It’s always hard to balance personal issues with work life. When dealing with a big loss or hard transition, the last thing you want to focus on is your Monday morning meeting or that pressing assignment that has been on your to-do list for weeks.
When you work for someone else, at least you have your boss, deadlines, and coworkers to keep you in check in the midst of a personal crisis. But when you’re your own boss, staying focused when you have major life stress can be much more challenging.
Being a solopreneur means being in charge of setting your own schedule, keeping track of deadlines, and growing your business. But if your mind is somewhere else, focusing on your professional life can seem impossible.
Thankfully, life coach Shaleea Venney has a list of do’s and dont’s when it comes to keeping your business running in the midst of a personal crisis.
There are a number of things that you can do to keep things in your professional life together when you feel like things in your personal life are falling apart. First and foremost, talk to someone. Talking through your feelings and asking for advice will give you the guidance and help you need to work through your thoughts, whether that be with a friend, family member, coach, or therapist.
You should also set a work goal for yourself. This doesn’t have to be anything too big, but setting goals can help to keep you focused, and they give you something to look forward to.
But if things seem too overwhelming, don’t hesitate to delegate! If you have an intern, mentee, or assistant, now is the time to trust them with the tasks that create unnecessary stress in your life.
When things really start to seem like too much for you to handle, feel free to get away from work. Even if it’s just for a day or two, spending some time away from the stresses of both your personal and professional life will give you the energy you need to feel excited about your work again.
And even if you can’t escape work for a couple of days, be sure to at least take breaks throughout the day. Give yourself a few moments during the workday to disconnect, process your emotions, cry a bit, or do whatever you need to do to process what you’re going through.
Shaleea reminds us that while it can be good to use your work as a distraction during a personal crisis, you can’t hide from your emotions. That’s why it is so important to give yourself the time and space you need to work through this difficult chapter of your life.
According to Shaleea, there are also a number of things that solopreneurs should avoid doing when dealing with personal issues. To begin, do not avoid your feelings. Burying yourself in work in order to hide from your feelings will only backfire, and unless you face the pain that you are experiencing, it will never truly go away. While it can be hard to do, facing your feelings is the first step you must take towards healing.
Shaleea also points out that it is important to not avoid deadlines. Though issues in your personal life may seem to creep into your work life, it is crucial that you adhere to deadlines and keep your professional endeavors running. Make adjustments to your business if that’s what you need to do to meet deadlines, whether that means asking for help or taking on a lighter workload.
Finally, don’t rush it! While you will want to be 100% back in the game right away, that is simply unrealistic. Everyone heals on their own time, and you can’t force yourself to get over something if you still aren’t ready. And remember, grief comes in waves. While you may feel completely fine one moment, you could be forcing yourself to hold in your tears the next. That is completely normal, and no amount of willing yourself to get over something will actually help you to do so.
At the end of the day, we can’t control what happens to us: we can only control how we react. Loved ones pass away, we go through separations or divorces, we lose friends that were once near and dear to us. Shaleea Venney wants you to know that just because you are going through a personal crisis, your professional life doesn’t have to suffer.
One of the hardest parts of being a solopreneur is perfecting your work-life balance, and finding that balance during a personal crisis can be quite the feat. But as Shaleea points out, there are certain steps that you can take to prevent your personal issues from affecting your business, meaning that you can still crush it in your professional life even when your personal life is going through a rough patch.
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