Amidst the frightening coronavirus pandemic—and the daunting headlines associated with it—we're trying to embrace the moments that are becoming familiar: perfecting our morning coffee, dialing into meetings (also happy hours and birthday parties), and trying to find comfort in the chaos.
As many have already pointed out, while the circumstances are inconvenient and disruptive, this might be the perfect opportunity to slow down and recalibrate from the place we know best: home.
I’m Britt—I lead Content & Community here at Smalls, and I wanted to share a little glimpse into my WFH life for this week’s edition of From the Couch. Onyx and I are coming at you live from our lovely little home in BedStuy.
My Google Home plays some sort of alarm sound, but I’ve recently learned that I can say SNOOZE and she will listen to me. It’s a dangerous game honestly. Like our feline friends, my favorite pastime is sleep, and if I could stay in my bed all day I really would. However, I don’t let myself work from my bed (work-life-balance-or-whatever?), so I suppose I’ll get a move on.
After taking a shower, I spend a considerable amount of time doing my morning skincare routine—it may well be the only routine I have at the moment. After covering my face in oils and creams, I make coffee, feed Onyx (today she’s getting the Turkey Pate) and head to “the office”. I balance my french press, my coffee mug, my water glass, and a plate of avocado toast, while trying to not trip over my cat.
Alright, it’s a new day. I’m caffeinated, my skin is hydrated, and my cat is perched on my desk ready for… something? I skim over my email before jumping into our team’s daily morning meeting. Every morning the Smalls team connects and takes a few minutes to just say how we’re feeling. Most mornings, we don’t talk about anything work related really, just connect as humans who are experiencing a pandemic, and try to process that together.
That check-in is something that I look forward to more and more. Especially since I don’t have any human-housemates, it’s amazing to chat and laugh (you know, with humans that will understand me). After we hop off, I jot down my to-do list for the day. I am trying to form some daily routines—that aren’t dependent on serums or jade rollers—and it’s been pretty tricky.
Something I love about my work is that no two days look the exact same—some mornings I’m putting together the social schedule (ayeeee follow us), others I’m packing up toys and treats to send to influencers we’re working with. But now that we’re all in a forced-OOO, I’m having a hard time staying focused and like I’m a productive person.
I’m trying a couple different things though:
- When writing out a daily to-do list, number the items. It doesn’t have to be in any particular order, but it helps to be like “okay, I have 15 things I need to do today.” It feels a bit more manageable and at the end of the day my progress feels tangible.
- I’m blocking out time on my calendar to make sure recurring tasks get done. Like writing this blog post! Eating lunch! Taking a break to stretch for 15 minutes! I’m also learning to be okay with the fact that I might not use the time blocked for what I initially intended.
- Scheduling calls for conversations. Sure, it’s easier to type something out in Slack, but my carpal tunnel is not having it, so I’m trying to chat with folks on the phone or with video when possible. It makes me feel much more productive, and again, human connection is nice.
Finished up a chat with an illustrator we’re looking to work with, and ate the other half of my avocado for a snack-ish-lunch. My to-do list has…. 8 things left on it, but I started with 18 so we’re making progress. I’m going into a period where I have two hours blocked to write copy for our bi-weekly newsletter. This is a newer task for me, but I’m having a lot of fun with it! If you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, hi, PLEASE DO! More cat content, straight to your inbox. Boom.
I haven’t moved like at all today, so I take to my yoga mat for about 20 minutes of stretches. I'm not actually doing yoga poses, and there's not any routine I follow, but I do try to take some inspiration from my cat. When she gets up from a nap she takes the biggest stretches, and I swear she smiles because it's just that damn good of a stretch. That's what we're aiming for here.
I have a call with my manager to chat through our donation to the Humane Society’s Pets for Life program and how we’ll be getting our product into the hands of those in need. I’m really excited that we’re working with the Humane Society, and this program in particular. Pets for Life recognizes that having deep connections with pets transcends socio-economic, racial and geographic boundaries and that no one should be denied the opportunity to experience the benefits and joy that come from the human-animal bond.
Our donation is going to help hundreds of Pets for Life households and their kitties, and I’m so excited to find other ways for Smalls to give back.
Where does the day even go. I’ve never been so firm in my belief that time is a wild social construct. It’s time to stretch again! This time, my wrists. Please allow me to be a cautionary tale of another millennial hit hard by carpal tunnel, and remind you to TAKE TYPING/PHONE BREAKS. Seriously. I now do the routine from this video twice a day and I think it’s important to just take a few minutes to reconnect with your body and how you’re really feeling.
It’s started raining so I’ll forego an afternoon walk, and instead take time to play with my cat. She’s been loving having me at home, and I’ve been loving tiring her out in the evenings so she doesn’t wake me up at 3a. I’ll close my computer for the day, and think about what to make for dinner.
If you have any recipe suggestions, or want to contribute to the Smalls blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[#BeginTLDR#]Of course we love to go out, see the light of day, put on real pants, etc. But we can all agree that sometimes, it’s best to follow our felines’ leads and just… stay in. And now? Well, it seems we don’t really have a choice one way or the other.
To make the most of our mandated OOO, we’re kick-starting a new series of work from home diaries, logging how you and your favorite cat owners and creatives are adjusting to the demands of the day. Join us in your best sweatpants and fuzziest socks as we take a page out of our cats’ book and curl up on the great, cozy couch of life—might as well get comfy because, hey, we’re gonna be here awhile.[#EndTLDR#]