Good practices for WFH and work life balance

Episode 21 February 28, 2022 00:52:18
Good practices for WFH and work life balance
The Agency Hour
Good practices for WFH and work life balance

Feb 28 2022 | 00:52:18


Hosted By

Troy Dean Johnny Flash

Show Notes

We asked for some feedback in the group recently, asking what you would like us to cover and we received some excellent suggestions! Huge thanks to Alex Hoare, in this episode we will be looking into Good practices for WFH and work life balance.

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The Agency Hour - Ep 21 - Good practices for WFH and work life balance 
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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:00 I can pretty much get outta bed, have a shower, grab a coffee, walk into my office and I can transition into work pretty quickly. I find it harder to transition out of work. Yes, of course. Sure. And get back into the, the family environment, which is, and I was doing a pretty bad job of that. I was trying, but I was doing a bad job over 20, 20, 20, 21. And the reason is, is because I was taking calls and I was on calls right up until 5, 5 30, 6 o'clock some nights. And then I would come off a call. I'd be jazzed. I'd be thinking, I'd walk out, I'd have dinner with the family. And I'd be like, and my wife is completely exhausted managing the two kids. And she's like, here, can you do something useful? And I'm like, wow, but what about this? And you know, always my brain was going a hundred miles an hour, which is why now I give myself that time between two o'clock to get out of the house, go for a swim, do some exercise, do whatever I need to do to clear my head. Some of the time I'm being in the home, I've let go of working in the home. Speaker 1 00:00:58 If you have a vision for the agency you want to build, then we want to help you build it. Welcome to the agency. Our podcast brought to you by agency Mavericks. Speaker 0 00:01:07 We've been asking you guys what you want to, uh, the kind of conversations and the topics and the guests that you want to have here on the agency hour. And I dunno who submitted this, but some of the feedback was that you guys, Speaker 2 00:01:19 What's his name. Speaker 0 00:01:21 You guys wanna talk about, uh, some strategies for working from home. I've got an office here. I get outta the house a few days a week because otherwise I go a bit bat ITD, crazy. Pete, you work from home and have for a long time. Right? So Speaker 2 00:01:33 I've, this is right in my wheelhouse man. I I've been working from home since 19 99, 24 years. Wow. Yeah. 23 years. Wow. Most of my career at this point has been working from home. Um, so yeah, I'm loving it. So it was hard at first, but, uh, we'll, we'll get to all that. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:01:52 Jayden Navert works from home. Margaret Han works from home, uh, anonymous, Facebook user works from home. Another anonymous Facebook user works from office, but have my laptop. I was working from home for years and then I got out and, and got an office two or three days a week and then gradually spent more and more time in the office. And then by the time the pandemic happened at the start of 2020, I was working the office full time. We had six people in the office. It was a, it was a, you know, real vibe in here. We had a, a great, uh, kind of thing going on. Then the pandemic hit and we all went home and I worked from home for the best part of two years, really. Um, and what I found at the end of 2021 is that I was mentally cooked because typically when you work from home, there are two things that happen. Speaker 0 00:02:39 One is you either struggle to get motivated. And so you go and do the washing, you wash the dishes, you might watch a bit of daytime television. You might do whatever, anything but work, right? You might sleep in, you might have a bath in the middle of the day, whatever the other end of that spectrum is that you can't switch off. And so you find yourself working to all hours of the night. Now I got two little kids, so I don't, um, work till all hours of the night. I switch off, you know, when I was working from home, I switch off at about five o'clock, come out, do dinner, you know, bath bed, all that kind of stuff. But then the problem was I couldn't stop thinking about the business, right. I would be thinking about it 24 hours a day. Um, I would wake up on, uh, you know, the weekend and my office is in a spare. Speaker 0 00:03:24 It it's in like this. We have this like kind of parents' retreat in the house. And I would, so I'd walk out into the lounge room and the parents' retreat is straight there, even though the door was closed. My work was kind of polluting my home life and my, uh, my, my, you know, home space, my living space. So by the end of 2021, I was cooked. And as soon as we were allowed to come back into the office, I moved back into the office and now I'm kind of balancing, I work Mondays and Tuesdays from home and spend the rest of the week here in the office. Um, Mondays and Tuesdays, the kids are at kindie and there's no one there. And I kind of try not to just work in the office. I try and do a bit on the dining table a bit in the backyard, on the deck. Yeah. Uh, and try and mix it up a Speaker 2 00:04:04 Little bit. I think that's important. Yep. Yep. Speaker 0 00:04:07 Do you, do you spend all of your time in your home office, Pete? Speaker 2 00:04:11 No. So, um, like I said, 23 years, so years ago I found out that I need to move around a lot. So I get, I I'm pretty productive when I'm here in this office. Um, and I probably work 80% of the time in this office, but when there's not a pandemic going on, I tend to spend my first hour and a half or so at a local coffee shop. Um, and that's where I do a lot of my answering my agency emails, um, and answering a lot of slack with, with coaching, you know, who, whoever I'm coaching or, or through you guys and you and Emily and max and whoever. So I'm, I'm kind of doing like busy work at the, at nothing that requires like serious, serious focus at a coffee shop. And then I'll come back here and I'll do a lot of work here. Speaker 2 00:05:06 Um, again, in a non pandemic situation, I'll spend a little bit less time in my actual office and I'll go down on the couch or I'll go down on the dining room table or the pick kitchen table or whatever, or in good weather out on the patio. But mm-hmm <affirmative> right now. Um, at various times my wife is also working from home. My son who lives in Manhattan, um, is staying up here a lot, his long time girlfriend, whatever we wanna call her. Um, she's like a daughter to me. She is working she's here now she's in the next bedroom over working from home. So, you know, we kind of, we kind of keep out of each other's way because they can be on calls at any time. So I'm spending an awful lot of time in my office again. Yeah. Which, you know, that's pros and cons. Speaker 0 00:05:55 Yeah. Yeah, totally. Um, so, uh, one now we, we, it's interesting cuz we launched a, and this is not a pitch by the way, but we launched a course. <laugh> get ready. You get your credit cards out. We launched a course, uh, in the middle of 2020 called the client acquisition formula. And one of the things that I talk about in the very