I can’t think of anyone who escapes life’s challenges. While it might seem at times that some people get more than their share, someday a crisis will happen to you. You will find yourself in a crisis of some sorts.
It could be a health crisis, marriage or relationship issues. Financial disasters, legal battles, children acting out or even a death in the family! Not to mention homelessness or caring for a parent or two. Along with crime and natural disasters, it’s a matter of time before it happens to you.
Indeed, life can get tough. When you are an entrepreneur, it can be even tougher. Especially if you are a solopreneur! You have no company leave to take advantage of, and likely not even a right hand to fall back on. Yet, the future of your business depends on you being able to function and stay productive.
So how can I stay cool in a crisis?
I am so glad you asked! Between the two of us, we at Sassy Lasses have survived and somehow managed to stay productive. In spite of dealing with every single one of those situations mentioned above, plus some. So, you might say we have had a wee bit of experience at learning to stay productive in the midst of a crisis.
Here is how we do it:
- Rein it In.
- Focus on Essentials.
- Cowboy Up.
- Lesson Hunt.
Rein It In.
The first thing you need to do when you find yourself in the midst of a crisis situation is to get control of your emotions. You must learn to rein them in so you can think straight….and deal with the challenges you are facing. It will be impossible to be productive if you are an emotional wreck. You can kick-start the mental process of regaining control by going the physical route. Involve your body in calming yourself and getting rid of some of the stress it is holding.
The Steps to dealing with crisis
➔ Focus on controlling your breathing. The goal is slow, deep breaths.
➔ Systematically relax your body. It doesn’t really matter which end you start at. Start at one end of your body and work your way to the other, consciously relaxing your muscles as you go.
➔ To deal with extremely out of control emotions, try shocking your body to snap out of it. Think about the scenes in movies where a hysterical person gets slapped in the face to get them to rein it in. A gentler equivalent would be splashing cold water on your face…or even dunking your face in ice water. Hot sauce on your tongue will do the same.
➔ Get physical. Do something physical that you enjoy. A sport or active hobby like hiking gets some of that emotional energy out. Along with getting you some beneficial hormones induced by exercise. Try dancing! It is hard to dance and frown.
➔ Get REALLY physical. We can’t deny emotions like frustration and anger. Bottling them up will result in them eventually exploding and making quite the mess. A better way to vent some of that emotion is to do something very physical, like splitting wood, raking, or shoveling. I plan to add a punching bag at our place just for that. In the absence of those options, I tend to go berserk cleaning. Scrubbing the daylights out of something grimy gets that negative energy out.
➔ Again Simply breathing and being aware of breathing takes your focus off the craziness. Counting your inhales and exhales, while your brain slowly levels out chemical imbalances.
Focus on essentials don’t let the crisis win.
Now that you have calmed down enough to think rationally, you do need to think through some things. Notice I said some things. Not every little thing you want to think about from that panic state you just came from. It is time to get focus, forget the non-essentials and create a crisis survival plan.
For now, intentionally forget all about every back burner project you have going. Forget about trying that new software…or new anything. You need to pare your business activities down to the bare bones. You are looking for the minimum it needs from you during the time of crisis to stay afloat. Bottom line. Temporarily, forget growth and ambition.
Faced with those essentials, you create a realistic and flexible plan to get you through your crisis. Those essentials will vary with the type of business you have and the industry you are in. For example, if you are an affiliate blogger, maintenance for you might be to just keep blogging. If you do direct sales of a consumable product, maintenance would be keeping those current customers happy and ordering.
The one essential I do not want you to forget is yourself. When we are under a lot of stress and pressure, it is easy to start slacking in the self-care department. We tend to think, on some level, that we can keep depleting ourselves and catch up on it later.
It does not work that way. Take care of yourself first….so you are physically prepared to handle the demands a crisis situation creates. That has to stay the foundation of your plan for staying productive.
In case you are unfamiliar with the phrase, “cowboy up”, let me introduce you! Cowboying up is what you do after you have been thrown from a horse and it is time to get back on him. You might be hurt. You might be nervous, or even scared half to death. You don’t want to do it. But you know you must. You dig deep, take a breath, and do it anyway.
That is how you cowboy up. That is what you must learn to do to survive a crisis situation. It helps to stay productive enough to keep your business going too.
There is nobody else to do it for you and it must be done. It is a simple fact you cannot escape, so cowboy up and just do it. It won’t be as difficult as you fear. The first step is usually the hardest. An added bonus is, you get stronger with each step, along the way so it does get easier.
After you are back in the saddle, do what you need to do as efficiently as possible. So you can get back to issues arising from your crisis. You have pared it down to the essentials and learned to do what needs done when you don’t want to do it. Maintaining your business will get start getting easier as time goes on. You will learn to be more productive with your new task list.
Lesson Hunt the value, after a crisis
Once you are in control of your emotions and getting more productive in spite of your crisis situation, it is a matter of hanging in there. Especially if the situation is a long-term one, that keeping on can get challenging. Developing a habit of hunting lessons will help in a couple of ways.
First, it helps take away some of the sting of the crisis and struggle you are in. It redeems what could have been all bad and gets some good out of it. I have yet to see a tough situation that doesn’t contain a valuable lesson inside. Find it, apply it, and it all hurts less. I promise.
The other thing being a lesson hunter does for you happens as you apply the lessons you discover. You get wiser, stronger, more productive, and better able to deal with your crisis. You are surviving it. You will come out on the other side.
The next time life throws you a curve ball, you will take it in stride so much easier! Become a student of your trials and tribulations. Learn from them, apply the lessons, and grow. Then, when you look back on this time, you’ll see the good that came from it. You will find you can be grateful, even for the trials.
I hope you now feel better equipped
To be productive during your personal crisis. Remember to be kind to yourself during this time. Forgive yourself when you fall short of an expectation you had for yourself. Learn to cut yourself the same slack you give others.
We know what it is to struggle through challenging times. We do understand how bleak it can appear to look forward. We have felt your angst and care. If these resources are not enough and you need more help, please reach out and ask for it. We are here for you personally and can point you in the direction of getting more of the help you need.