Well, happy Bulletproof Monday everyone. It is a special time and I know that many of you are working from home, either by choice or because you have perhaps been asked to work from home, you’re self-quarantining, you’re doing what you need to do to protect you and your family.
And as great as working from home can be, it can also be wrought with a lot of challenges. There can be a lot of distraction. Perhaps you have children at home, maybe you’re dealing with aging parents, trying to get work done, and at the end of the day you might be a little bit frazzled and flustered. And if that’s you, then this show is for you because I’m going to share with you eight tips you can use to become more productive while working from home.
So here we are, and it’s a very interesting climate right now. A lot of people are very, very scared. There’s a lot of fear, there’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty. A big question is how long is this going to last? And you may be in one of three camps. So one is you work from home, and I know many of you do, and this is not a big deal for you. You already use things like Zoom meetings, you’re very used to doing social networking, and working from home it’s just part of your daily life. Or you might be in the camp where, just like our employees for our tech startup that we have, Radius, where we’ve given them the option of working from home. So, sometimes, people aren’t used to working from home and they’re trying to figure out how do I still get things done when I’ve got a dog to walk, and I’ve got kids to do homework with, and I’ve got all these things, and it can be really tough. The third camp is that you’re in a sector, maybe it’s hospitality or you’re a hairstylist or something and now you’re in a position where you have to be at home and you’re not making any money, and you’re going, “Oh my gosh,” and it can be terrifying. And so whatever the situation is, my heart goes out for you.
My name is Susan Sly. I have been teaching productivity to entrepreneurs and everyday folks for almost 30 years, if you can believe it. And I’m so excited to share these strategies with you because it’s my hope with these Bulletproof Monday trainings that you’re going to leave inspired, you’re going to leave uplifted, you’re going to leave on fire, on purpose, and go and share just the beautiful things you do with the entire world.
So if you’re used to being here at a certain time live, I want to acknowledge you. If you’re listening on a podcast or if you’re watching on YouTube, I want to acknowledge you, too. Whatever it is that brought you here, I believe with my entire heart that you’re here for a reason.
So, a couple of quick announcements. One, I am going to be doing a free webinar, a strategy session on networking from home. So that’s going to come up on March 26, and I’m going to give you strategies in terms of how you can still do your networking, do your business, get your sales calls in, all of that stuff, and it’s going to be amazing. It’s going to be live [6:00] PM Pacific, [9:00] Eastern. You can go to www.networkfromhome.agency. Once again, www.networkfromhome.agency. If you register, you can’t be on live, you will get a viewing link for that. It’s going to be awesome. We’re going to have some prizes. It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I promise you you’re going to leave in a place where you just have a lot of great ideas in terms of being able to monetize that working from home.
But I want to get into these strategies today because I know that, again, I know some of you are uncertain. I know that some of you are fearful. I know that some of you are worried about your finances. And I understand that. I’ve been in all of those places and it can be really, really tough. And you’re hearing, too, our leaders, whatever country you’re in, they’re saying things like this might last until July or August. And some of you are going, “Oh my gosh.” I know some of you drive Uber and you’re thinking like, “How am I going to make money?”
So I’m going to share with you these productivity strategies. And it doesn’t matter if you have a business at home or you’re thinking of starting one, these are for anyone and everyone. So let’s get to it.
Number One – Create a Schedule. You’ve got to maintain a schedule. At first, when you’re working from home, it can just be Nirvana and you’re like, “Oh, this is fantastic. I could do whatever I want.” No, you can’t. Not if you have revenue to bring in, rent or mortgage to pay, kids to feed, whatever it is you have to do.
So how do you maintain your schedule? Just know that we do not create a schedule that is going to last us a lifetime. Our schedule lasts a season.So one of the things that I’ve always coached people on is that when you’re creating a schedule, you want to work with the terrain that you have. So right now if you’re in one of the areas, I know some of you are in New Jersey, some of you are in New York, you’re in some of these places that have some curfews and there’s some self-quarantine going on. You want to maintain a schedule that is going to align with your prospects and your clients.
If you aren’t sure what you’re doing from home, maybe as I said, you drive Uber and suddenly you’re not doing that right now. You might be saying, “Well how do I maintain a schedule?” You have to look for online work in the same type of schedule as though it were a full-time job. Okay? If you have a business, you work as though it is your full-time hustle and the schedule shouldn’t change.
