As someone who’s used to – and enjoys – feeling at capacity most of the time, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself when things slowed down a bit earlier this year. I began by cleaning out every closet in the house, a task that actually turned out to be quite rewarding.
After a while, though, it occurred to me that this newly found time is rare and temporary. So I decided to take more deliberate steps to improve things here at headquarters.
If you’re interested in doing the same, here’s what I recommend:
1. Examine your business from the outside in. Listen to your outgoing voicemail message – is it friendly and clear? Look at your email signature – should your phone number be included? When was the last time you read your website homepage? Or subscribed to your own newsletter to see what happens?
2. Check out your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your profile picture is a professional headshot and that it’s up to date. Ask for those recommendations you’ve been thinking about.
3. Post past content. If you’ve got past newsletters that are not yet on your website, take steps to add them.
4. Clean up “tolerations.” You know, those annoying little things you’re still putting up with. Are you constantly struggling to find client phone numbers? Do you keep needed supplies in the basement instead of near your desk? Is there a pile of papers in the corner that you’ve ignored for months (years?)? Take the time now to handle these little annoyances.
5. Organise your desk. Take everything off (yes, everything), clean it thoroughly, and only add back what you need.
6. Review your finances. Why wait until tax time to organise your expenses? Bring them up to date now.
7. Plan your next big project. What are you waiting for? Jump in!
Downtime can be disorienting for people who are used to being at capacity. So yes, make sure you relax. But when you’re ready to jump back in, take advantage of the opportunity to take your business to the next level.