Habits to hold on to during a crisis to keep your shit together as a sales rep
When you’re facing a crisis, keeping your shit together isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
Whether that crisis is happening in your personal life, internally at your company or globally like we’re experiencing right now with COVID-19, the habits you’re able to maintain can make all the difference.
Positive habits create a sense of calm.
If you’re building good habits, the day-to-day uncertainty, that comes with a major crisis, can become easier to handle and process. These habits don’t need to be revolutionary, they just need to help you maintain your composure during a stressful situation.
In this post, I’m going to share 5 habits I believe every sales rep should hold on to during a crisis to keep their cool and stay focused on crushing each and every day.
1. Get enough sleep
The amount of high quality sleep you get can be the difference between a terrible, unproductive day and one where you absolutely crush your to-do list. If you wake up feeling tired and can’t bring yourself to roll out of bed, that feeling is going to carry itself all through your day.
Here’s my quick checklist for planning for & maintaining a healthy sleep schedule:
1. Switch out of work-mode earlier to wind down.
If you’re plugged in until 9:45pm then try to fall asleep at 10pm, good luck. Your mind hasn’t had enough time to wind down from the day. Build a before bed routine, where you turn off your screens and let your mind relax.
2. Go to bed early.
Going to sleep at 1am to wake up four hours later at 5am is a losing battle—plain and simple.
3. Set your alarm and be disciplined.
If you decide 6am is when you want to wake up, set your alarm and don’t hit snooze. The snooze button is not your friend.
2. Work out daily (in some fashion)
Just because there’s a crisis doesn’t mean you should throw exercise out the window and sit around all day. If you stop exercising regularly, you’ll start to feel like a lesser version of yourself. And when you start to feel bad about your own habits, that can quickly lead to performance issues.
It doesn’t have to be some triathlete-level circuit training.
It doesn’t have to be a 10k run.
It doesn’t even have to be a standard workout you’d do at the gym.
All it takes is committing to some form of exercise every day.
That could mean you do 3 sets of 20 pushups every morning. Or 10-15 minutes of yoga. Or jump on an exercise bike if you have one. The workout itself isn’t what’s important—what’s important is that you maintain the healthy habit of staying active.
3. Commit to eating healthy
You may feel like binging on comfort food is the only thing you want to do during a crisis.
That’s understandable. If you’re feeling stressed, worried or just generally unsure about what’s coming next, junk food that makes you feel good in the short-term can seem like the best plan of action.
But that short-term feeling can lead to you feeling tired, sluggish and a lack of motivation fast.
If you don't have time to put your work down and make something healthy during the week, open up your calendar right now and block 3 hours on Sunday evening to prep a week’s worth of healthy meals.
Just head to Google and search for “healthy meal prep ideas”—you’ll find a nearly endless supply of healthy and easy (within reason) meals you can make in advance.
Is it okay to give in, every now and then, and order a pizza? Of course. But try your best to maintain a habit of eating healthy as much as you can. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
4. Close Twitter, close Reddit and mute the news
It’s good to stay in-the-know, especially when there’s a crisis going on.
What isn’t good is spending 4 hours a day just refreshing your Twitter feed trying to read every single piece of news that comes out.
Don’t be afraid to disconnect from the social media news cycle throughout the day. If you glue your eyes to a screen, trying to force feed you attention-grabbing headlines and stories, don’t be surprised when you get so distracted that your productivity levels plummet.
On top of that, during times of crisis a lot of the news you’ll find online is going to have negative emotions attached to it. When the world is hurting and the facts are upsetting, it’s hard to ignore those stories flooding your social feeds.
Limit your social media screen time to 1 hour or less per day.
If you don’t think you’ll be able to stick to that limit, jump into your phone settings to turn on app usage limits for whichever social media platforms you want to limit.
That's one reason why having a unified sales workspace where you can manage all your sales communications and tasks in one place is so powerful. Close enables you to do exactly that, so you spend less time on busywork, on more time doing things that actually drive results.
"Close really changed the game of our outbound strategy. We saw a 60% increase in efficiency across the team in terms of output and productivity." - Sarah Haselkorn, Head of Sales, Makespace
5. Set & maintain a work / downtime schedule
When you’re working in an office, it’s a lot easier to “end your day” and shift your mind from work to downtime. In most cases, once you leave the office—that’s it. That’s your trigger to switch off.
Working from home is different.
And it’s even more difficult if you don’t even have a dedicated room or space for work, which is pretty common right now with so many people working from home—there’s only so much space for you to share working space with your family, significant other or roommates.
When you’re working from home, the “my day is over” trigger isn’t as simple as just leaving the office. Technically, you’re always at the office, so turning off the work brain at the end of the day can be tough.
My advice for you is this:
Decide which hours you want to be working, own your calendar for those hours, then find a task or activity that signals the start and end of your work day.
If you want to work from 8am-5pm, that’s great.
6am-3pm? Great as well.
Get into the habit of doing the exact same thing at 8am everyday to get the ball rolling, and 5pm everyday to close any loops and wrap things up.
Set aside time blocks for cold calling. Set aside time blocks for sending follow up emails to move sales conversations forward and manage your sales pipeline. What you want to avoid is a situation where you constantly switch from one task to the other. (If you're busy every all day long, and yet, at the end of your days don't really feel like you've accomplished anything significant, definitely give time blocking a try, it will be a total gamechanger!)
A healthy working from home schedule will go a long way in keeping you from working 16 hour days, just for the sake of it—and help you stay sane in the process.
Keep in mind—it’s okay to feel stress and uncertainty during a crisis.
Building positive habits is one step in the right direction.
Just because you’re going to bed early, doing pushups in the morning and prepping your meals for the week on Sunday doesn’t mean the real feelings of stress you’re dealing with will magically disappear.
Those feelings are still going to exist—and that’s okay.
What’s important to understand is that the healthy habits you maintain are what can help you better manage the feelings of stress. They can keep you from getting completely clouded in negative thoughts and panic.
Want more advice on selling successfully through a crisis?