So even if you’re working from home, you might adjust your start time, you might adjust your finish time, but create that schedule. And you always want to map out your week before the week begins. And even in my own life, my schedule is changing by the moment. So I was doing a radio interview earlier today, then someone reached out because I am a productivity expert. So then someone reached out and said, “Hey, I’ve got Tom Ziegler, Zig Ziegler’s son, I’d love to have you on. We’re talking about staying productive in uncertain times.” So I’m going to be up [5:30] in the morning tomorrow, Pacific time. I going to be doing full on interview mode. So, my schedule is adjusting based on the current climate. I was supposed to have a face-to-face lunch meeting tomorrow, that got punted to a virtual meeting. I was supposed to have a face-to-face meeting Friday, that got punted. So just knowing that my schedule is going to vacillate because of the different demands. And it’s the same thing for you, that you’ve got to be flexible, but it doesn’t mean that you change your hours of operation. Okay?
So for me, generally speaking, I’m up at [4:30], [5:00] in the morning. I’m working on my new book. It’s a book on burnout. So if you have a great story about burnout, do me a favor, just message me or whatever because I would love to interview you, or entertain interviewing you, for the book if you’ve come back from burnout. So I am getting up early. I’m doing that. Then I’m still getting my workout in. And even though my kids are all… Oh, this is my favorite one, shouts out to the parents, just high five right now. Your children are off for an indefinite period of time. I love my children, just give me a definite period of time. No, I’m just kidding. They can’t. Right?
So suddenly I’ve got… In all my roles, I suddenly also am a homeschool teacher, apparently because all of my kids are going to virtual learning, including my 23-year-old who’s graduating ASU this year. So now I’ve got to make sure that I’m managing their schedules to get their learning in and helping them be accountable, in addition to getting all of my work done all from home.
So knowing this, I’m adjusting my schedule accordingly. And that means I’m also going to be working my same level of hours in a day, but it’s just going to happen at different times than it might normally. So I’m still starting my day, I’m taking meetings at the same time, but I’m going to have to take breaks in order to make sure that all of my lovely little monkeys are doing what they need to do when they need to do it.
Number Two – Work in Time Blocks. I cannot emphasize this enough. When you’re under a lot of stress, it’s emotionally draining. Would you all agree with that? And as part of this that stress can cause you to self-sabotage. And when you’re under stress, sometimes we don’t handle that in the best way. Sometimes people, whether it’s extra wine or self-soothing, medicating, self-soothing with Ben and Jerry’s or something, whatever it is, it can be really tough.
So one of the things that we know is that people can be productive for short periods of time. So I recommend working in 90 minute time blocks. What that’s going to help you do is stay on task and you’ve got to put your blinders on, right? So knowing this, you take your 90 minutes and you say to your kids, to your partner, to all the people that are in your house, “Hey, for this 90 minutes I’m going to be working on my business.” Or “I’m going to be working on finding an online job,” or “I’m going to be following up with clients.” And then you take a break, and then you go back to that 90-minute block.
And one of the things I get asked all the time, “How do you do it all? How are you the owner of an agency, and you’ve got your brand, you’ve got a health and wellness business, and you’re the co-CEO of a tech startup?” I work in these 90 minute blocks and I don’t try and do more than one business in a block. Okay? So I really, really do focus in, and that’s going to help you tremendously. And you could get some colored highlighters and you can say, “Okay, this 90 minutes is going to be for this specific thing,” that’s going to help. You are going to get so much more done.
Number Three – Schedule Fun Activities. If you have kids at home, schedule some fun activities with them. If it is you and your partner, schedule an in-home date night. If you are by yourself, organize a virtual happy hour with friends. There are many ways to stay connected and self-quarantine.
As a side note, if you have kids, take time to talk to them about what is going on. Last night I said to my kids, “Is there anything any of you want to talk about, and how are you all feeling about this?” And my 10-year-old was like, “I feel great.” She’s like, “Yeah, I’ll just play Lego. It’s awesome.” My 14-year-old’s like, “Not changing my life.” And my 17-year-old was like, “I’m really nervous,” and he’s the one graduating school and he feels so much uncertainty anyway. So I said, “Okay, as your mom, it’s my job to make sure that you’re mentally handling this well.” So scheduling some fun activities that the kids can be involved in and that is going to maybe modify your schedule a bit. So whether it’s baking cookies or playing Lego or going outside if that’s good for you, or whatever the case is, just doing something and schedule those things in.
Number Four – Be Intentional. I cannot stress this enough. Intentionality is so important if you are going to be productive. So what does intentionality look like? It is thinking about what it is you want to accomplish it. Thinking about why you want to accomplish it. Thinking about how it’s going to add value to others and to yourself.
One of the things that I suggest people do is the night before they write out their intentions for the next day, and maybe your intentions look something like this: I’m easily generating three leads online for my business. I am easily getting my resume in the hands of three different business owners, whatever it is, but being intentional. And so what I’ll do, the night before I’ll write up my intentions for the next day, never more than eight. It’s not like a to-do list. It has to feel good emotionally. And then before I go to bed I just pray on it. Then the next morning I wake up, I review my intentions, and then I get to work with my day, right? And it’s the same thing for all of us, being intentional. It’s going to help.
