Day in the life of our CEO

Looking at the clock I realize half an hour has gone by and now instead of having plenty of time to get to work I am going to have to rush to not be late to work.  One of the benefits of being CEO, however, is you can arrive late and not have to explain why.

I am one of those people guilty of driving to work already planning what I think the day is going to be like and arriving without remembering much of the drive and today is no different.  The first thing I do, when I arrive, is turn on my computer then head to the kitchen to make the first of many cups of tea, hoping that there’s milk in the fridge.  I make my tea, say hi to the staff already there and check in with how they are going then go back to my office.  

Last year we moved to a Google-based system so as soon as I open up Google all of the tabs I am likely to use in a day automatically open across the toolbar.  I instantly get drawn into my emails despite having read that checking emails first thing in the morning is likely to alter everything I had planned for the day.  

I have two work email accounts and l go through the emails starring the ones that need to be actioned but that I don’t have time to do immediately, knowing that it isn’t going to get any easier later in the day to get through them.  

I get a lot of emails every day and have a very strong love-hate relationship with all things Internet.  I am one of those people guilty of not regularly clearing out their inbox and there’s about 7000 in one and about 5000 in the other.  Yes, I can hear you wondering how I can let that happen and the answer is never finding the time to do anything about it!

Since it’s the third Thursday of the month I already have a short work day so I need to get straight into what I have to get done today.  I’m a writer of ‘To do’ lists.  In fact, I have lists of what I have done, what I am doing and what I still have to do.  Some days I will write something on my to-do list for the day that is already done, or can quickly and easily be done, just to cross something off!

My calendar tells me I have a meeting at 10 am with our YLYC/NDIS Operations Manager about the new Supportability software we are moving to as part of our transition to the National Disability Scheme (NDIS).

Finishing that I check the time and meet up with Robbie about the latest in our Social Enterprise projects.  We’re keen to explore options for people with a disability to get meaningful employment and believe that the creation of small businesses is a way to make that happen.

I start to get hungry and wonder what to have for lunch.  Looking down at my Vivofit watch to check the time I notice the red line moving across the top that tells me I have been sitting for too long and I should be getting up and be moving.  I ask myself if I want to get out of the office for a walk up the street to get lunch, knowing that if I do it will likely be to the bakery for something unhealthy that will undo going for a walk anyway.  The alternative is to go into the kitchen and hope there’s something there to make lunch with that’s healthy.   I know if I choose the kitchen it’s unlikely that I will reach the recommended 10,000 steps a day, but I will get more work done.

Quite often at that point the phone rings, somebody asks me a question or something else distracts me and I don’t do either.  If I am really lucky someone will come into my office and ask if I want something while they are up the street and make it easy for me.

Remembering that I have to leave by 2.30 and knowing that a wonderful afternoon tea will be provided during the meeting, I forget about lunch and get back to work in the hope of getting something crossed off my list.  Instead, I am lured back to my emails and before I know it it’s time to get packed up and out the door.  

Going to Loud and Clear meetings is the highlight of my job.  Arriving there I am greeted by a group of people I have a lot of respect for and enjoy spending time with.  Loud and Clear is something I am very proud of.  It took a long time to get to the point of establishing the group, however, I choose to believe that is because I had yet to meet the people who would become the ideal first members and therefore the time wasn’t right.  I know that I will have to catch up on what I haven’t done during the afternoon that evening at home however when I get there and spend the 2 hours with the members I know that next month I will pack up at 2.30 and work in the evening to be there again.

There are times when being the CEO doesn’t meet my need to be around people with a disability and see the outcomes P2P can help achieve.  At those times I need to remind myself that when I do the work required to pass Accreditation Audits, meet legislative and funding body obligations and continually work to secure the ongoing funding it means my diverse and talented staff are able to be out in the community achieving those outcomes.  

The Loud and Clear meeting goes past very quickly as I spend time with a group of people with an intellectual disability speaking up loud and clear about the rights of people with a disability to be heard and make their own decisions.

Driving home at 5 I know that the feelings of pride I am experiencing at how far a group of people who didn’t know each other 2 years ago have come will keep me going into the evening while I catch up on the work still on my to-do list for the day.

Anything that doesn’t get done tonight can be the start of tomorrow’s to-do list which I will get onto before checking my emails in the morning.  Maybe!

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