first module of that is working from home. Originally, that course was going to be called getting clients from home because that's what you guys wanted. We pulled you and you said, Hey, I'm working from home now. I feel like an imposter. I feel like I'm just like a dude in the bedroom with a laptop. Um, Jayden average, shout out to you, a kid with a laptop. Um, how do I, how do I get clients to take you seriously? And so we did this whole thing around working from home, but I wanna talk about a couple of things, a couple of practical things that you can do. And I wanna share some of the things that Pete and I have done to make your home office feel like a workspace and not just another room in the house. Um, what, what else do you use your home office for when you are not, if you are not working, what else do you use it for Speaker 2 00:07:01 Two things mm-hmm <affirmative> work mm-hmm <affirmative> and playing base. That's it? That's literally the only, the only thing that happens in here. Speaker 0 00:07:11 Right. Um, so which is interesting. So it's kind of, uh, and, and same for me. My home office is of like a music room. So we have a piano there. We have a couple of guitars. We have the computer desk set up. Uh, we've got some sound treatment in the room. Um, and we use it, uh, when I was in there full time, I would just use it as an office. And then occasionally we might go in there on the weekend and play music with the kids and my wife might do some piano practice. Um, but we didn't hang out in there on like, we didn't watch TV in there. We didn't hang out in there and read books. It wasn't like a, it wasn't a, it wasn't part of the normal living space. In fact, we could close the door and we could not go in there all weekend would just be like, well that's dad's office. Speaker 0 00:07:54 So we just don't go in there. Right. And having that separation I think is really important. That's important. I have actually worked from my bedroom when I first started out building websites. I was living, I had a flatmate, I was in a two bedroom apartment. I had a flatmate. So I had to work from my bedroom. I didn't really have a space in the apartment where I could work. So I would get out of bed, you know, swing my feet onto the ground, stand up and literally put my bum in the seat and be in front of the computer. Right. Bad idea. That's Speaker 2 00:08:23 <laugh>, that's, that's, that's literally my, I wrote down some rules. It's literally rule number one, a designated office space. Speaker 0 00:08:30 Yeah. Speaker 2 00:08:30 And that office space should really be mostly if not completely just for work. Speaker 0 00:08:36 Yeah. And if you can, I mean, if you can't have a door on the room to block it off, then I would suggest getting one of those Japanese screens. Yep. Like a, you know, like a concertina screen and just like putting that around so that when you're in the lounge room or the dining room or you're having dinner or whatever, you're in the kitchen, you're not looking at work. Yep. Right. So try and separate your workspace. If you're working from home, try and separate it as much as possible. Um, the other thing that I've done and that Pete has done as well is you might notice is that we've made our workspace as pleasant as we possibly can. And we've really created an environment where, when I walk in here and I turn the lights on and I've got the fancy cameras and stuff, I, it like instantly my Headspace is well, and I had this set up at home. Speaker 0 00:09:28 By the way, if you, in fact, if you look at the video for the client acquisition formula course, the, the marketing video, we put together, the promo video for it. It's all done in my home office there, but I had the fancy lights. I had the good cameras, the microphones. So when I walked into that room, it helped me transition. And in fact, one of the things we talk about in client acquisition formula is the transition between working in the, in the home and being in the home. Right? Yeah. So this, all this, and I'm not saying you need to have fancy lights and you need to have fancy equipment to do this. But I think what you, what is important is that you create an environment which is separate from your living environment. Even as, as I said, even if you've got a couple of Japanese screens around a section it off, when you go behind those screens, you've got a, uh, you've got, you've got some clues there, some things there that remind you and to get your head into the fact that you are now at work and that you are focusing on work and that the laundry is in the laundry and the unopened mail is on the kitchen table. Speaker 0 00:10:33 And that's all fine. And I'm not looking at that right now. I'm focused on what I'm doing here, which is being productive for the business and work, right? Speaker 2 00:10:40 Yeah. That Def, that definitely works. Um, and it, it actually gets easier to turn off work as, as you do, like when by 23 years in, I'm not having a problem anymore, but the first couple years it was tough. So that's definitely rule number one, rule number two, which is related is, um, have specific working hours. Speaker 2 00:11:06 Mm-hmm, <affirmative> like hours that you work and then the rest of the hours, you are not working. And of course, you know, I always coach people don't work on the weekends. Don't work in the evenings unless that's how it works for you. Like some people have to work in the evenings. I get that. But for me, for instance, it's 8:00 AM to, well now really kind of to 6:00 PM. That's my working hours. Cause I'm, I'm basically working two jobs. Mm-hmm right. So I'm working for my agency and I'm working for you. So between the two of them, I get it. I get it worked into between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM my time mm-hmm <affirmative> um, I think that that's just as important as having a designated space as having designated time. Speaker 0 00:11:48 Mm. Speaker 2 00:11:49 Because otherwise you're picking up the air, you're, you're finishing dinner and grabbing the laptop and then you're putting the kids that's right. Bed and you're grabbing the laptop that's and then you're waking up in the morning and you're answering slack from the phone in bed. Speaker 0 00:12:00 That's right. Which Speaker 2 00:12:01 Yeah. Which I tend, I tend to do every now and then still, but yeah. Like you gotta have just set working hours and build the rest of your life around that. Speaker 0 00:12:10 Yeah. So here's another couple of things I wanna talk about is, um, so Pete's right on, on, uh, by the way, just before we dive into this, let us know in the comments, what's the biggest problem you have working from home, right? What's the biggest challenge you have working from home? Is it that you can't get motivated? Is it you can't switch off? Is it the, the, the, the kind of, uh, mixing of work in the family home, like talk us through that. What's the biggest challenge you have working from home and we'll try and address that on this call. Uh, couple of other things, Pete talked about time. So I have, I have, I literally blocked time in my calendar where I'm not available. Right. So now 2022, I mean, I've worked my face off the last two years during the pandemic. Right. And, and frankly, by the end of 2021, I was cooked. I was in a, I was grumpy. I