents’ house in our hometown. ( Most Indians will probably relate to this-and if you aren’t Indian and still do , let me know in the comments! 😊) The house is huge, to say the least, and surrounded with all kinds of trees-litchi, mango,jackfruit etc. Though, it’s best part for me is the memories that it has guarded safely all these years. It was built by my great-grandfather even before India became independent i.e. before 1947. It has seen four generations of the family and still stands tall and strong. The following poem which was written on an earlier trip is a little tribute to this oldie from my side. Much love!❤

As I enter my childhood haven

I reminisce of the memories engraved in its proudly ageing walls

***

The way I pranced around

With the mango and litchi trees

Shading me as guarding figures

***

The way little me begged to be allowed onto the huge terrace

But was always disappointed with a no

***

As I walk around

I can hear the echoes of laughter

Ringing of younger and carefree days

***

Even as I sit and pen down my feelings

I hear the gentle cooing of the birds

With which I’m only too familiar

As the lullaby of many a scorching noons

***

At night, the crickets chirp

The sky engulfs the house

And the stars wink at me

***

As I’m lost in my thoughts

A gentle breeze blows

And wafts with it, good ol’ nostalgia

***

All these feelings clutch at my heart

Bringing to it, sudden turmoil

For, I realize, that some day, all good things must come to an end.

***

Lots of corrections

Hello, fellow Mumblers! I hope you are all well and doing great. This post is written in quite a hurry and out of schedule to tell you all about the corrections that I had to make.

The ones who have been following my blog for the past days will notice lots of changes and removal of pictures. This is because I do not want to get into legal trouble! In my first post, I had used a picture of Mr. Ruskin Bond. However, on reading an article today, I realized that it might be illegal.

Many of us bloggers would have used many pictures from the internet to make our posts lively but this might be copyright infringement. Thus, I request all of you to make the required changes to your blogs as well to save yourselves from copyright issues. The best way to incorporate pictures is to take your own and use those. Being bloggers ourselves, we will be able to appreciate the amount of hardwork put into our posts-our labour of love. We certainly wouldn’t want others to take credit for what is ours. The same goes for photography as well.

You all being much experienced bloggers might already know about this. However I still wanted to share this so that the lesser-informed like me might be able to benefit from this. Stay safe and happy! Much love!❤

***

I am my favourite

I know something good about myself,

That I am my favourite!!!!

I have full right to treat myself.

I know I cannot conquer the sun,

In my life things will not be easy,

More than the world,

I might face difficult situations with my surroundings,

But still I chose not to give up,

As I know who I am.

As with time I have found within myself,

Who I am as a person?

And the best part of myself is,

I am my favourite.

 

NON-FORMAL EDUCATION

Non-formal education refers to education that occurs outside the formal school system. Non-formal education is often used interchangeably with terms such as community education, adult education, lifelong education and second-chance education. It refers to a wide range of educational initiatives in the community, ranging from home-based learning to government schemes and community initiatives. It includes accredited courses run by well-established institutions as well as locally based operations with little funding.

As non-formal education is diverse, this element has many aspects in common with other elements, particularly Lifelong learning. For the purposes of these guidelines, this element focuses on non-formal education for children and young people outside the regular school system. However, CBR personnel need to be aware that non-formal education reinforces marginalization and stigmatization, so if possible it should not be offered as the only educational option for children with disabilities. Inclusion in a regular school should be prioritized as every child’s right.

While non-formal education is often considered a second-best option to formal education, it should be noted that it can provide higher-quality education than that available in formal schools. Non-formal education can be preparatory, supplementary or an excellent alternative (where necessary) to formal schooling for all children.

INFORMAL EDUCATION

Informal education is the wise, respectful and spontaneous process of cultivating learning. It works through conversation, and the exploration and enlargement of experience.

See, also, what is education?


So what is informal education?

In the examples above we can see that whether we are parents or specialist educators, we teach. When we are engaged in learning projects we teach ourselves. In all of these roles we are also likely to talk and join in activities with others (children, young people and adults). Some of the time we work with a clear objective in mind – perhaps linked to some broader plan e.g. around the development of reading. At other times we may go with the flow – adding to the conversation when it seems right or picking up on an interest.

These ways of working all entail learning – but informal education tends to be unpredictable – we do not know where it might lead – and spontaneous.

