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A Day in the Lockdown Life of… Our Business Development Director

My day starts at 07:00 with my seven-year old son, Edgar, entering my bedroom and gently encouraging me to wake up by climbing into bed and soothingly rolling round like a dog in a fresh pile of fox poo.

I think of my husband, Jim, who has taken to soundly sleeping in the loft to avoid my own night-time fidgeting, and wonder how I might passively aggressively make him feel bad through the power of telepathy.

After a compulsive scroll through The Guardian website on my phone to see if anything has changed since I last compulsively scrolled through the Guardian website to see if anything had changed and I’m awake and ready for a shower.

Once I’m dressed (black top, coordinating trackie bottoms, big pants), Jim emerges from his sanctuary, so Edgar and I can go up and get our morning fix of exercise.

Bored of Joe Wicks YouTube videos, he has devised his own Minecraft-based routine in which I am variously a Zombie Villager (arms outstretched, kicking legs up), Alex wielding a diamond pick-axe (squat jumps with flamboyant arm movement) and an Iron Golem (cross trainer jumps).

The ‘crafting table’ move. Aka ‘the plank’.

This means that the 2% of the day in which he didn’t talk about Minecraft has now been hijacked, but it does give me an idea for a YouTube channel that I will never get round to creating.

At 8:30am, Jim takes over home-schooling, which seems a fair exchange for his extra half hour in bed every day.

I try and plan my week in advance, which involves a stack of Trello Cards I never move, an excel spreadsheet to which I never refer and a general sense that I’m missing something of vital importance.

I’m sure I’m not alone.

In a world where our clients’ objectives have been shifting faster than my personal supply of lockdown treats, it’s more important than ever to be flexible, nimble and capable of strategic thinking within tactical timeframes.

I’ll work on a number of elements of business development in any given day. From consulting on new briefs and overseeing content creation, to undertaking outreach and doing all of those things (website updates, creds refresh etc) that I never normally have time for.

New business is a tough gig right now when people’s attentions are understandably elsewhere, but we have such a passionate, talented, dedicated team of people here at Blue Chip that I’m continuing to try to plant some seeds for future relationships.

There are some definite positives of working life in lockdown.

Many events and training sessions that would otherwise involve ungodly early-morning treks to London are available online, so I’m managing to cram more in. I really hope this continues once things return to the ‘new normal’.

I’m also continually surprised by the generosity that people have been demonstrating, freely sharing knowledge and insights that they might otherwise have snuck behind paywalls and data-capture.

We’ve been trying to share the love too, creating practical, pragmatic solutions to the challenges marketers are facing right now, from how to undertake retailer sell-ins via Zoom, to the things brands can be doing to stay on shelf when retailers are looking to rationalise ranges in the wake of Covid-19.

I’ll take a quick half-hour for lunch, which, thanks to the culinary prowess of my hubbie is always far better than anything I would ordinarily have grabbed from Tesco, and sit in the garden for ten minutes to top up on my vitamin D and field a few questions about Minecraft from the boy.

After lunch tends to be when I try to block out a couple of hours to absorb as much information about what’s happening in the categories within which we work and to identify how we might be able to help.

I’ve recently discovered Kantar’s 10 Thoughts on Covid-19 (you can find last week’s here) which is packed with interesting little snippets that I’m adding to the insight memory bank for future reference.

I’ll invariably have a Microsoft Teams call or two with the team to discuss findings or bounce a few ideas around. My laptop camera is at the bottom left hand side of my screen, so everyone’s been enjoying chats with my left nostril since we’ve been in lockdown.

Come 5pm, I’ll log off and go for a quick jog to help clear my head and destroy my knees. The suburb where I live is normally a bustling hive of indie shops, bars and coffee shops. It is eerily quiet at the moment and I worry how different our high street will look once all this is over.

After dinner I’ll lie on the sofa with my son and talk about Minecraft some more, occasionally tempered by a chat about the fourth dimension about which he is also obsessed. I’ll then take him to bed to read him books about Minecraft and the fourth dimension.

In the evening I’ll do a bit of writing (a novel no-one will ever publish), maybe watch a film with Jim, or sit and have a chat about how annoying the neighbours’ WhatsApp chat group is whilst simultaneously being really grateful we’re alive and part of a brilliant community of people.

We’ll then read in (his) bed together for half an hour before I’m banished to my own room, ready to snatch some sleep before I’m awakened with the plaintiff cry of ‘can we talk about Minecraft?’

Yes son. Yes we can.

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