Creatively Working Through COVID Part 3
Challenge accepted Dawn. Love this idea to share a bit of our bubble — and that’s what the last three weeks have felt like: once-a-week grocery store trip; dog walks; and an occasional six-foot distance chat outside. These, really, are our only other interactions to the outside world other than countless video calls.
Here is my humble bubble story:
Tell us about the quirks of your new co-workers.
We live near Boston and it’s just five of us — myself, Sherry, Henry, Natalie and our dog Coco. Henry and Natalie are 14 and 11, and in normal times, both are social, focused on school, and very much into their interests. They are both athletes in their own way; Henry loves soccer and Natalie is an amazing Ballet dancer. Coco on the other hand has three modes: running wild, eating, and sleeping.
Sherry and I are used to working remotely, so our transition has been very easy. For the kids, it’s a different story. Especially since spending time with friends is very important to them. Technology helps. Henry, who is not really into gaming, has taken to early evening social gaming with his friends; often in squads of three. Natalie has figured out how to stay connected via endless online interactions. They range from specific time boxes of activities to teaching a virtual ballet class for her ballet school earlier in the week.
Describe your new normal.
It’s actually kind of interesting to have a routine now. My typical life is often very inconsistent, with every week being different. My days and weeks are often defined by getting up very early (4 am early) to run to the airport or train station. This new “normal” has actually resulted in more consistent routine than I’ve been used to. Here’s how my days have looked the last 3-weeks:
6:00 AM — Wake up, take the dog for a spin around the property, which includes picking-up my newspapers (WSJ & FT). I’m an avid news hound and kind of have to be in my role at Appian. At some point, Coco and I will stop to check-out the construction project near our home, which has been interesting to track their progress.
Ideally when we get back, I get to sneak away to the sunrise porch and meditate for 20 minutes using headspace.
7:00 AM — I’m ready to go. I started ‘Bullet Journaling’ a few months ago, and find it an excellent ‘analog’ way of organizing my goals and reflecting on what’s important.
All day onward, it’s like the starter pistol fires. Non-stop meetings, calls, texts, emails, stand-ups, etc. all focused on supporting growth of our business. Typically if there is a break, I will check in with Sherry and Kids just to see how they are doing.
For the kids, the best thing we did — or to be honest, Sherry did — was to establish a schedule. I think having structure is really important, or else it turns into marathons of just sleeping, TV, and being online.
We do have the intention of having the last meal of the day together as a family, and likely pull that off about half of the time. On the days that we do, it’s always nice. We’ll share and reflect our days together as a family.
What do you miss about the office?
For me, that question is really what do I miss about traveling? Specifically, I miss spending time with customers, partners, attending conferences, and visiting our HQ. While I do travel quite a bit, I also have a great team that travels just as much, if not more, than I do. Truly, the parts that I miss the most are the interactions, learning, and ability to provide visibility for Appian.
The actual travel part is something I have down pat. In other words, I’ve got it all figured out on how to minimize waste in transitions, and I am always working while traveling. I would say stopping to smell the roses at LaGuardia is not high on my agenda. It is also likely why I won last year’s ‘Road Warrior’ award at Appian SKO, which is a bit of a dubious honor. That said, I love what I do and miss having the ability to have all of those interactions in different parts of the world.
Watching or reading anything new?
We did some recent surveys of colleagues and friends on what shows to watch and as part of the process, we have discovered ‘Ozark’. We are only on Season 1 Episode 3, and are absolutely hooked. The other thing we have started is a daily ping-pong family tournament, which is getting very competitive with lots of smack talking. It’s a great way to make the best of these unusual times.
I’d like to challenge Matt Brook, Appian Vice President based out of London, to share what his journey has been like at home!