Conversation

Informal education, we argue, is driven by conversation and being with others. It develops through spending time with people – sharing in their lives – and listening and talking. Catherine Blyth has described conversation as ‘the spontaneous business of making connections’ (Blyth 2008: 4). It involves connecting with both ideas and other people. When we join in conversation it is often difficult to predict where it will lead. As such it can be a very powerful experience – ‘conversation changes the way you see the world, and even changes the world’ (Zeldin 1999: 3).

As well as talking and listening to others, we also have conversations with ourselves. We can watch ourselves as we go about our lives, as we talk and think. People ‘have, as it were, two internal voices, so they can both create new ideas and look at them, criticize and admire’ (Zeldin 1999: 57).

When we put conversation at the centre of education something very important happens. It is the exchanges and the thoughts they provoke that leads us – not some predetermined curriculum or plan. In conversation we, as educators, have to catch the moment where we can say or do something to deepen people’s thinking or to put themselves in touch with their feelings. For the most part, we do not have lesson plans to follow; we respond to situations, to experiences.

Spontaneity – exploring and enlarging experience

‘Going with the flow’ opens up all sorts of possibilities for us as educators. On one hand we may not be prepared for what comes, on the other we may get into rewarding areas. There is the chance, for example, to connect with the questions, issues and feelings that are important to people, rather than what we think might be significant.

Picking our moment in the flow is also likely to take us into the world of people’s feelings, experiences and relationships. While all educators should attend to experience and encourage people to reflect, informal educators are thrown into this. As such they look to what lies at the heart of education. As John Dewey once wrote,the ‘business of education might be defined as an emancipation and enlargement of experience’ (1933: 340). Our task is to work with people so that they may have a greater understanding or appreciation of their experiences. Through coming to understand what might be going on people can begin to be ‘set free’ – not be dictated to by, or victims of, experience (Jeffs and Smith 2005: 58-9).

Anywhere, any time

Such conversations and activities can take place anywhere and at any time. This contrasts with formal education which tends to take place in special settings such as schools. However, we should not get too tied up with the physical setting for the work. Formal education can also take place in almost any other location – such as teaching someone to add up while shopping in the market. Here it is the special sort of social setting we have to create that is important. We build an atmosphere or grab an opportunity, so that we may teach.

Obviously, informal educators work informally – but we also do more formal things. We spend time with people in everyday settings – but we also create opportunities for people to study experiences and questions in a more focused way. This could mean picking up on something that is said in a conversation and inviting those involved to take it further. For example, we may be drinking tea with a couple of women in a family or health centre who are asking questions about cervical cancer. We may suggest they look at some materials that we have and talk about they see. Alternatively, it could mean we set up a special session, or organize a course. We may also do some individual tutoring, for example, around reading and writing. Just as school teachers may work informally for part of their time, so informal educators may run classes or teach subjects. The difference between them lies in the emphasis they put on each.

So what is informal education? From what we have looked at so far we can say the following. Informal education:

  • works through, and is driven by, conversation.
  • is spontaneous and involves exploring and enlarging experience.
  • can take place in any setting.

However, there is more – purpose.

… and the purpose of informal education?

At one level, the purpose of informal education is no different to any other form of education. In one situation we may focus on, say, healthy eating, in another family relationships. However, running through all this is a concern to build the sorts of communities and relationships in which people can be happy and fulfilled. John Dewey once described this as educating so that people may share in a common life. Those working as informal educators have a special contribution to make here.

A focus on conversation is central to building communities – and forms of cooperation that enhance the quality of social life (Sennett 2012: 273). The values and behaviours needed for conversation to take place are exactly what are required if neighbourliness, cooperation and democracy are to flourish. What is more, the sorts of groups informal educators such as youth and social action workers work with – voluntary, community-based, and often concerned with mutual aid – are the bedrock of democratic societies. They also places where friendship can flourish, support be given and recieved, interests deepened, and changes made. As Hemmings (2011: 280) has commented ‘remarkable things can happen when we come together in small groups’.

It comes as no surprise then, that those working as informal educators tend to emphasize certain values. These include commitments to:

  • work for the well-being of all.
  • respect the unique value and dignity of each human being.
  • dialogue.
  • equality and justice.
  • democracy and the active involvement of people in the issues that affect their lives. (Jeffs and Smith 2005: 95-6)

As informal educators we have to spend a lot of time thinking about the values that run through our work. We do not have a curriculum or guiding plan for a lot of the work, so we have to consider how we should respond to situations. This involves going back to core values. Reflecting on these allows us to make judgements about what might best help people to share in a common life.

