This situation sucks.
We’re under attack by brainless microbes that are only partly alive, and everybody is hunkering down to prevent the spread and creation of more of these creatures.
If you’re starting to feel like the star of a bad zombie movie, you’re not alone.
But take a second to look at the silver lining. This is enforced leisure, and you’ve been given the gift of time. Even if you haven’t experienced a slowdown in business, you’re probably spending less time driving and in meetings.
Here are some ways to make the most of these extra hours:
Use your phone
Most of your potential clients are probably getting cabin fever, and they’ll welcome a productive distraction. Even now, most people won’t make cold calls, and if they do they’re going to come off as pushy or even desperate.
If you can reach out and have a real conversation, offering service and compassion, you’ll have a connection that more than 90% of your competitors aren’t making. Use this time to build a base for the day when it’s safe to come out and everyone’s rushing to catch up and rebuild.
And while you’re at it, don’t forget to call the people you love who can’t be with you right now. This is a great time to build new relationships and strengthen the ones you already have.
Be open to serendipity
As you and your people work remotely, keep your eyes open for procedures that are better this way.
Likewise, make a note of where you’re really being slowed down by social distancing, and see if it provides any insight about ways to change your processes in the future.
Use this situation to find new opportunities. Which leads to the next suggestion…
Invent a new product or service:
What are the biggest problems you’re having? Are others likely to have the same problems? If you find a solution, can you provide it to current and future clients? Can you offer value to your clients in other ways which you aren’t already doing?
This is a great time to brainstorm, innovate, and pilot test your favorite ideas.
Share your abundance
You have resources, knowledge, and experience that could make all the difference for someone. What do you or your company do better than 90% of the population?
Spectrum is offering 60 days of free Internet service to families that don’t have it, so kids can attend school remotely. Manufacturers are retooling to make badly-needed medical equipment. Plumbers in Detroit are working for free so that residents with the lowest incomes can take hot showers. This philanthropy is likely to bring benefits in the future, but that’s not the only reason to do it.
A lot of people are scared and suffering right now. Is there a way your business can help? The goodwill you generate will pay off down the road, and you might save a life (or at least make a hardship more bearable) this month.
Upgrade your content
If I still haven’t given you enough to fill your schedule and raise your spirits, you can always take this time to share your expertise. Write a book or start a podcast. Brainstorm 1,000 memes, posts, and Tweets (you can cue them to be uploaded on a schedule). Think up a marketing/media plan for next year, when this crisis is over and there’s a surge of growth as everyone scrambles to catch up.
At the very least, make a video. What simple advice, encouragement, or high-quality service can you offer right now? Turn on your camera and talk about it for a few minutes.
You should be doing this all the time anyway. You can get a Vimeo account for as little as $7 a month, and of course there’s always YouTube.
Take care of your health and fitness
Maybe you can’t go to the gym, but you can do push-ups and yoga on the floor. Or step outside and walk around for 20 minutes.
This can stimulate your brain and make you more creative. You’ll get your blood and lymph circulating, which can make you more resistant to Covid 19 and any other bad bugs you’re exposed to.
These trying times can also be an opportunity. As I write this, there are reports that the number of cases in China is dropping. We’re still bracing ourselves for the big wave, but some day soon this will pass over us and things will get back to some semblance of normal.
When that day comes, you can be first in line for a burst of growth and productivity if you make use of the time that you’ve been given today.