Fei Wu

How to Prioritize Yourself in the Time of Crisis (#243)

After getting off a call with a friend, I felt desperate to record this episode and to share what I’ve learned.

If you find yourself in a situation where you feel stuck, you want to create something of your own without permissions from others, this is the conversation I hope you will tune in on.

I can’t wait to hear from you! Remember – you can leave me a message right here in Anchor.




How to Prioritize Yourself in the Time of Crisis.m4a – Powered by Happy Scribe

Alright. Guys, this is Fawu from Phase World Podcast. And to be honest, I feel like I have so much I want to talk about this week. But first of all, I just want to give everyone a shout out. I know there is still a lot of pressure, anxiety and meanwhile things are open up.

Well, I know at least a number of restaurants are opening up here in Massachusetts and I don’t personally know how I feel about it. And I am in no rush of getting out also because my mom, who is in her late 60s, you guys, if you have been listening to this show, you probably know that she is a little bit stuck here with me. And I was just taking a walk earlier today with my partner Adam. And I was really happy that she’s here because as an immigrant woman who’s been living in this country since I was 17 years old, basically for the past 20 years, I could count the number of months I spent together with my mom with one hand. I mean, literally the time I had to visit her in China.

And I know I was doing a lot more than some of my colleagues and friends, partly because I don’t have kids and I can travel more freely. With that said, I mean, back to the topic I have today, which is from a phone, from a text message I got last night. One of my friends clients recently reached out to me and said, hey Faye, I could use some pep talk and if you have a moment, please give me a call. I mean, for her privacy. I’m not going to review her name, but essentially what happened was I found out she is someone with a family, with a 14 year old son, a teenage son, and she is a Zumba instructor.

That’s the world I’m living in these days on my podcast, on my YouTube channel and I love it. I’m building a community. And she noticed, let’s just call her Mary and that’s not her real name. Mary was just telling me that she felt stuck. She couldn’t motivate herself.

I mean, she had a lot of motivation inside, but she couldn’t quite channel that energy to effectively and efficiently execute on the things that she knows matters so much to her. She knows that this, in this pandemic COVID-19 is almost a unique opportunity when we’re kind of stuck inside and she sees the opportunities to lead a group of people, even though it’s not that many people attending her classes, usually about eight or ten people or so. She noticed the desire of people who want to then regroup and want to continue that conversation after the dance class. So I encourage her to do so because as you know, after people exercise or be in a group environment doing something that they really love, then they are conditioned to do bigger and greater things. They can have a very productive conversation to start.

She loves that. But then when she looks at herself, her work in this case before the pandemic, she’s in acting and she’s in sort of the theater business in general. So there’s a disconnect of thinking and wandering about, just thinking about where her career is going next. And she has a lot of ideas about when to execute on these ideas and how to stay focused. And that became the core of our conversation.

I mean, initially I thought it was going to be kind of a chill type of deal, talking to your friends, but very quickly I realized that she needed structure and she needed someone to give her kind of feedback to her. And I don’t want anybody listening to this to feel like it’s a shameful thing, because it’s not. I think in a very special time of our century, we all need different energy and different advice from different people, really. So I told her that, number one, you know, go to your office and go to Amazon. Literally order a 15 $20 whiteboard.

You know, one of those with erasable markers that you can get and just pin to your white wall. And I said on that piece of whiteboard, what you want to do is make it a centerpiece of your office. The things that you want to do. Not all the things, but the things you prioritized. For her, I said you could get a little distracted because you have a lot of distractions at home.

You have a husband and a kid, a lot of responsibilities. So write down two to three things you really want to focus on, and this doesn’t mean that all those yellow, sticky notes going to get in the way for you to all of a sudden prioritize things, like out of 50 things and start shifting them in and out. No, you have a clear idea what you want to do for these two to three things, then do them, execute them. So that was my advice for her, and I felt really proud of saying that too, when we were on the call. So she noted that down, and she’s going to get that whiteboard.

And for those of you guys who are listening, who are kind of struggling with the same thing, setting your focus and motivating yourself to not just start things, but to finish things, I would highly recommend that, you know, just get a white piece of paper. You know, go to your daughters or sons room with if they have any arts and crafts type of deal. Get a larger piece of paper and start making that a centerpiece of your office and start focusing on things. I actually learned something on YouTube called the 25. It’s called the 525 Rules, which means you want to write down the five things that you want to focus on for the next month or for the next two to three months, really, depending on the size of the projects.

Now, the other 25 things are what’s on your mind? You want to write them down. And the idea is that you absolutely have to gather all your energy, your willpower to ignore, absolutely ignore those 25 things so that your energy can be focused on the five things that you initially signed up for. As we continue that conversation, I could feel, even though I couldn’t really see Mary, but I could just feel like her energy center was changing, and we kind of empower each other. I really don’t mean that somehow I’m this enabler.

