eCommerce Lifestyle

This Is Not Normal…


​Today, I want to pivot from our normal content because things are far from normal.

So for the next 4 episodes, I’m going to be sharing tips on how you can earn more and put your time to good use during this pandemic.

As always, don't hesitate to ask questions and feel free to comment below.

What's Covered in This Episode:

​Strategies to use while working from home​

  • ​​Schedule a call with your team at the start of the work week

  • ​Use a communication channel (Slack)

  • ​​​​​Use Google Drive for file management

  • ​Use Basecamp for task creation and assignment

  • ​Have a proper workplace setup

  • ​Use noise canceling headphones, dual monitors, a good keyboard and mouse

  • ​Use a timer

If you liked today’s show, please subscribe on iTunes to The eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast! The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.

Links From This Episode:

This ​podcast is also available in video form. Click ‘Play’ below to start watching. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for weekly updates and insights!


What's up everybody, Anton Kraly here from eCommerce and welcome back to the podcast. Today is actually episode 180. Yes, we've done 179 different episodes and they have all focused on how you can increase your revenue, how you can automate your operations and how you can become the authority in your niche. But today I wanted to pivot from our normal conversations because today, things are far from normal. And this is especially true when it comes to working from home. And I know with the audience, right? With you, with our listeners, we have a bunch of people who are currently running their online stores as side hustles while they work their normal job. We also have a good portion of people that are working their normal job while building their business so they can eventually quit. And what happened over the past four months, as I'm sure you're aware, is the whole world kind of changed, especially when it comes to physical interaction. And what this led to is a lot of companies saying, "Okay, we work from home now." At least for the short term, right?

At first, it was like a week, then a month, then two months. Now it's been four months and who knows what the future looks like. But what I've realized from conversations with just different members of our community is working from home is not what people expected. And a lot of people straight up hate it, and they want to go back to their normal life. Again, the message that I want to share in today's podcast is what we're experiencing right now with working from home is definitely not normal. So, I want to give you some tips and some strategies in this episode that I've been using to try to make it as good as it possibly can be under the current circumstances. So first off, what's causing this? Well, a lot of companies that had to shift to remote or work from home, they just straight up weren't prepared for it, right?

And that leads to stress. Like if you're a company that works in office day-to-day and the next day, it's like, "Okay, everyone's home now." That is stressful. Also, a lot of people that are used to working in a traditional setting and traditional environment, they're not set up themselves to work from home properly. And the biggest thing probably for me is that normal benefit of freedom that you get when you work from home, that is pretty much non-existent. And I might be being overly dramatic there, but we'll talk about it. Another big thing that's been weighing on me is social media. It makes it seem, at least for me in my feeds, what I'm seeing now, every time I log in, like the world is ending and that definitely doesn't help with motivation and being like, "Yeah, I'm working from home, this is awesome." When you log into Twitter and it seems like the world's on fire.

So basically things are not normal now. I do think there'll be a time that they return to whatever normal is. But what I want to do in today's episode is share some strategies that I've been using that have been really helping me to make the most out of this time while I'm trying be productive, still trying to have fun and trying to enjoy every single day that I still am blessed with the ability to work from home, like you most likely are right now, too. So, let's go ahead and get into it. So as far as not being prepared for this transition from traditional working in person settings to working from home, I wanted to give you some tips that we use at my company. We've been remote, then in person then remote again over the years. We're remote now for the long haul. But some things that we do that really help to keep the team on track is simplifying communication and simplifying meetings.

So we do two team meetings every week. We have one Monday morning, that's the first thing that everybody does, all hands on. We get on a call, we have our normal meeting outline. That's a Google doc and we basically work through it. Everybody talks, everybody says what they're working on. If they need help with anything, we do project updates. But those calls are Monday morning and they're about an hour long. So, that's how everybody starts their week. Now our next call is Thursday and it's Thursday morning and it's typically shorter. These are between 15 and 30 minutes and these aren't hands-on, they aren't with everybody. They're more for direct conversations regarding specific projects to make sure that everything is happening as it should be. Now, do other calls happen throughout the week? Sometimes, but really not that frequently.

And this is very different than what people are used to in a traditional working in person setting. Right? You have a conversation in the morning usually, then in the afternoon, then maybe you have a little side chat about something. We've basically eliminated that as far as mandatory calls, because when we were doing these calls more frequently, we realized it was everybody's time and there wasn't much of an upside. We just make the most out of our calls together. And that really sets us up for success for the coming week. Now, throughout the week, we do have normal communication, like regularly, we'll be talking to each other and that's via Slack. So, you're probably familiar with Slack. It's just basically instant messaging tool. Think of it like Skype, but better, more up to date, more current. So we use that.

