Surviving Coronavirus Social Distancing Because We Are All In This Together

Dr. Biddinger of Massachusetts General Hospital (Chief, Division of Emergency Preparedness and Director, Center for Disaster Medicine) stated this on the spread of Corona Virus: “I don’t think it’s possible to put the Genie back in the bottle. I think we’re going to continue to see rising numbers of cases, and I think a lot of our efforts, maybe all of our efforts, are focused at blunting the epidemic curve. ”

Because We Are All In This “One World” Together

We are all in This Corona Virus World Together

Social Distancing – Flattening The Curve 

Why Flatten the Curve? One way to slow the rate of spreading the Corona virus and flatten the curve is to keep people apart. The idea behind social distancing is just that and social distancing is proving …because we are seeing increasing rates of community transmission. Once the disease is in the community, especially because of the minimally symptomatic or asymptomatic spread but also because transmission can happen before patients have symptoms, it really takes root.”.  The fewer opportunities there are for people to mingle with others, the less likely it will be that new cases of COVID-19 occur. More Info

FLATTENING-THE-CURVE social distancing and us

Because We Are All In This Together Surviving Corona-virus via Social Distancing is a Must.

People may not realize how much worldwide social interaction there is across the globe but we surely do now. Here in Northern Jersey, It’s a dramatic change as a musician goes from one day you are practicing and playing with a 50 piece Concert Big Band or hitting the live music circuit every night internationally and nationally. Locally your travels may have you hitting different venues sometimes 3 or 4 times in a day. All of a sudden the next day everything shuts down – literally. No plane trips, bus rides, joint car rides, nothing, nada. That’s a tough hit mentally to take. The whole mindset of get up and go has been changed to get up and stay home and do what?  But as the The Isley Brothers Song Say’s – we got “Work to Do!!! 

We all Got Work To Do  Music helps � Reflecting back before Corona- Average White Band at Sony Hall, NYC 5/25/19  Alan Gorrie, Onnie McIntyre, Brent Carter, Rocky Bryant, Rob Aries, Fred Vigdor, Cliff Lyons.
Having worked in the office for years and then as a traveling IT consultant / Telecommunications worker for 25 years, getting up and going was the norm. When I left the corporate day to day world and started  my work-from-home online IT business for a few years, I can tell you normal routines matter even more. You succeed because of discipline, routines, interaction with others, systems, and many other activities that become the basis of your staying focus and keeping your eye on the prize. You don’t get taught any of this in school or anywhere really, and in the past there certainly have been many times that I slacked off and procrastinated, telling myself “I’ll do it after I binge watch – all 90 episodes of my favorite show Homeland on Netflix”.It’s easy to fall into this state of procrastination especially in this fast-moving and unprecedented Corona virus situation. Who wants to hear the continually negative news, not me and it’s easier to not have to think about it or worst think about it and end up in a distracted state of anxiety. We then become unproductive, become disconnected and forget that life does go on and on.

A Mindset Change is Definitely Required to Survive

minset change

Working from home has its challenges because the mindset is very different. Staying home for some of us implies: You have your sofa to kick back and relax on and watch your  favorite show on Netflix. And yes food and snacks are waiting in your pantry, and or your child/children are begging for your attention and taking a nap seems so natural.  In a lot of cases it’s not a case of waking to go to work, its a case of waking to wait out the current crisis without a possibility of an income stream. Not a pleasant thought but it’s real.  Knowing its one world with all of us in it, knowing the virus needs to be controlled, knowing social distancing is the major tool we have to flatten the curve, what left is being a responsible citizen and learning how work from home.

Change Your Mind Change Your Life

Having re-invented myself as a live music events producer, I can assure you change is not easy but if you change your mind, you can change your life.  Everybody can learn new tricks and here’s a few ways I’ve found from my past. I also list resources below because I have been inspired by some of my friends, musicians and others who have been affected  by the Corona Virus events and yet they are are helping out the community also. This is obviously not an all encompassing list and I will probably add more folks on as we get through this pandemic together. So please stay focused, disciplined and use what you can from below to work from home an or just mentally control your environment. Free yourself from distractions and if you are doing something that helps you, let me know as we are all in this together and as they say this too shall past.

