The best parts of running a fireworks company all take place outdoors. Meeting clients, visiting venues, planning a display to fit the location… and of course firing the display itself. We fire a lot of our shows by hand so we’re often in the middle of things.
We’re out in the dark in the middle of a field. We can hear the crowd getting ready and wanting the show to start. We’ve been there for hours setting everything up. Checking it. Checking it again. Making sure it will all go to plan.
There’s a countdown. 10, 9, 8…
And we’re off. There are fireworks exploding at our feet and right above our heads. We have full PPE of course, and we have strict safety procedures. Even on the shows fired by computer, when we can be up to half a mile away, we get the very best view of the fireworks as they fill the night sky. The tension, the excitement, the noise, the flashes, the colours… there’s nothing to beat it.
But now COVID is here, and lockdown has more or less confined me to the office. It’s all work that has to be done, but fatigue can certainly set in. So I try to follow these rules to keep my energy levels high. You might like to try them yourself, wherever you work.
- Keep a list of tasks that need doing, but don’t let it get too long (it just gets dispiriting).
- Start your day with a couple of quick wins so you feel like you are making progress.
- Have a “top jobs” section on your list – no more that 3 things which really need attending to today.
- Even within that list have ONE priority task for the day, and (whatever else happens) make some progress on that task.
- Notice your own energy levels and the times of day when you are most productive. Focus on your priority task at those times. Leave the other, shorter, less-important tasks to tick off when you have less energy.
- Take regular breaks. These can be at set times (11:00 13:00 and 16:00 in my case) when I can drink, eat, see other people, and touch base with the real world.
- Stay hydrated – but not too much caffeine
- Reward yourself when you’ve done a big task. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get everything done.
- And – I know it’s a bit quirky – even if you are working from home, you can walk or cycle to work and back home again at the end of the day. I try to walk a mile before work, and the same at the end of the day. It helps focus my mind before I start and to unwind at the end.
And if you want to plan a fireworks display to mark the day you finally emerge from your own lockdown… you know where to come! Because we’ll have done all the office work and we’ll be ready to help you celebrate!