Old Habits

Day 1: Old habits

It’s 6am on 23 March 2020.

Today is my first day working from home for an extended period due to the University campus, where I normally work, closing to all but restricted and essential access.

Each day I will write something and I’ll do it first thing in the morning, so today’s activities will be summarised in tomorrow’s post. And so on.  While I will write something every day, I may not post every day. But we’ll see how it goes.

Today. So far, so normal. I’ve got up, had a shower, got dressed, had my breakfast. Good. Normally now I would make my sandwiches. Either that or I would’ve have made them last night. I did consider doing that and leaving them in the fridge, but I think I’ll need something to do other than simply eating my lunch in the middle of the day, so I’ll save the job of making it then as well.

Actually writing this blog post isn’t entirely out of my routine. Quite often before walking or driving to the train station I do log on at this time in the morning to crack on with some work for half an hour, write a blog post, or do some work related to the running club that I lead.

When I’ve finished writing this piece, that’s where the routine will begin to change.

I usually drive or walk to the train station. So I will go for a 20 minute walk after I’ve written this.

I have written down a few things I want to communicate to my direct reports about working in this new environment so will put these in an email, and then see if we can all find time to catch-up over Skype to discuss how they’re getting on themselves, how their teams are, and any ideas they’ve had over the weekend. I was so proud of my team last week – their calm, caring and organised approach to a very rapidly-evolving situation was incredible.

I’ve also got a number of other suggestions I want to share and discuss with colleagues about how we work in this new style and environment.

Particularly lately, my office colleagues and I have seen the benefit in stopping for a chat about what’s going on in this crazy world around us, over a cuppa. All being at home makes this a bit more difficult, but now we’re all set-up with Skype and have a WhatsApp group, I’m sure we’ll find a way and a time to do this as well.

Because last week was all about how we could swiftly ensure that the campus could be safely managed-down to only essential operations and access, there wasn’t a huge amount of time for thinking about what this week would look like, let alone the next two months. I’m sure we’ll be working this out over the next few days.

Monday evenings are usually Run Brum Crew evenings. My attendance has been patchy to say the least since Christmas, but I will go out for a solo, socially-distancing run, at the usual time of 6pm, then catch-up with my running friends online after that.

Right. Each of these posts needs to have a defined length, and I think this should be a side of A4 – no more. I’ve just about reached that limit, so I’ll sign-off for now, and see what the day actually brings.

Here’s to cherishing old habits, and creating new ones.

I’m off for my morning walk.


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