--by Trevor Pacelli
COVID-19 had forced many companies to work from home, which to this day still is massively the norm for countless workers. Yet how do managers and supervisors keep their employees productive? Many companies and workers have found the solution, although this new system ironically has been much more convenient—less need for office spaces, no more rush-hour traffic or inflated gas prices, extra time around families, more chances to finish little chores around the house, the list goes on!
Yet working from home can still be a curse because distractions pop up EVERYWHERE. Just look at the recent wave of hilarious YouTube videos where people on Zoom calls are interrupted by kids and pets. Distractions can get much more intrusive in a not-so-funny way: The dog threw up. The laundry must be done before the kids return home from school. Temptation rises to go snack on chips and surf the web. Without a boss around, it’s easier to lollygag and shift attention to something unrelated to work.
That’s where something called, the “dones” system could help those who work from home.
The idea started with my parents/supervisors after I had graduated from college. In my last semester at Arizona State University, I fell into a real pit of despair (no, not like in The Princess Bride) since I had no job ready for me. As one on the autism spectrum, my verbal communication skills are poor, and I learned to avoid customer service jobs because of my tendency to accidentally say something rude without meaning to. Thus, my employment options felt severely limited. Although my Dad worked with me to form professional connections, set up a strong LinkedIn profile, and perfect my resume, I still saw no hope in landing a job; I didn’t know when/if I would get one. I was starting to feel like the four and a half years I spent to get my Bachelor's degree was a worthless waste of time, and that I would just be better off killing myself. So after I arrived back home in Bellevue, Washington, my parents invited me to work for their business, Consetta Group, with a focus on developing my photography and movie review businesses, as well as promoting books they had published. And just like that, on February 1, 2016, I had a job!
Right away, we began using an innovative system designed to ensure I got stuff done, and we literally called it the "dones." Here's how it works: Before the month begins, I fill out a table of responsibilities I plan to focus on for that month; maybe I plan to put up a blog post before the month’s end or put up a new photography website, and those become that month’s "dones.” At the month’s end, I note whether I got those tasks done, and decide on the next month’s "dones." I record all this in a OneNote document, which my parents can access, and at the start of each month, we meet up to talk about the progress I made that month, and what I plan to get done the next month. The system keeps me, my mom, and my dad on the same page with minimal miscommunication, not to mention it makes gargantuan tasks like publishing a book feel less scary. This process also helps lay out a tangible "to-do" list that can refresh my memory on what tasks I should focus on throughout the week. Not that I always finish the tasks every time each month, but the greater priority is in making sure I’m learning and that there are still significant leaps made toward a project’s completion. Sometimes, at our monthly dones meeting, my dad requests I work on an additional side project throughout the month, or maybe research a topic for my personal and professional development.
I took a detour from working for my parents for a few years, but wasn’t seeing any growth in myself or opportunities at the company, so in September of 2021, I returned to Pacelli Publishing as their new Chief Storyteller, and my parents and I continued our "dones" system with five categories: my book series on movies, my education about the publishing process, the website about training churches to be disability-accepting (DiChampion.com), my fiction book series, and the children's book about autism I illustrated.
In my experience, this system puts less emphasis on me fulfilling forty weekly work hours, and greater emphasis on my goals. Although a goal should still exist to meet a mandatory number of weekly work hours, a bigger priority should be on the accomplishment of whatever long-term goals the company must meet. This is where working from home can be advantageous, because the ultra-flexibility with work hours and work environment can allow personal control over what goals to set, depending on the job.
Because of the “dones” system, I got three books successfully published in the last few months.
The “dones” have been the best possible work option for my professional growth, discovering new opportunities, personal accountability, goal-setting, and creative control, none of which would these three books have been possible without.
Our son Trevor has just completed What Movies Can Teach Us About Disabilities. Based on extensive research and his knowledge of film as a Film and Media Studies major, this book covers ten disabilities most commonly depicted in movies, and explains all the story tropes that come with how they’re treated.
This has been a massive project that took over a year to complete, and Trevor is very satisfied with the finished product! It would be a perfect holiday gift for those who love movies, want to learn more about disabilities, or just want an informative read!
Learn more about Trevor and his other books at TrevorPacelli.com, and learn more about how you can become a published author at PacelliPublishing.com.
We wish you all a beautiful holiday season and new year!
Lonnie, Patty and Trevor Pacelli
This year marks the debut of The Kindergarten Adventures of Amazing Grace: What in the World is Autism--version 2.0, by Briana and Trevor Pacelli! This version has nearly the same text as the original 2008 copy, but now with all new illustrations and formatting.
This children’s book about autism was written by our daughter, Briana, for her high school senior project, and our son, Trevor, who also was in high school at the time, illustrated it. Earlier this year, Trevor decided to give the book a much-needed makeover, and we could not be happier with the results! It's available in paperback and e-book and will make a great holiday gift for your child or grandchild!
