5 ways to bounce back after an unproductive week
Last week was the week our shop launched and the first full week we would be at home after our trip to Copenhagen. In order to hit the ground running and get a lot of things done before our next weekend getaway, I had planned for a productive week full of regular workouts, blogging and filming sessions to design time. And then I got sick. I’ve been out all week with a nasty flu. This means that my to do list has just been gathering dust, the work is piling up and the stress is setting up camp. To help myself out, I’ve come up with a few ideas to help me bounce back next week and catch up.
Get back to work when you can, working from a place of rest
For anyone who runs their own business (especially while still working a full time job like I do), it’s hard to remember that you can take breaks when you need to, to rest and rejuvenate before you get back to work. If you just push yourself before your body is ready (I tried this and it didn’t work!), you’ll slow down your healing process and you won’t be performing at your best. This means more things get overlooked, or more mistakes happen - both of which will take more of your time and energy down the line to fix. Give yourself permission to take the time out when you need it - all the work will still be there when you’re ready to get back to it.
Prioritise what is really important and don’t crowd your calendar
When you have a long list of things that need to get done, write them down in order of what needs to get done first - what is urgent and cannot wait, or what deadlines are fast approaching. This will help you prioritise the limited time that you have. Your time is limited enough as it is, and it becomes even more so when you need to catch up on all the work you couldn’t do while you were sick. By prioritising all your tasks, you know where you need to focus your attention. Anything extra that you manage to get done is a bonus!
Reschedule your tasks as soon as possible
If you’re anything like me, you have a detailed list of all the things you want to achieve each day in order to stay productive and on top of your workflow. For each day that I was unable to work, the list of unfinished tasks kept growing. The best way to combat the stress of a growing to do list and to set yourself up for a productive week once you’re back in the game, is to reschedule each of your tasks as you miss them. This will avoid the overwhelming feeling of seeing a long to do list amongst looming deadlines. This way, you’ll have a plan for when these tasks can be tackled and you can just get back to resting and recovering.
Realise that done is better than perfect
This is an important rule to remember not only when you’re getting back to work after being sick, but in any situation where you have a lot on your plate. Done is better than perfect. You may like to have everything competed to a state of utter perfection, but in all likelihood, the amount of time and effort you would need to get it that extra 10% of the way there would be much greater than the result. When you have the time and the resources, striving for perfection is a great goal. However, when you don’t, just getting it done is good enough until you do have the time and resources. You can always go back and improve once your schedule permits. The important thing is that all the tasks that you missed aren’t left unfinished.
Ask for help if you need it
There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it, so if your to do list is just too much for you to manage, especially with all your other responsibilities and obligations, ask for help. You can ask a friend or relative to help you take listing photos or edit blog posts, you can ask a colleague to help you answer emails. If you really needed to, you could even hire a virtual assistant for a couple of hours depending on what tasks you needed help with. Once your schedule and tasks are back on track, you can get back to business as usual.
Right now, I’m still in the “rest when you need it phase”, but I’m getting my action plan ready for when I’m ready to get back into it. This will allow me to hit the ground running, to know what I have to focus on and to be as productive as I can without worrying about the less important tasks.
Wish me luck!
Lots of love,