It’s time to go to work. My interest in being a full time parent/ teacher/ carer/ minder/ playmate/ bottle washer/ cleaner/ hair grower has palled – I am desperate for some real-life-real-work. I am champing at the bit to get out, back into the real world. Working from a full home, with all its competing interests, just doesn’t work for me – does it for you?
I am not saying you cannot work from home. Many of us will build much more home working into our professional lives from now on. But only when the kids have returned to school and we can get some space to think and concentrate. Without space and the ability to focus for more than twenty minutes, without having to cook a meal, fetch a snack, play a game, read a book, mark some homework, help with an essay, go to the playground, tidy the house, well, it’s hard to make any progress. So I, for one, can’t wait for term time to start. I can’t wait to get the kids out of the house. I can’t wait to put into operation all those initiatives I have begun during the last six months. And there are a lot of them.
The only way to get anything to do with work accomplished has been to rise at 0500 hours and focus, undisturbed, until the first morning stirrings from the family. These vary. On a good morning, I am left alone for three full hours. On a bad morning, my daughter comes and sits on me after just an hour and a half. The difference is anywhere between a thousand and two thousand words. Broken concentration kills what I do. From then on, it’s back to being CEO of Flat 5. Only recently have I been able to negotiate getting out of the house and disappearing to my usual, pre-Covid 19 haunt for a full, uninterrupted 8 hours. (It is bliss.)
During the lockdown, my early morning starts bore plentiful fruit. I have written a book of 70,000 words (Catalyst – using personal chemistry to turn contacts into contracts, published in 2021), created two new businesses start ups – Forthwrite (how to write more persuasively in business) and Bounceback2021 (to help businesses kickstart their growth post-pandemic) – and one new cultural coaching offer for executives moving to the UK – Livelikenatives. Plus, I have created this blog site and written an entire website for our holding company. Oh, and I did manage to work in normal hours whilst my usual consultancy work disappeared down the proverbial, by re-inventing myself as a teacher. I taught 150 hours of lessons on Zoom in four courses invented from scratch – an introduction to creative writing; an advanced creative writing workshop; the power of your image (to help 15-21 year olds how to write a resume, ace an interview and communicate properly in the adult world) and a course for adult immigrants coaching them how to understand Britishness.
Now I want to bring them all to life.
In the past, I have often wished that the world would stop so I could actually think and get some stuff done. Well, it did stop. And now I can’t wait for it to start again. Not just to fill up the personal and corporate coffers but also to get some intellectual stimulation for my brain. To get a bit of adult conversation. To get the buzz of dialogue and getting things done again. I have missed it all. I am sure I am not alone. The question is, for businesses and business people, how do you go about re-galvanising your business in the biggest economic downturn in history?
We can take a lesson from evolutionary biology. For living organisms, there are only two survival strategies: r selection and K selection. R selection is for those species that produce many “cheap” offspring and live in unstable environments. K selection, for those species that produce a few “expensive” offspring and live in stable environments. In case it has escaped anyone’s attention, we are living in a highly unstable environment. Which means that, by chance, or instinct or luck, I have happened upon precisely the right strategy for these conditions – namely, to use the r strategy and set as many things in motion as possible. Now all I have to do is get the word out there to as many other people as possible.