Modern Work

Life, lemons, isolation and opportunity?

By Shawn Smith,

Published on Mar 23, 2020   —   2 min read

The world as I saw it a few weeks ago has certainly changed and has provided me with an interesting lens in which to look through it - more on that another time though.

It's Monday morning here and I'm starting my working week. But before I really get immersed, I started jotting down some of my key takeaways from the last few weeks - so here goes.

Family first: by no means has this really changed from before, and I know my circumstance will be different from others, however, consider the current environment, this has been even more front and centre. My life-long wife/partner/friend has been through everything mankind could throw at here and is at higher risk than most should COVID-19 be contracted. Then add my father, who is currently in hospital, the situation has led to limited visiting hours, and that he is also in a higher-risk category.

While these may seem impairments, for me, this actually means slowing down a little and being there for them more than ever. I hope it's a win-win.

Technology: From a very young age I've been fascinated with technology which at times has given me heartaches and other times my world seems to have opened up even more - and I've met some amazing people through it as well. Work has obviously been very disrupted and for the foreseeable short-term. However, the team have really embraced some of the tools that we have had, for some time might I add, and are making great use of them - things like video calls all the time (that's probably me doing that), to just saying "hi, how are you?" These connections, while a little distant, are still handled with the same care and smiles.

The unfolding crisis: Situations like this gives everyone the ability to take action. I'm a firm believer that this will define many of us and create amazing new leaders within our business and beyond. It's time to rethink the norm, to rethink what is possible, to rethink a new path. There's plenty of negative attitudes around and it's best to pause and look to ways to innovate - which will lead to greater value.

As an example, we are discussing ways of building upon our current solutions in ways not discussed before by using our digital whiteboard sessions to find ways to unlock our potential - to move the needle.

Personal reassessment: This may sound a little bold however I'm getting back around 2 hours per day as I'm not commuting into the city each day which has given me a lot of extra breathing time. So the question is, "What am I doing with that extra time now?" So far, not a lot.

Before you think too much about that, this is actually where this whole piece started from - I have some extra time - let's write something. Unpacking this a little more, I'll be using this extra time to just listen and breathe. Listen to something - it might be a podcast, a YouTube video series or just music. Breathe, the power of just doing that in a controlled and mindful way is amazing. Additionally, I will be adding some extra items to my reading list.

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