Working From Home Resources


1. Eat a Live Frog

Considering I am primarily addressing the live music community this one seems appropriate. Yes it appears you are no longer needed, however your fans are still waiting. You should be practicing, learning a new tune or skill to be ready when a break comes so yes EAT A LIVE FROG. In one of my favorite Brian Tracy books, Eat That Frog from way back in the day the basic concept still applies. When you eat a live frog the first thing in the morning, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.

The lesson is perform your most difficult tasks first. So hate practicing or learning Zoom teleconferencing then do whatever it takes to practice or learn to keep it going for you and your fans and your family. Do the one activity that requires more of your creativity, focus and problem solving and the one with the biggest benefit. In addition know your best time to work. Find out whether you work better in the morning, day or night. I find I am more productive from 6 AM to 2 PM, so I make sure I eat the ugliest frog at the beginning of my peak hours so I can leave less creative work for later in the day.

2. Apply Parkinson’s Law

What the Parkinson law simply means in a practical sense is that if you give yourself 3 hours to complete a task, most of the time you’ll get it done within that time. If you give yourself a week, then you’ll do it in a week. You can reduce your work hours dramatically by prioritizing and locking in the benefits of a particular activity and then just doing it.

You will notice that before you never had enough time. Now you have way to much time. Because it’s to much time so you have to look at it realistically and not see it as never ending. “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. Otherwise you end up like some folks that try and do to many things at once but you don’t accomplish what you must do  to be successful.

3. Use a Project Management System. 

Project management is important because it ensures proper expectations are set around what can be delivered, by when, and for how much. You are doing it anyway, now just plan it, track it and keep track to follow up efficiently.

Trello and or Asana are just a few tools for listing and prioritizing your tasks.

Asana – Task manager software to keep track of individual and team tasks and get them done faster with Asana.  Though many project management tools include to-do lists, no one can hold much of a candle to Asana. Not only does Asana make creating and managing tasks exceptionally easy, it also makes sharing to-do lists with your colleagues a breeze. Its simple and easy to work with so go  Try Asana for free.

Trello – Like the to-do list, a workflow tool isn’t all that complex, but it can be invaluable over the course of a project. A workflow tool that helps you track tasks and projects as they move through various stages of your process.  Trello is simple as it’s designed to preserve sanity by transferring as much information as possible out of spreadsheets/emails and into a visual format that makes task management palatable. Trello lets you work more collaboratively and get more done.  Click and see for yourself.When its not a heavy duty operation or project I personally use a pen and paper and google docs for myself and for collaborating with my team. So if apps are too complex? Write a list of things you need to do today on a piece of paper. Any tasks you don’t complete moves on to the next day or gets eliminated. There’s nothing more satisfying than crossing out a list.

4. Create a Routine and a Schedule

It’s more important now to not get lost in bad news because we all want and pray for this to be a  temporary situation. For now you still need a new schedule.Accept that your thinking needs adjusting.  You had a schedule when you could go out everyday so roll out a new schedule and a new routine. Change your mind. Set your work hours and days and let yourself and others know your schedule. You have to value your time and share your new mindset with others, let them know you going for the gold. Be strict with others around you and they will adjust, just as you will adjust to their schedule.

5. Stay Healthy and Achieve Your Goals

All these productivity strategies and tactics are useless unless you take care of your physical health. Make time to follow the Corona Self care tips for your health which I will not repeat here as they are literally everywhere on the internet.