was like, just cranky because you were Speaker 2 00:13:05 No fun to work. Speaker 0 00:13:06 I can tell you. There's no fun. Yeah. Thanks. We'd been, I'd been in lockdown for two. Whoever said this was gonna be fun. Crispy butter. Uh, my middle name's grumpy shit. Right? Troy grumpy shit, Dean. Isn't that my, my pseudonym these days, that's why Speaker 2 00:13:18 We get along. <laugh> Speaker 0 00:13:22 So, uh, by the end of 2021, I was like, I need to get outta this house. I need to like stop looking at the internet. I need to stop looking at a computer cuz I'm fried. Right. As much as I love you guys, I was just completely cooked. And so what I've done now this year, uh, I've spoken to my team a lot about this and I've put some boundaries around my time. Now just a little bit of context. I've realized that I do not make, I do not do my best thinking or make my best decisions while I'm looking at the computer. And I also have a team who can do a lot of the heavy lifting for me and with me so I can afford to not look at the computer as much as I was over the last two years. Thank God. Speaker 0 00:14:03 Right? So this year, 2022, I basically don't take any meetings on a Monday except with my business coach or my CFO working on the business. I don't talk to my team really on Mondays. I don't join in the daily huddle on Mondays. I don't, you know, have meetings with clients on Mondays. Mondays are a slow day for me, right? I take the kids to school. Like you cannot book in my calendar on a Monday. I take the kids to kindie. I come home, I ease into things. I have a look at what I need to get done at two o'clock in the afternoon, I go for a swim, uh, you know, by sort of three 30, I'm done for the day. I go pick the kids up from kind. I come home. I cook dinner Tuesday through Friday. I'm usually on, at about 7:00 AM. So I'm up at six and I'm on by seven o'clock because I have a sales huddle with our team in the states. Speaker 0 00:14:52 And then I'm into calls, live streams, coaching calls, Tuesday through Friday, I work, I start early and I work pretty hard until about 2:00 PM. And then after 2:00 PM, I'm done. Like my calendar's not available. I try and leave the office, go for a swim, go to the gym, do whatever I need to do. Go and play. I might do some guitar practice and then go for a swim and again, try and get home, you know, in time to help with dinner and, you know, be there with when the kids get home from kindie or I pick them up from kindie on the way home. So even if, even when I work from home now on a Monday and a Tuesday, I typically work from home. I've still got that time blocked out in my calendar. You cannot get in my calendar after 2:00 PM, you can't get in my calendar Mondays. Speaker 0 00:15:33 And after 2:00 PM, Tuesday, you can't get in my calendar. So what I'm doing now is instead of having people book in my calendar, I'm asking them for their calendar and then I can choose if I want to take a call after 2:00 PM on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, like yesterday, we had some new agency join Maverick's club. They're in my squadron. I had their first flight planning call with them yesterday. They're based in Sydney. We started at two 30. That was my choice. I wanted to do that. Uh, they didn't book in my calendar. I booked in. And um, I structured that time with them. Right. So, so key is, is looking at your week and going, where do I do my best work around my, like my energy levels? Uh, I'm really good in the morning after two o'clock I realized that I actually wasn't doing getting anything done. Speaker 0 00:16:18 Anyway. I was just breaking stuff. I was just like, you know, faffing about on the internet and I would go down rabbit holes and I would break shit and I would create a whole bunch of work for the team. So I'm like, all right, I'm out now. And I'm still frankly, finding a little bit difficult around about that two o'clock time. I find myself sitting in front of the computer going, I feel like I should be doing something. And now I'm checking in going, right. This is that moment where you step away from the computer and do something else because it gives you space and time to think about the business and not be stuck looking down this rabbit hole. Right? So not only saying, well, you know, this is, these are the hours I wanna work, but actually blocking it out in your calendar and letting your family, if you're working from home, letting your family know or whoever else you work with, letting them know, Hey, two o'clock man or whatever your time is I'm done. Speaker 0 00:17:04 Um, and I'm, you know, and then I'm not gonna work anymore. Okay. So blocking time in your calendar is, is absolutely key. Yeah. The other thing I just wanna mention briefly is the transition between working from home and being at home, right? The rule number one for me is I can pretty much get outta bed, have a shower, grab a coffee, walk into my office and I can transition into work pretty quickly. I find it harder to transition out of work. Yes, of course. Sure. And get back into the, the family environment, which is, and I was doing a pretty bad job of that. I was trying, but I was doing a bad job over 20, 20, 20, 21. And the reason is, is because I was taking calls and I was on calls right up until 5, 5 30, 6 o'clock some nights. And then I would come off a call, I'd be jazzed. Speaker 0 00:17:54 I'd be thinking, I'd walk out, I'd have dinner with the family. And I'd be like, and my wife is completely exhausted managing the two kids. And she's like, here, can you do something useful? And I'm like, wow, but what about this? And you know, I've always, my brain was going a hundred miles an hour, which is why now I give myself that time between two o'clock to get out of the house, go for a swim, do some exercise, do whatever I need to do to clear my head. So by the time I'm being in the home, I've let go of working in the home. Right. And that's a really key distinction. That's something that's working really well for me. And my wife's noticed that she's like, oh my God, you're a completely different person to who you were last year. You know, I'm cooking dinner three days a week, which for her is like, holy shit, I'm having an outta body experience. Speaker 0 00:18:41 This is like, incredible. Who are you? What have you done with my husband? And, um, so, so just blocking that time in the calendar and then actually forcing yourself to do whatever you need to do to transition out of that work environment, to being from home. Even if it's a walk around the block, even if it's picking up the base guitar for half an hour and doing some base practice, whatever it is. I know Adam does some drum practice before he leaves and goes into the house. So, um, what is it that you can do to transition from working from home to being at home? Just let me know in the chat, uh, what, what you're doing there. Speaker 2 00:19:17 So one of the things that I'm doing now, um, to help that, that transition is actually, um, well, I, you know, I do a morning routine, which helps to the last thing in my morning routine is plan my day. Um, and then I do an it's not evening cuz it's when I'm shutting down work, but I do a closing down work routine. I don't know what the hell you would do wanna call it. But, um, and that's, that's what I do. Like