2020 starts with the usual family unitedness and then we all drift into our respective corners of the busy world trying to juggle work, children, health guilt and relaxation whenever you can squeeze it in, with the planned trip at some point in the year.
If you are a 21-year-old, you add in a hectic social life, exams, tik toks and series of milestone birthday parties followed by your first trip of your lifetime with friends costing you gleefully most of your life savings.
For some there will be new babies, marriages, divorces and break ups, career goals, business ambitions and a whole lot of social media consumption.
Whatever the situation, it all came to a momentary pause some months ago, as a Pandemic changed the social structures of the developed world.
So, what is my situation – well! I have a Tech Start up 14 months live! Wahoo! And have been given a gift.
I have a day job that calls me to commute up to 1.5 hours a day and always has me staying late, because I struggle to time manage my exit from working or interacting. Therefore, being late to get home before dark, not enough quality family time as I squeeze in a diet of convenience, sync with all and before I know it my eyes are closing as I fit in a few things before CheeHoo whilst all are tucked into at home. All first world problems!
My gift is I have spent the last 10 weeks with no commute, started a 6-week challenge for fitness, have eaten so much nutrients…like it was fuel for my body (funny that) and saved money with less commute and convenience buying. I have been more productive at my day job; I have spent more time at home with family and more time for CheeHoo without disrupting a good night’s sleep.
Wow is this it!!??? Is this what they call work life balance!!?? Finally, it took a pandemic for me to find it.
So, question is do I love it? Is it something I want to keep? Am I worried to lose it again returning to the office commute and previous disciplines of modern society? Yes, I’m afraid I love it and I do not want to return to the previous regimented rituals, I want the flow of flexibility to be my future, where you cut through engagement with purposeful on point meetings and when you do see each other and engage its met with more excitement as you see people who also are enjoying the flexibility of digital work practices.
This new taste of being, doing receiving has multiple benefits to my life, that to go back to what it was would be like being locked up back in a basement of a resort in the Maldives after I had just spent 7 weeks on the shoreside swimming with Nemo. Ok a bit exaggerated because I do miss my coffees, the morning hellos to all and the dressing up out of my sweats.
So! Not everyone feels this way about Iso. Some are itching to return to the office, where social environments provide them a boost of energy and happiness. Where being at home is not that crash hot and feels more like a regimented ritual of balancing and juggling more.
The reason I started CheeHoo was to find a way to hack into life and create a tool that acted like a mini me, contained all my organisation needs in one spot, where juggling, delegating and connecting was supported by automation with my Tribe. A way that everyone could share the load with those around them, without insistent guilt and remorse when your memory did not hold up and you didn’t have time to co-ordinate a social life through chat sessions. Turning goals into actions with a pretty interface and the nag was automated and not me.
I wanted balance and balance is currently here, challenging the structure of modern society, where driving somewhere to sit in a box and work a 10hour day to get money to put into consumer habits was normal.
My dream of having a business where all the team were virtual, and we met face to face once to twice a week in an office where our fur babies and loved ones were welcomed, and we used the time to review, collaborate, brain storm and plan, allowing us to then go kick life goals and work goals as we saw fit.
Going back to normal post Covid-19 – will it be back to the traditional structures or will we be changing the expectation and increasing the trust developed to allow people to work in a way that compliments life based on outcomes and output.
Whatever way we return to post Isolife for an office worker, we all have a chance to reflect and question the structures of society and pick the parts that allow us to live life to the fullest and enjoy the journey at the same time. Employers have tasted what it is like to go digital and people should have the choice to leverage the digital tools of society and balance their life the way they want, whilst being successful and recognised. I know my household are a little more grateful for what we have in the developed world and appreciate the joys of community and balance iso gave us.
What’s your thoughts on isolife and post?
There are many ways to get shit done and most of the time I have no problems doing it. However, when I have a block, I recognise it to be a handful of blueprinted behaviour that rises, no matter how big or small the task.
These are the:
1. Procrastination loop – hate this feeling
2. Debbie downer - the Doubter
3. Perfectionist, obsessive – the staller
When getting shit done, you need to talk less on the subject and spend more time doing!
Too much chatter focused on what you’re attempting to do can be the start of the Procrastination loop. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need to talk yourself into an idea, as it can create the momentum and energy to get started. But at a point it must turn into an action, otherwise you can count yourself as being at risk of being one of those people… Yes, the ones that just talk and a couple of years later are still talking.
If you get caught in this cycle often, you need to practice being aware of the words you say out loud and the action you follow behind it. I make it a practice to allow the words that come out of my mouth to be the plan I intend on executing. Once I say it out loud to someone, starting with I’m going to, that is my commitment and promise and I am compelled to do it. So, I only ever just start with Step one. I don’t rush all the steps or overthink it. The rest of the steps come, as you create action – practice this, it helps you step out of the procrastination loop.
If I have an idea still incubating in my mind and I need help in pushing it along, I select one, maximum two people I trust whole heartedly to provide me an environment where my thoughts can be ratified safely. I tend to do this for the more serious ideas where I feel vulnerable or like I’m over-reaching my abilities, but I am compelled to pursue. Like doing a start up!