Why have specialist informal educators, what sets them apart?

As we have seen, everyone is an educator – but some people are recognized or appointed to teach and to foster learning. There are three main reasons why specialist informal educators may be needed. First, it may be that some situations demand a deeper understanding or wider range of skills than many of us develop in our day to day lives. Through reflection and training specialists can become sophisticated facilitators of groups and of conversations with individuals. They can also develop a certain wisdom about people and situations because of the opportunities they have. In many communities the role may be fulfilled and developed by ‘elders’ or by those who are recognized to be wise. In other situations, often linked to the development of capitalism, there has been an increased division of labour. Additional or alternative forms of learning and teaching are needed.

Second, it may be that people do not have the time to spend exchanging and learning with others in the ways they wish or need. Because of their situation, they may not have a chance to engage in the sorts of conversations they find fulfilling. Where we, for example, have to work some distance from home, deal with complex systems or have so much to do simply to get by, the amount of time we can spend in open talk can shrink. In addition, we may choose not to spend time in conversation or doing things with others. With our increased use of different (and often individualized) entertainment media such as television, the amount of time we spend directly engaging with others may well be lessened.

Third, a good deal of the work that informal educators engage in is with other professionals. For example, an informal educator working in a school will have to spend a lot of their time deepening and extending the understanding and orientation of teachers and other staff. With the pressure to produce results and to achieve good test scores, relationships and processes can be easily neglected. Furthermore, there can be a narrowing of educational focus. In these situations, while informal educators may be appointed to work with students, they have to encourage and educate staff so that the needs of students can be recognized and, hopefully, met. To do this informal educators will often need both to develop a detailed understanding of the situation, and (in that status-conscious world) have some sort of professional qualification.

Looking forward

So what sets informal educators apart? If we examine what they are doing, a number of characteristics emerge. They:

  • place conversation at the centre of their activities.
  • operate in a wide range of settings – often within the same day. These include centres, schools and colleges, streets and shopping malls, people’s homes, workplaces, and social, cultural and sporting settings.
  • look to create or deepen situations where people can learn spontaneously, explore and enlarge experience, and make changes
  • place a special emphasis on building just and democratic relationships and organizations that allow people to share in community.

We can also see that they:

  • use a variety of methods including groupwork, casual conversation, play, activities, work with individuals and casework. While their work for much of the time is informal – they also make use of more formal approaches to facilitate learning.
  • work with people of all ages although many will specialize around a special age range e.g. children, young people or with adults. In other words informal education is lifelong education.
  • develop particular special interests such as in children’s play and development; community development and community action; literacy and basic education; advice; outdoor and adventure activities; arts and cultural work; and youth work

FORMAL EDUCATION

Formal education is a structured and systematic form of learning. This is the education of a certain standard delivered to students by trained teachers. To make sure formal learning is standardized and all learning institutions (e.g. schools, colleges, universities, etc.) comply with these standards, formal education in a country is governed by organizations.

In the case of the US, the Department of Education oversees formal education in all states. However, there are school districts and school boards to oversee schools on a smaller scale to handle problems that may arise in schools that the Department of Education doesn’t necessarily have to handle themselves.

Formal education is classroom-based, meaning everything a student learns comes books and other educational materials with the sole purpose of educating students. All teachers are trained and licensed to teach children, and they’re the same teachers the students will see every day to keep their education and training consistent.

Attendance is mandatory and non-optional for children ages 17 and below. If a child fails to show up to class for several days in a row, they may be considered truant. Because it is mandatory, they may be sent to juvenile centers or counseling. Parents may also be charged if they fail to do their duty as a parent and send their children to school. This can result in fines or other penalties on the parents.

EDUCATION

Education is about learning skills and knowledge. It also means helping people to learn how to do things and support them to think about what they learn. It’s also important for educators to teach ways to find and use information.

Through education, the knowledge of society, country, and of the world is passed on from generation to generation. This may include education in morality, for example learning how to act as loyal, honest and effective citizen.Learning in a library

Education may help and guide individuals from one class to other. Educated individuals and groups can do things like, help less educated people and encourage them to get educated.

Risk

Life is a game. No one knows how long it’s going to last.

Hence, in life never leave any work undone which you think evolves risks.

Risk evolves in everything you do.

To hope is to risk despair.

For success is to risk failure.

