You can't avoid it, but you can work with it.
Colorado weather blessed us with our first blizzard one week before Thanksgiving. Two snow days later, looking at a week-long Thanksgiving break and kids with cabin fever...how would I keep up with everything when my schedule was wrecked??!!
What Blizzards Are On Your Path?
Wether you are a work-at-home mom, hustling your passion-project alongside your day job or just a person with a life beyond work - there's bound to be a blizzard or two coming your way.
Sick kid? Emergency vet appointments? Aging parents? Big project at your day job eating up your side-hustle time? Family coming to town?
Whatever it is - you can work through it, IF you put a plan in place.
A few years ago my blizzard looked like 2 kids born 16 months apart. I tried to do it all - cuddle my babies, maintain my older boys' activities and hold down 3 part-time gigs. Twelve months in -- I collapsed under the weight of all the pressure and said good-bye to all my clients.
My biggest mistake back then was doubling down on everything. When real life is making business progress a challenge - it's not time to call all hands on deck. And you can't abandon ship either.
Finding balance is the smart way to keep your business going while you give yourself time to cope with the blizzard.
Emergency Personnel Only System
When life's blizzards are splitting your attention, switching to "Emergency Personnel Only" mode ensures you don't end up throwing in the towel and binge watch Man in the High Castle.
The key to making it through an emergency is to keep communications lines open and break down your work four main areas:
- Client Work
- Growth and Marketing
- Product Development
Then establish a triage system where you attend to anything that will blow up first and get around to everything else only if there is time.
Communicate with your team. Enlist their help and offload some of your responsibilities. If you fly solo, attend to your finances and email but set a timer and don't go over 1 hour per day.
Communicate with your clients. Work on the nearest deadline and give everyone else updated timelines for their projects. As long as you communicate, most clients will understand.
Growth & Marketing
Don't let your social media accounts or networking grow cold during your emergency. Batch posts and keep your online activities to 1 hour. Follow up with hot leads so when the emergency is over, you'll still have work to do.
If your emergency will last under a week, let go of new product development. If your emergency is longer than one week - schedule 4-6 hours per week to focus on new products.
This method has saved my business several times. It helped me through the Thanksgiving week and it'll push me through Christmas.
If you have your own emergency system you put in place with the wind starts howling, please share in the comments!