It’s Friday…Reaching the end of the week takes on a different meaning these days. I often think medals should be passed out to parents — especially to moms — when we reach the end of the week. Never more so than right now. I think about women who are on the front lines — women like Dr. Lucy McBride (mother of 3) who joined me on She Said/She Said via Zoom (Episode 92) to share her perspective on COVID-19 and what we can do to better manage anxiety. Or my friend Elena Tompkins whose heart broke for local restaurant owners and workers and saw an opportunity to help them while also providing much-needed support to exhausted health care workers on the front lines of COVID-19. She organized Feed the Fight and has delivered thousands of meals to health care workers. I also think about the moms of toddlers and younger children. The lucky ones still have jobs and can work from home, but the challenges associated with making #WorkFromHome or #WFH actually work is easier said than done when childcare, or another set of hands, isn’t readily available. My point is, there are amazing heroes everywhere, and folks are stepping up in all sorts of ways everywhere you look. Every contribution matters including how we engage with and support others — even in seemingly small ways — and how we use the time we have.

I’ve been thinking a lot about time. I don’t have “more” of it as a result of #socialdistancing . It’s exactly the same number of minutes in an hour, hours in a day, and days in a week. But my time is being allocated differently and in ways I never planned for nor could have anticipated. I feel certain this is true for most everyone. Many of us are anxious about plans, client meetings, vacations, and family events that have been scrapped, often with significant economic consequences. But, we’re finding that hours originally dedicated to one activity can now be deployed or utilized differently. While there is a healthy overlay of anxiety and worry, in many ways this time is an unusual and precious gift. There is an unquestionable price associated with this, but we are not in a position to address that as of yet. For now, we have been given time.

I’ve been a fan of time management and productivity expert Laura Vanderkam ever since I read her book “Juliette’s School of Possibilities” which I remember reading two years ago on a beach somewhere with Joel and the kids.  The book is a short parable about making the most of time, and making time spent more meaningful and memorable. The concepts in the book resonated with me then, and perhaps even more so now. I also included Laura’s book “Off The Clock” in last week’s newsletter.

I reached out to Laura who joined me via Zoom for Episode 93 from her home office just outside of Philadelphia. She and her husband are holed up there with their five children who range in age from 3-months to 12 years.

Laura’s practical advice in our conversation ranges from limiting your expectations when you are attempting to work from home in the current environment, especially with children, to being much more mindful of the future narrative about what you did with your time during social distancing.

She tells me: “Time keeps passing whether you think about how you’re spending it or not, and that is as true for time in the middle of a pandemic as it is for anything else. Given that we will eventually be on the other side of it, I think it’s worth asking yourself, ‘How do I want to look back on this time?’ As I am telling the story of this time, three years from now, five years from now, 25 years from now, when your grandkids are asking you, ‘Grandma, what did you do during COVID-19?’ What are you going to tell them? What is the story of this time gonna be?

When you think about that narrative, which you can actually write now, it helps you be more mindful of the time and to think about how you want to plan your days and structure your time.” 

Laura provides us with great food for thought. I know you’ll enjoy her!

Sending all of you my love and warm thoughts! Please let me know how you’re doing, and send along any feedback, thoughts, and suggestions you have for me and She Said/She Said Podcast (or Zoomcast — at least for the foreseeable future)!  Be safe and be well.

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