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Thrive in life and business with 6 practical daily hacks

Written by Daryl Woodhouse on Monday, 01 June 2020. Posted in Wellbeing, People

We are undoubtedly in difficult times – a situation most of us have not experienced in our lifetimes.

Thrive in life and business with 6 practical daily hacks

We are undoubtedly in difficult times – a situation most of us have not experienced in our lifetimes.

The emotional anxiety every time you read or think about the news. How bad is this going to get? Am I doing enough to keep my family safe from the virus? Will there be a bed available in the ICU to help us fight it off if one of us contracts this? What will happen if one of our vulnerable elderly relative’s contracts this? We will not be allowed to visit them?

The financial uncertainty we face. Will the businesses and jobs of my clients survive? If they do not, where will I generate my income from? How much should I cut back my business and household spending to protect cash? How bad could the economy get if unemployment and poverty spirals upwards from the Coronacrisis?

The mental health impact of living in isolation and being shut off from doing the things that we normally enjoy. Eating out with friends, going on holiday, visiting the gym and much more.

It sucks. Really!

So, what next? We have a choice.

We can let the worry and uncertainty consume us and worsen our situation by falling into panic, depression, negative patterns of behaviour such as alcoholism, gambling and gaming.

Or we can keep our chins up and maintain a positive determination that whilst it may be tough for some time, we will get through it with resilience, togetherness, proactivity and innovation.

I really hope we can all choose wisely with the positive option, and here are some practical hacks for life and business to help you and those in your circle of influence (family, friends, colleagues, suppliers, customers, your local community). 

Life hacks to thrive through tough times.

A what we have mentality.  Life can be so cruel and short, so make the most of what we do have. As much as possible do not focus on what we do not have!

Fit your own oxygen mask first. When we can fly again, the cabin crew will ask you in the event of an emergency to put your own mask on first. This point is about continuing to work on being the best version of yourself.

By proactively developing your mental health and physical fitness you will be strengthening your resilience and ability to live your fullest life whilst being in the best shape to provide for your circle of influence.

Consider building your own mental fitness training plan – just like you would with a personal training plan to boost your physical fitness. I am talking about eating foods which are good for your brain such as blueberries and broccoli, a consistent healthy sleep routine and join some virtual yoga or mindfulness classes. Further regular time enjoying fresh air outdoors with walks, running, cycling and gardening are great for your mind and your body too! Share what you like from this and get your circle of influence involved too.

Be a hero in your circle of influence. This is about using the improved version of yourself to proactively help others. A problem shared is a problem halved, so the more we support each other proactively, collaborate and share, the easier this will get.

Join one of your local Coronavirus community Facebook groups and be helpful. Share positivity, offer help to the vulnerable for a few hours each week whilst remaining safe – gardening, food shopping. If you are fortunate to be able to spare a little cash, then even five pounds can go to a good cause.

Check-in regularly with your family and friends. How are they really doing? Is there anything you can do for them? Organise an online quiz every Friday night with them, or maybe bingo, a virtual Netflix popcorn & movie night, a virtual bake off, make and share your favourite cocktail recipe? 

By staying social with regular video conferencing, you are doing great for your own wellbeing through isolation, whilst also boosting that of those you invite to join you… 

Business Hacks to thrive through tough times.

Leapfrog past your competition. Many of your competitors are giving you a golden opportunity by cutting their spending for protecting cash to the extreme. History has shown us that they are helping themselves in the short term but worsening their chance of long-term recovery.

Adopt an ‘investment over cost mindset’ and leap ahead of your competition.

For example, even a little PR and advertising spend by many businesses right now is having a higher chance of gaining responses with a lower spend.  If you can take advantage of the credit the government has opened to boost your short-term cash flow whilst markets recover, and to continue ‘some’ spending on proactive growth activities to future proof your business.

Consider continuing or expanding your marketing outreach, form new strategic and collaborative partnerships, create digital transformation projects and level up employee training. Doing all or some of these activities whilst your competitors slow down or to even stop, means your business or career will likely be in a stronger position than your competitors.

Get personal on the phone and online.

For example, produce more ‘helpful’ advice or top tips around your expertise in blogs and videos, take time to learn how to do it well and how to optimise them. If you don’t have much to share yourself, then look for content and advice from other people which you can share – you’ll be doing them a favour by raising their profile with credits, whilst being helpful to your circle of influence and giving your own profile a boost.

Whilst your customers, suppliers, friends and families’ businesses are likely suffering, and many cutting their spending back, this is a great time to speak to them more. You and they might have a little more time than usual due to lockdown, furloughing etc, so use this as an opportunity to pick up the phone to more people more often.

Not to sell anything to them. Just to be helpful and caring. Here are some prompts/questions you could be using in a phone or video call 1:1 to any of your working friends, family, clients and wider business contacts (such as suppliers or introducers).

Hi Sally, I just wanted to check-in and see how you are through these difficult times?
Tell me about how you have approached staying safe, home schooling and business survival.
I might not have all the answers, but we can join our thoughts to try and find answers.
What can I do to be helpful to you for your work or outside of work? Even if it is someone to talk to?
Is there any advice I can provide, useful contacts you need, challenges we can talk through?

Beware of damage to your eye health and brain function by spending too much time on zoom or devices staring at a screen.  Where appropriate, do these calls in the garden if you have one, or on your doorstep, and encourage the other person to do the same – just being outside in the fresh air is much better for your health! 

Expand your LinkedIn network. This is a great time to build your professional network. Swot up on how to best use LinkedIn to connect with more of your ‘ideal’ customers and introducers.  Set up ‘get to know’ each other calls. Use some of the prompts shared above.

Again, do not try to hard sell your services to them right now – most people are not buying right now whilst they protect cash and prioritise their families at home. This is about using some of our extra quiet time now to be helpful to others in this time of need, whilst building your network and reputation for when people are ready to start spending.

If you apply some of my advice herein, then people will remember you for being helpful and kind which is also great for your mental health when your head hits the pillow at bedtime, reflecting on all the great things you did to help others in your circle of influence today.

About the Author

Daryl Woodhouse

Daryl Woodhouse

Daryl Woodhouse is a 26-time award-winning adviser & entrepreneur, speaker and trainer, helping entrepreneurs, business leaders and their employees achieve a healthy work-life balance, mental fitness, productivity and business growth.

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