South Mountain Yoga 2020-03-26 191919Chelsea Burrus
South Mountain Yoga

For some physical stimulation why not try  yoga. If you want to be invigorated, there is the wonderful South Mountain Yoga. They have a great space and great prices. They say “their first priority is your safety, and their second is your joy–we want you to leave class feeling strong, resilient, relaxed, and empowered.”  Check them out SMY

6. Fuel Your Passion – Empower Yourself

There’s no denying, we’re all anxious and stressed about the situation of the global pandemic. It’s happening and it’s more reason to take care of yourself.  The only way to change your mindset is to evaluate your positive and negative patterns. Look at your belief systems and patterns and see what limits you from reaching your goals. Then, find outside influences, such as positive personalities, inspirational books or mentors to help you on your path. More important, look at your goals and identify what you need to personally change to get better results. Our new lifestyle means we need to calm the mind, and you may want to join a like minded group of individuals.

One group that is setup to help you grow in this new world is the Lifestyle Empowerment Group run by CC Minton, a nationally recognized award-winning health & lifestyle advocate. CC Minton is s a lifestyle empowerment strategist and social impact executive. She is passionately focused on life and runs a Passion Power Women Podcast Show-Harlem World Radio.

Check out her latest podcast withKemiko Lawrence Talks Passion, Business, Balance And More On The Passion Behind Women Show With CC Minton. She will quickly bring you up to speed on dealing with the complexities of our new normal.

7. Focus On What You Can Control

We can’t change what already is, but we can choose what to do with the given circumstances. At the end of the day, you control how you play. You control whether to make the most of your work days. You control whether to stream hours of productive or nonproductive YouTube videos or invest your hours into growing your business.

Be Positive – Yes viewing productive video is doing what my musician buddies Peter Lin and Abel Mireles are doing over at Yardbird Entertainment. They have taken the positive path and are uniting the country with musicians performing some truly quality live music from coast to coast.

Jazz Biz 101

These cats are ingenious in that not only have they taking their role from playing music in-person and now are moving it to the online world, they are also educating musicians about starting their music business via their Jazzbiz 101 channel video series. This very informative and helpful series helps musicians through the basics of getting their business setup and how to keep it alive in these trying times. Subscribe today and learn more. Jazz Biz 101 Channel

8. You Are Not Alone – Just Breath -Mental Health

“The problem with having problems is that ‘someone’ always has it worse.” “What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable.

Consider your mental emotional health during these trying times.  We can all get through it together. Feeling stressed, another good buddy and fabulous musician is Lynette Sheard a Director of the New Jersey Mental Health Players. The MHANJ’s NJ Mental Health Players (NJMHP) is a highly successful, interactive community education program. It is the longest-running program of its type in the state made up of volunteers who are trained to depict realistic scenarios. They are here to listen and offer emotional support and information.  Please Share and Check out the attached info from my good friend Lynette Sheard. You’re not alone!

New Jersey Creative Arts Collaborative Just Breath Mental Health Players Lynette Sheard from Gregory Burrus on Vimeo. Lynette Sheard will be one of the guest speakers at NJCAC’s virtual Artists Forum: A Community Conversation on Coping with COVID-19 on April 2, 8 pm edt. Lynette is a Community Education Coordinator and Director of the New Jersey Mental Health Players which is a highly successful, interactive community education program.

9. The Jazz Exchange Relief Fund

Founders Candice Reyes and Abel Mireles who like all  artists are taking a huge financial hit because of this pandemic. Because of COVID-19 a lot of their performances, tours, teaching gigs, lessons and more have all been cancelled just like all musicians across the world. I highly recommend you help their cause, which helps us all as I know they are truly committed to the music and the long term cause.

Abel Mireless and Candice Reyes both up from El Paso have been playing in the area and have always been supporting the cause and now have taken it one major step further with The Jazz Exchange Relief Fund. They are using The Jazz Exchange  to raise funds to provide emergency and preventative resources to those musicians at financial risk. They recognize that we need to stay afloat and focused on what works to keep us healthy and at the same time financially help musicians stay focused on their end state goals.

10. When Success Is Mandatory

Over to you, what have you found works for you when working from home? If you are a local musician or fan from around this area, you can see from some of the resources listed above, that you are not alone in this. Many cats are doing some wonderful things to help us and you get through these truly devastating times. Need some help?
How have you been able to juggle work-life given the current situation? Lets us know below what you doing and thinking. Stay Safe Out There.

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