For rise is to risk fall.

To give is to risk return.

In life risk needs to be taken. If you say you can avoid it, then that’s impossible.

There is no risk, unless you do nothing. By doing nothing you may avoid sufferings in your terms but then you are the slave of yourself who have given up on life.

Who have agreed to live a stagnant life? Where you cannot learn or grow. Where emotions are blank.

The day you agree to take risk you are a free person. Who have unchained himself from the fear of change?

Risks teach a life lesson for those who want to learn. If you win, you move ahead and if you lose you have a package of learning called experience.

 

FOWC with Fandango – Risk

Joy of freedom…

Joy of freedom

Is when you get up every morning and choose life as your soul, embrace everything that comes on your way with open arms.

Joy of freedom

Is when you are able to make mistake while distinguishing between right and wrong, and not losing your humanity.

Joy of freedom

Is when in the unkind world, where soul is in turmoil situation. Uncountable number of thoughts is filled with fear about what will happen tomorrow.

And yet you chose to chase your dream, find a way to experience the path that follows to accomplish your dreams and enhance your talent.

Freedom

Lies within yourself. It just requires courage to see things differently. Only those who wish to enjoy the happiness of freedom know the meaning of joy. As rest who laugh are fools, as they are bound by the chains of insecurity and not allowing themselves to open their wings and take a flight.

4 Steps to Use Your Network to Land You Your First Job

Landing your first job can be difficult if you will rely only on job search sites and referrals. There will be cases when it will take you months before you can land the job that you want. If you do get a referral or an interview offer, there is no guarantee you will be able to get the job.

However, if you know someone from the company, it will be easier to get in the job because they can refer you directly to the team and even let you know if the slot is open even before it is offered to others.

Considering this advantage, how can you utilise your network to help you get your first job?

Here are some tips to help you improve your network and use it to land your ideal job:

#1 Know your existing network and build it

Every person has a network of connections which grows each time one meets new people. These include classmates, friends, teachers, neighbours and others.

Some people may not see these people as great places to start with when asking for help in getting a job. Get to know them and see if they know anyone in the industry that you want to work on.

If your current network is not enough, you can attend networking events set by companies or your school. You can also use social media to build your network.

Read More: 6 Golden Tips to Build a Powerful Network Using LinkedIn

#2 Ask Properly

In networking, you don’t just add friends and hope they will help you out without taking time to know if they will respond positively to your messages.

Be clear about your inquiry, why you want to ask them and make it reasonable. You should also take time to word your message and show sincerity. Don’t just write a template email and blast it to 200 people. Call them out and invite them for coffee.

Nothing is worse when you suddenly ask a friend you haven’t spoken in 10 years for a job favour or any kind of favour. However, if you ask nicely, there is a chance that your contact is searching for someone to hire. Be humble about it and never demand an immediate commitment from your friend.

#3 Have a clear plan

Once you get your contact to agree to meet you, prepare what you want to know as if you are interviewing them for information.

Ask about how they got into their position and how you can also reach the same position as they have. They will take note of your interest and help you in the best way they can.

#4 Stay in touch

When it comes to networking, you don’t stop talking to them when you introduce yourself to them and spend a few hours with them during your first meeting.

If you want them to help you get the job you want, you have to stay in touch with them and get to know them better. This will make sure they don’t forget you and think of you when they hear about the job you want to apply for.

Remember, relationships are built over time. You need to nurture your network and it is easier now with social media to keep the connection alive.

Conclusion

Networking has a lot of great benefits if you manage to cultivate it as early and as best as you can. Your connections can open doors you never thought possible, especially if you show them what you can do.

If you have connections in key areas where you want to work into, don’t be afraid to approach your connections for help. You never know, they may be the people who can launch your career in the right direction.

Just remember when you do get the job, pay it forward.

Still looking for your dream job? Here are some helpful tips:
Best Ways to Prep for your Dream Job Interview
Top Job Site to Hunt Down Your Dream Job in 2019
A Word Of Advice: Why Is It So Hard To Land My Dream Job?

Can’t get enough of MiddleMe? You can find me sharing my thoughts here as well: 
Instagram @kallymiddleme
Twitter  (MiddleMe_net)
FaceBook (MiddleMe.net)
LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/kallytay

Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.

Source: 4 Steps to Use Your Network to Land You Your First Job

10 Of My Favourite Feelings

Thank you Saumya for nominating me for 10 OF MY FAVOURITE FEELINGS tag. I found it really interesting and different. It will actually give me chance to think about what makes me joyful and happy.

