Tips from a workout and life coach on how to manage and make better your work life balance now that it has shifted due to COVID-19.

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Tina Hicks is the CEO at Jolt of Energy and also owns her own dance studio. She’s familiar with managing online businesses and juggling multiple things at once. In Tina, we found an engaged and passionate person who was ready to share what has helped with that ever-fundamental work life balance. 

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The “M.O.M.” Acronym Tina uses:

  • Morning Routine – establish a clear morning routine and try to rise early, even if you have a later shift
  • Organize Your Space – Keep clear boundaries between your workspace and your home space
  • Make It Count – Be conscious of how you’re using your time and be intentional when allocating it to work
home office when working from home

Transcribed Episode

Halie Morris  0:02  

My name is Halie Morris. I am the podcast coordinator and host here at Everyday Business Solutions and today we have Tina Hicks. Tina, would you like to introduce yourself?

Tina Hicks  0:12  

I would love to! Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. I am, as Halie said, Tina Hicks. I’m also known as Jolt of Energy – that is my company. And my background… I just started with teaching dance really. I also did aerobics with the moms in the neighborhood back in the day. 

One thing I had shared with Halie, because her company helps a lot with technology and moving your business ahead, and my mom when I was young, invested in giving me classes on technology when computers were not an everyday thing in your classroom at school. So, I had that incredible opportunity to already connect with computers and technology.

And at that time, I was also introduced to different disciplines in dance. I became a huge fan of teaching and using that knowledge and ended up doing a nonprofit dance studio with my best friend. We were in ninth grade when we started. Because of the training that my mom had given me, I was able to make calendars on the computer. I was able to make schedules. 

So, it’s amazing how technology just opens so many doors for you. Where my journey has led; going from a nonprofit, to now I’ve taught dance for over 25 years. In the last couple of years, I am with my Jolt of Energy company. I help people with wellness. So, it’s been an exciting journey and I’m just delighted to be here and share some tips with everybody to help them. 

Halie  2:28  

We’re super proud to have you. I’m looking forward to it. There’s a lot to talk about, of course. You mentioned your company, Jolt of Energy, and your experience with being an entrepreneur basically your whole life so far. You’ll have a lot of relative things to talk about because right now we’re seeing a huge shift, or we’ve seen a huge shift since about March, of people starting to go remote and companies where they’re able to stay employed. I know for me, that was a huge lifestyle change, but what was that like for you when things shifted and turned on their head because of COVID-19? 

Tina  3:09  

Well, for me, it wasn’t as big of a life change, because Jolt of Energy is a virtual company. So we all have our workouts online, all of our camps that we do are virtual. And so I think, for me, what really changed was that I was able to reach more people. People that couldn’t go to the gym anymore, they had a solution. 

People that couldn’t go to their in-person support groups, eating groups, whatever it might be I was able to do that and people that were in those types of careers could actually start coaching with me and helping people in that online setting. And so, for me personally, it was just taking what I knew and helping others. 

But even in my virtual fit camps – it’s prime primarily for the ladies out there, so we have lots of moms. I saw it all. Things were just happening to them. They were used to their careers where they went in [to the office]. Most of them had to now adapt and bring it into the home. Plus helping their children with school. I had heard many stories. Some were like, “I don’t know if they’re gonna make it” and they’re telling [their kids] you know, “you got to do your homework. You got to go to the next level. Let’s do this.” 

Then I had mom friends that were transformed. That time that they didn’t have before with their families was so needed for them. They were always “go go go,” that they were just absorbing all of that time and then when their work said “okay, we’re going to open our doors back up. You can go back there,” some decided “I’m going to be a stay at home mom.” So, it’s kind of been revolutionary in a way and kind of freeing to some people. That’s kind of how everything has affected me and others in my life. Overall,l there’s been a lot of positive things come out of it. 

Halie  5:59  

Which is great because I think so many of us are not hearing the positives. Or maybe we’re only hearing about the positives in our small circles, but we’re hearing so many things about “people are unemployed” or “people can’t adapt” or things like that. So, it’s really good to hear that you’ve actually been on the side of it where you’ve seen this positive impact. 

I think you’re seeing this idea that there’s going to be a new normal post-COVID was like a really good thing, because we’ve talked about how people want it to go back to normal, they want to do the same things. They want it to be exactly how it was. But that’s not going to be the reality. Of course, it’s never going to be the same. 

But we’re seeing positive outcomes. I know like our company is looking at maintaining a hybrid format for employment. So, some people can choose to remain working from home.  And some people like me who need to separate from the home, got a little one running around – the furry little that is. Then my workspace was in my bedroom. So, of course, if you’re familiar with that it’s not a very nice work life balance. But we have the people who have really a good home set up right now with their work and they’re like, “we’re content to stay.” A lot of our support people really love it. Their productivity has gone up since being remote. So, no, it’s awesome to see it on your side, too. 

Tina  7:29  

Yes, absolutely. And that feeds into what I would like to share with everybody today. If they are, you know, staying home, as you said, and one thing I’m touching on is creating a space in your home to make that a positive place and achieve that proper work life balance. I did want to say kudos to your company, for letting people have that decision. That is very powerful. 

