I don’t know about you, but the first few weeks of quarantine were among the weirdest times of my life. I felt like I was in a science fiction film.
We had to cope with so many disruptions — the economic impact of COVID-19, the fear of getting sick and the mental stress of isolation with your family. Having to lead a company through all of that takes its psychological toll.
My family and I quarantined with another family that we happened to be with the first weekend of the pandemic. We called them our “designated family.” We spend the first three weeks together, helping each other with child care, talking through potential economic situations, doing daily workouts and, well, drinking. Yeah, like a lot of Americans, we drank our fair portion of alcohol for the first few weeks, and our routine become much more regular after that.
Now that it seems like life is going back to normal, for better or worse, I made the decision to do a reset of my habits in order to get back to a normal routine. Here are the four things I implemented post lockdown.
1. Remove or uninstall Facebook
A long time ago, I made a policy that I would not post or comment on controversial issues. Mainly, politics. However, COVID-19 lured me into many traps because it started as a nonpolitical issue. When I commented on issues of health and safety, I didn’t think it would be a political post.
By the time I realized it was, I was already emotionally invested. The reason I stopped was because I realized that getting caught in the trap of trying to change someone’s opinion is much like trying to stop a tornado by walking into it and spinning the opposite direction. It just doesn’t ever work.
These days, I’m seeing a lot of real estate agents and team leaders across the country posting regularly about their COVID-19 opinions, debating wearing a mask, wondering if this is a democratic conspiracy and criticizing the government. Stop doing that.
We all have our opinions, but as business leaders, it’s not our function to discuss them. I’ve hit the unfriend button on so many people on both sides of the spectrum here. I can guarantee that you’re not helping your business.
2. Keep unhealthy drinking and eating habits at bay
Last year, I attempted to take 30 days off of drinking, which then turned into 100 days. It was a game-changer for a lot of reasons. I found that I had more patience and clarity. I was able to clear my mind of a lot of selfish rationalizing that I was doing and focus on my family and business.
But the main thing is to reset to a “normal” consumption of alcohol and not make it a daily occurrence. I went two weeks without it, and now I’m back to pre-COVID drinking.
3. Check the news only once a day
This is a big one for me. We all have our thoughts on what the government should or shouldn’t be doing at this time. But to check the news several times a day is like getting caught up on Facebook conversations. It’s a distraction that we have very little control over.
4. Check in with one of my agents every day
As a leader and a recruiter, I have a daily commitment to call or text five outside agents a day, but I also need to make sure my own agents aren’t feeling left out. We do a lot to maintain our company culture, including one-on-one professional development meetings, group meetings and accountability groups. But sometimes, a quick check-in call that’s a little less formal can go a long way.
This thing isn’t over — not by a long shot. But things are starting to get back to normal, and as leaders, we need to keep our focus on our business and eliminate as many unnecessary distractions as possible.
Ryan Rodenbeck is the broker-owner of Spyglass Realty and Investments in Austin. Connect with him on Instagram.
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