I, I document what my wins were for that day and I document, um, a few other things and I maybe kind of jot a couple notes about what I need to focus on tomorrow. And then mm-hmm, <affirmative>, it helps me to turn the switch off and walk out that door and go downstairs and be part of the family. So that definitely helps Speaker 0 00:20:06 Mm-hmm <affirmative> um, you know, I I've just been inspired by your glasses. I thought, I just, Speaker 2 00:20:12 I'm wondering about, are the glasses, everybody in the chat, are the glasses a yes or no? Like Speaker 0 00:20:16 I like 'em are they, are they blue light glasses or are they just, are they they're just blue light blue light glasses. I Speaker 2 00:20:21 Like them. So now I have to go back and forth between my blue light and my readers, cuz I didn't get blue light readers cuz I don't need blue light. I don't need readers for the screen. I need readers for the paper. Speaker 0 00:20:31 Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well Speaker 2 00:20:33 Feeling old sucks, man. Speaker 0 00:20:35 It does. So I wear contact lenses, but I need, I put readers on at night to read my Kindle with my contact lenses. Right. Um, and then, uh, I'm using these for blue light, which I don't think do anything. I think these are a complete placebo. I think they're a complete, Speaker 2 00:20:48 I think they might be. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:20:50 I think there's a complete crap, but I'm banking on the fact that they make me look smarter. Yeah. And uh, that's why I'm putting them on. They're a fashion statement. Um, so the, the, the best self planner, um, is, uh, something I mentioned in the client acquisition formula, the best self planner is a great book. It's a great device for doing that morning routine and that end of day routine. Now you don't need a planner, fancy planner to do it. You can just do it on a napkin. If you like or a piece of paper, you can do it on a piece of paper and then throw it in the recycling. Doesn't matter. The fact is you get it outta you. Speaker 2 00:21:28 Don't go back and read it. You're not going Speaker 0 00:21:29 Back that's you don't go back and read it. You do it. And you get it out of your head. And I like the, and in the best self planner, one of the things, uh, they do is, um, your gratitude in the morning, something that you walked us through in San Diego, the very first Mav con, you walked us through a grata, a gratitude exercise. I'll never forget that, uh, three things you're grateful for in the morning. This is, so this is just a really good transition exercise to do, to get your head into work, like three things you're grateful for. And then plan your day. What are the mission critical tasks you need to get done today based on your quarterly focus. And then at the end of the day, your wins, what went well? What did you learn? And uh, and then, you know, have a look at tomorrow and go, well, you know, I'm gonna trans transfer these things that I didn't get done today onto, um, the things for tomorrow. And also then another gratitude practice, three things you're grateful for at the end of the day also helps you transition out from work into the home environment, right? Speaker 2 00:22:24 And you know, some of the things that help you work from home, help you work from anywhere really. I mean like simple things that like morning routine, I mentioned a morning routine. You have to have a morning routine. You have to, you have to just jumpstart your day in some way. Um, mine is, mine is the four BS, Simon, Simon Kelly actually taught me this one, the four BS, something for your body, something for your brain, something for your balance. Mm-hmm <affirmative> meaning and something for your business. Mm-hmm <affirmative> so that's my, I, I do a morning routine, but then the other thing, um, I forgot what I was gonna say. Totally forgot what I was gonna Speaker 0 00:23:01 Say. That's okay. Speaker 2 00:23:02 Oh, the, the, the planning of the day part is the one rock three, three stones, five pebbles, Speaker 0 00:23:11 Right? Speaker 2 00:23:12 Yeah. So you have to have to know what you want to get done that day. That helps you work from home. If you know what you wanna get done. Yeah. And Pomodoro helps me a lot. Speaker 0 00:23:22 Yes. Lot. Yes. Yeah. But these are things you talk Speaker 2 00:23:26 Do at the office or at home, like Speaker 0 00:23:28 That's right. That's right. We do this all. We talk about all this in client acquisition formula, by the way, if you don't have client acquisition formula, you should definitely get it's a great program. And also it walks you through how to do all this stuff. The Pomodoro sprint is, is really such a powerful exercise. The double yeah. Yeah. The double, which is 50 minutes of focus work and then a 10 minute break. Um, the O so I, I used to have an app on my, and I wanna talk about an, an app in a minute on the phone, uh, which will help you set some boundaries. Um, I used to have an app on my computer called timeout. That's a Mac based thing. And what would happen is you can program it that every 50 minutes or whatever time works for you. I used to program it that every 50 minutes, it would just shut my computer down and, and play some music and have like a screensaver. Speaker 0 00:24:12 And I couldn't use it for 10 minutes. I had to actually leave the ghetto off the computer for 10 minutes, go and do something, come back. And then 10 minutes later, it would've let me back in. Right. And that was a way of helping me stay, um, productive without getting stuck, looking at the computer too much. The, the other thing, the other app I wanna talk about is on your phone. If you have an iPhone, if you use an Android device, I'm sorry, your life is so horrible. And I can't help you. If you use an iPhone, uh, the there's an app called, um, downtime. There's a function on the iPhone called downtime. And what it allows you to do is it allows you to set, which so what, the way I do this is I say from 8:00 PM until 6:00 AM, there's a bunch of apps on iPhone that I'm just not allowed to use. Speaker 0 00:24:57 Right? So at 8:00 PM every night, my phone just goes, we're in downtime. I can't, I click on Facebook and it goes, eh, computer says, no, sorry. I have to wait until six o'clock tomorrow morning. I, I push on slack and I'm like, eh, sorry. Computer says, no, there you go, max, there's a little, little grab for you for, you know, and computer says, no, I have to wait until six o'clock tomorrow morning, uh, before you can use slack again, because here's, so here's the thing that I learned from Pete recently. I haven't had my phone in my bedroom for six years. Right. My phone does not live in my bedroom before I go to bed at night, I put my phone in my office. I have this little, um, wooden thing, which has got all these little charges on it. It's a beautiful little, um, kind of piece of furniture really that allows us to charge all our devices. Speaker 0 00:25:48 I stick my phone on that. I go to bed. Pete said, yeah, that's great. But wait until you've got kids that are grown up and they're out and about you wanna have your phone with. And so what happens is if, if my wife goes out at night, uh, with her friends, uh, I will, and she's not home. When I go to bed, I have my phone next to me. When I go to bed just in case she needs to call me and she's a bit drunk and she wants to call me and tell me how much she loves me. Right. I like to have like to take those calls. Um, uh, so the problem is then you wake up first thing in the morning and your phone's right next to you and you go, oh, I'm just gonna check my email. Right. Which is not good for your, your Headspace. Speaker 0 00:26:20 So the downtime feature on the phone is like, well, you can have your phone in the bedroom. If someone rings, it's gonna work. Right. And you're gonna get the call if it's an emergency, but you wake up in the morning and you go to check your email. And it says, no, you can't do that yet because it's not the time. Right. So whatever time works for you, you could set it from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Those apps just don't work. I promise you. If you're sitting on the couch at night, watching TV and scrolling Facebook, you're doing brain. You you're gonna end up with brain damage. Hurt Speaker 2 00:26:49 Yourself. