Bleach Not Beach

Dave Kinnear 1-On Leadership, 4-ExtPost

Confined

Like many of you, I am negotiating a new home environment. My wife is working from home now. I’ve worked out of my home since 2002, but still, I had the freedom to up and leave whenever I wanted to go to meetings or run errands. But now, we have to coordinate when we run errands to minimize contact with the outside world.

No Beach

Even though we live only about twenty minutes from the beach, we rarely go there. We did venture out a couple of weekends ago, keeping our distance from other folks out for fresh air. Now, instead of the pleasant smell of the beach, we have a consistent smell of bleach!

I guess I don’t mind that too much. It’s a clean smell, and from a psychological point of view, being clean is what I want! We’ve been careful to wash all the dishes on the “Sanitize” setting in our dishwasher. We do much the same for handtowels in the laundry. And we are keeping the clothes we wear outside separated from our “around the house” clothing.

Disruption

Those of you who have read my newsletter know that the disruption for me is mostly around my workspace. My equipment is spread out on the dining room table. In a way, it’s an upgrade. I have more room than I did at my home office workstation. My wife has taken over the home office completely. And since often we are both on a phone or video call at the same time, we need to be physically separate—and wear noise-canceling headsets to keep things private.

Where Is The Time Going?

After settling in and getting the technology under control, I figured I’d gain quite a bit of time back since I wouldn’t be traveling between client meetings. Not so! The commute time seems to have been added to the meetings somehow. And there are also more meetings! Only one of my regular clients wishes to meet by phone instead of a video conference. It’s the same with prospective clients. So where is all the time going?

I think the answer is that I’m spending more time making changes to tasks that I have previously completed. For example, changing all the meetings from in-person to video and making sure all the information for the new session is complete and accurate. I find I’m spending a great deal of time helping others get familiar with the technology. Some simple tasks which were automatic now take a few extra minutes to organize for the new environment.

Gaining Productivity

Having worked through most of the technical issues, I am now feeling that productivity is increasing. My calendar is just as full as it ever was. The meetings are taking place as before with a couple of significant adjustments. Our once-a-month all-day group session is now multiple shorter meetings.

New Opportunities

I’m now in a place (after several weeks) when I will be able to take advantage of this time under house arrest to get some online learning under my belt. I have signed up for a course to earn continuing education credits for my coaching certification. And, being the introvert that I am, I’m starting to enjoy this time on my own! How about you? Are you staying safe, keeping your family safe, checking in with employees, and planning for the time when we are no longer confined?