Like many Americans during this pandemic, I’m working from home to help flatten the curve. If you know me, you know that I’m not good at social distancing—many extroverts aren't. I require more human interaction than most. My constant fear of missing out (FOMO) leads to many distractions in my life. I want to know what that group over there is laughing about. I want to go with you when you run to Starbucks for your afternoon coffee. I need to be filled in on what everyone has going on this weekend.
When we got the directive to work from home, the thought of working alone in my one-bedroom apartment gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach. But I packed up my laptop, monitor, keyboard, trackpad, cables, markers, notebooks, printouts, sticky notes, and just about everything else on my desk that wasn’t nailed down, and committed to making the best of it.
I’ve managed to stay productive and connected during a very busy period for all of my accounts. Here’s what my day looked like yesterday:
7:30 a.m. – As my alarm goes off, I take a minute to remember what day it is. For the next 30 minutes, I’m on my phone, reading today’s news, checking my calendar to see what meetings are on my calendar, and reading email.
8:00 a.m. – To keep some sense of stability in my schedule, I try to keep a morning routine. I shower, make my bed, scramble a couple of eggs, and most importantly—brew the coffee.
9:00 a.m. – Time to get started on some real work. To keep myself organized and on task, I’ve hung several presentation-sized Post-Its on my wall for to-do lists. LMD's account managers also have a Google Doc we update with our to-dos every day, to keep each other up-to-date on our workload and project statuses. I update my list and I begin my day.
9:15 a.m. – To stay connected, the LMD team uses Slack. Once I sign on it doesn’t take long for the messages to start rolling in. The fact that it took 15 minutes is a little surprising. Quickly, LMD has moved our morning coffeemaker chats to our #general Slack channel. We share pictures of pets, our "work from home offices," and general commentary on the news. Today though, the media team is already putting my brain to work.
11:00 a.m. – I haven’t seen my client’s face for a couple of weeks. My main point-of-contact requested a video conference to go over a quick, “casual” status. Does this mean I need to put on something other than a hoodie and sweatpants? As the account director, I decide to dress professionally for our conference call. I may have gone a little overboard.
11:30 a.m. – Time for our call. Video conferencing is a great way to stay connected and feel a more personal connection—but it’s not the same as in-person. You have to make sure you’re on mute when you’re not talking; it’s impossible to hear what anyone is saying if people talk at the same time; and don’t get me started with technical issues. Still, I was happy to have a face-to-face conversation with my clients and colleagues, even if it was for only 45 minutes.
1 p.m. – Best time of day: Snack break! Before there was a run on the grocery stores, I stocked up on some of my favorite snacks and drinks. I got 48 individual bags of chips from various brands and seven 12-packs of sparkling water. I put all of the chips in a giant bag and mixed up the waters in the refrigerator. Each day at around noon I blindly grab a water and a bag of chips. Today’s selection: mango lime water and salt-and-vinegar chips. SWEET!
2:30 p.m. – I feel like I have been working on this creative audit forever. It’s the perfect project to finish while I’m shut-in. I’ll be here making revisions for the next few hours if you need me.
3:30 p.m. – I can see from my window that there is nobody on the trail. I need some fresh air (and at least 100 steps in my day). I set my Slack to a new “status” LMD’s Web Director Jason made that means I’m taking an outdoor break.
4:00 p.m. – A call that isn’t on my calendar. I’m determined to stretch this one out. I haven’t spoken to anyone in an hour and a half. This has to be a personal record. Darn, they had another call. I’ll take that 15-minute interaction.
5:00 p.m. – My favorite local artist Brent & Co. is holding daily concerts at 5 PM on Facebook and Instagram. I think I’ll cook dinner while I get some good entertainment. Tonight, he is performing all songs from one of the greats. I sauté some chicken while dancing to “The Boss.”
5:30 p.m – Back at my computer. Someone is messaging me "after hours"... the media team is hosting a virtual happy hour! I pop in to say hello, talk about work, and find out what everyone has done all day. “What’s your dog’s name?” “Can you take me on a tour of your place?” “Trivia time. What is the name of David Bowie’s extraterrestrial glam-rock alter ego?” “What are you eating?” I love people. Social distancing has forced us to make new ways to connect—but technology like Slack, Zoom, and FaceTime means we can stay in touch.
7:30 p.m. - Well, we just finished our video chat. Where has the evening gone?
9:00 p.m. – I think it’s safe to shut down for the night. I take a minute to peek at the notes on my wall and plan out tomorrow's day. Have a good night!