You know those posts where someone talks about how “grateful” they are to be an entrepreneur and have the freedom and flexibility to drop everything for an emergency and have their business not miss a beat?
Yeah, they annoy me too.
It’s not that there isn’t some truth in what they’re saying, and I too am grateful I have systems in place and a team that can function at a very high level without me.
But, like I wrote last year about the “truth about working everywhere and anywhere” as an entrepreneur, it’s not the whole truth.
The whole truth is this — if you end up dropping nearly everything for 5 weeks unexpectedly (like I did) you’re going to get behind. (Unless, of course, you truly have set up your business so you don’t do anything at all except sit by the pool and count the money pouring in. But the vast majority of entrepreneurs I know do some sort of business work each week — even if it is only 3 or 4 days worth of work. And what’s being done on those 3 or 4 days isn’t going to suddenly magically disappear without some effort on your part.)
While yes, I did some work here and there, I ended up being more off than on — which means I am really, frickin’ behind right now.
So there are a few takeaways I wanted to share:
* After I finished being annoyed by all the “entrepreneur utopia” posts I saw cropping up (and, if I want to be really truthful — also feeling more than a little sorry for myself) I decided maybe I really was finally ready to make some changes to my productivity habits. Because another hard truth is I could have been more prepared business-wise — it’s not like it was a big secret she was sick. But between being partly in denial about just how sick she was, and not being as efficient as I could have been before everything really unraveled, I wasn’t as prepared for this as I could have been.
* Apparently the Universe also wanted me to change my productivity habits. Practically the moment I realized I actually was ready to change (instead of the dancing around with it I was doing earlier in the year) no less than 3 articles sharing tips on being more efficient and productive landed in my inbox. (Yes, it IS true that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.)
* I took some time to start figuring out what my new habits were going to be and how my time was going to be structured.
I’m still in the implementation phase (which is going slowly simply because, I just have so much more to get through than I normally do). So I’m learning patience and breathing into it and refusing to do what I normally do when I feel this overwhelmed and far behind — which is to get trapped in the “story” of how busy and overwhelmed I feel and make myself sick about it.
Instead, when the overwhelm feeling comes up, I breathe into it and feel it without the story about being overwhelmed (note — this feels super awful when you first do it so be prepared). In a few minutes, the feeling goes away and I go back to what I was doing before.