WHY DOWNTIME CAN BENEFIT YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS September 8, 2020 | Business Tips | business growth , time management By Stepha Vesper, NPI, Inc.'s Marketing Communications Specialist It’s no secret: running your own business can get hectic, especially during busy season. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the task of prioritizing all that needs completed each day, especially when so many things are equally important. Then, before you know it, despite your best efforts to stay ahead, you can quickly fall behind on work. So what can you do to help yourself not just accomplish necessary tasks, but exceed your own expectations? Schedule daily downtime. If you’re so focused on the daily grind that you literally need a downtime tutorial, we get it. And we have you covered. The Benefits of Pre-Planned Downtime While there are benefits to experiencing unexpected downtime, it can still be a headache to deal with. That is why having a pre-planned downtime is a better choice, so that you can prepare ahead of time. Daily downtime is a great way to keep you from expending all your energy, and helps you get through the day. You can refocus your attention on your business and you’ll feel more motivated. You’ll be able to get caught up on all those little projects you’ve been putting off, and won’t be so exhausted at quitting time. How Much Downtime to Have Trying to find that “downtime sweet spot” is easier said than done. Some people find that they need more than others, and vice versa. Start out by setting an amount of time, such as an hour in the morning or afternoon, and go from there. You will most likely adjust your downtime as needed, but stick with the same schedule when you find it to stay consistent. What to Do With Downtime After you have blocked out a timeframe to do your work, you may wonder what all you should do with it? Some tasks to consider are: - Checking equipment, - Catching up on paperwork, - Revisiting your marketing plan, - Update your website, - Other projects that have been on the backburner for some time. Fill Your Schedule Another thing that you can do is look at your schedule and plan for the coming weeks. Keeping your schedule up to date will let you know what you have on your radar to help your business run smoothly. You won’t miss any important meetings, or show up for a job that got moved to a later date. Catch-Up with Clients Reviews are important for any business of any size. If you notice that you haven’t had any recent customers share their thoughts on your service, feel free to catch up with them. Clients will appreciate you valuing their feedback, plus it lets you know what you need to improve on for next time. Get Yourself Organized You’d be surprised at how a messy office can negatively impact your work. It’s hard to find what you need when you need it, and that can be frustrating. Taking time to organize your workspace will allow you to work more efficiently and keep on track with projects. Revisit Your Social Media If you post content yourself, you may fall behind putting out posts during busier times. Maintaining an active social media presence lets clients know what you’re up to, and it attracts new contacts. You can use this downtime to post to your Facebook or LinkedIn, or you may find you need help managing your feeds. In Conclusion Whether you plan ahead or get surprised by a period of downtime, you can use it to your advantage to strengthen your business. Think about the different tasks that need taken care of and work to ensure they are up to a professional standard. It is also good to notify your clients about downtime, whether it be planned or not. Giving a heads up about service interruptions will prevent any frustrations, keeping your customers happy. About the Author Stepha Vesper, Marketing Communications Specialist Stepha has more than five years’ experience in marketing, content creation, SEO and copywriting. Her favorite part of her job is assisting franchisees with their digital marketing strategies so they reach their goals that much faster. When she isn’t at work, Stepha is going on adventures with her basset hound, Frank, and husband, Zach, perusing used bookstores, reading or writing.