How do you handle a blizzard?

You have done the thinking, and the planning. You have even looked ahead to anticipate as many of the breakdowns as you can see.

Then you are hit with a blizzard. And it doesn’t matter if the blizzard is a literal blizzard of snow, or you get very sick, or someone you work with or rely on isn’t available for an extended period of time, the servers crash, or your company downsizes and everyone is left with 3 times the work.

The impact is the same – all plans tend to go out the window (at least for a short time) while everyone goes into disaster recovery mode.

What do you do?

One colleague was considering the week long weather related shut down we are in the middle of as a blessing in disguise. She took the unexpected bonus of days off to tackle the pile of financial aid forms and applications for her daughter who is getting ready to go off to college. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Except, after 4 days alternately working on forms, shoveling snow, and being on conference calls – she is absolutely exhausted! She is going to need a break from this break!

How often do you find yourself in the same place? You work your butt off all week long, and when the weekend comes it is just more of the same? You are faced with all the accumulated chores that you were too tired or too busy to deal with during the week? So you throw yourself into the chores, only to be completely tapped out when Monday morning comes around?

What happened to the weekend? What happened to time to rest?

Have you noticed that approaching true time off – down time – rest time – from the mindset of “as soon as I finish X I will take some time for myself” never seems to work? Why? Because as soon as you finish that task there are hundreds more waiting for your attention! Hence – another blizzard.

So – another important part to planning is planning down time. Schedule it. Take it. Honor it. Even if it is just 15 minutes to make and drink a cup of tea, or 30 minutes cuddling up with a warm blanket and a book. Now, go take a short break!

I promise it will make a huge difference!

Because, really, without a life, what’s the point?


  1. Sue Painter says:

    Yes, down time is totally important to keep your perspective. At the worst of all possible busy times, go walk outside for 5 minutes, makes a huge difference! Great advice from you, thanks for sharing.
    Sue Painter

  2. I absolutely agree! If you notice it is not happening organically in your life, plan the down-time! ♥ Katherine.

  3. Terry, get out of my head. Seriously, I’m certain this is the story for 99% of entrepreneurs, especially the solo ones. Good for you putting it in words and reminding us that we have a life too.
    Lynn Moore

  4. Mitch Tublin says:

    Great advice. I always keep a few – get to it later items – on hand for snow days, plane flights, etc.
    And downtime is key – we do not appreciate the need for it.

  5. Lisa Manyon says:

    LOVED this post. I always do my best to turn unexpected events into a positive experience.

    One of my favorite sayings (author unknown)”Never resist a temporary inconvenience if it results in a permanent improvement.”

    Write on!

    Lisa Manyon

  6. Pinky says:

    i have scheduled my ‘break’ for this afternoon – thankyou for the reminder -my busy brain was telling me aout all the things I ‘should’ be doing. I remember a quote from Ali in one of her programs- ‘when you die your inbox will still be full.’

  7. it is so true…we can see easily adapt and flow when we are forced into it, like in the case of a blizzard.
    Actually it is kind of fun to be forced to have some downtown.
    But I can see the wisdom in planning it so it doesn’t have to get to that point!

  8. Phil Dyer says:

    Terry – Boy did I feel you were talking directly to me! As someone who used to take pride in the “I work 60-70 hours a week” mantra, switching gears to honor downtime can be really tough…

    Thanks for the creative perspective and reinforcement of how important this is!

    Phil Dyer
    America’s Entrepreneur Strategist™

  9. Oh so true and boy do we need a good reminder like this. I tell my stressed out and anxious clients this all this time and often forget myself. I’m off for a nice break now! so thank you

  10. Scheduling daily breaks has never been a priority for me but after reading this post, you have reminded me how important they are to help replenish the body and mind.