Settling into a new routine

Settling into a new routine

What’s your new routine?

Can you believe it’s already mid-June? Where has the first part of 2020 gone? Yesterday, I wished everyone a good weekend – it was only Monday! While I thought my new routine was working quite well, clearly, yesterday was not my day. With all the craziness going on around the world, have you found and settled into a new routine?

The blurred work-life boundaries

The great part of our company is that we can choose to still say at home. Many of friends have been forced to go back to work. Just today, a client told me how he preferred the flexibility that working from home (WFH) gave him. He certainly hopes his management will reconsider and let them work more than the “once a week if you ask nicely” day from home.

A client in the UK opened up yesterday. She’s normally teaching on campus and is still confined to her home office. For her, the regular commute was a way to decompress, switch off and re-energise. Her commute now is 20 steps and she noticed working substantially longer, experiencing eye strain and feeling exhausted. Have you experienced something like that?

Don't forget to switch off

I have for sure and am glad I’m now getting better in saying “no” to work on Fridays. With one of my business partners, we’ve now a routine to talk on Saturday mornings. It’s reduced the pressure to fit in one more meeting into an already cramped schedule, often finishing at 8 or 9 pm. It’s also given us an opportunity to chat more about non-work topics. Not sure we would have discussed church, race and politics during our usual sushi lunches.

Networking while WFH

Most folks aren’t that receptive to have calls on the weekend, regardless if they’re working from home or the office. As I try to have 3 networking meetings each week, I’ve noticed most prefer them in the morning. I’m not sure if that’s when people drink their coffee or if it coincidentally simply works better for their schedule.

It’s been surprising to see how many folks aren’t making networking a priority now. With the amount of lay offs, there few vacancies that are out there and competition is fierce. Setting time aside each week to stay in touch is a must – whether you have to look looking for a job or would like to change roles.


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

I’m super grateful that we can use Zoom. And Microsoft Teams and Google and and and. Though I’m paying for my Zoom account, it’s been worth it! It’s been a blessing to stay in touch with family, friends and clients. I definitely feel more connected because we’re making time to meet regularly.

Compared to the once-a-week calls with my mom, speaking with her now almost an integral part of my daily routine. Do you do something similar with your parents? There is the guilt because I’m not there to help her. Plus she isn’t the youngest and friends with ageing parents abroad experience similar guilt…

Checking in with clients is also via Zoom. What used to be a phone or an email is now another Zoom call. It’s great addition to the other tools of communication and it’s amazing how much commute time is being saved as everyone seems (mostly) more focused on Zoom. Perhaps Zoom fatigue is true.

Stay connect with video calls

Walks as a fundamental part of the new routine

With all these meetings now on Zoom, my routine also includes some tech off time. Normally, it’s a walk in the evening. For me, the cooler weather (it’s 36 C/97F tonight, feels like 48 C/118 F) makes the walk more enjoyable. If you’re not based in the region, yes, I have to wear a mask when stepping out, no matter what the temperature.

Sometimes, when all the Zoom calls become too much, I take them while walking. At least I’m now sitting all day. Some of the calls with my mom become walks around the neighbourhood. As she can’t fly over, I still want her to participate in my daily routine. Here’s a picture from our recent walks:

Evening walk as part of the routine

Staple go-to meals

One of the lessons learnt from the lockdown is how much people are actually cooking and baking. Banana bread has been the most googled recipe during lockdown. As much as I like it, I was surprised to read that people would bake this particular bread. Maybe they too found it therapeutic?

By now, my routine now includes a couple of go to meals. After all, I can’t think of what to cook every single day!

  • Farmers omelette with red, green and orange bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes (all cute into little cubes) and cheese (optional)
  • Palak paneer with frozen parathas (how did I only discover frozen parathas during lockdown?!)
  • Spaghetti Bolognese (an all-time favourite)
  • Asian stir fry with cubed aubergine and courgette, sugar snap peas, shredded carrots, ginger and lemon grass
  • Home-made pizza with red, green and orange bell peppers, tomatoes and plenty of cheese
  • Tortilla wraps with red, green and orange bell peppers and tomatoes (cubed), chicken strips, a few chilies and cheese

Love Spaghetti

Having participated in a few baking sessions with Darkness Into Light via Insta Live, I’m now also making a fruit crumble about every 2 weeks. See why I need to go for another walk.

Right, on that note, tell me what your new routine is. What have you kicked out or reduced? Have you include new activities? Share how your days look like these days.

Until next time,


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