photo cred: www.nappy.co
Being the true Florida girl that I am, I’ve gone through enough hurricanes to know how problematic they can be. Debris everywhere. No power. Family members crashing my space and driving me crazy while we ride out the storm. Hurricanes can damage more than the outdoors- they pummel through your mental peace and tranquility. Now as a small business professional working from home most times, I really need my peace and quiet to be focused. With everything going on, I find it hard to get back on track for work. But, work has to be done, right? If I want these bills paid, the answer is yes. So, how do we do it?
Since being home with the power out at my office and now at home, I’ve read a lot of blogs and caught up on social media on my cell while I charge it in the car. About 2 hours and a bathroom break later, I realized I was so distracted I didn’t even know how to get myself out of the web of distraction. Instead of giving in to procrastination (which inevitably happens after distraction), I decided to create a list of ways to regain my focus in hopes of actually getting some work done. Check it out and let me know what you think...
Create a Task List
Duh. First item on my list is to create a list. This is seemingly the most effective way for most people to get back on track. Just because we are dealing with these hurricanes, our families, and our work, don’t be shy of incorporating your work tasks in your clean up and feed the kids task list too.
Be honest with yourself with how long each task may take and set reminders to wrap one task up and move on to the next. Also, writing these things out help clear the clutter in your mind. It’s a lot you have to get done. Put it on paper and then make it happen. Reading it vs. thinking it could make all the difference.
Get off of social media and GroupMe for one or two hours a day. I KNOW- that is darn near impossible but you can totally do it. I know we all forget but there was life before facebook. Along with your task list, allot yourself a certain window to be social. We know we want to check in and make sure everyone else is safe during these times but you also need to act as if life will go on, because it will. Don’t be negligent if someone reaches out- just acknowledge them, respond, then get back to business.
Being distracted is going to prevent you from getting things done in your professional life. Instead of totally detaching during the storm, get ahead of the game and plan, prepare, and begin a new project for growing your business.
Revisit Your Goals
In the beginning of every year or quarter or month I’m sure you’ve come up with some goals. Use this downtime to asses those goals- completed and in process- and check them off your list or create a strategy to achieving these goals. Rainy days definitely afford us all the opportunity to just sit still and get some things done that we ignore when we are ripping and running during our typical work weeks.
Engulf Yourself with Your Emails
That is probably the scariest thing I’ve written: actually attack your emails! If you’re anything like me, you range from getting 150- 1,000 emails a week. If that isn’t overwhelming, well, I don’t know what is. I find myself archiving hundreds of emails to read later and deleting anything remotely similar to spam emails. The truth is those archived emails never get touched. I forget I’ve saved them and likely miss out on some good content and updates. I would encourage you use time in this storm (if you still have power of course) to sort through your email accounts. Maybe even make new folders to better direct new emails you have been receiving so that you can actually read them later. This would make you feel much better after you’re finished-- I promise.
Meditate and Reflect
Self explanatory. Take some real, uninterrupted “me time”. You’ll thank yourself later.
Along with those suggestions, I’m sure there are many other ways you can re-center your mind to be productive professionally in times of natural disasters. What are some ways you’ve kept busy during this hurricane season? As a business based in Miami, we totally can relate to life being put on hold from Irma but we are bouncing back and we’re ready for you to bounce back, too!