Maybe you have a case of the New Years Blues. Maybe you had a recent disappointment in your business or your personal life. Maybe you’re going through a breakup. Maybe the bleak winter is getting to you. Maybe it feels like nothing is going right.
We all go through times when we feel a little down. Something shuts off inside of us and that spark we once had for life is suddenly a dull flicker. The willpower to go the extra mile for our clients is zapped. And that e-book you were thinking about working on? Forget it. Your creativity is hibernating somewhere in the dark. It’s nearly impossible to get through the day without turning to chocolate and Netflix. It’s normal and there’s nothing wrong with it. Except that there is something wrong when you’re a solo business owner.
No one else is there to pick up the slack.
When you run your own show, it’s all you, no matter how crappy you feel. Wallowing for an extended period of time just isn’t an option for you. These tips are to help you work in spite of your slump, and then get over it so you can get back to being your brilliant self.
Clear Your Head
The first step in getting back to work has to be clearing your head of your miserable mood. The negativity floating around in your head will block you from doing your best work or tapping into your creativity. Meditate, go for a walk, book an hour with your therapist, journal, repeat positive mantras… whatever your favorite method for lifting your mood is, give it a try. A temporary lift is going to help you get things done.
Sometimes getting out of the funk isn’t as easy as hitting the gym for 20 minutes. Sometimes that funk is going to settle in for a few weeks and it’s going to be a real battle to get through it. But you still have to get shit done.
Create A Structure
Writing things out and making a plan to tackle it is the best way to stay on top of work when you just don’t feel like getting out of bed. Sit down and write out everything you must accomplish in the next few days.
If you aren’t feeling particularly creative or motivated, focus on the work that must get done. Don’t let your client work fall behind, because the only thing that will make a slump worse is losing your contracts. Give your clients the little bit of energy you have right now and get your own projects back on track when you are you again. Once you have your list of tasks, next:
- Make yourself a schedule – say you will work for four 1-hour blocks per day and allow yourself a half hour recovery/downtime period in between. Make your schedule reasonable for you and what you can accomplish right now.
- Make a to-do list – checking things off feels good and will give you an immediate boost, while helping you stay on task.
- Get accountable – checking in with someone regularly on what you were supposed to get done will help to make sure you get it done! And hey, maybe you need some tough love right now from someone who knows you.
Get through it, get it done, do your best, then go snuggle with your Ben & Jerry’s.
Spark Your Creativity
It can be incredibly difficult to get any creative work done when you’re in a slump. Take steps to get inspired again and spark your creativity, even if only for a quick burst to get some work done. Listen to a podcast, go to an art gallery, scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and visit your favourite inspiring blogs (avoid FOMO and the comparison trap), make some art, make some cookies – whatever fires you up.
Get Some Pep Back In Your Step
Overcoming your slump is all about changing your mindset. While we all need our downtime to deal, crawling back into bed every day isn’t going to help you get out of the darkness. Do yourself a favor and work out, listen to some T Swift, hang out with your friends, dance in your underwear. Force yourself to crawl out of that sad hole and go back to being awesome.
Whatever the reason you’re feeling down, you can’t let it undo all the hard work you’ve done to build up your business and get your clients. You can bounce back from this.
What are your best ways to keep working when you’re feeling like a pile of garbage?