I have recently become much better at switching off from work. Through more dedicated effort to protecting time off, more hobbies outside of work, and of course my involvement in the Parish and this blog; I am now far better closing the door on the 24/7 access to the corporate whirl. As a result, I have also become more adept at tackling the deluge of emails that inevitably await my return. Falling slightly short of simply deleting them unread in the order they were received, I can certainly pick out the subject and senders that warrant a response, and the vast majority that don’t.
However, I now have a second inbox to tackle, and it is a completely different World. The nature and volume of the Parish communications is going to take a bit of getting used to. Absolute minutiae is frequently presented with an urgency and prevalence that is completely disproportionate to the subject at hand, whilst what appear to be more critical matters requiring immediate action are often hidden discreetly in the noise.
By way of an example, I have just ‘filed’ the eighth email received in a two-day period confirming the fine details of traffic control measures associated with road improvement works that appear to have been completed some time ago. I can say this with a level of confidence as I can see the reinstated tarmac from my lounge window. Digging down, it bears all the hallmarks of an automated email pumped out by our District Council colleagues. Unfortunately, they are very well disguised en-route by the Parish secretary with a covering narrative and call to action – which is typically no more than “please note…”. With time, I’m sure I will refine my senses so as not to be drawn in, and achieve a laser focus on the critical items – wherever they may hide.
Over my first few weeks in post I have diligently reviewed, triaged, and filed the steady flow of Parish emails within 24 hours of receipt. However, in keeping with my improved approach to protecting leisure time I have recently taken a full week away enjoying the great outdoors with the Wife and hounds in a secluded holiday cottage. Although slightly damp from the classically British summer weather, I return refreshed and ready to tackle my various duties. Being confronted by a week’s accumulation of Parish comms has been a bit of a shock, but this can wait for now as I have neglected the blog.
There are some nuggets of gold bubbling around the Parish at the moment from disputed responsibilities for the funding and maintenance of communal planters, to the rapidly escalating costs of the hearing loop installation in the village hall. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted over the coming weeks and months on these critical matters, and hopefully provide a small slice of escapism from the demands of normal life. I hope this continues to be a welcome notification in your inbox.