#lockdown one year in, and I now question. What is a Better Normal?
I have written my fair amount over lockdown, but a core tenant of my hope was to leave the old normal behind, not wanting a new normal but a better normal. The old normal (pre-#covid19) was as exhausting as I felt like a dog whose sole objective was to chase its own tail. I perceived that a new normal (post-lockdown) would be straight back to doing the same. My hope was for a “better normal” where I got to change/ pick a new objective.
Suppose I unpack old and new normal with a time lens on both ideas. What am I really (really honestly) doing differently hour by hour, day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year, today compared to the old normal. My new brighter, shinny, hope-filled, better normal looks remarkable like the old when viewed by the lens of time. Meetings, calls, reading, writing, communicating and thinking. Less travel and walking has been replaced with more allocation to the other activities, but I have lost the time I used to throw away, the time to reflect, time to dwell, time to ponder, time to prepare.
Time and its allocation is indicating that the old and the new normals look the same. Where has “My Better Normal Gone?”
Where has “My Better Normal Gone?”
If the work to be done is the same, then time is not an appropriate measure of observing change. How about looking at my processes and methods? My methods of work have changed, but not for the better. My old normal heuristics and rules were better as I created more time to walk, travel and, therefore, time to reflect and prepare. I try to allocate more time to different approaches and methods, but “screen-time” appears only to have one determinant - attention (distraction and diversion included)
So it appears to me that if I want a better normal, I have to change the work to be done (a nod to Clayton Christensen). There has been one change in the work to be done, which has been detrimental from my perspective; I have been forced, like everyone, to exchanged time with family and friends for either time alone or jobs.
So as the anniversary passes and I reflect on a second lockdown birthday, have I spent enough time changing the work to be done? Probably not, but I now plan to.