Late last week, I asked readersto tap in to positive thinking amidst all the challenges we’re experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As mentioned when I published this Weekend Poll, I did so following conversations with England’s Sarah Howson. Sarah has been identifying and celebrating her own “Weekly Wins” and we share a focus on the positive.
A time of significant adjustments
Focusing on the positives does not mean discounting or ignoring the frustrations and very real impacts this pandemic is having on readers around the globe. Some of you are out of work and tapping in to support systems as you work through financial and other ramifications.
Some who remain employed have found themselves out of the loop on assorted communications. You may be trying to sort out how to contribute effectively during unprecedented circumstances. Some of you who are working remotely have established appealing WFH (work/working from home) environments. Others are balancing phones, laptops and more while perched at their kitchen counters or table tops, or curled up on a couch or in an armchair.
All the more reason to focus on even the smallest of wins
Whatever your personal situation, you’re likely encountering multiple “firsts”.
That makes it all the more important to consciously make time each day to search out and appreciate the good around us.
A healthy dose of positivity
That brings us to what’s gone well in the last week. Here are the responses that came in over the course of just three days.
YOUR WINS FROM LAST WEEK
Here’s what readers made time to contribute over the course of what was a special weekend for many.
Let me know, please, if you’d like me to pose this same question again in upcoming Weekend Polls.
- Walks in Spring sunshine
- Microsoft Teams meetings with colleagues – it’s much nicer to see faces than sending an email trail
- Grateful my father-in-law came home after two weeks in hospital fighting Covid19. Grateful for the fantastic NHS (the UK’s National Health Service) who took amazing care of my father-in-law when we were not permitted to visit for obvious reasons.
- Grateful for EPAA (Executive and Personal Assistants Association) network who have kept me going through this unusual time.
- A very quiet senior staff member sent me a thank you note and copied my CAO. He simply appreciated my reach out to see if he needed anything.
- I appreciate the loss of “commute stress” … I used to get up at 4:15 to catch a 7:30 train and did email on the train. Now, I sleep an extra hour and take the dogs for a stroll. I have a relaxing breakfast and still start my email review ~7:30.
- Rafa (pet) is 13. I’m celebrating the time we are spending together. He’s a great WFH coworker and lap-warmer.
- My win of the week was my CEO’s call to thank me for the initiatives I put in place in these challenging times. She called to wish me Happy Easter and say that she is happy to have me at her side.
- Firing on all cylinders after recovering from suspected CoVID19. Getting everybody connected at home successfully. Much respect for the NHS.
- I had the opportunity this week to connect with a number of EAs about the communication and individual/shared task management tool that my executive and I use. Using Emmre has made our transition to working from home so much easier than I could have anticipated and we’ve been just as effective working remotely as we were in the office.
- A bank holiday weekend (long weekend) to spend time with my family, albeit some of it virtually
- I have taken part in virtual conference calls – mainly because I have had to, but I’ve found I’ve actually enjoyed them and I’ll be doing them more often.
- I’m able to work remotely
- I have been working almost regularly since the outbreak of COVID-19. I am just grateful to be alive and kicking while contributing to help people getting through this dreadful times.
- It’s not directly a professional win, but today I am celebrating my completion of the entire Duolingo Spanish program. It has taken me almost four years, but I finished every lesson. Rest assured, my learning journey is far from over!
- As I was working from home, I was able to devote more time to prayer for Holy Week.
- Our work admin group held a successful mediation session via Zoom.
- I live in Florida and I am grateful for my job as a Virtual Executive Assistant with a finance company in Chicago! Today, due to COVID-19, my boss told me he might have to reduce my hours or furlough me in a effort to save his company; he said he’s fighting to keep me on. I am grateful for him! I actually made him tear up when, on this same call, I told him I’d work for free if he promised to start paying me as soon as he could … and if, on my next trip to Chicago, he would take me to RPM for a massive steak dinner!
- I took over the shopping from my wonderful hubby who’s staying indoors. I found out I still know how to plan and cook for a whole week!