I’ve worked for many different businesses, where the concept of telecommuting, they had a negative light on it. Like it was not good [because] people wouldn’t be productive, people wouldn’t show up or get things done. And you’re right – it’s not for everybody. That is true. You have to know yourself and what you need to be successful. But there are so many people that can. It will just help them out tremendously. So kudos to your company for doing that!

Halie  8:43  

I think we’ve got it in our handbook now that we bring somebody on [and] after the 90-days it’s something that they can look at as going remote full-time. Then we’ll do a trial period and we’ll work into it. Then we’ll assess how it works for people. But I think even we’ll continue to evolve because we brought people on very successfully remote as well during COVID-19, you can’t start somebody in the office. So you just have to start them at home.

Tina  9:13  

So, it’s good. We’re all learning together. 

Halie  9:16  

It’s been a really great learning curve, though.

Tina  9:19  

 Absolutely. So should we dive in? 

Halie  9:23  

Let’s dive in. Let’s talk about what you see with working from home and what you recommend with your setups to achieve a positive work live balance

Tina  9:31  

Wonderful! So, as I mentioned, being a dance teacher, being a wellness fitness coach primarily for women, these tips I’m giving are great for parents. I know there’s a lot of stay at home dads too. So, feel free to use this. One thing I teach with and I’m known for in my virtual fit camp is I love acronyms. 

So I’ll take an acronym to do every month to prep us for that challenge that month. I’m going to use an acronym so everybody can remember. Sorry dads! I pick the word “M.O.M.” for my acronym, but I love you too. 

So, “M” is going to be for “Morning routine.” This is going to be the time that you must –  If you have not read Miracle Morning or heard about the benefits of working and waking up earlier in the morning, you are going to see changes not only in your energy levels but changes in your home because your family is going to fill that energy shift. So 5 am [wake up time] is recommended to maximize that morning. Even if you are working remotely and you’re not scheduled to work until later, you can still modify your sleep schedule accordingly. 

Just get up earlier. I promise, especially if you have little ones, that is going to be the time that you can take for yourself because the biggest part, I can’t stress it enough, is putting energy into yourself first. So, make it in the morning. If you leave yourself to the last as I know your parents do, you’re gonna poop out and you’re not gonna have the energy to put in a workout. I mean, your fun is going to be watching TV and going to sleep. We need to change that cycle. So, wake up early. 

Have accountability. And when I say that- it’s great to have a partner in success and that’s why I love being a coach. Your chances for success, just committing to someone, increases to 65% if you’re making an appointment. With my virtual boot camps, it’s every single day. I also have support group chats for people that are trying to wake up early and workout. We work out together. If they’re trying to get in their water goals, we have that. If they’re trying to crush candy and get those – Halie and I were talking about carbs earlier, I have a little support chat for that. 

Because setting that appointment, not just saying “Okay, I’m going to be accountable to this person and they need to follow along,” but to come in every single day and say, “Okay, I have to do this, this, and this. Somebody is waiting there for me.” It increases your chances of success by 95%. So, get in there! Get your accountability! If it’s not Jolt of Energy, get someone to help you there and then push play. Push play on the workout. If you’re sick, you’re tired, push play on a meditation. Do whatever you can to fuel your day and take that time. So, that’s the “M”, your morning routine. 

Halie  13:51  

I have to work on that.

Tina  13:53  

Yeah, I gave you a new challenge. 

Halie   13:55  

You gave me a new challenge!

Tina  13:56  

Okay! I want you to be accountable to me and tell me if you wake up. 

Halie  14:01  

I’ll be checking in with you.

Tina  14:04  

Wonderful! So, “O” and mom is for “Organize Your Space.” That can be very difficult as we were chatting about. And I have the same thing with myself. I’ve taken on lots of roles over the years and because of my experience with technology, some of the positions have been online. And I remember my [bedroom] being my workspace. Yeah, it doesn’t cut it. I read a wonderful article a while back and it said, you need to really- and you can work up to this, don’t think about perfect: “I have to go out and buy a desk. I got to remodel my home to make this happen.” 

Get creative with solutions that aren’t going to break the bank. Eventually, I was able to go from my bedroom to my kitchen area until now I have my office space where I’m at. It takes time. Give yourself that time to create that space, but in the meantime make sure that is your spot. That’s where you are going to be at. Last with that is set your schedule. 

So, with that morning routine that’s really going to help you set that schedule, especially if you have little ones. Or if you have teenagers like me. They’ll sleep until like noon. So you’re good If you wake up at 5 am you’ll probably get your whole shift in before they wake up and then you have family time. I get it all day. With that, just make sure you set your schedule. So important. And then making every second count. So, “M” is for  “Make It Count.” 

These are going to be the technology tips that I’m going to share. With exercise and your morning routine, as I mentioned everything that I offer, all of my programs, are online. And one of the biggest time wasters for people is trying to figure out which workout they’re going to do. So, you go to YouTube, and I’ve done it myself and I wanted to find a yoga that I really connected with. 