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:26:50 You're hurting. I promise you. I promise you, you are gonna end up you're hurt your brain damage. Yeah. And you're hurting your eyes. Yeah. Yeah. You should on Speaker 2 00:26:56 The couch. You're not doing much for your social life. Speaker 0 00:26:58 <laugh> that's right, exactly. Right. Don't sit on the couch at night. Scrolling, Facebook, all the, all the Instagram. Right. You just you're wasting you. Now. The other option is you, I almost did. This is just have a separate phone with your phone number. Yeah. And no apps on it. It's just a phone and don't put any apps on it and have that phone with you and then have your business phone in the office on charge. And then you can use that business out. But as soon as you leave the office, you leave it in the, in the, in the office. And you just got a phone with a phone number, so you can make calls and send texts, right? Yep. Apparently it's available on Android to, Speaker 2 00:27:36 By the way, that's another boundary. That's another boundary thing is to have, if you don't have a separate business phone, you absolutely have to have a separate business line because yes, that will kill your boundaries. If you, if you're allowing your, your clients to call you or text you or whatever, um, off hours like you have, you have to keep those boundaries. Speaker 0 00:27:58 Yeah. And you can even get like a virtual phone number that redirects to your, you know, you can get some virtual phone numbers with, with, and then you can set a time. You can go, well, if someone calls between these hours, redirect it to my mobile. If they're outside these hours, just send them to voicemail. Right, right. Um, something like, that's gonna cost you maybe maybe 15 or 20 bucks a month. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:28:17 I pay $18 a month. Yep. Speaker 0 00:28:19 Yep. Right. For a service like that, that's gonna just protect your boundaries. Yeah. Uh, um, Martin Sanders says that would've been amazing. 6:00 AM client call this week for WordPress updates. Speaker 2 00:28:29 What, Speaker 0 00:28:32 Man, I hope you sent them a very big invoice. Martin max says this feature's available on Android too. Do do, do you know if, can you take photos on an Android phone yet? Have they rolled that feature out too? You can. You're allowed to, yeah. You can take that's amazing. Well done. Um, sorry. I'm Speaker 2 00:28:49 Just as an apple, as an apple stockholder. I thank you for that comment. Uh, Speaker 0 00:28:56 Hey, uh, what is the biggest challenge that you guys have working from home? What is the biggest challenge you guys have? We had, Speaker 2 00:29:02 We had a couple go by up there. Um, cherry loving said staying focused on the priorities that she set. Um, that's a good one. Speaker 0 00:29:12 I'm not sure. That's, I'm not sure that's specific to working from home. Speaker 2 00:29:16 Yeah. That's not necessarily specific. Well, it's, it depends on what you let it, what you're allowing to distract you. If it's, if it's the laundry and the dog and the kids, then yes. That is about working from home. But if it's just, you know, you're going on Facebook or like shopping on Amazon, then you could do that from any place Speaker 0 00:29:35 <laugh> that's right. Shopping on Amazon is one of my quarterly priorities, Pete. So yes, directing an alignment with my, my to-do list is to shop on Amazon because that's my job here in the business is to make sure the team's got everything that they need to succeed. And of course that requires me to do a lot of internet shopping, uh, excuse me. Um, uh, so, um, Terry, what, what do, what is it, give us more information. What is it that you are finding that's distracting you? Or what is it that, uh, do you know what your quarterly priorities are? So I think a lot of the challenge is for a lot of people, is that they don't exactly know what their quarterly priorities are. And so therefore they end up just reacting to, you know, notifications is another thing that's very distracting peak, uh, is that, um, they end up reacting to what happens on the internet and in their inbox. Speaker 0 00:30:25 Right. And they don't have a quarterly focus. So they're not exactly sure what they're supposed to do. And if you don't have a plan, right, then you'll just end up being part of everyone else's plan that's right. And, and they, their plans don't, they don't have much plan for you because their plans are all about them. Right. So if you, I, I kind of think about, if you don't have a very clear plan on what you're supposed to be doing, you end up like a being, you end up getting knocked around like a pinball inside a pinball machine, but you are not controlling the levers. Other people are just whacking you around and you're responding to their agenda and to their demands. Whereas if you get a very clear plan, I get an email this morning from someone who wanted to pay me money to drop an ad in our email newsletter. Speaker 0 00:31:07 And I looked at it for a moment and I thought you couldn't pay me enough to just respond to this email. And unless you're gonna offer me, unless you're offering me $20,000 to send an ad to my email newsletter subscribers, you're a waste of my time. This is a distraction. Delete didn't even respond, delete that's their agenda. It's got nothing to do with me. So because guess what? On our quarterly plan, nowhere does it say finds, doesn't say that our email newsletter does it max nowhere. Does it say sponsorship for newsletter? Not on our agenda. So that email just gets deleted done out the door. Now there would've been a time years ago where I would've gone. Oh, this is an interesting opportunity. And I would've responded and I would've got on a call with them at six o'clock in the morning and gone down that rabbit hole and then realized that they wanted to pay me 250 bucks to send an email. Speaker 0 00:31:57 Right. Computer shows. No, <laugh> correct. So, Terry, what, what is the challenge that you've got? Is it that you don't know exactly what you're supposed to be doing at any given time of the day, any given day of the week, or is it that you have a plan, but other things are getting in the way John Garrett says I mark as spam, all unsolicited emails. I'm sorry, John. If our