I had posted one article sometime back called 10 Little joys of Life which is kind of similar, but, since there are so many joys of life, why not 10 more! 😉

The Rules

List out 10 of your favourite feelings! It’s honestly just that simple!

My List

Here are list of 10 things I enjoy doing!

Shopping

I just love shopping! It is like a therapy to me. When I shop for something, I feel great. I even enjoy grocery shopping or just accompanying someone for their shopping. Does that sound weird? 😬

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif /* Reduce GIF block width / #21625494-HC JB */  .postid-1340 .wp-block-jetpack-gif {     max-width: 50%;     margin: auto; }">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/MEgGD8bV72hfq" title="shopping"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Chatting with my sisters

I have two younger sisters and we three together make a gang. We love chatting with each other and sharing even the tiniest details of our life. It is just an unmatched feeling of happiness. It is an amazing feeling to know that we are always there for each other no matter what.

P.S. If you have watched “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” this “OH MY GOD” from Janice was just hilarious 🤣

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:83%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/RiiIImVSYLD7rWrkq9" title="phone call"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Watching the waves by the beach

I love beaches! I can literally live there. Watching those waves over and over again, It just gives me a sense of calmness and a soothing feeling. I like to lay down and chill, watch everything that is going around. Sometimes, walking and chasing the wave, then running back.

P.S. Little embarrassing to admit, but, I do not know how to swim.

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/jtom7hfbbYVtEgHqZ5" title="chilling at beach"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Road trip rush

Road trips were big part of my life growing up. I remember my dad had a little scooter on which my mom, dad and my sisters, all 5 of us would sit and go to my grandmother’s house. (ya! 5 people and 1 scooter) It was so much fun!

Even today I just get so excited if there is a road trip planned. That preparation before the trip, those mid way stops, fav music in the car, just great!!

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:55%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/l2YWnw4TcCv5Vkgb6" title="road trip"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Playing with a toddler

I adore kids! They are the sweetest. Love watching their reaction, the amusement with which they look at things, the way they want to grab everything that’s reachable. It is just so adorable and cute to watch.

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:64%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/2fXvNjhnat6yk" title="laughing baby"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Having a girls night with my girlfriends

Who doesn’t like a little get away with your gang? There is always so much to share and so much to talk about. Whenever I get chance I try to catchup with my friends and take a day off!

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/avbpWzEvlcexW" title="girls night"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Eating together

I am someone who hates eating alone. I really don’t know the reason why, but I do. I just need someone to talk to while eating, if not talking, just being there. My husband and I always eat together. I guess it is just a healthy practice and gives us some quality time.

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/1yLU2mgcJYdlKretx7" title="couple dinner"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Binge watching movies or a Series

I have been a movie junkie since childhood. Of course when I was young, I wasn’t allowed to binge watch, but once I went to college and was living on my own, the “binging” habit started. If I like a series I just cannot leave it in between, I have to complete it.

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/m7QqasSpO0VYk" title="binge watch"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Star gazing

This one is special! Do you also like watching the stars? (that is if we get to see it in the sky)

Recently, after demise of my grandmother, I visited our village for the very first time. It was the occasion to give her our final good bye. I remember her telling me when I was young, that after people die, they become stars!

That day, after her funeral, everyone decided to spend the night in the village. I sat outside the house in a chair and looked up the sky, it was like a blanket of twinkles! One was shining the brightest, I believe that was her.

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/l1J3rGigrYfx8aKqI" title="stars"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Hugs and Snuggles

I am a sucker for hugs and snuggles!! It just feels so comforting and safe and secure. I just cannot let go. 🙂

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/zO0Tu1EPsAHYc" title="snuggle"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

This was so much fun to do! So many good memories came back while writing this post.

I nominate few bloggers to participate in the tag. This will be a fun activity to re-live some happy moments and spread positivity around! 🙂 Don’t forget to pingback to this post. I would love to know what make you feel happy.

Bharath

Anushka

Rishabh

Anisha

Radhika

Sumit

SnowHeart

Vincent Ehindero


By the way, did you relate to any of the points I shared above?

Unfair

Maintaining a beautiful relationship requires patience and perseverance.

When you love someone you are ready to fight for the person,

Ready to compromise and sacrifice yourself.

You had enough reasons to believe to stand through your relationship in the worst times.

