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When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going

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Eirik Gudmundsen



3 min

This is a famous English expression meaning when a situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge. It is a very relevant expression for the situation many of us are in today, both as individuals and as businesses. The only reason I know this expression is because Billy Ocean made a popular song with this title in 1985! And I remember I loved it when it came out.

These days we’re spending mornings, work days and evenings with ourselves or the household members. In my case, I sit at the same table when I eat my breakfast, when I have my management meetings, when I write this blog, when I eat dinner, as well as when I «socialize» in the evenings (yes, I probably should have chosen a different home office desk, and yes we are still not able to find a movie or TV series the whole family can watch together). And through the day, the only people I see are the same family members. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dining table and I love my family. But am I supposed to live like this for months?

Dining tableOur dining table/home office/home school/where I listening to records

So the situation is difficult, but I take it as a challenge. Here are some of the things I am doing during a day to make it more enjoyable:

Wear clothes

Before I start my home office day, I shower and then dress up in clothes I would be OK with wearing at the office. And I ask my children to do the same. So no PJs are allowed in our home office and home schooling environment! Your colleagues might only see the top you’re wearing during a video conference, but trust me you feel more professional when you’re wearing trousers!

Talk about your regular tasks

Between work meetings and school activities, I spend a minute here and there with my children to discuss what we are working on. My son wanted to know if I use our own Xait software for my work. I happily answered yes and showed him how I was just about to approve a release note for an upcoming release of XaitPorter. In return I get some lessons in French from my son, and some basic (but forgotten) geometry theorems from my daughter.

Take 5 & take the dishes

My children need a break between their school tasks, and they spend them playing video games, recording Tik Tok videos or just looking at their beloved smartphones. Me, I take the dishes because it's easier to stay calm and focused when the surroundings are nice and clean. It's also a nice distraction from writing in XaitPorter. My workday is basically working in XaitPorter and taking the dishes!

Exercise and get fresh air, but at a distance

The challenge is sometimes to find places that are less crowded in order to keep the necessary distance to others when you pass them. Yes it sometimes looks like you think the other person has a terrible smell, but luckily this has now become an accepted behavior. This weekend we found a zip line park that was still open. They normally have capacity for 75 guests, but could now only take one family at a time, and this was just enough to keep the park open. Not ideal for them, but as a family we truly enjoyed having a zip line park to ourselves for two full hours!

Help keep the shops busy & open

I continue to shop, now mostly online obviously. I try to make sure I continue to spend a similar amount of money on food, music and electronics as before. I have also finally kicked off my long planned project of creating photo albums for printing. If we stop buying goods and services, the shops will die. It means I can now shop with better conscience than ever before. It almost feels like charity!

Have fun and enjoy music

I love music, and music is best enjoyed live. But this is clearly not possible these days. Luckily, artists are very creative, and they’ve come up with Instagram live concerts, Facebook music challenges as well as Twitter Album listening parties. Last week while the rest of the family enjoyed movies or TV shows I wasn’t interested in, I instead sat at my dining table and had great fun listening to records from the 80s and 90s together with other fans and even some of the artists that made them.

Eiriks eveningEirik`s typical evening

Yes, When The Going Gets Tough The Tough Get Going is a great and uplifting song that I have enjoyed this last week. It's also a good saying that inspires me to think of how we can take charge and make the most out of weeks or months to come in isolation. Only imagination limits what we can do to maintain normality both in life and at work. We’re tough, let’s get going!

Author picture

Eirik Gudmundsen

As Chief Executive Officer of Xait, Eirik Gudmundsen brings 18+ years of experience in developing industry-leading software technology for the Oil & Gas industry. Eirik also has 6 years of international experience in Marketing and Sales, both as regional leader of Middle East and Asia Pacific based in Kuala Lumpur, as well as Global Sales & Marketing leadership roles based in Stavanger, Norway. Eirik is passionate about family, work and music. He enjoys listening to a lot of different genres from Pop & Rock to Jazz & Soul. On the odd occasion he also records and plays music, both on his own and with his band Action At A Distance.

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