Week 20 with Logan

I'm a bit behind on updates to the blog...we've had a busy first few weeks of December with me settling back into work. I took the time on maternity leave to reflect on my role as an individual contributor and manager and spent a lot of time reading books, listening to podcasts, and thinking about the ways in which I wanted to tweak the way I operated. I've always thought I was pretty organized and efficient; however, I realized there were quite a lot of inefficiencies in my workflow that could be improved. And now with a child,  I just have a lot less time to get things done. With all of that, I made a few changes that seem to be working quite well and here they are:
  • Tyler and I created a schedule so that both of us could get a workout in during the week. Since I'm a morning person, I go to my class at 6am and Tyler is on daddy duty for the morning and does the handoff to Sharnel. This means I can be out the door around 8am to head to the office.
  • I block my calendar from 8-10am so that nobody can book me for meetings. I never did this pre-Logan and realized I had zero time to get actual work done and respond to emails. As a result, I was constantly having to do stuff at night. I've also blocked time so I can review my team's snippets and respond. By actually carving out time on calendar for these activities, I get them done quicker and am not distracted.
  • I realized I'm in a lot of meetings I don't need to be and have just declined and/or relied on my direct reports who are more than capable to take these meetings. This has freed up a lot of my time and I'm still getting all of the important information in 1:1s, emails, and snippets.
  • I get a LOT of email and I like having a zero inbox, which makes things difficult. I set up a bunch of filters for the emails that aren't time sensitive and then read them in my carved out blocks during the week, which has saved me so much time. I'm still getting the information, but I'm more disciplined about when I go through my inbox.
  • I have to take a lot of partner meetings and there's nothing worse than having to go back and forth trying to settle on a day and time to meet. One of my reports found showed us how to use appointment slots for meetings. You essentially block the time you're available and then send the link to view your calendar. The external guest only sees the time you've blocked for meetings and not your actual full calendar. They can select a slot and then you get a notification when it's booked. This has honestly been game changer for me because I have so many external meetings.
  • And at home, I made a few tweaks to our evening routine. For one, I do meal planning before I go to the grocery store. I use to do this and then got lazy and would just stop by the grocery store on my way home from work. I can't do that anymore because I want to see Logan, so I do the grocery shopping on Friday morning before I head into work. Our Trader Joe's opens early and I'm able to do all of the grocery shopping before the line gets too long and can get everything we like, which also ensures we're eating healthy. I've kept our weekly dinners simple and then do more complicated/fun recipes on the weekend when I have time.
In other news, Logan continues to love his time with Sharnel. Logan visited the pet store and was fascinated with all of the fish and Sharnel took him to storytime and then his first sign language class. Tyler and I are so excited about using sign language with Logan so we can communicate with him well before he can speak. We went to a CBS Christmas party and got to see a bunch of Tyler's friends from b-school and we had a nice coffee date with Myla, Max, and their moms.

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