The 5 Habits of Productive WFH Communication
we continue to be on the hunt for amazing work life balance, don't we? And yet it's so funny how much when we actually think about the balance, it has to do with the needs of the people in our lives, both personally and professionally. I'm sure you know that feeling right when you are sitting at your laptop and you feel like you're finally in the mode and you're focused and you're getting something done and someone piques their head around the corner and kind of wants your attention and you can't help but look because maybe it's your significant other, Maybe it's your child, Maybe it's your roommate and they're important people to you and you want to give them your attention and to their credit. You look like you're home and they're at home and they feel at home. And so since we're both at home, hey, I want to tell you something that I just saw her. Hey, I have a question or hey, can you do something for me? So you're trying to strike a balance with those people in your physical space?
Then you have the others. Maybe they are very work related individuals and they want your attention to in the digital space. These people know exactly what you're up to. They know you're quite busy and you've got a big task in front of you, but it doesn't stop the flurry of slack messages and emails just flying at you constantly. So you're trying to balance people in your physical space and or people who work with you in the digital space and then you literally have the rest of the world who also wants your attention as well. Have you ever noticed that it's amazing when people get wind of the fact that there, dear dear friend, you now work from home. It is like an invitation to text and ask questions and have ongoing conversations in group chats all day long and of course the universe that tells us what's happening in the news, like social media, et cetera. There are literally people in our lives in every capacity at every distance, doing something or wanting something from us at all times. So if we are going to be effective at working from home, we've got to talk about some really important work from home life, balanced communication habits that are going to set you up for success. These are tools like any other in your arsenal. They only work when you use them. These are the five habits for productive work from home communication, communication habit. Number one plan for the best, prepare for the worst. We're going after the lives that we want and we're making plans to make it happen. And that's an amazing start. If you don't have a plan, you don't have a road map, you don't have a way to go. This is great because you're shooting for the stars. And that's amazing because even if you don't get there, you could get really, really close. But with all grand plans, you've got to plan for those obstacles in Good Morning, Good Life. The book, we talk about this as the habit of defiance. How do you defy those inevitable obstacles that you wish weren't coming? But you actually know full well because you know, your days and the people in your life so well that you know what's happening, you know, it's coming, It's just like you just you can literally just wake countdown here. It comes now. We've already talked about some great strategies for setting your space up for success, for anticipation of those moments that would happen and being able to draw the line when you are working and focusing versus in a different mode. But it doesn't mean that the worst won't happen or that something is going to get you a little bit off the mark at some point that we can help you overcome. So I want you to think to yourself what a typical day looks like. Like I said, you can probably predict those obstacles before they come. Take the time to play back a typical day in the work from home life for you and the various events that happened that pull you out of your focus brainstorm ways. Now, knowing that to handle them differently than you typically do, we can all recall a conversation that didn't go the way we wanted it to. We had the best of intentions to be able to draw the line and give ourselves a little bit of boundaries. What went wrong, How did we approach it? That wasn't the best way to emphasize how much we care about the other person, but that we also care about the task at hand and being able to separate the two as much as possible in non emergency situations when you're doing this brainstorm and when you're thinking to yourself, how can I handle it differently? I want you to ask yourself this question each time you come up with an idea, what would this look like if it were easier? We typically like to take the ideas or what ifs or I wishes and discount them because we assume that they just can't happen. But if we try to add the qualifier that automatically any idea you come up with is easy go. How could it actually work if it were easy if we gave everyone the benefit of the doubt that it's not going to go like I did like it did last time or that you are going to be able to approach the topic in a better way. How can you do this? So that it's easier? I'll give you a really big hint in most cases, it's not waiting for the moment to happen so much as it is preparation in advance, but it has a lot to do with how you handle yourself and your choices and your reactions in the moment as well. What would this look like if it were easier? Typically trying to make a point to someone who cannot sit in your seat and stand in your shoes is not easier. So look around to see what else is possible? Communication habit. Number two, talk about productivity with your family, it kind of defeats the purpose of going after a productive lifestyle if we're not willing to have that conversation with the people that we love the most, because in theory, if this is really gonna be so advantageous to your life, you would want it for everyone else as well. So the really interesting thing about this is being able to sit down and have this conversation isn't just indicative of your ability to set boundaries, it's also your ability to share your experience and allow it to be a lesson to those you care about your Children deserve your attention, your co workers, your employees deserve your attention, your significant other deserve your attention, your boss deserves your attention. These people are deserving of your attention because you do care, but nobody deserves your attention at any moment. They deem worthy. How you allocate your attention is also part of the conversation of how you allocate your time. So if you want to continue to be the thought later and the owner of your time, you have to take the steps to make that happen Now. This doesn't mean that you have to be defensive when you go to bat for yourself. Remember communication habit number one plan for the best, prepare for the worst this habit of being able to talk to the people