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I have an interesting relationship with time!

Yup!  Those are some eggs I put on to boil before a video call with a colleague.  The conversation started predictably on what we needed to talk about and then meandered through Black Lives Matter, contemplation rooms and breastfeeding at work!  It was a really engaging & flowing chat and one I wouldn’t have wanted to curb with some arbitrary time constraint.  Then an hour later, what’s that smell????? Argh, the eggs!!!!!! Seriously! (Don’t worry, I didn’t kill the pan!).

By nature, I am both HIGHLY distractible and then very easily immersed into the thing I’m drawn into. Time-just-disappears… I know, it needs containing, or things like THIS then happen pretty regularly which is a pain in the ….

The good thing is I’m also someone who LOVES systems.  When I put systems in place to support me I can stay true to myself and I don’t have to become a constant clock watcher.

(Side note: anyone else get annoyed when you’re in a meeting with someone who is constantly checking the time?  Just me?)

Systems give me banks I can flow within.  They allow me to stay on course, and ultimately get me to where I’m meant to be, on time, even if I take a few detours!  They mean I don’t have to keep watching the clock when I’m with someone, which personally brings me more joy.

Well, working full time from home during Lockdown quickly exposed how many of the carefully designed systems I relied upon are tethered to my office based working life.  From the gentle tapping on my office door by my wonderful team assistant to ensure I’m actually where I’m meant to be or to the scheduling system we set up to predictably launch me onto my commute back home on time for my young son Bob.  Or maybe I feel untethered due to the far fewer formal transitions in a Lockdown working day (like my commute home) or from missing the usual rhythmic hum of being part of the office hive.  My time seems to have become more nebulous.  More eggs are being burnt!  What’s the solution?

Enter Siri!  I remembered chatting to a friend earlier in January who does ALL THE THINGS, ALL OF THE TIME.  She’s a busy Dr, a coach, a mum of 3 children, is involved in community life and a generally amazing person.  She also always looks like a swan, so elegant and calm! So, I asked, what’s her secret? How does she keep on top of everything without going crazy.  She picked up her phone straight away and said “I have a free executive assistant, called Siri….. I just say “Hey Siri, remind me to buy a present for my Dad on Friday” and ta da, I don’t need to remember to remember”.  Back then I thought, that’s wonderful for you but I’m a technophobe, that wouldn’t work for me.

Now…. I’ll pretty much give anything a go to make home working work for me!  And guess what, I’ve become OBSESSED with setting alarms with Siri’s help.  Alarms to remind me to eat lunch (I know, but it’s needed), alarms for when I’m with someone and I know I have an appointment I can’t miss, even alarms for boiling eggs.  Bob now says, “Mum, why don’t you ask Siri to help you?”.  She’s become a part of the family.  Siri is my live in, free, virtual assistant: always with me wherever my phone & and I can be found together.  I just need to ask for her help then she keeps me floating along and “on time”.


Lauren x

P.S. I’ve learnt it’s worth explaining to the other person you’re with in advance that you’ve set an alarm so you can focus on being fully with them and later get to XYZ.  Otherwise, they’ll think what the F…. when the alarm starts to ring.

P.S.S. Siri doesn’t work when you get confused and say “Hey Alexa” and wonder why she’s not responding to you and you think your phone must be broken.  Not, of course, that I would ever do this.  Siri apparently has standards too.

P.S.S.S I can’t wait to be physically back in the office with everyone, especially back together again with our wonderful assistant.  Flipping heck!  What can I do then???? (Siri, please remind me to flow….).

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