We’re all pretty much over zoom – especially those “I’m not wearing pants” jokes – and its only Week 3! At the same time, we’re also getting an at speed injection of a deeper appreciation of what matters most in life, and at work. Maybe it’s time we found time to jump off zoom and take a few moments to reflect on what matters most.
To me. To you. To each other.
Before I say another word, I must admit to the reality of my today.
Up early (I enjoy that), onto zoom to our US team (I enjoy that too), recorded a podcast (great fun), over to some tougher conversations (also zoom), a super fast bite of lunch (sensible sandwich), then to a gorgeous workshop with one of our favourite clients (we all enjoy that), then into more meetings and a webinar practice til right now – 8pm. Now I’m heading to eat dinner, which smells delicious.
That’s one way to describe it.
Here’s another: Today I parked my arse in a chair for nearly 14hours, often looking at a small version of my own head amongst a crowd of other small heads. I didn’t move enough, breathe enough or smell of the air outside.
And here’s the last one: Amongst that lack of movement, I also heard and saw some great things about my colleagues and clients. I met a bunch of kids, and a few pets. I saw a back garden that looks out to the sea. I laughed lot and felt very lucky that I work with people who are very funny. I saw a grown person cry, because the pressure is too much right now. I helped a friend who needed to rethink their business or they’ll lose some of the beautiful team. I spoke to my Mum because I miss her heaps. I saw the despair of being a good Dad but a crap home school teacher. I hugged my husband and daughters, because it’s actually pretty cool to share lockdown with your grownup kids.
After 14hours of sitting on my arse, I’ve decided that life right now is raw, and real, and quite exposed. For all of us. We have no barriers, no facades (minus the well positioned pot plant for zoom/hangout/bluejeans), and we’re getting right up close and personal to people we normally just work with.
What are the lessons in this?
There are many valuable lessons in that, but how are we to learn them? How are we to hold them? Well, for better or worse, and with no pompous views on being better than anyone else in answering this, I’m going to suggest this: Take a moment just for you. Turn off zoom. Even the exercise/learning/important zoom. Walk away. And just be with your own thoughts.
How can we learn them?
Leaving world peace, universal basic incomes and coronavirus vaccines for another day, sitting under a tree or next to that sunny window in your apartment, give this little list of very un-grand questions about work just a moment of your time:
- Are you doing your best work at a job you love? Are you growing and finding new paths to new places?
There’s something about stripping away the office and the furniture, and the commute and lunches, that leaves you alone with your work. Is it good work?
- What’s the best thing about the people you work with? How could you be more useful to all those crazy people on zoom, on the phone or in your house?
Seeing them all stripped back and bare, pets and all, how lovable are they and how lucky are you to be with them? Could you give them just a little more of your best?
- What does the future look like if you do nothing? And what would it look like if you did something differently?
- When they open the doors again, what role do you want to play? For you? For everyone else?
- You know a 14hour day sitting on your arse, looking at small pictures of your own (and other people’s) heads is not healthy. It’s weird. Just stop it.
There’s something about this crazy shared experience. Its strangely painful – economically and financially for most – but it also quite cleansing.
Stripping back to just the things that matter.