We're not even in there all day talking. So don't think like you need to be again, constantly talking to everybody, unless you have questions that you can't get the answer to yourself. But one of the main ways we use Slack is in the morning every day of the week, when people sign on, they actually sign on in Slack. So just to say, good morning, what's up everybody, hello, whatever they want to say, but kind of that same thing you would do in an office when you walk in, put your bag down, walk past everybody to get a coffee and say, good morning. So we do that just a way to know that you're there with your team. Same thing at the end of the day, whenever anybody signs off, they just say, "Have a good night." All right, "Goodbye." Whatever they want to say, but kind of an official sign on and sign off.

That way you know that your team is there. You know that you're still part of this team. And if you have any questions, then they're there to collaborate with. So, that's helped us a lot, we do that in Slack. Now we also use Google Drive for all of our file management. So instead of again, having to print something out in an office or unplug your laptop and go show it to somebody, all of our projects are edited, the actual content for them in Google Drive in real time that our whole team has access to. So we can share that. And if anybody needs to see it again, it's not like, "Oh, let me save this to my computer and email you a file." They just get to go into that same document that we are in.

Another tool that we use that could be beneficial for you too, if you are either the business owner or a project manager is called Basecamp. And we use Basecamp for bigger projects, where we assign basically lots of different tasks to different team members. It's a really great system. I'm not going to get into it in detail in this podcast because it's pretty robust. But for us Basecamp has been a game changer, especially with our team, located all over the States and really all over the world. It makes assigning tasks, setting deadlines and just collaborating super, super simple. Now, the next thing I wanted to share for everybody that had just got thrown into this work from home life is having a proper space set up to get work done is definitely a game changer. And the goal really with the businesses that we build, it is that I should be able to run the business from anywhere with a laptop.

That is what I want. That is how we structure things. But I also want to be set up for the maximum amount of productivity for when I'm actually sitting down to get work done. Not when I'm traveling or in Asia for three months. But when I'm working on a project at my house, at my apartment, at our studio, trying to get stuff done. So some things that work really well for me in my dedicated workspace is first of all, having that space separate from anything that could be a possible distraction. So maybe that's pets, maybe that's family, maybe that's your kids, don't feel bad about it. When you have to get stuff done, you need your own space. It doesn't have to be big, but keep it away. Another thing that really helps me is noise, canceling headphones. And even if I'm at our studio by myself working for five hours, I'll still have these on.

And sometimes I have music on. Sometimes I don't have anything on. I just have like literally sounds being blocked out. And it helps me just dive into the work and get clear on what I need to get done. So I use the Sony MX line of noise canceling headphones, love these. These are great. Something else that's been a game changer for me, ever since I started using it is having dual monitors. So at least two different screens. And whether I'm looking at a Excel sheet on one and in an ads manager in another. Or I have a Shopify store editor pulled up on one and a live preview on another. It's just been such a game changer for multitasking. So, you don't need the best monitors in the world. You don't need the computer in the world, but I really do recommend having multiple displays because it's really helped me.

Another thing, a good keyboard and mouse makes all the difference. The ones that I use that I would really recommend that actually have two sets of these, one at home and one in my studio, is the Logitech MX Keys, it's called. It's basically a bluetooth keyboard, charges with USB-C and it can connect up to three different devices. So at our studio, I have... What do I have? Like an iMac Pro, I have a MacBook Pro. I have a Surface Studio from Microsoft and this keyboard, I can just push different buttons on top and it'll jump between devices. So, it makes it super easy to not have to buy three keyboards. I'd still have another set for home, but that's a different story. So, that one Logitech MX Keys I would highly recommend. And for a mouse, I really can't stress this enough.

Even the mice that people buy from Apple, like the Magic Mouse, that thing is garbage. Okay? Get yourself one of these, it's called a Logitech MX Master 3, 3 is the newest one. I'll link these up by the way in the description of the podcast. But this thing is just so comfortable. It's so fast, it's small. You can throw it in your backpack and just like the Logitech MX Keys, it pairs with three different devices. So if you have different computers, you can just use the same mouse and it'll connect to all of them, which is awesome. So finally, one more tip I'll give you for really being productive, especially if you're struggling, right? You're working from home and you're like, "I am not getting stuff done. I have way too many distractions." I recommend a timer.

So you can use the timer on your phone. Every phone has a timer app. I use these little things that look like cubes and they have different times on the sides. So the ones I have, have two minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes and 45 minutes. And the way it works is you simply turn it on and you place it on whatever side for however many minutes you want to track and it'll just count down. And when that time runs up, it'll beep. So for me, it's great. If I know, okay, I have an hour that I'm going to be working right now and I need to accomplish X, Y, and Z. Like this hour, I don't want to be on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram. I don't want to be on I don't want to be on YouTube. Then I can set it for 45 minutes and I can just know, I didn't hear that beep yet, keep going, keep going, keep going and kind of power through.

It's like a mental game, but it works really well. And then if I need more time, throw it on for another 10, 20 minutes and get the project done. So I'll link to the one that I use. It's super cheap and it feels cheap and it looks cheap, but gets the job done. But again, you can use a timer on your phone if you want to get set up with a timer faster. So the next thing that's definitely not normal about working from home right now, that is probably my biggest thing that's affecting me the most. Because I was set up to work from home. We were set up with the systems because we were remote anyway, but hopefully those tips help you transition. But the one that I've been struggling with is that freedom doesn't exist as it did.

