the lockdown log 3

Whilst the lock down is not having a huge impact on life for the Berkshire Belle and I there is a danger that elements of the basic skill set can get atrophied during any period of disuse so the trick is to find ways of using them in this strange world.

One thing that I do miss at the moment is the lack of networking. Going to a variety of such events, from business breakfasts through to the larger seminars or conferences has been a way of life for a long time for me. The opportunity to listen to others and to ask them questions to add to my own knowledge bank and to discuss, or even, in a positive way, argue, matters of the day is important. Will I still be able to work the floor when these things start up again? I suppose so.

Other skills can be used though, and this is what I am up to. Bowen Towers is a modest home here in suburban Swindon, but years of wandering off around the globe for weeks at a time have not been conducive to maintenance of the old hacienda. So a strategic aim has been worked out along with a tactical plan to achieve that goal along with appropriate plans in terms of resource both physical and financial.

This is a serious exercise not a whim. There is a plan in place and I have daily tasks and reviews of progress. As in the real world something screws up every day and I have to adjust, but there are other skills here that get practiced such as critical path analysis. Pareto, or the 80:20 principle, is in constant use as I juggle what I need to do with what is actually possible without losing sight of that day’s objectives even if the results is that my schedule gets juggled.

As this is my project in that I represent all of the available physical resource and control the material and budget I have allowed room for manoeuvre (aka slippage) and I should end up about 90% successful come the end of July when my completion date comes around.

There are other skills to be practised such as planning individual tasks; Measure twice, cut once is very real here as I can’t just nip down to the local DIY store and get more supplies. Working out how best to use what I have got in the garage and shed and scheduling tasks for the best time of day: no heavy work in the heat of the sun after lunch, no noisy activity first or last thing in the day and so on.

All of these things bring into play the management skills that have seen me through a long career. I might be deploying them at a very micro level (a bit of management speak practice there), but recognising that I am practising them and using the full arsenal at my disposal keeps the grey matter functioning so that I should be able to dive back in when the world resumes some sort of activity post lock down.

Hoping that you and your loved ones are all safe and well.

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