Weeknotes w/c 22 March 21 s2

This week has been another productive one and I have made progress on a number of projects. I guess I am still finding the shallow end of the consultancy pool quite balmy! I got a lot of work and learning done this week and managed some exercise too.

Taking the plunge into consultancy waters. Penarth beach — about to be somewhere I can visit again! (My photo).

This week I have signed up to Calendly. I have found I spend quite a lot of time organising my diary. I’m hoping it helps organising catch ups with clients and with friends and wider contacts. It looks really good. I love the fact it integrates so smoothly with other systems like google calendar and zoom. Its really straightforward to set up. I like it ability to create automatic “firebreaks” between meetings. Big bonus for me — I’m always seeming to end up with back to back meetings! I must just remember to ruthlessly block out from my diary when I want to “deep work”, unconnected to other people. And I hope I can get others to use it seemlessly. So far so good.

Speaking of deep work, I have been experimenting with different setups on my laptop. Remembering the book I read a few years ago on “Hyper focus”, I have one google account set up for “scatter focus” work. That’s linked up to twitter, WhatsApp web etc etc and I surf about on emails largely in there. I have plenty to keep on top of! Then I have a separate google account on my laptop for “deep focus” stuff. This one is not linked up to social media, not even LinkedIn and just has links to my work email account. I am finding this deep focus set up much better for deep work — financial analysis, report writing etc. The lack of distraction really helps.

But the big activity this week has been completing a Cynnal Cymru Carbon Literacy course. It was attending by people from Wales, US and Australia. It was really interesting to compare what’s going on in different countries. Respect to people who attend courses online in the middle of the night!

Firstly it put together the science in one cohesive whole. It wasn’t so much I didn’t know about the effect we are having on the environment, but that this course put it all together so effectively. The most interesting element was how to talk to climate change deniers and those who are sceptical. And on how to effect change. The importance of demonstrating the “cobenefits” of moving to better sustainability.

Finally, to complete the course, we make a pledge on improving our carbon footprint. The practical action. More courses should be like this — really effective at asking the “so what?” question. I would urge you to attend, and get your colleagues to come along too.

Books read

This week I have been reading Sathnam Sanghera’s superb “Empireland”. Its been on my must read list for ages and it doesn’t disappoint. And well written, navigating through complex and tricky waters. I thought I knew Britain and its history. But this book has helped me see it all from a different and very revealing angle. He raises such important points about our reinterpretation of the past. In passing he mentions something which struck home. He suggests Wales hasn’t fully reckoned with its role in Empire, it is too preoccupied with socialism and nationalism. So true.

Experienced Chief Finance Officer -track record in Welsh social housing and third sector. Chartered Accountant (FCA BFP). Views my own - my space for blogging.