We are fortunate to have had another amazing weekend with milder temperatures and no snow! That is going to change just in time for us to tick over to December tomorrow. I hope you took advantage of the gift of sunshine [and almost a full moon – the real show is tonight] to get outside! I picked up my Christmas tree, wreaths and front step decor, so things are beginning to feel festive. Twinkly lights and the awesome smell of pine is a joyful start to the festive season – and this year everyone seems to agree that you cannot start too soon!
Despite the challenges of working from home, lockdowns, rising COVID numbers, and limited access to services in many areas, I hope you will agree that we can still find many things to be grateful for. McMaster University is a great institution, celebrating its sixth year as one of the top employers in the region. We have a very meaningful purpose for our work: supporting teaching, learning and world class research. And we have colleagues with whom we can collaborate on exciting projects and initiatives and build strong relationships. That really counts in times of need and when we face big challenges. Thank you, all, for staying on top of your many operational services, for continuing to join in on projects and providing input to activities related to the McMaster IT Strategic Plan, and for responding so well to the many unexpected activities that get thrown your way. It is so amazing to have you on our McMaster IT team! Thank you!
Building a sense of team and comradery requires a shared effort to make time to interact ‘just because’, too. A reminder that at 11 AM we have an IT Virtual Coffee Chat! This should be in your calendar or join us here:
https://mcmaster.zoom.us/j/98449326584?pwd=UWo3TXR5M2dvaHdNY1FKTTQ5cFplZz09 Bring your favourite warm/cold festive morning drink and join us to share stories and exchange smiles!
Giving to others is another way to build a sense of community. Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday – a chance to pay forward our good fortune and gratitude to help those who may not have the same opportunities, or who may need unexpected support during these challenging times. If you have a tradition of giving to charities at this time of year, and many do, consider giving tomorrow so you can amplify your donation. There are often matching funds that increase the impact of your contribution. If you want ideas on where to donate, check out the Charity Intelligence top impact charities. They evaluate and share the most impact or effective charities across the country. Otherwise, you can search almost any charity and you will discover they have a Giving Tuesday campaign. Happy Giving! Check out the #UnSelfie campaign on Instagram and Twitter, too!
As we come to the end of November, I want to share my #Gratitude for Marissa Benson, our Women in Tech Changemaker for this month. It is especially timely to recognize Marissa for her IT Security accomplishments. And that isn’t her only area of expertise. Check out her story to learn more about this Changemaker and how inspiring she is. Thank you, Marissa, for being part of our Women In Tech initiative and for all you do for us.
As you head into the week, and for many it is a very full and challenging week, I thought it would be helpful to introduce you to something called ‘micro productivity’. Much like micro moments of appreciation, micro productivity is about breaking big work into smaller ‘micro’ tasks so that you don’t get overwhelmed. It’s a good practice that I subscribe to in my work, and this approach is partly why I feel like I can do anything! One step at a time.