Surprising (and Soothing) Workday Tasks

Launched as a weekly roundup of expert advice on second-act careers, Career Craft now offers content on navigating the new world of life and work during COVID-19.

On Day 42 of shelter-in-place (yes, I’m counting), my new #WFH day includes doses of client work, Zoom networking calls, attempts to read the COVID-soaked tea leaves to divine the future of work and a post-pandemic life, and the Cloroxing of my groceries. 

Yup, you read that right. I am grocery shopping during the workday when stores seem less crowded, and I’m disinfecting all the products that come into the house. 

Does it work? 

Who knows? Who cares! 

What I do know (and love) about this time-consuming, bizarre, uniquely pandemic (and perhaps futile) chore, is that it feels doable, manageable. Unfun yes, but controllable. We navigate a weird new world by embracing the tools, rituals, tasks that help propel us forward, squeaky clean groceries in hand. 

This week, Career Craft explores unlikely and surprising new tasks people have added to their workdays since the pandemic became part of our everyday. 

Bloom Where You’re Planted
During these crazy times, I’ve been fortunate enough to be self-isolating with my family on Cape Cod. I’ve always wanted to clear space up here for a raised garden bed for staples such as tomatoes, zucchini, herbs, etc., but never had the time. Cut to a springtime pandemic! My new daily routine now includes researching the best varieties and techniques, tending my seedlings, and feeding the soil. And with all this physical work, my creative mind has been left to wander, and other seeds have begun to germinate. About a year ago, I began writing a screenplay involving future environmental pressures (!) but had run out of steam. Needless to say, I’m now attacking that story with renewed vigor and inspiration.

Barbara Ward Thall is a brand storyteller turned aspiring screenwriter.

Daily Check-Ins
After launching Change, my women-owned payment processing business in January, I casually joined some networking groups, in particular, Hey Mama and Girl Boss. Since the pandemic, checking in with these associations is now part of my everyday routine. The mantra keeping me sane now is “learning and contribution.” What can I learn and where can I contribute? I am doing both within these powerful women-centric circles. 

Young professionals are teaching me how to conduct business virtually, and I am teaching them resilience during an economic downturn. I have hosted an empty nester meet up, met new clients, and am actively building my sales team through these amazing associations that have become a lifeline for me.

Donna Korren is the Founder and CEO of Change, a women-owned payment processing company and Empty Quester, a platform for empty nesters on a quest for their bold next chapter.

Apps + Outdoors

  1. Facetime with my father. Adding video to our daily communications has provided a new layer of closeness that we both appreciate. I don’t imagine we will go back to phone calls again.
  2. One hour outside walk. Usually, during lunchtime. No screen. Just nature and my thoughts. A daily reset on what’s important.
  3. Noom. Just downloaded this app. Now swear by it. Provides nutritious structure to combat shelter in place snacking. And keeps me accountable and comforted.
Andy Blacker is the Co-Founder of Songclip™, the patented industry solution for powering music in your favorite apps and social platforms.

Head Start
I start all of my Leadership Team meetings with a one-minute meditation from Headspace.

News round-up: Things are happening so fast, I now keep up with developments daily rather than a few times per week.

Tech check-ups: Signing into meetings earlier to check the tech capabilities, troubleshoot internet issues, etc. I am finding that this makes all the difference in the call being smooth.

Jaime Klein is the CEO of Inspire Human Resources, a firm that provides fractional HR experts to help companies navigate the future of work.

Virtual Momentum
As co-founders of Evolve, a professional development company for mid-career women in transition, we immediately harnessed technology to transition our in-person programming to virtual offerings. 

An unexpected and fortunate result of this pivot is that building community and fostering a sense of belonging is now even more core to our mission. We’ve created an Evolve Slack community for women exploring career change; weekly content in emails, blog posts, and our “How She Did It” reinvention profiles. We’ve led a weekly series of engaging virtual workshops on finding clarity, remote networking, and personal branding. Prior to March we had never hosted an online experience! Women supporting women inspires confidence and momentum — the best kind of contagion there is!

Judy Schoenberg and Linda Lautenberg are co-founders of Evolve, a professional development company for professional reinvention. They founded Evolve after navigating career transition in midlife — Linda as a returner after an 18-year break and Judy as a pivoter from a national non-profit.

Career Craft wants to hear from you – what information, tools, strategies – do you need to navigate work and life during COVID-19? Reach us at