Most people have created a contingency plan for their family. Many people are preparing for this epidemic by
- buying a year’s supply of toilet paper
- hoarding hand sanitizer
- buying copious amounts of water (which I don’t understand…It’s not a hurricane…)
But have you made a contingency plan for your business?
Schools may be closing (if they haven’t already), jobs may promote telecommuting…which means kids and adults may be home. All the time. Every day for weeks.
You need to make sure that you have some ways that you can get some work done. You’re not going to have the same amount of time most likely to be able to work but you need to be able to carve out some time and make sure that you’re moving your business forward.
This is the time to start planning.
A Contingency Plan
[Note: All of these potential solutions are contingent on everyone being healthy.]
First, try to connect with other parents in your neighborhood or in the area so you can swap kids. Other parents may be telecommuting or just need a little break to get things done. How it works is you take all the kids for a couple of hours and the other parent takes all the kids. So you each get a couple of hours without kids. I have done this successfully in the past – and it made a huge difference.
Second, most likely there will be older kids – middle school, high school, even college kids home. Start reaching out to these people. They may be willing to come over and play with your kids while you work. Of course, it’s not the same as if your kids are out of the house – they know you’re home. But still you know they are being watched and having fun. I found that my kids loved playing with “older kids”. They had fun and played games – which made them feel special. It’s a win-win scenario. Your kids have fun and you get some work done.
Third, if you have a partner, spouse, or another adult in the house (who is home and maybe telecommuting), you need to work out a swap. Perhaps your partner works in the morning and then you get to work in the afternoon. That gives each of you some dedicated work time.
Fourth, you need to get real about your business. What is the bare minimum that you need to do each day, each week in order to keep earning money, serve your clients, basically keep your business running. Get realistic and make a list of what absolutely has to happen each week. And then only do those things. And map them out in advance – so that as soon as you sit down at your desk – you sit down and get to work. There is no time to waste.
Fifth, in these scenarios, we often take no time for ourselves. And then not only can’t we work on our business, we have nothing to give to our family. So even if it’s five minutes – for meditating or journaling or walking around the block – you need to take time for yourself. It’s hard when everybody is at home all the time. Everyone probably needs a break. Maybe you rotate “mental health breaks” for all family members. Maybe you have a 30 minutes “quiet time” break (including for adults). If you have a students come to watch your kids – take 10 minutes to run around the block.
This situation is somewhat unprecedented. We have had snowstorms where we’ve had schools cancelled and we’re trapped. But eventually we can get out again. With this virus, it’s unclear the future and how long we’ll be unable to have our normal lives. Taking some time to think through a contingency plan will make it go a little smoother.
Let’s make the best of an awful situation.
What are you tips for dealing with this kind of situation?
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