Author's note: I am hoping this will be a series, but, given all that is happening, we'll see how it goes.
Second author's note: I know that "Don't Panic" is from HHGTTG and the picture is from Firefly. I am a dork on a massive scale and this conflict was made in full awareness of the outrage it may inspire.
In 2013, when we started this business, I came from a full time (beyond full time, many weeks) corporate job. A huge part of the initial struggle for us in starting this business came from my struggle with "zero gravity living": this feeling that nothing I did really mattered, and could I be sure that I really existed at all.
If you'd like to read my earlier blog post on 8 Things to do When You Just Can't, I do recommend it.
I know that so many people are either out of work or working from home these days, and so, my friends, welcome to zero gravity living.
You might wake up wondering when you should get out of bed, if you should get out of bed at all. After all, is anything really pressing? What does it matter if you spend the day in bed?
My friend, it matters a lot
One of the things you're probably adjusting to is the fact that, for the most part, many of us do what we do every day so we can be acceptable to the people around us. But with all this social distancing, does anyone really know if you're wearing your pajamas all day long?
Nope, they probably don't. But that doesn't mean you should wear your pajamas all day, because now, you get to change out of your pajamas FOR YOU.
Step 1: Get yourself dressed... RIGHT.
How liberating it is to do things for YOURSELF, and not just because some pre-defined social structure mandates you do! Once you realize that you can wear that sexy astronaut costume to do dishes, you have reached fashion nirvana.
That's right: I'm telling you to get out of your pajamas and slide into something you love but daren't wear outside... because you're not going outside anyways. You might as well be awesome.
Step 2: Do your routine
About a year into my zero gravity living, I realized the importance of daily routines. I don't mean routines like making coffee and dragging your toothbrush around your mouth, I mean new and specific to your mental health routines.
In 2013, I started what I called The Checklist of Doom (read the article about it).
Since then, I started modifying that checklist for different purposes. Right now, my checklist represents a bunch of daily tasks that help me set myself up for success:
- Recording a video of the sunrise - Helps me to put things in perspective
- Journaling - Helps me to reflect on how things are going
- Food prep for day - Helps me to be sure I go for healthy foods during the day, rather than just grabbing whatever I can
- Breakfast - A cornerstone of my day
- Meditation - Helps me keep my head on straight (I also wrote an article about meditation)
- Dance Party - Well, this should just be obvious. But in case it isn't, I have found that dancing around like crazy to my favorite tunes is a really important way to start my day
- Stretching - Because everywhere needs blood flow
- Reading - I read that the top leaders spend at least 20 minutes every day reading a book to improve their skills, so I do that too
- Kiss Husband - Believe it or not, some mornings I almost forget because I'm so frazzled
- Write Card - Since this whole social distancing thing is happening, it's easier than ever to feel disconnected. My friend sent me a postcard the other day, and it made me so happy I decided to start writing one every day, too
I have a big checklist on my whiteboard:
On the right are things that I remember I have to do while I'm doing my routine so I don't get sidetracked.
Step 3: Start your day
And that's just the beginning! Hopefully, you can get this all done by 9:00 and get to work on your favorite projects... if you're working from home, you probably already have a list of stuff to do. If you just lost your job, it's a really good time to get started on that project you've been thinking about starting someday, maybe.
I hope this is helpful in getting your day started in a zero gravity environment. I'll post more tips as I think of them. As it turns out, this whole "surviving very uncertain situations" thing is very close to my regular life as an entrepreneur.
Be well, wash your hands, and Live Outlaw! 🔥