But one day an incident changes the whole meaning of maintaining a relationship.

More than the incident, what hurts more is,

Nobody cares what you are feeling.

No one wants to understand or listen with what pain you are going through.

Life seems to be unfair.

What you did for the loved ones, seems to vanish.

After breaking up, what was left inside me was not sufficient to live.

Fragment of sunlight filled with dew drops.

We were supposed to be knotted in a relationship but before we could build it strong enough, it was already over.

What hurts me more is

The relation was like a text written with chalk in the blackboard, that was easily washed off with rain.

Are shattered dreams and false promises worth living for.

Now when I have made up my mind to chase my heart and live what I dreamt once.

I  face more difficulties but I will be able to stand up again on my feet.

As all I wanted in life was self-respect and happiness.

After breaking up, what was left inside me was not sufficient to live.

Fragment of sunlight filled with dew drops.

 

P.S : This poem explains how one feels when a relationship is ruined because of lack of understanding. Idle couple is that which understands and appreciates the existence of each other in their lives. Unfortunately, many partners fail to recognise the feelings of the better half. Inappropriate words used at undesirable places leaves a wrong and heavy impact, hence leading to the consequences.

7 Productivity Apps for Working from Home

There are many companies now embracing work from home, especially with the current problems caused by the COVID-19 virus. Both Google and Facebook announced that they will let their employees to work from home until the end of 2020 if their work allows it. We can expect that some companies will follow in their footsteps and create a dynamic shift towards flexible hours and working arrangements.

While this allows workers to continue with their work at home and not have to worry about getting stuck in traffic or the long commute, it is not easy to do if you do not have the right tools you need for work at home to keep you going.

To help you set up your work from home computer and keep you productive, here are the best productivity apps you can use today:

1. Zoom

For meetings and group messaging, Zoom is one of the best apps you can try out. What makes Zoom great is the fact you can video call your teammates in HD and it can even accommodate up to 1,000 people in one meeting.

You can also send files in the app, as well as change your background as you video chat. This is a popular choice among many companies due to the ease of usage. You don’t even have to download their software to use it.

Read More: Best Video Conferencing Tools besides Skype and Zoom

2. Slack

Another instant messaging app that you can use for work is Slack. The app developers aim to replace emails using the app since teams can create channels to organize where messages should go to without having to spam emails.

Users can send files and links through the app, and they can opt out from a channel if they don’t want to follow it.

I really like using Slack and I wished more clients will move over from Skype to Slack.

3. Trello

For people who prefer to organize their work tables through a visual organizer, Trello is perfect.

The tool enables users to sort out their tasks through various columns and indicate which ones are important and which members should work on them.

Notifications will be given to all the members of the team and they can also edit the project page.

4. Dropbox

To make it easier to share files to your co-workers, you can use Dropbox. Dropbox allows users to share large files and store it in one platform.

There is also a special tab in the platform that allows teams to collaborate in one folder and also sort out to-do-lists through the Dropbox Paper tab.

5. Skype

Skype is an old name in the industry that offers video calls and messaging through various platforms like desktop or smartphones.

Aside from allowing users to have a group call to up to 50 people, the app also allows screen sharing and recording. You can also save these video recordings to your desktop.

Read More: Skype No Longer Accept Facebook Logins And The Crap Its Impacting Me

6. Google Drive

Like Dropbox, Google Drive allows users to share large files without having to use their email. It can also be shared easily between team members by sending the link of the file.

Since it is connected to Google’s platform, you can access your files from Google Docs and Sheets and edit them. You can also undo any of the changes your team members did on the app.

In case you run out of internet, you can check out the files offline.

7. WeChat

If you have colleagues living in China, WeChat is their communication staple, kinda like Whatsapp + Facebook.

Unfortunately, China has “the Great Firewall” to block out most communication apps like Whatsapp and Skype. Even accessing Google Docs will required them to use a VPN.

The only way out is to use WeChat for ease of communication and collaboration.

Conclusion

If you want to work at home, it is important that you check out the applications that will make your work faster and easier to do.

With these apps I mentioned above, I’m sure that you and your team will find it easier to work at home and keep things on time.

Want more tips to make your work at home a breeze? Check out these articles:
8 Mistakes To Avoid While Working From Home
How to Work at Home with Young Kids without Going Crazy
How to Make the Most of Your Day When Working Remotely

Can’t get enough of MiddleMe? You can find me sharing my thoughts here as well: 
Instagram @kallymiddleme
Twitter  (MiddleMe_net)
FaceBook (MiddleMe.net)
LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/kallytay

Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.