Halie  16:50  

A little deja vu here. 

Tina  16:52  

I can see Halie’s face. She’s like “Tina, you’re talking to me.” So, what was your experience? I want to hear.

Halie  17:00  

Oh, I go in, I want it to be like a certain length and I love those in-person yoga classes where you really feel the movements and you’re really connecting to the instructor. So trying to find that on YouTube, it’s like: click in and out, click in and out, click in and out. Then some of them are too advanced and some of them are actually giving me the stretch I need and it takes me like 40 minutes to find a 30-minute workout.  


Tina  17:27  

Right and then at the end, what if you got to try something new, you’re like, “Well, that was great, but that didn’t quite fit me.” So we’re not maximizing our time, right with making every camp every minute count. Teaming up with someone you know, like me who has programs I get to know what your needs are. Now I know that you love yoga. You would like to do something intermediate, maybe beginner to get into it, maybe work up to those advanced levels. And so I tell you, you know, “okay, this is the program you do. You go in here and you check on this. The next day you check on this. Here’s your calendar,” and you go for it. 

So, yes, simplify the process and stop scrolling, right? That’s kind of our main goal. So number two is setting that schedule. Okay. In a perfect world, maybe you do have the teenagers and you wake up at 5 am and you get everything done by noon and you’re like, I crushed it. And then if you watch a movie with a family, they probably won’t care if you fall asleep, because you’re tired. 

But if you do have younger ones, one thing that I did with my children when they were younger- and Halie, I tried to look for it before we started today and I don’t think they have it anymore, but it was called HandiPoints. It was a virtual world. This was before the internet was big. This was when I was on dial-up back in the day. I would put this on for my daughter when my son was born and he was getting a little bit older and ready. I think they were going through some platform form changes, and now they are teenagers. My daughter is going to be 19 this year. 

So, I don’t know if it’s there anymore. But look for- with technology, there’s going to be something but this HandiPoints virtual land was the coolest thing. You could assign chores for your kids with point systems that they could earn things. Within this program, they could earn points and that would give them- they could dress up their little cat. So, they would get a new outfit with points. It was so much fun. My daughter is an artist and so creative. She couldn’t wait to do chores and rack up those points so that she could get the new hat for her cat in that color. Just different things like that. 

Plus, as a parent, you can- I’m all about Dave Ramsey. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that with him, but he believes that kids really shouldn’t be paid for chores, their set chores, but if they go above and beyond, then you can do that incentive with money. So, I did that same concept with the HandiPoint system. They had set things that they did even when they were young. I mean, my daughter was in second grade, making her own bed. You know, doing different things. She’s like this little grown-up.

Halie  21:05  

 Oh yeah, they want to be teenagers! 

Tina  21:08  

Yes. And now she’s an adult and knows everything. Sorry if she’s listening. I love you. 

Then, the last thing is setting that schedule and sticking to it. If you are an entrepreneur, which a lot of my friends are, sometimes we dismiss our time, meaning we will just work in every pocket of time and we don’t account for that time. Harvest is a way that – is something that a program that people use to build out other companies but use it to bill out yourself. Doing an assessment- clock in, clock out – You can use it for free – and figure out how much time you are investing in your company. How much is coming in [for you]? Really see, are you- look for those time wasters, just like with the exercise on YouTubes crawling. See if you are noticing that you’re spending a bulk of your time in a certain area, but you’re only making- My husband laughed at me because, with any entrepreneur, you don’t make a lot of money in the beginning. It can take five to six years to start really seeing a profit and being in the green, not in the red. So he’s like, I bet you make like a penny an hour and I was like, “you’re probably right.” So, know what you’re doing because balance is important in your life more than ever when you’re at home to keep that energy going. Don’t go for burnout. Go for fueling your light. 

I hope parents, I hope you got something out of that even if you’re not a parent if you’re a puppy momma, kitty [momma] – whatever you are, you got plants whatever it is just feel your spirit with goodness.

Halie  23:24  

Well, I think even people who don’t have any of those things and they just have a couch and have had to shift to this working from home mentality, the routine aspect, and setting those boundaries. Then making sure your space is organized and set up to work in and not part of your home environment is huge. It’s going to make or break your working for a home setup.

Tina  23:46  

If you want to work from home, get organized. Make it work.

Halie  23:52  

I definitely agree. All right. I think we touched on everything that I wanted to touch on. Did you have anything else that you would like to touch on?

Tina  24:10  

I know I guess I would just like to say if anybody is interested in reaching out, my website is getting ready to launch. In the meantime, my Instagram handle is @joltofenergy and I would love for you to come and tag me in your stories if you do your morning workout. Messaged me if you are looking for an accountability partner and you really do want to reach specific wellness goals. I’m here for you. I’ve got your back. So message me!

Halie  24:49

We will be putting up a blog post to correspond with this episode so what we will do is include all your contact info in the post so those who are interested can get into contact with you!

Tina  24:54 

Fantastic! Can’t Wait!

Halie  24:57

Thank you again, Tina!

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