How To Keep Things “Normal”

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Rudyard Kipling

On our regular weekly global mastermind group call earlier this week, we discussed what we’re all doing to keep things normal, positive, and productive.

As we are all consultants and business owners, our focus was on keeping ourselves productive so we can help our clients be profitable.

Here are four ways to keep things normal when there really is no normal.

  • Routines – what we do every day
  • Results – focus on what we create and the impact we have
  • Recharge – stay connected and keep your energy high
  • Room – control your environment to enhance your productivity

Figure 59.1 How to keep things normal

1. Routines

We are creatures of habit. So, let’s get back to basics.


Are you getting eight (or more) hours of uninterrupted sleep? Are you stress (aka “carbo-virus”) eating or eating healthy? Are you getting regular exercise, the kind that makes you sweat and huff and puff?

If your gym is closed, they may offer virtual workouts. My gym, Level 10, offers a variety of online workouts and free workouts.

If you’re working from home and not commuting, you could gain half an hour or an hour a day. You could watch Netflix, or you could improve your health, reduce your stress, and enhance your environment.

Do you wake up early and well-rested without an alarm?

Routines are important because they give us structure, predictability, and control.

2. Results

As consultants, we help businesses, business owners, and executives to achieve results in their businesses.

Due to the economic slowdown, it’s easy for us to lose sight of the results we’ve created in the past and focus on what we’re not doing today.

Yet those results were often created in difficult and challenging times. Today is no different. There is no new normal. There is always turbulence.

Pros don’t make excuses. They just get the job done. Keep focused on helping your clients and your customers.

“Small and medium enterprises drive 54% of the GDP in the top 17 economies in the world.”
–World Bank

The entrepreneurial spirit has created our standard of living and will continue to provide for society in the future.

3. Recharge

When I open the door, the dogs charge out at full speed. They want to be outside. They want to bark at the other dogs and chase rabbits.

Our default position should never be to sit in front of a computer screen. When my brother and I were growing up, our Mom had two words of advice for us, summer or winter: “Get outside!”

What are you doing to recharge yourself, mentally, physically, and spiritually?

This past weekend, like many others, we celebrated Easter with a family dinner on zoom. On our call, we had 12 participant groups, from Australia to New Jersey to our neighborhood.

My mother-in-law, Maureen, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday in a couple of months, has mastered zoom (and Snapchat video calls). She’ll have to teach me about the Snapchat video calls someday.

Figure 59.2: Easter family dinner on zoom

There is lots of research that shows the main key to longevity is staying connected socially. How do you stay connected with people who are important in your life? What changes can you make in your daily routine to improve your physical and mental health?

  1. Room: Your Environment

When surgeons walk into an operating room, they aren’t dealing with dirty dishes in the sink, mail scattered on the dining room table, and files forgotten in the car. They’re dealing with the patient and surgery in a room designed and equipped for the sole purpose of providing surgical care.

Yet at home, we let our personal and business environments collide like a prairie thunderstorm on a hot summer day.

I’m reading an interesting book called “Willpower Doesn’t Work” by Benjamin Hardy, PhD. The main premise is that we are conditioned and impacted by our environments more than our willpower. That’s right, your messy office is burning up your willpower.

How many of you have files on your floor?

Hardy’s advice is to change our environment and then adapt our behaviours to the new environment. This is much easier and more effective than trying to change our willpower.

Working from home can represent new challenges for many people if their environment isn’t as organized as an office. It can be even more challenging if you don’t have a door you can close and shut out distractions or spouses (pets are allowed).

Is your home office organized for productivity, focus, and peace and quiet? This is where we need to be selfish and assertive.

In my office, I’ve removed the doors from my hutch as I always opened the doors that covered my computer’s camera for video calls. The hutch is now organized with nice visual reminders and things that are important to me.

To enhance video calls, I’ve installed an LED light vertically on the side of my hutch to improve the lighting. A photography tip: every nose should have a shadow. And my canine chief morale officer, Lola, has her day bed on the floor.

Figure 59.3: My desk and special video lighting

For an excellent tutorial on how to look good on zoom, I highly recommend this seminar by the one and only Patricia Fripp and her team.

Does your home office spark joy profitability and productivity?

Taking control over your environment will make you happier. It will also save your willpower for more important tasks like creating content, going for a walk, and eating healthy snacks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.