But, if you tend to do this often with the smaller decisions, you may need to work on reflecting on why you are not trusting yourself before you take the leap. Do you have your facts, do you know step 1 because that’s all you need to start? If you have all of this and still haven’t decided, maybe measure the consequence of failing. If it’s small and you wouldn’t even remember it in 1 years’ time, then just do it. This is called measuring risk, just don’t live there!
Now you have started, but then you become stuck again, especially when you are executing something personal, complex or new to you, either can be equally challenging.
Welcome Debbie downer. Right now, my plan is to launch CheeHoo in a couple of weeks, there has been a few delays and at times I have this overcrowded sensation which looks like fear that I am not ready! So here are the steps in front of me at a high level; get the mountain of development done, testing continuously, then pull the trigger and get it into Beta Testing (Testing with more people than me and my team), then launch. It feels like forever and a lot, so doubt creeps in and dances around me.
If you ask me to do this in my day job, I can do it blind folded with no hesitation or fear but doing it for myself... that’s a whole other psychological mind trip. I’m new to the start-up world (my excuse). I am very familiar with delivering technology in the corporate world. Where you have a team, everyone has a role and knows deadlines, we get shit done. The cost of slippage is shared, and consequence of failing is bigger than me, so a totally different feeling to what it is like, when it’s your own start up, and you are accountable for everything!
To overcome these anxieties, I have to play mind tricks on myself. I pretend I’m doing it for another company, not my own, just to take some of the edge off. When that’s not working, I then go to that trusted person to fill my boots with sometimes biased confidence then turn around and keep going. When I’m doing this, I know it’s biased, but unfortunately my brain and its associated feelings are bigger than me, so I have to trick it out of the vicious Debbie downer cycle and remove the doubt with a sense of validation and certainty, to help me carry on – this works, trust me!
Perfectionist, obsessive. So, what about when you pass a deadline and your still not done and its out of your control? I have this feeling right now. It does not feel cool! When you’re so keen to get things done and you can see a completed puzzle but some of the pieces are missing. This is frustrating as hell. You cannot rush product quality, nor can you perfect and over engineer… Aggghh, what kind of contradiction is this? Then you should check you’re not over perfecting and you’re not stalling for the wrong reasons, but the right ones.
At this point I must decision based on gut feel, to balance the anxious rush with a calmed patience for what must be done right, to know when I’m selecting the right thing is impossible, so gut intuition must kick in. Doing this is not easy, but I’m now very practiced, I trust my gut a lot more than I use too. It is especially challenging to do this, when you have publicly made a commitment to do this by a certain time, but you also committed yourself to delivering what is in your vision, which needs a little more time. (note to self: don’t even communicate public timelines).
I have people asking me how it is going? are you done yet? At times my initial reaction is Get of my Jock, purely because of my own internal dialogue and expectation, which is now heightened because I am running over time, but then I wake up and realise they are as excited as me to see it done. So, I choose to leverage that pressure for more momentum to carry on, oh that’s after I have muttered curse words under my breath – yes, I am human.
Overall there is no secret serum to getting things done. Just a level of awareness of your patterns when you’re stuck and a forgiveness to allow yourself to restart. I find myself so practiced in my reflection that I now have created habits to just keep going, these are my default habits when I get stuck. Shake it off, start again and when in doubt, tell your fear to shut the Fruck up! You have not got time on this earth to sit in a Procrastination loop, be a Debbie downer, or become Perfectionist obsessive if it doesn’t impact your overall vision.
This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
Well who the f*ck knows. All I know is how I start my day and there really is nothing that romantic about it.
I do know I have read it all; the tips and tricks about how successful people wake up, exercise early like an athlete, meditate like a Yogi, then read a pile of books before 7am blah blah blah...
I find these inspirational articles overwhelming, un-motivating and sometimes leaving me feeling like a sloth.
It sounds like these successful people I read about, Zen through life just because of their morning rituals. What they don’t write about is their habits the rest of the day or their mornings before they hit success. Surely now, they have the luxury of help, so they can prioritise that marathon run followed by an ice-cold plunge bath. For most successful men I imagine they are either single or have a partner behind them picking up the pieces of the morning.
I am an early riser, but when I am on holidays, I won’t be out of bed before 8.30am. Preferring coffee in bed, so I can sit there and procrastinate pretending I have no cares, obligations or duties to run too, it’s the best. But not often enough.
So as a very normal person juggling the daily of this modern-day world, most of my morning routine comes from the pull of gazillion things I want to get done before I hustle off to the office. Sometimes its routine, sometimes it’s chaotic because it’s more compressed as I fit more in.
My system in place is a mix of; walking the dog, coffee, do some emails (small items that are quick to tick off), social check in, calendar and priorities check in, tidy house, shower, get dressed, feed people, check the time, realise I’m late as I rush out the door. Oh, and I also spend a few moments procrastinating on what I’m going to wear.
In the evenings it’s just as busy, as I get into bed I start to remember all the things I missed off my to do list and close my eyes to start all over again.
