Your business model probably wasn’t built to deal with a pandemic. Yet you are pushing ahead, trying to stay on track. There is more downtime than you’d like because there isn’t as much action as you expected. What should you do in your downtime to make the most of your it?
Before you say, “what does it matter?” Consider this. Geniuses aren’t just born. They are also made with 10,000 hours of concentrated study. This unwelcome downtime should be looked at as a golden opportunity. If you need inspiration, consider Bill Murray’s character in the movie Groundhog Day. He wasn’t happy until he decided to use his unwelcome downtime to improve himself.
There are hundreds of publications and organizations that probably relate to your field. This is your chance to narrow them down to what’s most important. You should set goals of how much you will read each week. You should be looking for ideas, discovering trends, and determining what sources are most applicable to your business.
By the way, you can create a dashboard simply by pasting the publication or organization title and link into a spreadsheet. When quarantining becomes a thing of the past, you’ll have all of the sources you need in one place. That will make it quicker to stay up-to-date even when you are back in the thick of things.
Get to Know Your Competition
Naturally all of that research and reading should lead you to discover much more about your competition. As you find others who are in your field, you can track down their bios and the bios of the people who work for them. You can analyze their client lists and known projects. The goal should be to discover everything you can about how they operate, what makes them successful, or what’s causing them to fail.
Relieve the Clutter
It’s time to apply all of those decluttering tips to your business life. Whether your office is in your home or across town, you probably have some degree of clutter you need to go through. This is definitely the time to get that done. To help you along, you can play podcasts, audio books or music. You may even find opportunities in old files.
If your office or home is too cluttered with business materials, you may want to consider renting a storage unit. You can keep products and other items there. Many business renters find that freeing up their physical space actually helps them focus on the things that are truly important to growing their business.
Improve Your Computerized Organization
Your physical office may not be the only thing that’s cluttered. Your downtime can be used to trim down your inbox and file important messages in the right folders. Likewise, you can go back through your word documents, filing the ones that need it and deleting things you won’t need again. It’s probably time to update your contacts. You may need to match up your phone information to your emails or the other way around.
One action that can keep you more organized is to unsubscribe from websites that are bombarding you with unwanted emails. Another action is to cancel paid subscriptions to websites and software that you don’t need anymore.
Get to Know People Better
While we are separated by computer screens, we aren’t completely apart. This is a good time to get to know your vendors, prospective clients, and employees better. You have time to study their social media and read their posts. Some well-placed remarks and thoughtful questions during a Zoom meeting may lead you to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the people you work with.
Someday life will be back to normal. Will you have used your time wisely? Since you are an entrepreneur type, I’m betting the answer is going to be yes.