Hello! My name is Lea Fields, and as a global program director for Acclaro, no two days are ever quite the same. That seems to hold true for most roles in the localization industry. We start out with our plans, but continuously adapt to the many factors that shift our business. While some might find this frustrating, it’s one of the things I enjoy about the industry. It keeps my days fresh and moving quickly. With that, here’s a glimpse of what a day in my life looks like while working from home during COVID-19.
A twinkly start to the day
My day usually starts around 5:45 a.m. By 6:30 a.m., I am at my desk starting a call or reviewing emails that came in overnight.
I like to start early because, if my toddler doesn’t wake up, it allows me time to exercise before my “real” workday begins. The sun rises around 7:15 a.m., and a pink highlight shines through the house. That’s my cue to step outside for some exercise. It’s a welcome ritual and one of the few quiet havens I have in the day. It is truly a moment I treasure and has helped me maintain sanity during this past year of COVID-19 restrictions.
A quick school run before the real work starts
Around 8:15 a.m., I drop off my oldest child at the COVID-19 learning pod. I get back to my desk between 8:30-9 a.m. and tackle more emails and direct messages before my calls start. On any given day, I have three to six hours of management, team and client meetings, which vary in topic and require focus. Whether it’s a one-on-one meeting, an initiative check in, solving the issue du jour or a customer call, I try to minimize multitasking. This ensures we resolve any issues and walk away with clear action items that lead to achieving our team objectives.
An early afternoon of uninterrupted focus
In between calls, I work through any communication that needs a quick reply. The tools I use daily include email, Skype, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Google tags. (Have I forgotten any?) At least two or three times a week, I set aside blocks of time to handle the tasks that need uninterrupted attention. Sometimes, I use the time to prepare for an upcoming business review, optimize existing processes and develop new ones, review financials or any number of other items. These tasks are the hardest to get through since they require longer periods of focus, but they are the most satisfying items on my to-do list. However, finding the time for them means I end up juggling slots to fit them in. Often, a time-sensitive matter arises and results in a time-management shift to address the issue and get the next steps in motion. Eventually, I get that time block started and can focus on the task at hand.
A late afternoon of tag-team parenting for the win
In a blink of an eye, it is 3 p.m., and I head off to pick up my oldest from school. By 4 p.m., our child care ends, and for the next hour or two, my husband and I tag team as we try to keep our children occupied and fed while we wrap up any high-priority needs for the remaining workday.
A wild end to a busy day
When the work day ends, we have some screen time and do chores. Then, we face every parent’s biggest daily challenge: The Last Hour Before Bed. That’s when all the energy of young children peaks into hysteria, leading to running around, laughing and utter craziness. I’m sure our neighbors think we’ve lost it. Next, is bedtime for all of us. Tomorrow is a new day, and we’ll repeat the same overarching framework while finding new challenges, wins and things to be thankful for as we move through what over the past twelve months has become our new normal.