Last week I published weeknotes for the first time. I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s notes for a while and really wanted to take up writing my own. I had a fear that no-one would read them, or worse, that people would read them and laugh at me. People did read them, people gave me encouraging comments. So here I am with my next installment. It’s been a short slow week so the notes are short and disappointingly lack photos. More creativity to be added next week!
I begin by stating that I am writing these notes 24 hours into an attempt to withdraw completely from caffeine. It hurts! Everything is difficult. I’m shocked by my own dependency and addiction to something so common. I’m going cold turkey this weekend and look forward to starting next week refreshed and energised.
The publishing team has had a slower-paced week, which was great after the stress of recent weeks. We produced a graphic for an email newsletter, we published one amendment sheet, one running list and an annual report. This was interspersed with background work on forthcoming publications.
I had arranged four short sessions this week for other team leaders to talk to my team about what they do, how it fits in the House, and how it fits with us. This went really well, we all enjoyed hearing the details of other work around the House and I plan to arrange more of these sessions.
I spent most of Monday and Tuesday catching up on emails and admin. It was very much needed but was frustratingly boring and I don’t feel any sense of achievement from it.
On Tuesday I found this Parliament quiz on private members bills. I’ve done a lot of work on private members bills over the past year and was relieved to score 100%. See how you get on: https://www.qzzr.com/c/quiz/432739/private-members-bill-house-of-commons-and-house-of-lords
On Wednesday I had one-to-one chats with my team. I have a fairly new system in place with the team whereby I send them my feedback on the week at the end of the week, they add their own comments, and we discuss mid-week. I’ve also started asking them what was good or bad about the week, and what they/I/we could do to make the next week better. There isn’t always something to discuss but I love that we set aside the time and attention to this and I know they are benefitting from the continuous open discussion.
Also on Wednesday I had a meeting with my head of office to discuss a flexible working request I made. My request was agreed to and I am now able to work at home on Tuesdays. This is going to make such a difference for me, particularly when the House is sitting again and I am back to working my late shift on Monday night.
On Thursday I was forced to take sick leave and spent the day feeling frustrated with myself for not being able to do what I’d planned to do that day.
Friday was spent catching up after Thursday but I had a lovely lunchbreak with my friend, Seonaid. I first met Seonaid fifteen years ago when we worked together for a year and our paths crossed again when I started work at the House of Lords. A good chat over lunch always makes the day brighter!
I’m really looking forward to next week! I have some interesting meetings scheduled and my first working from home day. I’m going to set myself some challenges for the week: stay caffeine free, drink lots of water, leave work on time every day, commit 30 minutes each day to mindfulness practice and 30 minutes each day to a new language I’m learning.