around you about what you're doing and how you're doing it and what they can do to support you is one that will help you to combat those future moments that take you out of your focus. Remember it's not what everyone else thinks or that they're screwing up your productivity. All of those arguments are moot because nobody understands what you're saying when you're saying that. So even though Amy said it's best that you leave me alone, that's it's not going to work right, You know it and I know it it's all about the context of what is happening in your life and how you can best describe that to those people so they can empathize with where you are and what you need from them. If you're not willing to teach these things through your own experience to your family, how will you best be able to execute them? You can't do this in a silo, you need help and it's okay to ask for it and that brings me to communication habit number three which is practicing and memorizing productivity mantras. That could be helpful. These may not just be great reminders for you, they could be ways in which you teach others your approach to this world, to achieving balance and getting work done. Especially like to bring this up to those people who are working on a morning routine and say, you know it's tough every time I wake up a little bit earlier, so to my kids and I don't actually end up getting that time back for me to that, I say well why don't you show them what is possible in the morning? Show them what a good way to start the day looks like. Show them what a good morning good life means to you and you can do that with some really simple ways of thinking and mantra is that illustrate your point? A couple of examples include what one thing at a time a good morning leads to a good day, get to know where the time goes more, does not equal better plan first, willpower. Second, multitasking isn't real, no, is a full sentence. These statements are not just positive reinforcement but an opportunity for you to share and to be an example to those in your life communication habit number four over communicate your current state much of the time that we feel distracted, it's because of the possibility that somebody needs our attention and to make sure that we touch base and check in accordingly. But there are many ways to do this that don't necessarily include having an actual real time conversation in the moment, especially when we are in a work from home environment and can leverage digital tools to help illustrate what we're up to no matter what, the reason that you feel like you need to do this over communication strategy, it could be because somebody might be micromanaging your work because they feel like they don't know what you're doing when you're working at a distance or because you feel like you need to tell everyone the status of what you're doing in your business because they need to know so that they can do what's right for their next steps in their workflow within my business. We are huge believers in the slack status. So we use slack for intercompany communications. So those quick chat things that don't necessarily have to be tracked in a project manager, but we don't always have to chat in order to tell people what we're up to. I can say that right now do not disturb us on because I'm filming this project or I can say I've stepped out to an appointment without making the announcement without sending everybody that notification that's going to take them out of their focus. I can update my status so they can always go and check when they have a free moment what I am up to. It's also a great idea to take those regular breaks in your deep focus work to be able to touch base with the team or check on the communication portals to see if you have gotten an update from someone else on what they're up to, that you might need to know. And another way that I kind of like to just like sneaky let everyone know that I'm a little overwhelmed by the project I have in front of me that's going to take a lot of time, is to actually do the opposite and gush about how lucky I am to be able to do the work that I get to do. Oh my gosh, I get to sit down and I get to record this 10 lesson class today, how exciting! It's gonna take a lot of focus and time and energy and lights and cameras and action, but I know I can do it and by having that conversation it's a much more positive vibe. First of all that you get to have with the people that you care about close by or in a digital space so that they then get to be excited for you and that respect that they give you in turn will equate to some of that focus time that you need as well when you over communicate your state, it's much less likely that you get that really annoying question, are you busy? Because busy, in my opinion is such a copout word, I'm so busy, I'm so busy and yet aren't we always aren't we all always busy. And the fifth and final communication habit is to not punish others for your mistakes. Yes. You ever communicated Yes. You set yourself up for success. Yes. You even did everything you could to educate all of those around you as to what you're up to and what focus looks like for. You know, it's not gonna work out every time we need to be able to take a page out of the stoic philosophers books and quite literally remember that the only thing in our control is our own reasoned choice. You always have a choice of how you respond to people who still just don't get it, or worse have their own agenda and just don't care no matter what. Always, always, always do your best without blaming somebody else for your lack of productivity. Life happens, we've just got to get over it and it's not going to be effective to try to allow all of the responsibility of what doesn't get done on your part to be put onto others. Just taking a couple of these steps, having a few of these habits in place for your communication skills is going to completely change the game for how productive that you are and how well you can stay focused. So we don't have to lose our minds over every single incident. If you are working on something that is so insanely challenging that you cannot possibly fathom a couple of hiccups happening throughout the day, You've got to take those steps on your own and say, you know what, maybe I'm not working from home today, maybe it's something else. Maybe I need to make arrangements to be secluded someplace else and now we know how to communicate our best work from home approach to those around us, habit number one plan for the best, prepare for the worst habit number to talk about productivity with your family and those close to you, habit number three, practice and share productivity mantras habit number four over communicate your current state and habit number five, don't punish others for your mistakes. Next, we're going to talk about one of my favorite productivity mantras, no, is a full sentence