emails have ended up in mark, our emails as spam, I do apologize for that. We do send a lot of emails. We send a lot of emails. We do Rory fly communicating with my team overseas in their time zone. Again, I'm not sure that's specific to working from home. That would be a challenge, no matter where you are. So Rory, where, where are you? Where are your team and how do you currently communicate with them? Speaker 0 00:32:45 Because again, I'm not sure this is specific to working from home, but I'm happy to talk about it. Uh, and James TRO says using the, I think that's supposed to be eat the frog. Yeah. E a T is close to w a Y on the keyboard using the eat. The frog mess has helped a lot this year. Eat. The frog is a great book by Brian, Tracy. I mean, basically the too long didn't read version is, you know, like if you're gonna eat a frog, do it first thing in the morning. So therefore the rest of your day just gets easier. Cuz if you can eat the frog, first thing in the morning, you go, well, nothing else is gonna be as bad as that. So what is the one thing that you have to do today? That is the most painful? The thing that you don't want to do, the one big, chunky thing that you don't wanna do today because you're afraid, or you don't have a framework for it or you new at it, or you think it's gonna suck or you think it, or it's awkward. It's a difficult conversation. Do that first thing in the morning, the rest of the day gets easier. Right? Speaker 0 00:33:37 Uh, so I, and uh, we're just looking through the comments here. So if you I'm, I'm conscious of the people that are listening to this as a podcast going, what the hell are they doing? We are going through the comments here in the Facebook group and answering people's questions. So if you're not in the Facebook group, come and join the digital Mavericks Facebook group, where we help digital marketing agencies and freelancers grow, uh, go to, search for digital Mavericks and join the group and we will approve you. And then you can come in and hang out and join in the fund. Rory Flyn has a team in India and they do tasks until about 11:00 PM. I'm imagining, uh, often need quick responses to keep ticking along. Okay. This is, um, again, not, not, not specific to working from home. This is a challenge for anyone who has a remote team and Rory, I can tell you the, the way to mitigate this is, and I think we've talked about this. Speaker 0 00:34:36 If not, we will do a deep dive, uh, on the job scorecard at some point. Um, but come into the Facebook group and search for job scorecard, cause I'm sure we've talked about this on the agency before, the way to mitigate this is to instead of delegating tasks, right? To remote team members or other, any team members of, regardless of where they live. The problem with delegating tasks is that a team member who's doing tasks generally doesn't have the context around why the task is important. And so therefore they will come back to you and ask questions when they get stuck. The idea is to delegate outcomes, to team members, not tasks. And if you delegate an outcome to a team member, they will typically then figure out the tasks that need to happen to achieve that outcome, right. And empowering them and giving them the responsibility to make decisions without you a is good for them because they feel like they've got a bit more responsibility and you trust them a bit, which is great for the relationship. Speaker 0 00:35:40 And two, it frees you up because you don't have to micromanage or approve every single thing. Right? So the, so let's, let's just want, let's just go a step back and say, well, how do you PR like practically, how do you implement this? The first thing is you've gotta get really clear about the outcome that you want your team to achieve and write the success criteria for that outcome. So let's say you are, you've got a design, you send it over to your team and they're gonna develop that into a website. What is the outcome? The outcome is, uh, not that you have a website built from the design. That's not the outcome. The outcome is that the designs are turned into a website it's installed, uh, as a WordPress child theme of whatever. Um, it uses our must have plugins that we use on every website. Speaker 0 00:36:30 It's set up on a staging server on this particular hosting environment. Uh, the login details are shared with you Rory so that you can log in and check it when it's done. And that the website is, has been through our pre-launch checklist and is ready for Rory to run his eyes over it and approve it before we send it to the client. And part of the success criteria is that it must achieve a certain page speed and, and, you know, meet the w three C compliance, you know, audit or whatever it is, right? Whatever your success criteria is. And that Rory is not involved in the process until the development team have decided that this website is ready to go to the client. And then Rory comes in, runs his eyes over, it, checks it all off, runs through the pre-launch checklist. Again, make sure it's ready to go and send it to the client. Speaker 0 00:37:22 Now it might take three or four projects for the development team to get their head around that and actually get it to that stage. Right. But if you're just delegating tasks and they don't understand the outcome, then they're gonna constantly come back to you and ask questions. Right? And so the way I always think about two examples when delegating outcomes think about a sporting team. So what's the, what's the success criteria for a sporting team. We're gonna win the playoffs. That's the ultimate outcome for a sporting team is gonna win the championship. Now there's gonna be a whole bunch of decisions that need to be made between the start of the season and winning the championship. But let's be clear. The outcome is to win the championship. The other example I like is, Hey, we're gonna go camping with a bunch of family friends. There's three families going camping. Speaker 0 00:38:05 Um, the campsite is a five hour drive from our house and we all have children under the age of seven. Guess what the outcome is to get to the campsite and have the tents pitched and the food cooking four, 5:00 PM. Otherwise the kids are gonna go batch it crazy. We're gonna enter the witching hour. And all of a sudden that's gonna be eight o'clock and I'm still pitching a tent in the dark. And that ain't fun for anyone. So the outcome is we are having dinner, tens are done. Everyone's got a place to sleep before 5:00 PM. Let's work backwards from that and go, well, it's a five hour drive. We can't have the kids in the car for five hours cuz they go crazy. So we're gonna have to stop for 45 minutes somewhere and have lunch, which means if I work this back and it's gonna take us an hour and a half to set up the campsite, we're gonna get there at three 30, we need to leave home at 8:00 AM. The amount of times we've gone camping. And haven't really had that conversation left home at 11 and like I'm an hour into the drive and I'm like, we're pitching a tent in the dark man. This is gonna drive me crazy because we're not conscious. We're not clear about the outcome. We're we are kind of thinking about the tasks that need to happen. We haven't been clear about the success criteria of the outcome. Okay. So get super