Even before COVID-19 changed our lives, did you ever say “I’d love to do [FILL IN THE BLANK] but I just don’t have time.”?
What about “I am so freaking tired!”?
If you’re in the events industry, I’m guessing your answer to both is “YES!” and about a zillion times over.
Our industry has come to a screeching halt and yes, it absolutely sucks. But rather than be a victim to the virus, I’ve decided to change my perspective and be appreciative of this newfound time to work on my business when I cannot work in it.
If you’ve been struggling to balance a new schedule, creating a new routine if you’re not used to working from home, or dealing with the unknown timeframe for when our industry will be back and thriving, I think this mindset shift during COVID-19 is something that could really benefit you, too.
Inspired by the wise words of Dave Hollis, “In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to,” here’s how I’m figuring this out:
Step 1: Let it out.
If you’re overwhelmed and need to cry, freak out, get angry or mad—do it! Get it out! I’ve lost control (aka balled my eyes out) multiple times over the last month and can guarantee I will again.
Once you’ve gotten it out of your system—and binge-watched your favorite series on Netflix for five hours (it’s not just me, right?)— you need to pull yourself together, take a deep breath and keep moving.
You see, when all of this is over, I not only want to be in a position to come back with all cylinders firing, but I also want to return with the exact business I’ve always dreamed of having and right now, I have the time to create just that.
Step 2: Assess every single element of your life vs. your 2020 goals.
I call this practice my Annual Audit. I usually do it between Christmas and New Year’s when I’m gearing up for the year ahead, but there’s no time like the present, right?
If you’re a goal setter like I am, grab your goal book and ask yourself the hard questions:
- We’re at the end of Q1, how are you tracking?
- Are these goals still current and realistic or do you need to pivot?
- What elements of your life are helping you reach your goals, and what elements aren’t?
- What activities have been productive and what have been a waste of time?
- What changes do you need to make right now to become the person you want to be?
Step 3: Remember to work on your business when you can’t work in it.
Whether it’s a content strategy, social media plan, e-course you’ve been trying to get off the ground, website facelift or the implementation of an online accounting system—use this time to optimize any and every area of your business that isn’t working as efficiently and effectively as it could be.
Step 4: Create a new product you’ve been dreaming about but “haven’t had the time” to do.
I've had a passion project burning inside me for almost a decade. I’ve used the excuse that I’ve always been “too busy” producing events for my clients to do anything about it. While that has been somewhat true, with a little reflection in this downtime, I’ve discovered that the biggest thing holding me back has not been my client workload: it's been fear.
This product can change the entire trajectory of my business and future, which is incredibly exciting but also scary as hell. So, with this newfound perspective, I’m working through that fear by focusing on progress over perfection (I’ll perfect it later).
I’m tackling bite-sized chunks each day, which is reducing the overwhelm. By taking these baby steps, I’ve created more in the past week than I have in the last decade.
Step 5: Find your new work-life balance and set boundaries.
If you’re in events, own a business, or both, it’s highly likely you haven’t enjoyed an entire weekend off in a long time. Now’s your chance. Give yourself a break and schedule some off-line activities back into your life—time when you just have to be you not “on.”
Challenge yourself to keep your computer closed the entire weekend. This will be tricky, as most of us have trained ourselves to be online and accessible 24/7, but we need to be looking after ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually now more than ever. Some of my best ideas and “aha!” moments have come when I’ve allowed myself to switch off and be present. Time is on your side. I dare you to give it a try.