Source: 7 Productivity Apps for Working from Home

How To Express Your Love

Expression is something that does not come easy to a lot of us! Not everyone is as expressive as you would expect them to be. Hence, as a result, a lot of people struggle in their relationships. It leads to a lot of misunderstanding and confusion.

I personally am a very expressive person. By that, I mean, If I am sad, happy, in love, in pain, you would know it. It’s literally written on my face or the way I am behaving. But on the other hand, my husband is not very expressive. I have to literally use my sixth sense to understand if he is sad or happy.

A lot of people may disagree with this thought and say, why do we always have to say things? Well, of course not! you don’t always have to say things, there are other ways to express as well. The problem is not expressing at all! I wrote an article sometime back on How to Express Yourself.

If you struggle with not being able to express love to someone you absolutely adore, I have few tips inline for you! 🙂

Disclaimer: these ideas are based on my personal experiences in life and can be used to express love to anyone, your parents, your partners, your children, your siblings, your friends !!

Plan a Surprise!

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/l3diDBQpKuzuPid8Y" title="birthday surprise"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Well, let’s accept it, we all love an amazing surprise , specially when it is coming from someone you love.

You can surprise your loved ones with anything you think they would like or that will make them feel special. For example a surprise birthday party, or a surprise trip, or may be just a simple dinner at home.

Make them feel that you took out some time to plan and execute something.

Spend Some Quality Time Together

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:56%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/XfVbK43ujTvPVSvzgN" title="quality time"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Nothing more special then your loved ones giving you some quality time!

When you take out time for someone that itself means and shows how much you care about that person. So, take out some time and spend it together. Quality time can always do wonders! It will strengthen your bond and relationship.

Do Something The Other Person Likes

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:75%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/3ohhwwY2tXZvAmVq5a" title="family watching movie"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

There could be some things your loved one always wanted to do but could not, probably because it is not in the common interest. It happens in almost every relationship, it is called adjustment.

First step, try to find out what is that your special someone likes a lot, but never gets a chance to do it. Next, plan to do that together.

For example, if your loved one loves watching movies, you can arrange a movie night and watch it together for once, so that they feel special! 🙂

Appreciate Them

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:54%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/3o7aTqJR9cuuSdOUpi" title="you look beautiful"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

In our busy life and daily routine, we somewhere forget to appreciate that special someone. Ask yourself, when was the last time you said thank you to your parents? When was the last time you appreciated your partner for being there for you?

I know, we forget, sometimes we even feel it is not important. Well guess what? It is important! It means a lot when someone appreciates you for your effort. Just like how you love it when your boss appreciates you at work. Similarly, when you just say, “Thank you mom for preparing food for me” or “Thank you love for always being there” or “you look amazing”, it means a lot!

So appreciate people in your life and make them feel loved and important.

Small Tip: Next time your partner gets ready for some event, don’t forget to tell them how amazing they look! 😉

Just Say It!

<div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif">
    <figure>
                        <div class="wp-block-jetpack-gif-wrapper" style="padding-top:95%">
                <iframe src="https://giphy.com/embed/2dQ3FMaMFccpi" title="love you"></iframe>
            </div>
                            </figure>
</div>

Now all the other ways are not literally saying anything, but doing stuff to make the other person feel special. However, if you are someone who likes to speak up, then nothing better!

Saying out loud that you love someone or how special they are for you is the direct and best way of communicating your love, respect and care for someone. So, make sure you let that special one know that you love them. There is no harm in calling up your partner or your children or your parents and just saying, “I love you!” or “I miss you!”. Do not shy away.

If you don’t really like to talk one on one, you can maybe write a letter. I know it is a lost art, but still, you can do that. Letters are so effective and emotional way of expression. This shows you took out time and wrote something special. It could even be a birthday or anniversary card. 🙂


Hope this post was helpful in some way. :)Thanks a lot for taking out time and reading this article.

Please let me know your feedback in the comments below. I would love to know if you could relate to any of the points above or if you have any other ways in which we can express love towards someone?

Till next time, stay safe! Take care!

Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19

For the past couple of months, many workplaces have been shut down temporarily because of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The virus can spread by having contact with infected droplets that an infected person can release through sneezing, coughing, speaking and exhaling. These droplets can also stay on surfaces for a long time and when touched, it can get into the body if one touches their face.