clear about the success criteria of the outcome and then let your team figure out how to get there. Speaker 2 00:39:22 Right? That's exactly the exercise they should do is work backwards from the outcome. Like what do we, what's everything we have to do to get there, whatever that project is. Yeah. I like the camping one. I like the camping analogy. That's a good one. Speaker 0 00:39:36 Uh, this is by the way, this is, this is part of, for those of you that watched the live stream the podcast last week, I think it was the flight plan last week that we kind of, uh, that we, that we gave away. Uh, this is part of that, like, you know, not only client projects, but any projects that you are working on to develop your business. If you are working on your sales process, if you're working on hiring team members, if you are bringing on a new project manager, what is the success criteria of any project that you are working on? What's the outcome look like? And what does the success criteria? How will we know when it is done? Get clear about that before you do anything. Yeah. Tip from John Garrett. I also use clear context, defer feature in outlook for all non-urgent emails, right? Speaker 0 00:40:18 Yeah. I defer by three hours. Everything that's not critical each morning gives me clarity to focus on the critical stuff first. Right? So this is, you know, this kind of comes from David Allen's work in getting things done. He has the four DS, uh, to help you manage the sheer volume of stuff coming at you. Right. Um, the four DS are, if you can do it yourself in less than two minutes, just do it. That's the first D you know, can I just do this now in less than two minutes? Great. Just do it. Can I, can I delegate this to someone? If you can delegate it. I delegate stuff all the time because I, I, I can't deal with this. I'm not the best person to deal with this. I delegate it to a team member. That's the second D delegate. Can I defer this and do it later? Speaker 0 00:40:59 Which is what John's doing now. He's differing this by three hours. I'll use Polymail. It has a remind me function. So I just go, you know what, I just remind me about this next week, cuz I know I can't deal with it right now. And the fourth one is delete it. Can I just delete this? Do I, is this something I actually need? No delete. Right. In fact that's like the first that's the first D for me, like, can I delete this? No, can I do it now? No, just remind me next week or delegate it. So do it defer it delegate or delete it. Yeah. Getting things done. David Allen that's uh he's uh, he's. That's the, you know, the bones of his methodology really, uh, again, not specific to working from home, but uh, but you know, super helpful. Uh, we've talked about setting boundaries, uh, from home, we've talked about having a dedicated workspace at home. Speaker 0 00:41:47 We've talked about having dedicated hours that you work from home. And we've talked about blocking time in the calendar. We've also talked about setting up your work environment at home so that it's distinct from the rest of the living space. So having a nice environment where you go and, and you kind of get your head into, uh, into work. We've talked about transitioning from working from home to being in the home. Uh, we've also talked about using things like the double Pomodoro to keep you focused for, you know, 50 minutes and then taking a 10 minute break. And we've talked about some apps, the timeout app on your computer and also downtime on your phone Speaker 2 00:42:25 Downtime. I like, I didn't know about that one. Speaker 0 00:42:27 Yeah. Downtime's great. Um, talked about the, you know, having a separate business line so that when people call the business line, it doesn't just call your phone on a weekend. For example, uh, Speaker 2 00:42:38 One, one more, one more piece of advice is, uh, get, get out of the office, get out of the environment at various times throughout the day, move your ass. Basically. <laugh> get up, walk around, make sure you're drinking. Plenty of water, all that healthy stuff, but just get up and go for a walk and leave it behind you for a couple minutes. You, you suggested recently even the three hour chunk in the middle of the week where you just are not working like that kind of thing. Stop working for a little while. Yeah. That's what those Pura, when the Pura thing goes off and you got your 10 minute break, don't go on Facebook. No, don't don't answer emails. Don't just change to a different task. No, you know, get out and move your Speaker 0 00:43:25 Yep. Um, the, the, no one says you have to work from eight, nine to five or eight till six. Like that's just horse shit. Right. That's just a construct that we've all bought into and really it's about because the kids are in school. Right, right. Uh, so you can work evenings if you want. You can, you can work from nine till two, right. And then work from, you know, eight till 10, if you want. Right. But between two and eight, go and do something else, go play golf or take up a hobby, engage your brain in something else. Right. I've taken up scrapbooking recently. I know nerd. Um, yeah. I've taken up scrap booking. Yeah, no shit. Because we have so many memories of the kids just laying around the house, like swimming certificates on the fridge and photos in photo albums. And I'm like, you know what? Speaker 0 00:44:14 I wanna bring all this stuff together and create a book of memories for, for, you know, for my kids. So every now and then I don't get a chance to do this very often, but every now and then I just sit down at the dining room table and I'll spend a couple of hours building a page in a, in one of my scrapbooking albums and, you know, putting on all the little embellishments and being a complete nerd, by the way, I'm in some of the scrap booking Facebook groups. I think I'm the only dude in any of those groups, there's like, Speaker 2 00:44:40 I'm, you're Speaker 0 00:44:41 8 million moms doing scrap booking for their kids. And then I pop up and I'm like, oh, what are you? Can someone give that do? And, um, there's a whole, a whole ecosystem. Speaker 2 00:44:51 It's another subculture. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:44:53 There are, you know, I'd spend time on Etsy buying scrapbooking templates. It's amazing. I love it. And the point is I'm engaging a different part of my brain. And sometimes while I'm scrapbooking, something will just come to me about the business because I'm not thinking about it. And I'm giving myself space and time to get some distance from it. Uh, <laugh> just check out scrapbooking coach. I'm not gonna coach you guys on scrapbooking. There's no course coming, but just check out scrapbooking coach. She's awesome. She's got a bunch of stuff and I'm, I'm one of her students. So there you go. Speaker 2 00:45:22 It'll be, it's a 20, 23 product for us guys. That's right. 