We are excited to announce our newest book on this important and much-needed topic, Six-Word Lessons to Homeschool Your Child by Christy Sanders.
Christy has taught public school, earned a Master's degree in teaching, and homeschooled her three children since 2010. Her children have various special needs, so she has become an expert at how to adapt to children of different abilities. She teaches at conferences and seminars for homeschoolers.
This book will help parents who are new to homeschooling, need advice for teaching children with disabilities or learning differences, or just want some new ideas and resources.
Learn more about Christy and find homeschool resources at LetsGetRealLiving.com.
Our founder, leadership expert Lonnie Pacelli, has written a new book to help leaders scale up and lead those who are also leading others. Six-Word Lessons on Scaling Up as a Leader has 100 practical lessons and examples to help leaders build habits to be effective while not sacrificing their life balance.
Coming Soon from Pacelli Publishing
Six-Word Lessons on Homeschooling
What Movies Can Teach Us About Disabilities
Let us know how we can help you share your expertise or get your story out!
Patty, Lonnie and Trevor Pacelli
Trevor Pacelli is finishing a book called, What Movies Can Teach us About Disabilities. It includes ten chapters that each focus on how a different disability is represented in film.
We need reviewers who have the disability corresponding to the chapter that talks about that same disability.
Facial Disfigurement (Abnormal Facial Structure, Facial Scars, Loss of One Eye)
If you have anything related to these and are interested in reading one of my chapters, please email Trevor. You'll be looking for:
Thanks so much for considering, and feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.
Congratulations to the author of the 53rd book in our series, Nick D. Anderson. His book, Six-Word Lessons for Middle Managers addresses the challenging paradigm of middle management in corporate America. Middle Managers are responsible for the work of others, responsible to executive managers and responsible to peer colleagues--often at the same time. This requires a special blend of bold authority, vision, persuasion, patience, negotiation and a whole lot more! Middle managers will find quick insight and wisdom in these 100 short lessons which can be applied in real-time.
Nick has 25 years of experience in banking, leading teams through mergers, acquisitions, failures, rapid growth and more. He believes leaders are chosen by those who follow them. He founded Chosen Leader where he coaches and helps leaders to be the best they can be.
Check out Nick's book on Amazon in paperback and kindle, and let us know if you'd like to write your own book!
We are thrilled to announce book 51 in the Six-Word Lessons Series, Six-Word Lessons for Writing Your Community's Story by Jennifer Lader! Jennifer spent a dozen years researching her community in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and shares the lessons learned so that you can write your story in a fraction of that time. She is an award-winning writer who has penned hundreds of personal profiles, human interest stories, and letters or stories for her newspaper columns.
The book has everything you need to know in short, step-by-step lessons to shine a light on your community's past and present.
We are happy to have Jennifer as part of our series! Let us know if you would like to learn more about writing a Six-Word Lessons book.
Patty, Lonnie and Trevor Pacelli
We are now 2 weeks into 2022 and we hope you are having a happy, healthy, productive start to your new year.
What have we been up to?
In September, we added our son, Trevor, to our team as Chief Storyteller. You may know Trevor as the author of Six-Word Lessons on Growing Up Autistic. He wrote and published it almost 10 years ago and it remains our top seller. Now, as our in-house author, he is working on a book about various disabilities and what we can learn about them from movies. He also works on social media and design and is learning all aspects of the publishing business. Trevor has a Bachelor's degree in film and media studies and has produced a movie-review blog, Trevor's View on Hollywood, since 2014.
We are currently working with an author in Pennsylvania on a Six-Word Lessons book about how to tell your community's story, and we are in discussion with several authors about their books, including a memoir from someone born in the early 1930s.
As a family company, Lonnie, Trevor and I are here to edit, design, and publish your book--whether it's a Six-Word Lessons templated book, a Tell Your Story book about your company or life, or any custom book you have in mind. And we can work with authors from anywhere.
We are always happy to talk by phone, on-screen or in-person to give you more information about how the publishing process works, whether it's with us or another publisher or avenue.
Thank you for your support and we hope you have a wonderful 2022. Please let us know how we can help with your book-writing and publishing goals.
Patty, Lonnie and Trevor Pacelli
P.S. We would love it if you would follow us on Instagram and Facebook!
Congratulations to Tracey Warren, author of Ignite Your Champions: Build Your Business by Creating Connection and Community. Tracey is a Community Creator with Ignite Your Champions and the founder and owner of InSpark Coworking space in Lynnwood, WA. Her passion is building connection and community among business owners to help each other grow. The book is in workbook format with room to write and create a customized marketing plan. It also contains a myriad of ideas for social media posts and ways to engage with your audience. She wants to bring joy and ease to social media and all online and in-person marketing.
Tracey is also the author of Six-Word Lessons for Successful Social Media, published in 2013. Both books are available in paperback and kindle.
Posts about our latest books and hints and tips for authors and writers about self-publishing, writing and marketing your book.