My Lockdown Survival Story
Looking back, it came as no surprise that last week took a toll on me mentally, and I had a bad day. It is now Saturday morning, its 5 am, and as I am up (babies are awake and playing), I thought I would pen this little article so that it might bring help to someone else. This is my breakdown and coronavirus lockdown survival story.
As a business owner and a CISO and CIO for several companies, there is a fair amount of stress and strain from different directions at the best of times. Work-life is long with competing agendas all over the place. Add into that every VPN salesperson under the sun calling your mobile, as well; you get the picture.
As a father to very young twins, every hour of the waking day is busy. The twins do rule my life, and I would not have it any other way. But as a “temporary single dad” (my wife is away working on the coronavirus wards and not home for the next couple of months) busy takes on a whole new level.
This last week gave me a pounding, and it is all my fault. The actual problem was caused by a combination of lousy scheduling, over observation of email and a constantly ringing phone.
There are not many CISO’s that can juggle an ISO 27001, iso 22301 and ISO9001 audit in their work at the same time. Imagine doing that for your own business and in the same week, your largest client. The fix for this problem came from Zapier. I am not a big supporter of letting third parties have pathways into my life, but the convenience of merging multiple calendars into one is tangible.
Would my phone please stop ringing! With all the issues from the above point, I completely forgot to set my phone to Do Not Disturb. Even then, I could have put my phone on divert to one of my team or just put it on silent and let it ring out to voicemail. Why did I keep answering it? The answer is simple; I never want to miss a client call.
Salvation came from a single post on Linkedin. I have no idea why but blame my subconscious, but I posted a help message. From all the supportive words, here was my fix.
Talk, and talk more
It was great to catch up with people and talk. No sales, no business, just catching up with friends and peers with no plan. It was so warming that I was smiling inside and out in no time. I started to take time out from my day to return the calls and reply to messages that had nothing at all to do with work.
If there is one thing that is certain in all this chaos, it is kids want to play. So we did. I started to involve the twins in my work. They even sat through some of the client audit meetings and popped up, unexpectedly, on a couple of video conferences. It was a lot of fun and certainly something that is going to continue.
I built a gym on our small terrace. With a space of 1 meter by 2 meters, I used a broom handle as a weight bar and jugs of water as weights. The technique needs to change as the weights swing a fair amount, but it worked well. I also discovered yoga classes online. I am not flexible in the slightest, but it provided me with valuable headspace and time not spend in front of a screen.
So that’s it, my lockdown survival story. I hope it helps. Stay safe, stay well and occasionally, unplug.