Like most Americans, you’re probably reading this in isolation, as you’re working from home and trying to stay busy. The Coronavirus COVID-19 has upended our lives, requiring many of us to leave the office and work remotely.
But isolation might be a blessing in disguise. While you’re working from home, you’re less prone to distractions (unless, like me, you’re also trying to keep your kids entertained!) There are fewer meetings, fewer chatty coworkers, and certainly no business trips on the horizon. This season might be the perfect opportunity to tackle that growing to-do list and take on projects you’ve been putting off.
Here are some ways you can use isolation to your advantage while working from home.
Respond to Emails
Many of us have a backlog of emails waiting for a response. This newfound downtime is the perfect opportunity to go through your inbox and catch up on correspondence.
If you manage to get through all your previously unopened and flagged messages, there’s still more email work to do. Clean up your inbox by placing messages into folders. Go through current folders and delete anything obsolete. And unsubscribe from junk mail or any email lists that don’t provide value to your business.
Once life gets back to normal, you will thank yourself for taking the time to organize your email.
Update Your Website, Web Content, and Blog
Your website is an essential component of your business, but it’s often neglected as other tasks steal our precious time.
Working from home provides a unique opportunity to hone in on your website and spend some time perfecting it. View your site from a client’s perspective: is it informative enough? Easy to navigate? Too busy with photos, links, or ads?
Next, pick two or three things you can do this week to improve your website. It might be something significant, like overhauling the design, or something less intensive, like changing the homepage content.
Then, do some SEO tune-ups. Check for broken links in your blog posts, update any outdated information, and try to refresh at least 20% of your website. When you add new content to your site, search engines recognize your page as current, which increases your ranking in search results. You might also take this time to write new blogs, giving yourself a head start on website content for the rest of the year.
Plan for the Future
Give yourself permission to do some daydreaming during this downtime. Get out a journal or open your electronic memos, and start writing.
What are 3-5 professional goals you would like to meet this year?
What big, outlandish goal would you like to meet in five years? Ten?
How can you reach new clients during this isolation period?
What are 3-5 personal goals you’d like to achieve this year?
Downtime allows us to think, reflect, and set our sights on the future. We have a unique opportunity – all of us – to use this time to reset our professional and personal lives. Planning for the future gives us targets to aim towards and helps us stay motivated.
Connect with Past Clients
You’re stuck at home, but all your past clients are, too. Now is the perfect time to check in, see how they’re doing, and pitch your services. Send a quick email or text message or make a phone call to chat.
You might also consider sending out an email newsletter with some stay-at-home entertainment ideas, a gift card for a free Amazon movie download, or other helpful tips to help past (and current) clients stay sane during this downtime.
Consider checking off some marketing “to-dos” while you’re working from home. Set up an online marketing campaign, work on your social media pages, or make plans for on-the-ground marketing events you might hold once the world is back to normal.
Check in with Employees and Coworkers
The current crisis has caused many of us to stop and take stock of what really matters in our lives. We have more time for family and friends (at a safe distance, of course).
This week, take some time to check in with your employees or coworkers and let them know how much they mean to you. Our businesses wouldn’t be the same without the hardworking colleagues in our lives. And with so much going on in the world, we could all use a little encouragement. So make the phone call, write a notecard, or send an email and let your professional partners know you’re thinking of them, you’re cheering them on, and you’re thankful for their support.