Remote Work Communication: How Do I Quiet Squirrels and Not go Nuts
Squirrels in communication can make working from home a chore rather than a blessing. I have two dogs and it seems like every time I get on a conference call; someone knocks on the door and my dogs bark like crazy.
Just the professional image I am trying to project. NOT!
This week, I received an email, read through it briefly, and responded thoroughly. I answered a question not even asked. Duh! I misread a line because I was distracted. Again, that work for home squirrel moment. So many distractions.
As I write this post, we are waiting with eager anticipation for the birth of our sixth grandchild. Exciting times, but again adding to those squirrel moments.
How do I define a squirrel moment?
“You are writing your newsletter and suddenly you remember the bill you forgot to pay. You go to pay the bill and remember you did not take the clothes out of the washer. You go to take the clothes out of the washer and remember you had a 1 p.m. meeting and it is now 1:15 p.m.”
How can our minds go in so many directions at the same time?
Today, let’s learn about quieting those squirrel moments and gaining focus so we can communicate precisely, retain our sanity, and wow our clients.
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. Routine.
I know. How boring. We need a routine. I know you can’t have every moment planned but have a plan. You may fail, but you have a plan. The next day you will know how to tweak it to make it work for you.
Kids get sick, the dog has to go pee every hour (been there), or a meeting gets canceled.
We need to know that there are blocks of non-negotiables and times we need to set aside to concentrate and get work done. We tame those pesky squirrels.
Maybe this is when you let the kids have quiet time. Watch a show, play a game, have a nap. My kids remember to this day that I used to make them lay down and rest for 5 minutes. They HAD to close their eyes for 5 minutes. They always ended up taking a nap for at least 45 minutes. Precious quiet time. Even when I had teenagers, they had to have quiet time while the little guys took a nap. This was their reading time.
Have a routine time to work on things like finances. Block out several hours of your time during the week and knock it out. This will help to keep those squirrels at bay.
Number Two. Set Expectations.
Squirrels in communication can be minimized by scheduling time for calls. I try to have my calls between 9 a.m. – 11 am. Tuesday – Thursday. I am not totally inflexible, but this gets my calls done and out of the way so I can concentrate on client work for the remainder of the day.
Working from home does not mean you are available 24/7. I have been there and done that. I was burned out! Let people know when you have availability. Then stick to it.
Have you ever written out your ideal week?
Michael Hyatt says “You have a choice in life. You can either live on-purpose, according to a plan you’ve set. Or you can live by accident, reacting to the demands of others. The first approach is proactive; the second reactive.”
I learned about planning my ideal week from Michael Hyatt. He learned it from Todd Duncan. You basically look at your week and if you could control it 100%, what would it look like?
You can learn more at https://michaelhyatt.com/ideal-week/.
Number Three. Celebrate.
I am extremely competitive…with myself. I always want to do more, find a shorter way of doing the process, find a better solution. My breakdown is that I REALLY wrestle with the concept of celebration. I don’t know why, but I struggle to celebrate my wins.
If you are able to get through the communications of the day with no major glitches, celebrate. What self-care can you do at the end of the day as a means of celebrating? Chocolate comes to my mind ?.
Two Things to Inspire
Number One. Mistakes Happen.
None of us are perfect. I am a recovering perfectionist who takes it to heart when I fail.
If you make a mistake, own it, and move on.
Denis Waitley says
“Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.”
Number Two. Quiet the Noise.
Try to quiet the noise around you. Don’t listen and follow what everyone else is doing. You can ask for advice, but you have to listen to your gut and follow what works for you.
This quote from Steve Jobs sums up what I am trying to say.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
Your Action Item
Squirrels in communication can be managed. Every day this week choose one important communication that needs to be handled.
- Perhaps it is an email that needs to be sent to a potential client.
- Possibly you need to follow up with a phone call.
- Do you need to create your weekly newsletter?
Block out the time you need to do the task on your calendar. Write it down. Then at that time quiet the noise, get the communication done, and then celebrate. Each afternoon choose one way to celebrate your communication win.
Olinda Services provides Executive Business Partner support for small businesses and non-profit executives. We are currently looking to partner with another business.
If you are looking to grow your business or non-profit, nurture business contacts, or your systems need refining, email Michael at email@example.com. He will schedule a time for you to discuss your needs with Chief Chaos Whisperer, Lisa Olinda.
What chaos needs to be busted in your business?
Feel free to ask a question or comment here.