TIPS, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND EXCLUSIVE DEALS SENT STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX
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I can’t wait for this blog post to age really well, so that in like 20 years when we rediscover Internet 1.0, we can also see what people were thinking when they lived through historic moments, such as…. the Coronavirus outbreak.
We are living in unprecedented times, and let’s be honest… it’s scary! There’s so much uncertainty, and so many of us small businesses have had our business slow to a crawl or even a full stop.
I think it’s totally appropriate to panic just a smidge, take every precaution very seriously, and prepare for (what will likely become) the worst case scenario. I also think that we can maybe make the most out of these things. Maybe you’re cooped up at home, dreaming of human contact and toilet paper. Maybe you’re like me, and you forgot to get real groceries, but at least you have 10 jars of pickles. And maybe!! You’re thinking… there’s got to be more to isolation than watching every single season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians… again.
You’d be totally right! There’s way more to isolation than that! While I’m going a little bit crazy in my apartment, I’m also a little bit thankful for the reset and bit of extra time I have to catch up on some tasks that wouldn’t usually see the light of day. Things that- deep down- I know need done. But I’m just usually busy keeping up with sending my clients memes on Instagram and editing their cute photos! With the Coronavirus, I’ve taken preventative measures in my own business by halting all new sessions through April, when I can re-evaluate the situation (with hopefully more information). So that means that I’ve got less editing to catch up on, and more time for things that are equally important, but I tend to forget about!
I thought we could help each other out by sharing some of those things here. I’ve started my own list, but would love to keep it growing. See something that resonates? Hit that share button. Notice something I missed? Add a comment. Better yet? Blast my forgetfulness on Instagram and share with everybody what I failed to consider! Now without further ado: five things to keep busy during this very bizarre
What do you think I’m currently doing?! During busy season, I have sooo many backlogged sessions that never see the light of day. Suddenly, now that I’ve rescheduled all of my sessions, I have time to publish all of that content! It’s really easy to post one or two photos to Instagram every couple of days, but publishing full galleries in the form of a blog post gives your clients and potential clients the ability to see a more complete vision of working with you.
While you’re at it, why not have a little sitewide refresh- update your galleries, and sprinkle new work throughout your website!
First off- I’m not talking about being more productive. I’m talking about having more fun with work. Right now, it might make sense for you to wake up at 9am and start working right away. Or maybe you wake up at 6am, do a little workout, eat breakfast, and then get to work after a few hours. Taking this time to test new work routines can help you find new ways of working that you may not have had time, energy, or space to explore before.
Working from home has shown me that I do really well when I can wake up and do an hour of housework before starting my actual work day. I’ve learned that I love moving my mattress into the living room and working from bed! Another fun thing I’ve started is putting my laptop on a bathtub caddy and cranking out blog posts with some Lush bath bombs. What I’m saying is that there are a hundred blogs out there telling you to be more productive during what is likely a pretty traumatic time for you. Maybe try making it more fun and try to do things your way!
I’m embarrassed to say that the new thing I’m learning is… how to use TikTok. I annoyingly love this app. It has nothing to do with my business, I’m not interested in monetizing it (although many creatives do, and good for them!), but it is good clean fun and a nice break from the terrible things going on outside.
A lot of people are learning to cook! Maybe trying yoga for the first time, or dipping their toes into meditation. How about learning to sew and sewing some masks for healthcare providers? A great resource I’ve found is to search on Instagram for experts who may be offering free courses on these things to encourage you to stay in your house. My gym is now live-streaming their regular workout classes, which is a great incentive for me to get my work done before 6:30pm so I can make it to my usual yoga class- this time just in the living room instead of the yoga studio!
For Christmas this year, my mom really outdid herself and got each of us 5 kids our own recipe box, then filled with all of our favorite recipes, hand-written on custom recipe cards that she picked out special for each of us. It’s probably one of my most cherished gifts I’ve ever received, and now is a good time to pass on that care. I’m writing letters to my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and close family friends- sending a favorite recipe of mine and a blank recipe card for them to fill and return. It’s a great way to keep in contact with people we shouldn’t be seeing in person, while creating something that could last generations. Plus! You’ll have 20 new recipes to try if everybody sends you one back!
You obviously don’t have to ask for recipes. You can easily write out a quick little “hey! Thinking of you!” note and drop it in the mail. I love my “Greetings From Queens” cards from Grl & Co., and although they’re currently out of stock, they’ve got tons of other fun options!
Sometimes, we’re so used to rushing deadlines, endless meetings, and mile-long to-do lists that we forget that these things going on outside have real effects on us. Something I’ve enjoyed doing these past few days is winding down in the bathtub at the end of the day. It’s something I don’t usually get to do, and I tend to avoid it because I have a difficult time turning my brain off. I’m journaling every day to really try and process my emotions about everything swirling around me. When things are changing so rapidly, day by day, it’s important to stop and go through the changes as they’re happening. I think I’m trying extra hard to take care of myself these days because I know it’s going to be a long term struggle, and we’ll be feeling the effects of Coronavirus for the next 18 months at least. If you need a whole week off, you should take it.
Okay, because this is a tough time, I’m trying to stay away from that whole “you should be more productive!!” mindset- it will really eat you alive. But! If you’re just feeling energetic and want to actually move the needle forward in your business or creative side hustle, you could try a few of these:
Walk through your entire client experience yourself and find any missing links or gaps in communication
Take all of those emails that you send out 10 times a week to 10 different clients and turn them into templates! I use Honeybook to store all of my email templates and keep track of each individual client
For that matter, consider a free trial of something like Honeybook! Other apps I love that have totally transformed my business and offer free trials: Narrative, Canva, Pic-Time, or Two Bright Lights!
Dig through your contracts and make sure they’re still up to date with your growing business
Watch all of those backlogged courses that you saved but never watched!
Build your workflows and systems to save you time and energy in the future
Create some new freebies to send out to your clients
Throw some pins up on Pinterest and watch that app do it’s magic
Alright! That’s all I’ve got for you! This is a very bizarre time for all of us, but hopefully this got the wheels turning on where to direct some of this pent up energy!
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