23. It's what my prediction is. Troy has to really be around it first. Um, so I don't know who said it, cuz it just says Facebook user, but do you suggest changing, working space every once in a while? Yes. We talked about that very early. Maybe you joined in late. Um, absolutely. Switch it up. Even if it means just going down to the dining room table or on the couch or whatever, um, you do have to get outta the office. It, it just kind of sets a new mindset for the whole thing. So yeah. Speaker 0 00:45:54 Yeah. Um, and, but, Speaker 2 00:45:56 But I would say, I would say if you're going to a coffee shop, sorry, Troy, if you're going to a coffee shop, have a set thing that you do when you go to the coffee shop. So what I was saying is that's my time for checking slack for agency Mavericks and with my team and also answering emails. And then that I don't answer emails again until the next morning really. Um, and then I come home and go to work, like do my, do my, then I start my PDOs of all right, I've gotta work on this content or I've gotta work on this sales stuff or whatever. Speaker 0 00:46:30 A couple of things here, James Mero said, Wordle has been a good brain workout in the am to get the mind working. Love it. I wasn't familiar with it. I've just looked it up. Wordle looks amazing. Thank you so much. Muro I'm down that rabbit hole that looks like fun. Uh, it's just a word game. And um, uh, what is your name? Come on, give stream yard permission please. John. So I don't have to keep going back to, uh, here we go. John Garrett, this is super important. I find dressing well for work when working from home helped my mindset. Definitely no pajamas. Yes, Speaker 2 00:47:03 Absolutely. I Speaker 0 00:47:04 Agree. Yeah, yeah, yeah, totally. Um, even putting on, even putting on some nice work shoes and sitting, you know, wearing shoes in the house, uh, can just get you into a different mindset. So yeah, I don't, I don't work. Um, I don't work in my pajamas either. Uh, Speaker 2 00:47:23 Naked is fine, but not Speaker 0 00:47:24 In your pajama. Naked is fine, but not in your pajamas. Um, oh, there we go. James Muro says Wordle has just been bought by the New York times. So may not be free for too long. U boots are fine for work. I mean, U boots are the official work from home safety boots. They are standard issue. So working from home in your U boots is totally fine. They are a, a, an official work from home boots here at agency Mavericks. Uh, alright. Any, uh, any other, any other thoughts about working from home? Any other questions you guys have, any other strategies that you wanna share? Um, uh, and also what I'm curious about is anyone here working from home who is in the process of trying to find an external office or move out? I know Adam Silverman, one of our Mavericks has been working from home for a couple of years. Speaker 0 00:48:11 Now he's on a farm and he's got this big, essentially it's a barn that he's turned into a drum studio and his office and it looks amazing. He's just signed a lease on a new office in town because he has like four or five team members coming to his farm every day to work from the barn. And he's like, you know what? I don't wanna do this on my farm anymore. I want actually get into an office and, um, and kind of be a bit more grown up about it. And, uh, so he's just signed a lease on an office, which is good for him. I think he's gonna have the flexibility to still work from home a couple of days a week, if he wants to, Speaker 2 00:48:44 When you get to a certain point, um, you want your team in one place and you and another maybe sometimes not all the time sometimes. Speaker 0 00:48:52 Yeah, totally. Um, so any, any of you guys looking at moving out of home and getting a, an external office, uh, Paul Toman have a look at the link near this live stream in the description of this live stream, there should be a link that says, uh, before leaving a comment, please grant stream yard permission to see your name. Um, and you just go stream stream And as long as you're logged into Facebook, you can give stream yard permission to know who you are so that we can see your name in your face. Oh, Christopher Stratman. I'm terribly sorry, man. I'm stuck in lockdown, working at home due to chronic leukemia, not getting along with COVID. Oh, dude, I move around the, the house office, kitchen, spare bedroom, and front porch back patio when the weather is right. Good headphones have been to godsend. Yeah. Speaker 2 00:49:37 Christopher, where, where do you live? Christopher Speaker 0 00:49:39 He's in the states. I think Speaker 2 00:49:42 So if it's, if it's warm enough, get yourself outside on the patio or something and, and do that too. Yeah. Make sure you get some fresh air. Yeah. Says the guy who literally hasn't left the house in three days. Speaker 0 00:49:52 I tend to do my copywriting. If I have to do any writing, I tend to go out the back deck and look at the backyard. And if it's hot, like in summer, at the moment it's hot. So I put the umbrella up over me and give myself a bit of shade, make myself a soda, water, and sit out in the backyard, listen to the birds and listen to the neighbors fighting next door and, and, and do my, my riding. Uh, it's just a good break to, you know, being, looking at the same four walls, looking at the internet. All right, gang, Hey, this has been fun. This is, uh, the agency almost hour, uh, here live in the digital Mavericks Facebook group. As I said, this is a podcast. We are turning this into a podcast, which we're launching in a few weeks. So if you're listening to this, come and join the digital Mavericks Facebook group and be a part of the conversation. Speaker 0 00:50:35 Thank you, Pete crispy butter Perry for being a part of it. And, um, I wish you all the best. I wish all of you all the best in your continued ventures, working from home, keep the conversation going. If you have any questions or any comments about this, let us know, uh, in the comments underneath this episode and we'll come back and keep the conversation going. And if you know anyone who would benefit from listening to this or being a part of it, please share it with them, tell them to join the digital Mavericks Facebook group. We just wanna get this message in front of as many digital marketing agencies and freelancers as possible to help you guys be more productive, no matter where you're at, if you're just starting out or if you've got a team or you're scaling your team or you, you know, whatever your revenue figures are, uh, get a, get amongst the group and get around our free content. Speaker 0 00:51:14 We're here to help you along that journey no matter where you are. All right, thanks, Pete. We'll see you next week. We've got Mav con next week, which is super exciting. Our yes, our live event for our Maverick club members that's happening next week. So, uh, next week, we'll probably give you a little bit of a postmortem on that and let you know how that went. Um, and let us know the kinds of conversations and guests that you wanna see here and here on the agency are let us know in the group and we'll do our best to reach out to people and bring in the guests that you wanna see. All right. All right, man. See you next week. Bye for now guys, take care. Speaker 1 00:51:46 Thanks for listening to the agency hour podcast, subscribe at apple podcasts, Spotify pocket, audible, and wherever you like to listen, you can catch all of the agency hour episodes on our YouTube channel at Mavericks. Or you can get involved, check out our free digital Mavericks Facebook group, where we broadcast these episodes live for our community every week, along with a ton of free training. We'll see you.

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