Number Five – Check Things Off Your List. When you have a list of things to do and you’re able to check it off, it actually creates a dopamine hit. And dopamine is just this fabulous hormone that our body produces that gives us this sense of accomplishment. They’re called DOSE – the dose hormones: dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins. So when you’re checking stuff off your list you start to feel more confident, and when you feel more confident you become more productive.
I suggest you do micro goals. Don’t write out stuff like, “Oh, I’m going to get 10 new prospects tomorrow.” Instead, “I’m easily connecting with one person.” “I’m easily connecting with two new people, three new people,” and you begin to check these things off. And it’s going to boost your energy, it’s going to boost your mindset, and you will get more done.
Number Six – Use Productivity Tools.
So for millennials, for Gen-Z, for people who are used to working at home, things like Zoom meeting, using a CRM. So we use Keap. I own an agency. We specialize in Keap integration so you can check it out, Agency8.com. So using these types of things.
I’ve been deploying a lot of content to my various lists. I’m used to doing virtual meetings. I have the virtual meeting I’m doing tonight. We’ll have close to probably 500 people on it. I’ve mailed the list. People are opting in, they’re registering. This is just the stuff I do all the time. If these things are foreign to you, then just embrace it. Embrace it. This is great. It’s an awesome opportunity for you to learn a skill. Arizona State University just said all of the students are going to do the remaining part of their semester on Zoom meeting. A lot of schools are going to a Zoom meeting. So if you’re not familiar with it, go on YouTube, get a tutorial, download it, practice with some friends. This is, again, it’s a great opportunity because even in times of challenge, there are opportunities.
Number Seven – Communicate. Don’t hold it all inside. If you are going to be productive, then you have to communicate. Communicate when your schedule is. Communicate if you’re out of your office, which essentially means you went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, or a hot tea, or whatever it is you did. Communicate with your family. “Hey guys, just because mom, dad, grandma, grandpa is here, doesn’t mean I’m available. If you’re used to me going to an office. Yes, I am in my home office area, but it doesn’t mean I’m available. So, these are times I’m going to be available. These are times I’m not going to be available.” If your kids have devices and it’s urgent, you could say, “Listen, if it’s urgent, absolutely come in. If you just can’t… If you’re wanting your snack or what it is, and depending on how old they are, just go ahead, get something,” but communicate very clearly.
And if you’re at home with your partner, and you’re not used to having you both at home, the communication is very important. So I suggest you start the day, communicate with your partner what’s on for your day today, what’s on for your day today, and at the end of the day do a bit of a debrief. That is really going to help.
Number Eight – Remember That This is Temporary. This is temporary. Some of you are getting so overwhelmed and in fear, and there’s a huge difference between information and inundation. You’re inundating yourself. You’re constantly watching the news, going on social media like, “What’s changing? What’s changing? What’s changing?” And it’s taking you out of productivity. This whole situation we’re in is temporary.
People freaked out during the recession and SARS and that ended, and then we had this longest bull market in history. This is temporary. Will we have another flu season? The answer is yes. Will the stock market vacillate? Yes. The answer is yes. However, this situation we’re in is temporary. So my question for you my friends, is how are you going to make the best of it? What are you going to do to capitalize on this time at home? Is this a good time to update your website, update your blog, get a CRM so that you can communicate with people, develop your lead list, have a better social media presence, finally start doing those workouts at home that you wanted to do. Is this a good time to do all of those things? The answer is a 100% resounding yes.
At the end of the day, the one things I will share with you just from my heart, and I’m going to wrap it up with this, is that any time in my life that there has been a massive life thing going on, whether it was Y2K, the recession, I always sat and just took that time with God and I said, “Okay, how can I make the best of this? How can I serve people at a deeper level?” And you know what? He always prospered me on the other side of that.
During the recession, I tripled down on my efforts and we were just fine, and I helped a lot of people and that’s what I’m doing now. I’m tripling down on my efforts, and my goal is to help a lot of people. So with that, I just want to say, you’ve got this. You’re amazing. You can do this. I’d love to hear what you’re doing to offer to your life at home.
I will be here again next Monday. I’m going to be doing more lives, more videos, more, more, more. And again, do register for my free webinar. It’s the 26th of March. It is called www.networkfromhome.agency. And I’m going to teach you how to optimize working from home, making more money from home, and doing all of those things so that you can build a massive business. And when this is all over, you’re not going to come out behind. You’re not going to come out in the same place. I believe and declare you’re going to come out above. Ending with that, God bless. You’re amazing, and I will see you all next Monday. Goodbye, everyone.