I take this very seriously because I feel like we’re at a point you break it, you make it. And content creators on YouTube and elsewhere, bloggers and podcasters, are really pumping out content. And I feel so guilty. I wanted to record this last night having the conversation with Mary, and I just felt like more people need to hear this. So I’m sorry if currently you’re listening to this and you’re not feeling so well, or if you know someone who’s going through challenges, because let’s face it, I mean, none of us is really living the life that we dreamed of for the year 2020.

It’s kind of a stunning year, isn’t it? Like, when you look at the number, the numbers, and how balanced it looks and how futuristic, like, 2020, the year 2020, it doesn’t feel real. And also marks again, my 20th year living in the US. And this is the first pandemic in pretty much 100 years we have faced. And I feel like something really kind of, I don’t know, mysterious and cosmic almost related to this.

And I feel terrible for people who have to go through this. Absolutely. I don’t even know what else I could do to help people. We still have to need to go to their jobs, have to work outdoors, have to work in general, and not stay home to make ends meet. So as a result of that, guys, if you’re in that situation, because so many of us here in Massachusetts, but also all over the US.

And worldwide, are facing the basically highest rate of unemployment in history, I know it’s the case in Massachusetts. I believe I read recently a story about 7000 unemployment claimed. So as part of my YouTube channel, I actually released a couple of videos, one on PPP, which is Paycheck Protection program. And a couple of weeks ago, I released another one called the Pua, which is, let’s see, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. So it takes with PPP, you apply directly with your bank.

I really wouldn’t recommend that you apply with some sort of third party. And Pua is specific to your state. It has certain rules here in Massachusetts is that once you get approved, well, high level approval, you will then be given a login. Then you have to log in to Pua website, and you have to submit your application and it’s basically a questionnaire. Every single week, the week goes by Sunday through Saturday.

So by Sunday morning, every Sunday morning, you got to wake up and fill out the survey to confirm how much you earned and the questions and whether you’re able to work all that jazz. So I started doing videos around that. I knew YouTube wasn’t going to favor it or almost like, punish me for it, because I think YouTube wants me to focus on livestream and livestream only. And I was surprised that a little bit over time, especially the Pua video, got picked up because I think really what’s happening is somehow I always have the curiosity and the willpower to tackle something, to discover and to explore. I love these unknown territories.

And also because I think that’s part of an immigrant mentality, because there’s so much we have to learn and have to learn and learn what to do on our own. It’s kind of ridiculous. We started that when we’re pretty young, 1617 years old. So it changes, I think, this chemistry or whatever in our body, in our brains. And I’m constantly thinking about, okay, people are going through tough times.

What can I do to help? I think that empowers me. And it makes me feel really good at the end of the day to know that I can help other people and also help myself. Yeah, my family and my friends, too. So another reminder, in addition to these supports and unemployment that you can seek, seek for.

And by the way, if you did work for an employer, you have your W Nine, right? You do have to go through regular unemployment first. You can’t just go directly to Pua. Pua is where people cannot apply for regular unemployment. So any time last year in 2019, you made more than $5100 from a company, go get your unemployment if you’re not working currently.

So another thing I want to say is, hey, if for whatever reason you got laid off recently, I know a lot of people did, or you are running your small business, you’re a solo entrepreneur or solopreneur, what I would recommend is that you can get your health insurance through other means and ways. Here in Massachusetts we have something called mahealth connector. And by the way, my own cousin recently came back to the state, and she also needed help. I was really thrilled to be able to kind of help her and really walk her through this because typically when you apply for what’s called marketplace health insurance, which is government assisted insurance, will need to apply between November 1 and January 31. However, what we’re all going through right now is called a life event.

Whether you lost your insurance, maybe for some of you, lost your Cobra after you lost your job, then you can now go apply for market health insurance. Marketplace health insurance. So if you don’t live in Massachusetts, what you need to start with is healthcare. Gov. So I just want to give some tips and I want to talk about sort of the emotions, not only what I’m going through, but share some of the conversations and things I’ve learned with my friends and in conversations with my clients.

So sending you so much positive vibe and love. And thank you for listening and allowing me to share this conversation in such a challenging time. I would love to hear from you, your stories. Simply drop me an email. Phase [email protected] that is once again, feisworld.

If you happen to be a dance or fitness instructor or someone who would like to learn how to bring your business and especially you’re teaching online, well, definitely check out my YouTube channel, teaching you sort of the A to Z’s for Zoom. We’re trying to get really creative about it too. So we at Phase World Media on YouTube since I think I’m the only Phase World there. So even without media, you should be able to find me. So definitely share your stories with me and let’s be friends, and I will see you next week.

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