After 30 minutes of hoping my alarm forgot to turn on again after pressing snooze every 5 minutes, I bounce out of bed and start my day with a cold shower and dance music to wake me up. Sydney has returned to lockdown again, so I do a bit of “doom-scrolling” in the morning reading the news (even though I know I probably shouldn’t) and then I listen to a podcast as I grab a takeaway coffee nearby.
No commute today from my kitchen to my desk as we all WFH which isn’t so bad! As usual I’ll slip on my homer slippers, make myself comfy at my desk and check my emails for any urgent items that needs to be prioritized that day. This week is an important week in the business cycle, so I start by quickly updating my excel files with the sales data from the previous week, double checking the all the data is clean and correct as I will be sharing it later in the day with senior managers.
My manager and I found a quick daily “Work in Progress” Teams meeting helps maintain that personal connection where we catch up on everything from how we’re surviving lockdown, priorities for the week to career growth/planning.
Every month all the key account managers for the supermarkets and other stores make their forecasts for the year on files I manage. I check I have all the information I need to make sure it is consolidated accurately and analyse what are the key drivers to any changes from last month.
I set aside some time to watch some videos via BAT’s educational self-learning platform and LinkedIn Learning about how to use Power Query, Power BI & Power Pivot. I work a lot with access to “Big Data”, often with hundreds and thousands of rows in Excel, so I know these tools will be very useful tool to speed up some processes on a project I am working on.
Lunch time! Time to step away from the desk and workout! I found a great 30-minute full body home workout video on YouTube which helps me keep active throughout the day and ensures I don’t spend all day at my desk. With no commute, I can also refresh my excel files from the online database with new scan data from all stores while I finish cooking my home-made fried rice.
Given how important forecast accuracy is, we have our weekly meeting today with the National Business Managers for each marketing channel, + other departments such as Finance & Logistics to make sure all assumptions in future forecasts are aligned and understood. I am the one sharing my screen and taking minutes in case I need to refer to them later. These meetings are great visibility to see how each department in the company functions together to work through any challenges that arise in the monthly business cycle.
From the meeting there are some questions I have about the forecast assumptions I have made about the cannibalisation rate for some products. Luckily, everyone at BAT is very friendly and willing to help answer any questions I have, so I find it is easier to ask and know, then guess and get it wrong when it could have been avoided.
I make a quick group call with the brand manager plus another Australian brand graduate who is currently working in HK. We also take the time to find out how we’re doing, when we think we’ll exit lockdown, Netflix shows to watch etc. It’s obviously not the same but keeping in contact and sometimes just social video catch ups with other colleagues throughout the day can be a real moral booster given the setting.
One the satisfying parts of the day, exiting all open documents and logging off! I go for a short walk outside for some fresh air, lucky my park has a good view of the city, switch off and then make sure I put away my phone and laptop, so I am not tempted to work in the night. Finding the separation between work and free time I find can be difficult, but I know if it is not urgent, it can wait until tomorrow.
With restaurants closed, I am pushing myself to find new recipes online to cook with different foods and flavours for dinner. Did you know how expensive cardamom is?!
I’m using my down time to study for my C1 Advanced Spanish exam at the end of the year. This however mostly involves involving watching Latin American soap operas and listening to reggaeton.
My promise of “Just one more episode” has spiralled so I force myself to head to sleep before I binge watch a series through the night. But not before I set my alarm for 7am and tell myself I’ll wake up straight away this time.