#Digiblogchat questions April 28, 2020

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Here are the questions for April 28th, 2020 #Digiblogchat. Topic: How work will be different when lockdown ends with questions by Tripp Braden. Join us on Twitter at 1:00 pm Pacific Time every Tuesday. 

  1. How has your life changed most since the COVID19 Lockdown?
  2. What are you going to change when you return back to work because of the lockdown?
  3. What are the best things that came out of the past several months in lockdown?
  4. How did you capture the events of the past several months?
  5. What did you learn about yourself during the lockdown experience?
  6. What new capabilities did you or your business add that will stay with you after the lockdown?
  7. How will your work change as people return to their normal routines?
  8. How long will it take to return to normal in your current role?
  9. What will you do more of at work now that you see it works in your personal life?
  10. Will you get more involved in nonprofits and community activities over the coming weeks and months?
  11. How will your life or career change as a result of what you learned about yourself and others?

Startups and Motivation: Staying the Course

Startups and Motivation: Staying the Course

Startups and Motivation: Staying the Course

Recently, a friend of mine, Dr. Beth Halbert, mentioned something that stuck with me. She said that she used to create long lists of to-do items every day. Her lists were three pages long, and she could never finish all the action items. Every night, she felt like a failure. Then, she changed something. She created shorter lists, with only 2-3 things that she can finish. Now she feels successful every single day. I’ve been thinking about this simple concept and how it could be applied to staying motivated while working in startups. By the way, if you’re in a startup, you might also be interested in my article on Ten Things Ways the San Francisco Giants Can Improve Your Game.

Have Reasonable Goals

Granted, some people enjoy the feeling of pressure (including the knot they get in their stomach) every day. Some people love “stretch goals,” even if those goals are completely unattainable. But many of us would rather have a reasonable goal so that we can knock it out of the ballpark every single time. A list with only 2-3 items that are achievable can help your morale more than that list with a million action items on it.

Reward Yourselves

Although I’m a great believer in the Law of Attraction, it’s not always easy to stay the course and be positive. But a reward is something that you and your team will look forward to, and look back upon with great pleasure. The reward might be a party for the team, some wine for everyone, or something more business-related such as phone chargers. One of my own favorite rewards was a pair of expensive shoes. Right now I’ve set a target whose reward will be a grafted apple tree with seven varieties of apples.

Pay People Enough

Do I need to say anything about this? If people don’t have a certain minimum salary, they’ll want to go elsewhere (here are some power tips to beef up your LinkedIn profile if you’re looking for a J.O.B., by the way). Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, that amount is certainly higher than in other parts of the country.

Give Autonomy and Get Outta the Way

People need to be self-directed, to feel that their actions matter, and to feel engaged at work. This sense of autonomy can be overlooked in startups (and larger companies too). One of my favorite videos is this one on motivation, by RSA Animate. You’d be surprised at what actually motivates people (watch the video). The assumption that people want to do cool things is one that forward-thinking startups embrace.

What Makes You Feel Motivated?

What makes you want to jump out of bed and go to work? Or if you don’t want to go to work, why not? Please tell me; I’m very interested in hearing from you.

6 Ways to Work From Home, Stay Sane, Part 2

Maybe you read my first post, 6 Ways to Work From Home and Stay Sane. Or maybe not. In any case, people asked me what other ideas I had for staying sane. So here are some ideas that you might find useful.

Unplug the Phone

If you’re like me, you have Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all kinds of apps and texts (and phone calls!) all vying for your attention from your smart phone. To stay sane, put the phone away somewhere when you go to sleep. I leave the phone in another room (not the room where I sleep). Yes, I know you’re thinking you could never do that. But you really can! Think back a few years to when you either didn’t have a smart phone, or you didn’t have every app under the sun running on your phone. You can do it! It has helped me sleep better.

Get Fancy Sheets

You’ve read about how you spend one third of your life in bed, right? Well, how about getting yourself some really fantastic Bedding? For me, Garnet Hill‘s flannel sheets are fantastic! (No, I don’t work for them!) They’re really soft and cozy, especially in the wintertime. And they make me look forward to going to sleep. They seem to get softer the more I wash them. Or maybe you like 600 thread count European sheets. The point is to get bedding you really love. 


