Life isn’t always easy.
During times of stress, your business may be used for healthy coping. Interested in leveraging your business for stress relief? As a reprieve from the uncertainty and instability in other areas of life? Here are some insights as to how it could work:
Cut Back To Essentials
You may have already cut your workload back to the bare minimum already. If not, you may want to consider doing so. Discontinuing tasks that aren’t absolutely essential to keeping the business afloat can help meet needs for space, rest, efficiency.
Additionally, cutting back creates room to use your business as part of your healthy coping instead.
To help with evaluating what’s essential and what’s not, try writing down everything you currently are doing in your business. Next evaluate, one-by-one, what tasks are required and what tasks are optional.
For instance, while meeting with your clients is essential, posting daily on social media is not. While keeping up with notes for clients is essential, writing a monthly blog post is not.
All the extra stuff you’re doing, to grow, to offer a new thing, to optimize, to systematize… are unlikely to be essential. A time of stress is not the time to do focus on doing more. In fact, the true question may be, “what’s the least I can do?”
Next, Reconnect With What Excites You
Just because life is stressful, it doesn’t mean your need for play and fulfillment has disappeared. Beyond the essential “must-do” things, try to reconnect to aspects of your business that are exciting.
(If you’ll be doing anything beyond what’s essential, and with the intention of it helping you cope, it ought to be fun, right?).
What things have you wanted to learn or implement in your business that you haven’t gotten around to yet? Any fun skill you want to learn – like using canva to make a graphic for your website? Or something practical but meditative like improving bookkeeping skills?
Is there anything that would bring you fulfillment and meaning? Maybe starting to write the book you always wanted to – sharing wisdom over years of practice. Or maybe something else…
Take Ridiculously Small Steps
It’s totally ok (and recommended) to take “ridiculously” small steps forward with the exciting things. Instead of having the expectation that you should do an entire hour or two of work at a time, what baby step can you take in 2 minutes time? Like no, literally 2 minutes!
Maybe if you’re working on writing that book you always wanted to, the 2-minute baby step might be to brainstorm on fun book titles. Or to outline what you could put on the first page. Or write a first paragraph.
Most people fail at taking steps so small. You may come to question if it’s ok to “barely do anything”?
And the answer is yes, yes it’s ok to barely do anything!
And that’s because the point of taking ridiculously small steps forward is to provide you with some stress relief – not to revolutionize your business overnight, produce a masterpiece, or start a revolution.
Use these tasks as a break from your day-to-day stress. What feels like a good brain and nervous system break? Find what that is for you and spend time there. And if you do have more than 2 minutes, then yes! Spend the amount of time that feels appropriate for you in that moment.
Acknowledge the judgement of anything not being “enough” and try to have fun too.
Use High Energy Moments To Plan For Low Energy Moments
In times of stress, energy levels can fluctuate. Some moments you’ll have a burst of energy and insight and other moments you’ll want to lay on the floor and nap. And that’s the way it goes.
If you ever do find yourself in a place where you do have energy though, use those moments to be creative and do more deep thinking. When you have energy you can prep all the baby-step-like-tasks for those lower energy moments.
So it’s kinda like developing and gathering a bunch of recipes, putting them in a safe place, and then being able to follow them for fun whenever you want. You’ll need a bit higher energy to create the recipes or gather them together and lower energy to follow them – so being attuned to where you’re energy is at can help you catch times where the higher energy task of figuring stuff out can be completed with joy and ease.
Above All – Take Good Care
Business is not the most important thing in life – so above all, take care of you! Using your business or business-adjacent activities as healthy coping is an option, not a requirement. If it does sound interesting, hope this post provided some inspiration as to how to make space and think in small steps towards fulfilling tasks and destinations.
Life is life sometimes. Hope you find what works for you!