In praise of the stranger in my workspace

Esther Nagle
6 min readJul 31, 2020

Through my time of being self employed, one of the biggest struggles I faced was completing tasks, both getting started and staying on task. I would start my day with so many good intentions, and more often than not, get to the end of the day utterly mystified as to why nothing had been ticked off my list.

Understanding that I have ADHD helped me understand this. Procrastination and poor focus are two of the most understood traits of the condition.

But understanding WHY, while it did allow me to be a little more forgiving of myself, didn’t help to solve the problem. It sometimes felt like something I would never be able to overcome, a life sentence with no hope of parole.

I learned, through a couple of Zoom co-working sessions, that I worked really well in a virtual co-working space environment. I set up a small accountability group through LinkedIn, and we enjoyed a few sessions together. In these sessions, I was hyper-focused and productive — the motivation of knowing that I would have to explain myself at the end of the session, and that there were people there who wanted me to achieve my goals, and would hold me accountable, really helped.

The moments of connection at the start and end of the session satisfied my extrovert need for other people to energise me and fulfiled my core value of connection. I would work like a machine in these sessions, and always came away happy and feeling productive.

When I lost confidence in the business I had been developing, due to the result of the 2019 election, and I decided I needed the security of a job, these sessions dwindled away. I could have used them to help me with my job hunting, but I felt embarrassed by my huge change in direction, and didn’t want to tell anyone in my business owner network.

I definitely prefer the convenience of working from home. I am a single mother. My job is an hour’s train journey away from home (not at the moment of course). My son goes to his father’s on a rotating shift (when he is not on furlough leave) so there are times when I don’t see him at weekends so my time in the week with him is precious. Working from home means that my lunch break can be spent preparing our evening meal, catching up on housework, walking the dog. It means that I don’t…

Esther Nagle

Midlife sober and recovery coach, here to help you find your life of health, happiness and FUN without needing booze to do it