My normal day, four months ago would be wake up, drive down the block, get a good group workout in at my local gym. Maybe drive home, go to Starbucks, sit in the local park with my iPad, take some notes, write out ideas for the day, say hi to people, go home, drive my kids to school, maybe meet a friend for lunch, maybe hit the golf course and jump in a random foursome. Maybe on the weekend, just decide, "Hey, let's get on a plane and go here." Or "Let's drive to the beach and do that." Or "Let's go to our retreat in Portugal." Which we had to delay. And basically all those things while you can do them in a sense, it's not the same, right? I don't want to walk around everywhere in a mask. I just doesn't feel the same.

Not that I... I do put a mask on when I go out. So I'm not saying don't wear a mask. And I mean when I'm in places where I have to wear it, I should say. But it's not what freedom looks like, right? It's not what I'm accustomed to. And if this was my first experience of working from home, I probably wouldn't enjoy it. So some things I'm doing to try to help get that social feeling back in life is different Zoom calls with my friends. It's so stupid, I'm 35 years old, but we did a Zoom call the other night and did a power hour, if you know what that is, leave a comment. But yeah, it was fun, whatever. Something to kind of... I don't know, reconnect in some sense, but I don't have the best solution now.

I would say Zoom calls it's better than nothing, but I'm really looking forward to the freedom coming back. That's what I'm missing the most. But the next thing that was affecting me the most. So I don't know, maybe it's affecting you too, with things not being normal now. Especially now that people have more time on their hands being there at home, working from home is social media and the fact that, at least in my feeds, every time I log in, it seems like the world's falling apart, right? Go into Facebook and see family or distant family or people I went to high school with or college or random people that added me on Facebook 10 years ago, just arguing with each other about politics or this and that. And then go, "Okay, whatever, let's get out of here. Let's go into Instagram." And see all these videos of just seems like craziness all around and say, "Okay, I don't want to see that. Let me go on to Twitter." And then see everything in the world is now canceled. And yeah, the world is falling apart.

That's what it looks like. It's not true obviously. If I close my phone and walk into the other room in my house and see my wife and see my son and go out on our street and say hi to the neighbors. Like that's not life, but that's life on social media right now, at least in a lot of these echo chambers. So, not saying everything's perfect, but I'm saying, if you do what I made the mistake of doing and using social media way too much, it makes your mind go to a place that isn't productive, right? If all you're seeing is these fights and this negativity, that's not going to get you in a space where it's like, "Okay, let me just log out now and go and revamp my ad campaign." It's not a good headspace to transition from.

So, for that, I can give you a solution. What I've done is basically remove all social apps from my phone, still use YouTube, still have my podcasts, still have my audio books, but I'm not on Twitter here, I'm not on Instagram here. I'm not on Facebook there, it wasn't helping in the slightest. So maybe you want to try that for a bit too, until again, hopefully let's knock on wood, but hopefully until things return to as normal as they can. One more thing though, as far as social media, there are places where I am still going, that are helping me, that I think can help you too. I talk about this all the time with our online programs and with Drop Ship Lifestyle, but you really want to like find your people.

You want to be in a place either in person or online where you can connect with people on the same mission with you on the same journey as you. So if you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle, I would highly recommend use this time to be more active on our private forum, on the, be more active in our private Facebook group. And if you stick to your communities, right? And it sounds weird like tribalism, but the truth is people that are on the same journey as you are the ones that are probably going to be most supportive. And the ones that... Trust me, they're not talking about politics or this and that in our Facebook group or our forum. We're talking about business, we're talking about growth. We're talking about the lifestyle. We're talking about freedom.

So try to stick to those types of communities, especially if you're already a member of my coaching program. So with that being said, guys, this was kind of, I guess, a rant but also trying to share some tips of what's been making this random, strange, not normal time kind of the best as it can for me. And hopefully you can get some takeaways. I also want to let you know, over the next four episodes of the podcast, I'm going to be talking about drop shipping during a pandemic and giving you some back to business tips for how we're kind of working in our businesses to not change everything because we're not doing that, but make some slight tweaks for the time being that are resulting in more sales, more revenue, better return on ad spend. So definitely stay tuned to the podcast.

If you're not subscribed already be sure to go to whatever podcast player you use, search for eCommerce Lifestyle, hit subscribe and keep an eye out for the coming episodes. And as always guys, if you got value from this one, do me a favor, go to Apple podcasts or Spotify or wherever it is you listen, give the podcast a like and a review. It means a lot. And with that being said, I will talk to you in the next episode. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay motivated. I promise you, things are going to get better. And honestly we have control over what it is we experience. So use some of the tips from this episode and start making things better today. So I appreciate you guys and I'll talk to you in the next one. See you.