Every business has times that are less busy than others. You can use this time to fret and worry that your entrepreneurial life has come to an end—or you can view it as a gift of time to do some of those things you’ve been telling yourself you’ll do when you have time. It just makes sense, it seems to me, to spend this time wisely and well. Here are a few possibilities.
Review and Revise Your Support System. Is it time to hire a virtual assistant? Find a new tax accountant? Get expert advice? Unless you’re willing to settle for the first person that comes along (and we all have had times when we’ve done that and regretted it later), this is a perfect opportunity to clarify what you need from various service providers and make certain that you’re getting it. If you are ready to add to your support team, start interviewing potential sources of support.
Simplify, Simplify. Been meaning to clean out your closets and pass things along to a charity shop? Get your office in shipshape? These are time-consuming tasks that aren’t very glamorous, but the psychic rewards are huge.
Get out some trash bags, put on some upbeat music and have at it. Get rid of the junk in the junk drawer. Weed your library. Update your filing system. Clean out your e-mailbox. It’s as liberating as losing twenty pounds.
Up Your Wellness. Use this extra time to walk or workout. Get a massage or facial. Read up on nutrition. Experiment with new healthier foods that take time to prepare. Start meditating again. Plan a stress reduction program. Work these things into your schedule now and you’re more apt to keep up with them when your busier times return.
Volunteer. Pass your gift of time along to someone else by helping out. If you live in a major metro area in the US and are needing ideas, go to www.VolunteerMatch.com which lists a wide variety of projects in search of help. Why not volunteer at your kids’ school or at a local foodbank or shelter? You could even instigate a project of your own and get your friends involved.
Learn Something New. Build some brain cells with a class or seminar. Add to your computer skills, start learning a new language, take up salsa dancing. Use this time to saturate yourself in a new subject that catches your fancy.
Finish Things. Okay, not everyone has unfinished projects gathering dust, but chances are there’s an article you started writing or a home improvement project that got bogged down and abandoned because it didn’t seem urgent. Imagine if all these loose ends were tied up before you plunge back into your business. It would feel great, wouldn’t it?
Take a Mini-Sabbatical. Got a stack of books you’ve been wanting to read? For years, Bill Gates has gone away on a reading retreat. You don’t have to be a billionaire to borrow this idea.
Been meaning to visit a historic site in a nearby state? Need to refresh your creative spirit? Plan some purposeful time away. Borrow a friend’s cottage. Rent a motorhome. Don’t check your messages. A change of scenery may be just what you need to recharge your batteries and come up with some fresh insights.
Invest Sweat Equity in a Longterm Project. Been putting something off because it will require lots of hours to get to completion? This could be the time to start putting in those hours to get it launched. Since most of us flourish when working on new projects, getting started has the added bonus of re-energizing other more familiar things.
Host an Idea Night Potluck. Invite four or five other positive self-bossers to share food and ideas with each other. Make sure that everyone gets equal time and that all ideas get a hearing. Idea Parties are more successful if you lay down the ground rule that arguing or discounting ideas is strictly forbidden. Guests go home with an inventory of potential ideas which they can evaluate later.
Expand Your Visibility. Write a press release. Have a new photo taken. Start an ezine. Get yourself interviewed on a local radio show. Revamp your Web site. All this seed planting takes time and is easy to overlook when you’re busy. Why not do it now and see what doors might open?
Whenever you find yourself with a gift of time, think of ways to spend it wisely and creatively. It’s a worthwhile investment.
There’s more where this came from.
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