in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #111 — Snow flurries

Another short week ‘in the office’ following my six-day weekend. Wednesday felt like a Monday, and I felt a little guilty about not feeling well-rested whilst everyone else on the team had worked a couple of extra days. The three days at my desk were productive, and it was good to be back at work.

Monday and Tuesday were spent pottering. My wife and I had a lovely long walk through the fields in our house. The weather has been crazy — snowing one minute and then glorious sunshine the next. When we started our walk we were freezing but by the time we finished it was beautiful.

This was a week in which I:

  • Spent some time at the weekend finishing off my presentation on my Ride 999 adventure in 2015, which I rebranded as Couch to 1,400km. I presented this to our team on Wednesday, a great opportunity to get some experience at delivering a presentation as opposed to reviewing and collaborating on a document.

  • Attended a ‘masterclass’ session for the big group programme we are becoming more and more involved with. I took full advantage of the Q&A function in the meeting and it is good to know that my perception of key issues we need to navigate isn’t wrong.
  • Agreed to a meeting later this month where we’ll take people through the programme and how our part of the organisation will interact with it. For a while it has felt like I’ve had more questions than answers, but over recent days things have started to become clearer. We’re not completely there yet, but I’m comfortable that we have enough to review with a wider set of people.
  • Logged a couple of risks that my brain had surfaced during the downtime over the weekend. My mind really does ‘join the dots’ when I’m busy doing something completely different.
  • Finally said hello to our new IT team member in our Beijing office. It’s taken a while to get the paperwork in place to on-board him and he joins us at a great time. We will now have a ‘follow the sun’ setup across our three regions for any ongoing issues that come up.
  • Reviewed a number of documents, including a project closure report for some work we’ve done over the past 18 months in London, an engineering standard, and our existing support and maintenance agreement for two of our locations that we want to use as a basis for a third.
  • Had a meeting on how we will refine and communicate our strategy to our team.
  • Dug into the setup of a couple of our key systems, trying to get myself and a number of other technical team members on the same page as to how they work.
  • Worked on some staff contract renewals.
  • Gave my body a treat by investing in a Roost laptop stand and Logitech MX Keys keyboard. Now I’ve made the change, I can’t believe I spent a year at home hunched over my laptop. My back is already thanking me.
  • Attended the first part of a webinar on Advanced Story Mapping with Kevin Callahan, but left early. I’m getting quite good at managing an exit when I no longer think I’m going to get value from a session. Lockdown has made me acutely aware of how valuable my time is. The session was good, but it isn’t directly related to any work I’m doing right now.
  • Had a short meeting with an old friend who has an upcoming interview with a high-profile technology company. He has a background in academia and is just finishing a PhD, so is doing his research ahead of his conversation.
  • Paid to get our washing machine repaired. Although I’m sure it isn’t the cheapest way of doing it, going back to the manufacturer website and getting their own engineer to come out and do the job is always fast, seems honest, and the cost doesn’t feel too outrageous.
  • Replaced a toilet seat. Never a fun job, but it’s lovely when it’s done.
  • Gave outdoor cycling a miss in favour of some long stints on the turbo trainer and a long run. I have loved going back outside on my bike over the past couple of weekends, but I’m waiting for the temperature to rise by just a couple of degrees before heading out again.
  • Saw my youngest son’s team get a well-earned draw in their football match against the strongest, unbeaten team in the league.

Next week: Another one packed full of meetings and online events, but there is a Formula 1 race to look forward to at the end of it.

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