Ulrike Pitzschke talks here in a conversation recorded a few months ago, before self-care and mental health was given greater prominence in all our lives.
I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!
Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello and welcome to Episode 66 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is self care in support. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I would like to welcome to the podcast today or Ulrike Pitzschke. So, Ulrike, this week the topic is self care in support. So can we explore that?
Ulrike Pitschke 0:43
Yeah, of course no problem when I started working out in support, and I started as a one woman show so I did all the support for ya do by myself, which were about 1500 tickets a week with nice customers. Some of them like forgot about the Rules of how to communicate properly. Most of them like really had problems or questions. And I was like confronted with so many people that needed an answer for me, which continued when I finished work because the same basically happens in your private life a boyfriend, I’m paying or family wants your help. So I really got a bit overwhelmed actually, with especially in support you have like feeling you never finished you never get anything like finally done because the number of tickets rises during the day and you stop where you started with me it was really important to learn like to set boundaries once technically and also emotionally. And the special effects for me as well as that I’m working remotely. So I’m 100% remote, no team around
Charlotte Ward 1:49
so they have no immediate support network. And at that time you were it was just you so you have no one even in the same function if they happen to be on the other side of the planet. So what did you do? How, what strategies Did you employ to set boundaries and to reduce that sense of overwhelm?
Ulrike Pitschke 2:08
On a technical side, I switched off my push notifications for my phone, which also applies to my private life now, so I like I don’t react all the time. But I started acting when I wanted to act. And I got a like a really clear routine switch between private life and business. So I started to get a proper morning routine, like doing some yoga or some meditation. And that doesn’t have to be like, one hour and a half. But it can only be like 10 minutes or something. And there are lots of YouTube videos to do it. So it’s pretty easy to get started. Yeah, then I started work and after work, I tried to go out get some fresh air or get some fresh air in between as well emotionally I found it very helpful to get some like bodies or a network. So I met with some people People that work in customer support roles for lunch for example, to get some chat, I work in a co working space. So I have like some co workers that are not in the same topic but at least you can like rant a little bit in the in the kitchen.
Charlotte Ward 3:15
That’s kind of valuable anyway, isn’t it to have colleagues who aren’t in the same functional space as you or organisation? I think I think that it really helps you with a sense of perspective and inspiration anyway, I think but but just a greater sense of perspective. Sometimes as you say that support day can be a hamster wheel, you get off where you started.
Ulrike Pitschke 3:36
Definitely. And I think it’s really hard, especially if people insult you which happens unfortunately, then it’s really hard if you just cannot share it with anybody because you will like have it all in yourself and you will not be able to get it out. So it’s really important to find people you can talk it through with maybe not do it with like your your boyfriend or girlfriend because then you still take like the work with you in your private life. But maybe you can find like some online network or other people working in the same role. And for me now, of course, since I have like one, or Yeah, one and a half employees, I say it’s much easier for me now because I can like chat to them, and we can share experience. And then it doesn’t feel like that heavy, it doesn’t feel like a burden I only have on my shoulders. So that’s basically what helped me a lot to like, have people around and talk it through
Charlotte Ward 4:33
which of those single things would you advise everyone goes today and does what would be the first thing you’d recommend?
Ulrike Pitschke 4:39
I’m actually a really big fan of the morning routine. I think you can really start small with it doesn’t have to be like getting up at four. Yeah, and of course, fresh air is really important to get get your head clear, especially when working remotely you said like in your death at your desk and you just forget the time and you don’t go out.
Charlotte Ward 4:59
So it says About boundaries, isn’t it? It’s about the transition from one to the other.
Ulrike Pitschke 5:03
Yeah. Oh, also, I tend to like, take my phone with me. And then I wasn’t really off. I was like, walking but sitting on working on my phone and still like checking slack notifications or send us notifications, stuff like that. I tried to leave my phone at home and I go out for a walk for like 20 minutes. And I also realised nobody will die because of that.
Charlotte Ward 5:31
Yeah, it’s very true. Unless you’re a paramedic, then. It really most of it can wait can’t do it. Certainly, certainly for a few minutes. While you take a breather, get off the wheel every now and then
Unknown Speaker 5:45
Breathing is was a good one as well. I implemented the routine. If I have something that really makes me angry or sad or something, I step back and breathe. Maybe just one breath or maybe five minutes meditation, whatever fits in But that really helps as well to like cope with it, and then get back and write a better response than I probably would have done right away.
Charlotte Ward 6:10
Right. But isn’t that important because we’re talking about self care here. But actually, if you look after yourself, you You’re much better able to look after your customers.
Ulrike Pitschke 6:19
Yeah, actually, I’m not a big fan of saying self care is good for self optimization, because that’s not what this is about. It kind of is, but it shouldn’t be the focus. So I shouldn’t do meditation just to get better at my work, but I should do it really for myself and getting better at work is like a nice side of me.
Charlotte Ward 6:40
That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/66 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.
A little disclaimer about the podcast, blog interviews and articles on this site: the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text and podcast belong solely to the author or interviewee, and not necessarily to any employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.