Exercise might seem like an obvious road to sanity, but so many people don’t exercise at all. When I started thinking of exercise as part of my job every single day, my sleep improved immensely, and my mood improved, too. Now I can’t imagine not exercising. For me, six days a week works. It’s one of those “simple-but-not-easy” routines. I love cycling, so I do some form of cycling or spin classes on most days, plus weight training and stretching. Pilates and yoga are in the schedule, too, twice a week. But I have to confess: that sixth day? I have to drag myself to the gym.

Reduce Visual Clutter

When there’s too much junk on my desk, I tend to get a little crazy. What about you? It’s like all those things have voices, and they’re all wanting my attention. So filing the paper or putting away the Post-it notes, the pens, the spare nickles and stuff, keeps me focused and sane.

Use a Timer

Some of my friends make fun of me for using an egg timer. Yes, it’s an actual egg timer that ticks. I set it for 5 or 10 minutes or whatever time I need to focus on something. The ticking keeps me focused, for some reason.

Keep a Daily To-Do List

Again, this is obvious. Eric Lofholm, the sales trainer, suggests using the 14-minute rule, and carving out time first thing in the morning (you can use the egg timer–exciting!) When I write my to-do list, the day goes a lot smoother. Everything is scheduled, prioritized, and more tends to get done than on the days when I don’t have a formal list.

What Helps You Maintain Sanity?

Do you work from home? Are you a social person? Let me know by leaving a comment!

6 Ways to Work from Home & Stay Sane

I’m a Social Media Strategist who works from home. While I love working in my pajamas and bathrobe, things can get a little, well, dicey if I never go outside and see that yellow orb they call the sun. Here are some things that have helped me to stay sane and still get my work done.

Keep a Strict Starting Time for Work.

For me, that means I have had my breakfast and am sitting at my desk by 8:00 a.m. Usually a little before. I can still have coffee, but the breakfast has been cooked, eaten, and the dishes are rinsed.

Don’t Be a Slave to the Phone.

This is a really tough one because people often think that if you work at home, your time is their time. Not so fast! If you don’t pick up that phone, the next time they go to call you, they might think twice. You can return those calls later when you have time.

Schedule Breaks.

Frankly, I’m not very good at following my own advice here. But every hour, you should get up and stretch. Some people say more often. On the days I take more breaks, I feel better and get more done.

Get out and See People.

Now if you’re at all introverted, you may be resistant to this piece of advice. Even so, I’ve noticed that I feel much more lighthearted if I see two people face-to-face every single day.  Sophia Dembling, author of “The Introvert’s Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy Word” agrees. A trip to the gym (if you actually talk to people there) counts. The other might be coffee or lunch date with another home-based friend. Maybe you’re fine with only one visit outside the office per day, but figuring out how much “face time” you need is the important take-away concept.

Know When to Fold ‘em.

That’s corny, but you do need to know when to quit. As in, before…

  • your fingers start bleeding from typing too much.
  • your eyes are crossed and your contact lenses are all dried out because you stopped blinking 3 hours ago.
  • you can’t finish a sentence because you’ve been working for too many hours.

You get the idea. If you work on or around social media, stopping is difficult because there’s always “one more tweet.” The Huffington Post article “Facebook Addiction” chronicles some of the telltale signs. Don’t be that person who loses sleep because you have to be social all the time. Go to sleep.

Own a Cat.

Or a dog. Or a tortoise. Or some little creature that makes you smile every once in awhile. My cat, Purrsilla, will dangle her paws onto my keyboard when I’ve done just about enough typing, thank you very much. Sometimes she’ll send me a message. It will say something like “[[[[[[[[[uuuuuuuuuu99999”. I’m pretty sure that means something in cat language. (Get up and feed me?)

What Helps You Keep Your Sanity?

Maybe you have something that helps you keep your sanity. If you do, I’d really like to know. No, really! I’m still trying to figure out how to work from home. And stay sane.

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