Turn down-time around

There are pockets of time throughout the year that can be so busy…and so quiet. Right now it’s getting toward the end of summer (seriously, where does the time go?!). This can be a really slow-biz period, where many folks go on vacation or reduce hours, or start gearing up for the Fall - but not yet. If you’re an independent business owner, in whatever field, it can feel like walking through mud. So, what can you do now to be productive?

Keep moving forward, even in the slow lane

If you’re a small business owner, then your business is you. Anything you do at work or outside of it influences who you are - and how you think. Breaks and stops count, too. Use slow times to brainstorm at the beach or have your morning coffee on the patio. If ideas or solutions emerge, write them down and start to make a plan (for later). It’s not uncommon to think slow means loss and we often think of earnings as the only indicator of growth. But there is an upside: preparing for what’s next is time well spent and can directly influence your business - and your mind - in a positive way.

Isn’t time what we always want?

We often don’t get certain things done because there’s just not enough time. There are pressing, daily tasks that always seem to take priority so other things on the back-burner just sit there. Now’s your chance! Give your website a look and if it needs updating, do it. See what networking events are ahead and sign up for one (or two). Do you like to write? Your blog or next e-news awaits. Also remember, your free time can be spent simply nourishing your mind (thus, your work). Check out a gallery, hear some live music, read a new book. The ultimate summer timeout: grab a matinee at your local movie house - a cold soda, tasty popcorn and some welcome AC will whisk you away.

By all means, take time off

If everyone else is taking time for vacation, then why not you? If you’re not into the crowds (understood), or your business or budget doesn’t allow, then do that stay-cation. My husband and I did this last year and we had a lot of fun. We finally got to some restaurants and towns we heard about . We took small road-trips for the day and, importantly, unplugged (and felt like we were away). I often say, yes, changing time-zones or even countries really helps you recharge. But somehow staying local, saving money and exploring new things did wonders, too (especially since we knew that was the whole point).

Doors and windows

My life’s mantra comes from one of my favorite movies, The Sound of Music. In essence: “when a door closes, a window opens somewhere else.” Downtime, setbacks, diversions and more almost always steer you on a path worth taking. What if you really think outside the box? Does a quiet period give you some real pause, like if you’re on the right track at all? Maybe there’s a degree you’d like to earn, a play you hope to write or a place you’ve longed to live. The pandemic turned our minds and lives upside down and the residual effects are lingering (and probably permanent). Think new and different. Remember Julie Andrew’s character Maria from The Sound of Music? She let her heart do the talking and ended up with Christopher Plummer! Come on!