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Filling The Gaps When Things Get Slow

Combat the disorientation that comes when work is slow.

As someone who’s used to – and enjoys – feeling busy most of the time, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself when things slowed down in the office earlier this year. I decided it was time to get the office and small business tasks in order. I began by cleaning out desk drawers, which 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 in my center of operations. 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 straightforward? Look at your email signature – is your phone number included? When was the last time you read your website homepage? Or subscribe 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 not yet up on your website, take steps to add them.

4. Clean up “tolerations.” You know, those annoying little things you are still struggling 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. Organize 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 organize your expenses? Bring them up to date now.

7. Plan your next big project. What are you waiting for? Jump in!

A little downtime can be disorienting for people who are used to being constantly busy. 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.


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