Noticing new things and making wise choices as we move towards our new norm.

On my early morning cycle before work, which is now part of my daily routine, I cycle through Wimbledon Common and Richmond Park and often notice new things as I take in more of my surroundings and notice new things. This ritual has been a great way to start my day, get me out of the house and have some exercise before going to home office.

Today I cycled into Richmond Park through Robin Hood gate and noticed an old metal sign giving the distance in yards to the other gates in the park. I must have been through this gate 50 times but only today noticed the old sign, admittedly surrounded by flourishing wisteria. This seems to be a great image and metaphor for noticing new things and making wise choices for behaviours to take us forwards into our new norm.

During lockdown we have all been forced to do things differently, slow down and had the opportunity to notice new things in our neighbourhoods, get closer to those dearest to us and interact with our colleagues in different ways. Many have mentioned noticing the morning song of the birds waking them with their intense orchestra.

With the initial limit to daily exercise, lots of people took up the opportunity to walk, run or cycle and this has now become part of their routine. One client was delighted to share that she had taken up running and challenged herself to do a 5k run, last time we spoke she had extended this to 10k runs on the weekends.

In relationships clients have talked about enjoying daily dinner with their partner or family, having regular calls with people close to them, reading stories to their grandchildren and connecting with old friends. In the work environment leaders have reported more regular and deeper check-ins with their teams. Some leaders have done daily blogs or short videos, which has made them more accessible to the wider organisation, leading to people feeling more connected and engaged with their senior leaders.

People have talked about things they have missed, such as impromptu conversations by the coffee machine, lunches or dinners with colleagues. Some have missed having a separate location to work, others have missed their physical commute, forming a buffer between their home and work lives.

As we move towards our new norm, with shops, restaurants, bars and offices re-opening now is the time to reflect and capture what you would like to take forwards into the future from your new routines and behaviours.

Take a few minutes out now to reflect on the following questions-

  • What have you added to your routine, that you would like to continue doing?
  • What have you stopped doing, that you would like to leave behind?
  • What have you missed most, that you want to start up again?
  • What new things that would you like to bring into your life and work?