Finito World’s Work Front Lines Series: Andy Inman – Part 2

Andy Inman is a business mentor for Finito, helping students and career change mentoring candidates. Originally published in Finito World. This is the second in a two part series. You can read Part 1 here.

When one of our students was furloughed from his job, he needed help to make the best use of his day-to-day. So, we brought in one of our mentors, Andy Inman, to show him that time waits for no man. 

Andy, last time we spoke, you gave us some background on your career, and you had worked with our student to help him rebuild the structure in his day. Once you had Simon’s sleeping patterns in check, what happened next?

Now Simon was getting into the habit of waking up nice and early, we went on to build the four elements of his routine that would help him add value to each passing day. We came to an agreement that Simon would spend at least 45 minutes per day doing each of the following; skill-building, creativity, physical activity and productivity.

Can you talk us through that? What do you mean by skill-building?

I wanted to find something that Simon was interested in learning, so he could exercise his brain. He eventually went for an app that taught him French, a subject he had learnt at school but hadn’t worked on for years. As with all of the elements, it was vital that this was not a chore – but something he would enjoy, and saw the point in doing. Plans to holiday in France were all the reason he needed to make it work.

How did Simon handle the creative element of his day?

Getting the creative juices flowing is crucial to exercise a different part of the brain. Simon is like me, in that the traditional arts didn’t sit easily with him, and he wasn’t keen to display his writing skills either. We settled on cookery – not necessarily the first thing that springs to mind when looking for a way to express creativity, but by coming up with recipes and cooking some meals, he was able to express himself as well as helping his parents by taking on the chore of feeding the family in the evening. He did admit that some of his creations were less successful than others, but using a variety of resources he became quite adept at creating dinner for the three of them.

Physical activity is an important one – how did you bring this into Simon’s routine?

With both sides of the brain busy with skill-building and creativity, the third element was to exercise the body. I explained that this could range from daily yoga to a brisk stroll, but Simon opted for taking the dog for a run, again ticking off a household task while completing the activity.

Productivity can be really difficult during lockdown. How did you mentor Simon through this?

The final piece of the daily routine was to “achieve” something, not necessarily completing it in a day, but at least spending the allotted time working towards the completion of a project before moving onto a new one. Once again the breadth and range of possibilities in this element were huge. Simon started off with reorganising his wardrobe and eventually went on to painting a wall and digging a new vegetable bed in his parent’s garden. This created valuable self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment.

Was it easy to keep Simon on track?

With delightful candour and open honesty, Simon would report via short WhatsApp chats every other day between our regular mentoring chats, to let me know how he was doing. Initially he was only able to weave a couple of the elements into each day, but over the following fortnight he got used to ticking off all four, with the weekends being days where he could drop the routine entirely if he wished. Remember this is a young man who – only a couple of weeks before – had not been getting out of bed until after lunchtime. I worked for a few weeks more before moving Simon onto another Finito Mentor who had significant experience in the industry where he wanted to work.

Andy Inman is a business mentor for Finito, helping students and career change mentoring candidates. Take a look at part one of this short series, to learn more about Andy’s background, and discover how he got Simon on the path to productivity.