- Having loads of laughs with my husband, despite being together 24/7 for the last four weeks! Humour always gets me through a difficult situation.
- My cats are so relaxed, and this has an effect on my mood too.
- Our garden is showing the first signs of spring, filled with birdsong and flower. Crocus, tulips and grape hyacinths are blooming whilst the sun shines on their colourful petals. It’s a joy to behold!
- I’m writing again. On Monday, I wrote and published a poem on Instagram. l wrote and posted a book review yesterday to Goodreads, and I started a handwritten furlough journal. I’m writing something every day, even if it is just a word or a phrase l have heard someone say on the radio.
- I had to miss the EPAA Virtual Conference last week as l had to prepare my furlough handover, but l have been catching up this week on the sessions I missed and it has been inspirational.
- After much nagging from my husband, I finally relented and took the clippers to his hair. I was pleased with my effort and the resulting silence- he may not ask me again in a hurry, but my first lockdown husband haircut was a good way to start the weekend.
- My family and I, and Luna the cat, are healthy.
- Making a difference as mentor
- Being able to deeply reflect on what matters the most, and act upon those matters. Thank you, Shelagh, for asking. Happy Easter!
- I started a HH vc with the office admins, and start with an ice breaker question. I borrowed yours this week. Made a couple think. Wins included canceling a meeting, so everyone on the team had time given back to accomplishing an added task, even though it took hours longer than originally planned for. As a group, we agreed that being apart for one month and still having a sense of accomplishment and a sense of humor were our biggest win! Thanks for the question. (Next week, we are sharing the funniest thing that happened “at work”.)
- Wins: I attended a couple of virtual meetings with peers to check in, I’ve had the opportunity to work on a few large scale projects at work, and am making progress on reorganizing my pictures. I earned an A+ on a paper I wrote, and secured some 1:1 assistance on writing a second one… good things!
- I’ve been trying to clean out desk drawers, but I keep getting distracted because I have to read cards, etc. I found cards from friends and family when I was recovering from cancer surgery that made me feel special and blessed all over again.
- Thank you for asking! I purchased a Pro license for Zoom, and used it for the first time in a very good discussion with the Greek IMA team.
- In addition, a support group consisting of ladies across all age brackets, but leaning towards the 70s, wanted to convene online weekly during lock-down. I set up Zoom for them, guided them through it, and we all met F2F today and loved it! Very restorative!
- As a professional who advocates for our profession by having an active presence on social media, also by being one of the social media ambassadors for my employer, I was very happy when of the top CEOs in the company just invited me to join his network on LinkedIn and liked one of my posts reminding Executive Assistants that working remotely does not make us less powerful in seeing everything and being “solutioneers.” A big WIN!
- I played a virtual trivia game with my son who is three hours away. It was so much fun and we got to spend some quality time together. I can’t wait to see him in a couple of weeks.
- I established several new connections at virtual events.
- I began discussions with an admin network in Canada to possibly share my IAAP journey and experiences with the group, including the benefits of attaining the CAP designation
- I stuck to a defined work schedule; allowing myself opportunities for virtual professional development and networking. I also made time to think about areas I’d like to focus on when we begin regular in-person interactions again
- I’ve taken a planned annual leave and, instead of the usual holiday, I have enjoyed just being at home, playing games in the garden, and out for our daily walk through the woods – a simple, relaxing and restorative time.
- I’ve used new apps to see/speak to family and friends we would have been visiting, and have been teaching our son how to play chess so he can play virtually with his friends.
- Crafting and gardening are two things I enjoy but don’t often get a chance to do. So, this week I’ve brought some order to the garden beds and shared some of the abundant flowers with the mums’ network on the estate as well as helping my six-year-old make little Easter surprises which we delivered to his friends. I’m so glad I took the time off. It’s been a busy but therapeutic week -despite COVID-19; it has cleared my head and recharged my batteries ready for the week about to commence. Joy!