I have worked out however, the structure and routine I once clung too, has been replaced by a fluid motion of juggling and compromising, mainly with myself. I have enlisted the help of my husband and find we are doing the tag team to get to our commitments and often find some things are dropped, but instead of apologising, I just keep the train moving and don’t entertain the normal saga of feeling bad.
I have learnt that 24 hours is a long time and sleep is overrated, especially when you have a purpose focused on getting monkeys off the back and hustling to create a Start-up. I find my systems need to include practical support and adapting the routine when I can’t carry it all. Sometimes I need to breathe and fit in what I can, knowing it’s okay and enough. This mantra is my system and ritual.
So back to the question how do successful people start their mornings?
I believe a successful day is:
Lastly avoid reading articles about how successful people get it all done when they are gazillionaire’s and have the help to do it, find the article that shows their rituals when they had nothing and we’re just starting out. Otherwise just keep doing you, you are enough.
This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
CheeHoo, a passionate demonstration of emotion through war or celebration, much like life. Walking through one step at a time, day by day, year by year. It’s crazy to think how much we fit in and how much we don’t. How much our brains consume, how much our heart feels and how hard and easy it is on any given minute.
Do you ever wonder whether you’re on the right path, living the right life, having the right priorities, whilst enjoying life?
Do you ever reflect and think; wow, I have just passed a year and I made the most of that chapter and have so much more to live? Years fly pass and its easy to get caught up in the routine and daily pressures and its easy not to reflect. Reflection is not only positive or negative milestones, but from a value of life and happiness perspective. Am I living the type of life that I can appreciate all the moments, good and bad. What did I learn, have I evolved as a human? Do I know myself more and do I know those I love, more? Do I have a deeper sense of myself? Have the conditions I put on myself and others, evolved?
I reflect often as I take this CheeHoo journey and realise only a year ago I truly knew nothing about the depth of the conditions I set in my life. In the past I have had no capacity to think deeply into myself, I was too busy being disciplined, successful, pleasing, grounded but somewhat disconnected.
I was running multiple races in my daily life. Leading a small enterprise; job, family, household, over committed weekends, curating (at times in my head) a fabulous life, whilst capturing it on my social feed; which I’ve never been good at personally but did try. Some people are amazing at it, juggling more, plus more social channels, including Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, messenger, mailboxes and hectic schedules. Then on top of this we have a ritual of a few hours a week catching up on our alter egos via Netflix or Stan.
This is the modern-society pattern, especially women. We fit so much in and hang on sometimes, by a thread. Our mind is so busy with keeping everything a float, our brain often cannot function without it, for fear of missing out.
When I’m in the thick of juggling life, especially work, I am on autopilot. Operating faster and harsher. My throughput increases but my patience shortens, I have shallow breathing, tightened shoulders and barely notice the outside world until the job is done. I get tunnel focused, where my loved ones around me are just shrubs I’m passing by whilst doing 200 on a highway. This is when I’m at my peak of stress and I don’t realise it. Then after running like this for some time my body starts to give in and the signs appear, I get a head cold, injure a body part, end up looking like a well put together zombie in a hamster wheel.
I wake up some mornings not even remembering the thoughts I had before I slept. Some Monday’s get blurred for Thursday’s before I know it I’m counting down Friday’s. Then suddenly I stop as my body gives in and it’s a Sunday and I finally stare out at the world blissful in gratitude for the air I am breathing. I then reflect on all the things I could have done better, or not done at all. Managing all the noise around us is hard work and sometimes it’s full time just to feel some level of structure and organisation with so many things screaming for your attention.
I have recently realised my patterns and consciously trying to slow my mind and create new behaviours and get comfortable. I am still productive plus creating a start-up, but I am trying to remove the false conditions in my life, the extra noise and chatter that goes on. I make smarter decisions, so I don’t over commit, but also don’t limit. I have removed some old habits that don’t contribute to the outcome; including the duplication of to do lists; notes on my phone, home office, kitchen calendar, reminding me to climb a mountain and live life.
I have simplified it, which has taken some time to do and lots of behaviour realignment, breathing and self-talk. I still want to climb mountains and I haven’t removed it all. Working on CheeHoo gives me hope that more tools functional designed to promote the right things, like organising noise not adding to it and keeping connected to those most important, will help me do the rest. I will have a personal assistant and lifestyle app; however, the rest is up to me, my awareness of life and how precious it is, will reshape how I live.
We humans have it good. With intuition to seek progress and the ambition to build rockets, I am blessed to have grown into these feet right here, right now. Though we all have pain, fear and doubt, if I flood my brain with gratitude and limit negative thoughts it generates a strength and appreciation that leads the way.
Practising this state of mind is an ongoing journey and requires awareness, trust in a process of forgiveness when you forget. It’s not easy but as with many things creating a new habit takes practice.
With only 7 weeks to go to the Launch of CheeHoo, I am shitting myself on the daily, whilst carrying on. At times thinking if I am the only one that will need this and just how uncomfortable this new world of a start-up is for me, where I am not certain of the outcome and I must flow with where my decisions take me. This is CheeHoo Life, where nothing is impossible. You Love, you are Loved, and the universe aligns to serve you!
Spend less time caught up in the clutter and more focusing on what is truly important.