In the coming months, many countries will be easing their restrictions thus allowing more workplaces to open. However, it must be done with caution as we do not want to trigger another wave of infection when we just barely managed to flatten the curve. Everybody needs to pull their ranks and play their part, including businesses.

Hence, if you are a business owner, to prevent the spread of the virus in your workplace and be ready for the virus, here are some ways to do so:

Have workplaces regularly disinfected and cleaned

Always keep reminding your employees to disinfect their work stations regularly with alcohol or antibacterial wipes.

Wipe down table, computer, mobile phone and other things they have touched or used throughout the day. They should also clean it if someone has touched or used their stuff even for a short period of time.

Besides keeping your own work stations clean, have the cleaning company to increase their cleaning routine as well.

Promote regular hand washing and disinfection

A good way to combat the virus is by regularly washing your hands with soap or disinfecting them with alcohol or hand sanitiser.

Equipped your workplace with bottles of hand sanitiser placed in strategic positions like areas with the most human traffic ie. lifts, pantry, meeting rooms.

Practice good respiratory hygiene

While at work, you and your employees should wear a mask or face shields, especially if they will be speaking to each other during meetings or team building.

Teach your team the proper way of putting it on and off, and if they are using a disposable mask, make sure to replace them every 5 hours or as directed.

If you feel like you need to sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a paper tissue or your handkerchief. Dispose the paper tissue accordingly and disinfect any area that it touched.

Check the national guidelines for business trips during this time

If your employee needs to go for an essential business trip, check with the government with regards to business travel guidelines during the pandemic. You may be required to get a travel permit before you can do business trips.

You will also need to check with the arrival country on their entry and departure guidelines. Nobody wants to be stranded in a foreign country during this time so if travels can be postpone until later this year, try to do so.

Educate your employees about COVID-19

If your employees are still confused about the virus and what to do when the virus spreads in the community, do your best to explain it yourself. You can use the government’s COVID-19 resources to assist you in your efforts.

You can also reach out to conduct a special lecture on the virus and what can be done to prevent it, as well as how to act when a reported case is in the community or workplace.

Stagger Your Workforce

Instead of the normal office hours like pre-Covid days, stagger your employees to come into the office at different times and days.

A department can split into 5 to 7 groups of small clusters like these:
– Group 1 to report to work Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm
– Group 2 to report to work Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm
– Group 3 to report to work Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm
– Group 4 to report to work Monday to Friday 10 am to 7pm
– Group 5 to report to work Tuesday to Saturday 7am to 4pm
– Group 6 to report to work Wednesday to Sunday 8am to 5pm
– Group 7 to report to work Saturday to Wednesday 9am to 6pm
– Group 8 to report to work Sunday to Thursday 10 am to 7pm

You can rotate them to be fair to everyone. Or get everyone to pick one weekday to be their off days. Not everyone prefers to be on off on Saturdays and Sundays.

Practice Social Distancing whenever possible

Space their work desk to away from each other. The further the better but 1 metre is the recommended physical space. Advice your employees not to gather during lunch time and if possible, stagger their lunch time as well.

If there are any team building events like company dinner or party, it is better to push them back until end of this year or early next year. You don’t want it to be known as the Killer Party of the Year.

Continue to Promote Remote Working

If it is possible, continue to allow your staff to work from home. It is of a lesser business risk to have most of your employees work from home than to have one infected case in your workplace that may result in a shut down for 14 days.

You can assume that this arrangement will probably be the new norm now until a vaccine is found or the infection is no longer threatening. Many international companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are now exploring to maintain work from home structure in the long run.

Conclusion

In these uncertain times, you can never tell when the virus can strike. Fortunately, everyone is now on high alert and there are ways to prevent its continuous spread. With these simple tips, you can definitely prevent it from spreading in your workplace and putting everyone’s health at risk.

For more Covid-19 related articles, you can find them here:
Covid-19: Malaysia Movement Control Order Announcement – Biggest Impact will be Workers
Covid-19: Employees asked to Take Unpaid Leave by Companies
Covid-19 Outbreak: What are Companies doing right by their employees

Can’t get enough of MiddleMe? You can find me sharing my thoughts here as well: 
Instagram @kallymiddleme
Twitter  (MiddleMe_net)
FaceBook (MiddleMe.net)
LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/kallytay

Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.

Source: Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19