A few weeks ago, about 2 minutes before a very important ZOOM meeting began where I was the Keynote Speaker for over 1,000 attendees, something went completely out of my control.
No, it wasn’t my dog barking…I had already placed her out back in our yard so she can ruff ruff ruff her head off at each passing bird.
No, it wasn’t the doorbell…I place a STOP sign on our front door and strategically move the porch couch in front of the steps to keep everyone away for each call.
NO, it wasn’t a power outage…although that has threatened itself before because, heck, it’s 2020… and it’s enough to give an already anxious person a mild heart attack.
YES, I had done every single thing I could do to make my home office perfectly silent, controlled, and ready to rock for this important client event.
As I peered through my blinds I saw a city worker mowing the large grass soccer field in front of our house.
He appeared to be a very happy person, ALA Forrest Gump, on his riding mower, headphones in place, he even sported an extra long piece of grass from the corner of his mouth, all while causing me to go from excited and ready for my VIRTUAL gig to becoming a raging and angry lunatic, as he generated the greatest ruckus I could possibly imagine for my leadership presentation.
There is so much that can go wrong on these virtual calls…but this was enough to make me do something about it.
As he tumbled from his mower, the camera panned over to see me proudly standing with one eye squinting Clint Eastwood style, having perfectly aimed the slingshot and…
But that’s what I wished I could do. Not to hurt him, just to scare him away for an hour or so.
Instead, I did the call and the client never even heard the background noise…because I didn’t allow anyone to know there was background noise. I didn’t pause, breathe, or allow for one dead moment of air.
At the end of the event, the client texted to say they were thrilled, and I collapsed in exhaustion in the middle of my office floor. The only thing I could hear, other than the beating of my heart and my own heavy breathing, was the distant sound of Forrest City Worker Gump still mowing the endless soccer field.
I leaped up and told Tami to get in the car as I drove us to a place I’ve never intentionally meant to end up:
Bed Bath & Beyond
Donning masks, measurements, and many coupons, we hunted down the best NOISE CANCELING CURTAINS we could find.
We bought the ones we needed for my office, went home, put them up, and then listened as, yes, lawn mower dude was still going, and we heard:
Since we had purchased enough to double up just in case, we noticed they are also BLACKOUT CURTAINS, perfect for a delicious night’s sleep!
So, we decided to put them in our bedroom as well, just to see what it was like to have a better night’s sleep.
We love our neighbors, but for some reason they leave their garage outdoor lights on all night with those bulbs that Gotham used to signal Batman for help, which shines directly into our bedroom. Not a big deal, we just close the blinds.
But WHOA! Blackout curtains are LEGIT! That night we slept the entire night without thinking “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was being filmed next door.
That’s all this post is about.
Side benefits to fixing one thing often leads to another that is unexpected.
The smallest of tweaks that we can control make huge differences.
Whether it’s your HOME OFFICE setup for a Virtual Zoom call and trying to eliminate just a little more stress with noise cancelling curtains;
Which in turn leads to fixing your BEDROOM, where you’re needing a better, darker, more serene night’s rest with blackout curtains;
Which leads to choosing to plug your phone in another room so you can eliminate more distraction from a restful night;
Which leads to being even better each morning, when you wake up, to do your work.
And it all started from one small change you decided to do something about!
Small changes make big differences if we are willing to promise ourselves to create solutions.
What is ONE SMALL CHANGE you can make TODAY to improve your work life, leading to a better home life, which results in a greater family life? That’s The Promise To The One.
Promise to do it right now.
Until then, I’ll be sleeping better, killing it with no background noise on my virtual calls, and working on my slingshot aim.
~ jason hewlett
Leadership Coach * Virtual Keynote Speaker * Speaker Hall of Fame
The Promise To The One