It happens to everyone in business. One day you’re cruising along, not a care in the world (except helping your clients) and the next day you’re in a funk. At a loss for how to make the next sale—and even frustrated with those projects you were excited about yesterday.
The funk can last from a few hours to several weeks, and really there’s no telling when the funk will end—until it does.
Thankfully there are some things you can do when you’re in that funk that will help you break free and move forward.
Take some time off
Nothing motivates me more than taking a little time off. As business owners, I think we all work just a little too much (present company included) and time away from the computer is a necessity we don’t take advantage of enough.
I’ve taken most, if not all, of the last few weekends off and I’ve sat at my computer each Monday morning with fresh eyes and a desire to dig in. To prep for weekends off, I end my Fridays by brain-dumping all the projects that need to be first on my priority list on Monday morning. This way there’s no question of where to start or what needs to get done. And I don’t forget what I’m working on either!
[bctt tweet=”Prep for weekends off by brain-dumping at the end of the day Friday, then start fresh on Monday.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
Sometimes a weekend isn’t enough time off, so it’s important to plan out longer stints away from business too. It’s hard to do, for sure, but it’s such a great way to refresh your mind and motivation!
Have a business retreat
There’s a big difference between working IN your business vs. ON your business. Of course, the IN work is what drives the revenue most of the time. It’s the client work and follow-ups you need to do if you’re going to stay in business. But the work ON your business is just as (if not more) important.
Working on your business means you look at growth and goals and put the systems in place so you can achieve both. It also means that you’re looking at more big-picture projects and taking care of the hiring or back-end work you need to get it all done. You can do all of this on a business retreat—either in your home office, at a hotel, at an exotic location or anywhere you can get your focus on. The time focused on goals is sure to break that funk.
A business retreat doesn’t have to last more than a few hours, if that’s all the time you have to focus. But I’ve found that the most (and best) work comes when I take extended time, like a full day to a full week) to focus just on my business.
Talk to your peers
Even as an introvert, I love a good coffee chat. I find it difficult to connect with others in person, but I love getting to know peers in the online space. A coffee chat is a great way to meet new people, get different perspectives and get past your mind blocks so you can move forward. And if you have a few biz besties who you haven’t talked to in a while, take advantage of the relationship you already have and reach out to schedule a chat.
If you’ve never had a coffee chat before, it’s time to take the leap—no matter how long (or not) you’ve been in business. The first coffee chat I had was nerve-wracking, until we started talking. I think everyone is a little nervous, but connection in this online space is essential.
[bctt tweet=”Coffee chats are a great way for introverts to connect with other biz owners—without the pressure of leaving the house.” username=”AbbyMHerman”]
Take a different perspective
One of the ways I generate new ideas, either for my own business or for clients’, is to pay attention to what others are doing and then think up ways I can do it differently or better. Take some time to follow others in your industry and take note of what they’re talking about. Blog posts, videos, social media—take it all in and then sit back on reflect.
I find that paying attention to what others are saying will light a fire in me to start creating more content. Whether that’s because I disagree with some of the practices out there or it sparks new ideas, consuming content is all about learning and growing for me.
Attend a business conference or online summit
Most business owners are (or should be, in my opinion) lifelong learners. No matter what industry you’re in, it will change over time. New technology, new research and new ideas are constantly in development, and it’s important to stay on top of it all.
Online summits and business conferences are the perfect way to both interact with other business owners and to learn a thing or two about your industry. Conferences are often more expensive and a bigger time commitment, making online summits a good alternative. Though you won’t get the in-person connection at summits, you’ll still get great content—from the comfort of your own home.
In the midst of work, take a nap
My all-time favorite way to recharge is to take a nap. This is a short-term solution to the all-so-common challenge of overwhelm. When you’re overwhelmed with too many things on the to-do list, it’s impossible to focus, let alone think straight. Though it seems counter-intuitive, a nap can calm your brain and your heart rate so you can come back to the computer ready to tackle the next thing on your list. Don’t worry about the loss of work time; a nap will help increase your focus so it’ll be like it never even happened. Only you’ll know your secret!
Of course, your problem may not be that you’re in a funk at all. Maybe it’s the focus that’s really causing you to question why you started your own business in the first place. Again, you’re not alone.
If focus is what you need, find out my top tips for finding and maintaining focus when you’re working from home.