13. Surviving in the Whirlwind

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Smooth Operator/Podcast/13. Surviving in the Whirlwind

13. Surviving in the Whirlwind


Sometimes, you just need to go “all in”

That’s where I’ve been the last several weeks. We had simultaneous projects all coming to fruition at the same time which all required a ton of my attention. It was a tough period.

And yet I feel like I’m coming out of it a little better than I have in the past. Some things that I’ve added into my routine have been a tremendous benefit to giving me the strength and mental acuity to survive while in the trough.

Because launches are a part of what we do. It’s a part of our experience and you can either fight it or lean into it.

It’s something that I’ve also been uniquely prepared for given my background in special ops. Emergencies and tough times were part of the game.

Hard times make hard men
Hard men make good times
Good times make weak men
Weak men make hard times

What helped me get to this period? There were a handful of things that really helped to move the needle this time around.

Learn more in this episode.

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What's up everyone, welcome back to another episode, it's been far too long, since I've recorded because I mean, it's been one of those months, it's been one of those times where in the business, I just had to go all in, we had multiple launches going on simultaneously, multiple really big projects, and I just, I had to put everything aside and really put every bit of my energy, every last thing I had to bring those to fruition at the same time, required a ton of my attention. It was a really tough period, but I'm coming out of it much better, much stronger than I have in the past, I have a new mental model of how to work through the world and work through the trough. And some of the things that I've added into my routine, there's just had a tremendous benefit, just to give me the strength and the mental acuity to survive and really thrive while in the trough.

And if you're in this business, if you if you're an online education like me, like launches are part of what we do. You know, a launch is always a big experience. It's it's something that I set my calendar to, like plan launches well in advance, it's it's part of the business, really. And when something's that much a part of your business, you really have two choices, you can lean into it, or you can fight it, I have fought it in the past, it doesn't work out too well, you have to lean into it. And honestly, it's something I've been uniquely prepared for given my background in Special Ops, I mean, emergencies, tough times were part of the game. You know, it's a great saying that I really like it says hard times make hard men, hard men make good times good times, make weak men, weak men make hard times since you have that cyclical nature of how comfort and things going well make us a little weak. And then that makes weak times but you know, when we're in the weak times, it's when we become hard again. And so just this constant cyclical nature, and I'm conscious of that. And it's, it's something that I'm trying not to fall prey to, when things aren't going well, letting yourself relax a little bit, staying on top of things is such a huge part of it. And really, it all comes down to our habits and our routines or habits and our routines are the cornerstone of what's going to allow us to continue to have the momentum and the the forward forward drive that we need to have. And there are a couple really key pivotal things as I reflect back on these last couple of weeks. That helped me move forward and helped me move the needle this time around.

The first is I kept my exercise regimen, I was still going to the gym every morning, taking the time out of my day to do that I hadn't always done that in the past, I would just you know, put aside my workout and just stick to the computer. But what I found is that I don't get to refresh my energy, I just stay in that, you know really working in about 25 to 40% range where when I'm working 80 to 90% capacity, I'm able to do a whole lot more, a whole lot quicker and taking time out of the office to go recharge get on the treadmill get in the weight room. That's a key part to recharging my batteries and getting me ready to go. So keeping those regiments those, those those deliberate things that we do every day in our morning routine for me one of the key things is exercise. It's really the SEC second thing is that I did actually devoted more time to daily planning and working through my planner I do keep a planner. It's a physical planner, I don't do planning with a any kind of digital tool. It's all physical written down. Because of the connection that happens in your brain. When you actually write something with pen to paper, it's much different than when you're typing something. It's very tempting when you come into the office just to jump in and because you know there are tactical level stuff that you can tackle immediately without needing to plan but I found I only get lost in the scrum I will miss the big projects because they get so caught up in the whirlwind and doing the little things that I forget the big things that I'm not able to keep those in their proper place in my planning schedule. And just keeping the daily planning keeping in my planner, not only at the beginning of day but at the end of the day when I you know download what happened in the day take accountability for what went well that day. What I'm thankful for all those things they add to our presence of mind and presence in the moment. So keep the daily planning work through your planner, no matter how tactically busy you are.

Another neat little thing as I I always stage meals, snacks, caffeine, all those things throughout the day. If they're predictable, they're scheduled and at arm's length, I actually set timers on my phone, for when it's time to eat, when it's time to recharge when I need to get another cup of coffee. Because when you're working through those those really time intensive and consuming tasks, it's so easy to forget, so easy to forget that crap boss was to eat lunch, when your timer set to it, you remember to take that break, take that time to walk away, get some calories in, you recharge, and I keep everything at arm's length, I have a fully stocked little kitchenette out here in the office where I'll have, you know, little little bars and you know, pre made meals that I keep in the refrigerator, anything to make sure that when it's time to eat, I have it right there. And I take as much thought away from it as possible, where I'm just going like a machine working through it. So I highly recommend that even for regular times. We do know that decision making fatigue is a thing. And so I try to avoid that. I avoid decision making fatigue. By having little things like meals and snacks, and even clothing I wear basically the same same uniform every day. All those things are scheduled. And they're just part of a routine that I keep. The other thing I really did this time was I leaned on to my team much more than I have in the past, I would ask for help, I would be vulnerable to talk about things that I need from them. And they were always willing to jump in. My team members really did what they could to help. Even things that not weren't necessarily in their job description.

They just knew that I needed something done. And I would ask and it would get done. And Part A big part of how I've cultivated that culture on our team is that we are very outcome oriented, we're looking towards the project looking toward the towards the end state, what we're trying to do together and casting that vision, and then bringing them through it. And what I found is when people are working from an outcome when they're working from a vision, you're always going to get the best results from them. Because they are there, they're working through that same framework that you have of getting to the end state the desired end state that we're all working towards. And finally, we all have those boring, repetitive tasks that have to be done, especially during a launch. Usually, I'll do those first thing in the morning on a regular day, because I find that if I don't do them, it bugs me all day. If I don't do the boring repetitive tasks, during these high intensity times, I actually will do a lot when my energy is at its lowest. So a lot of times in the evening, before bed, I'll do a lot of those boring, repetitive tasks. So it's not on my desk when I start in the morning because my energy is at its highest in the morning. So I'm able to get the stuff that requires more thought more care, more creative thinking when my brain is the freshest and, and there's the boring, repetitive tasks tend to stack up. And you know, even just being able to come in in the morning and know that you don't have that big stack of paperwork on your desk man, it just it makes the day even start out so much better. And let's be honest, a lot of those tasks we don't need are our best self for we're just, we're a robot in many ways when working through those tasks.

So you might as well schedule it for when you're in robot time anyway. So I mean, overall, recording this episode, I finally feel like myself again. For the first time in a couple of weeks. There was one final thing I did to pull myself the rest of the way out and reset myself is I came into the office yesterday morning, I looked around and I took a nap. I sat on my chair, and I slept and I hit my I set my alarm for 20 minutes, my usual power nap. When the alarm went off, I hit snooze. And then I hit snooze again. And again. After roughly 90 minutes, I finally emerged and I noticed immediately I stepped up and I just felt fresh, rejuvenated, in a way I haven't felt in weeks, I had a new level of concentration a new level of direction again, I'd made it through the launch, I made it through the whirlwind and I was finally able to start looking forwards again. I was able to concentrate and be myself my best self. I didn't just jumped straight into things at that point. But I took the time to take stock took the time to go around my office cleaning up reading through them through some things that have piled up, enjoying time in silence, drinking a cup of really, really well made French press coffee.

And now I'm back. So I'm not going to pretend like I actually have all this figured out this stuff is a nonstop process of figuring out what works best for you what works best for us and I'm what I'm finding Even as the things that worked well for me six months ago, I'm constantly Reeve, reinvigorating things and finding new ways that I work and new ways that I operate as I grew as a person. But I know I'm getting better and able to navigate through the tough times and come out reasonably strong and actually pretty chipper. So there's a long way to go. But the next step you can take is just that the next step, okay, so just keep moving forward, do the right thing. Find ways where you are able to operate at your best self, even when overburdened and spinning lots of plates, trying to keep everything in the air, constantly trying new things and just keeping your direction forward. It's going to win every time and even when you lose. I mean, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and know that we all fall off the horse sometimes and just keep on moving forward. Alright, everyone, I hope this episode finds you working at your best self. And I hope you're able to take something out of it. This little things that I've found, we're gonna get back to much regular episodes of the podcast Giada. I outlined four episodes last night. So I'm going to record a couple today and get them get them rolling for you. And I hope this all helps hope this allows you to really be your best self. Meantime, check me out at www dot Adam liette.com I look forward to seeing you there and have a good one.

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