This week, I returned from two weeks away on vacation. We had a fabulous time in New England at Old Orchard Beach and I was able to check some emails and do a bit of needed work, but my preparations before I left and my team support while gone really made it easy to be away from the office.
Of course we returned at a very busy time – not only is it the end of the month (books and billing due), but the kids are still home and needed a few more things before starting school on Sept 2nd AND add to this one of the worst heat waves I have ever experienced in Nova Scotia.
Today the temps got up near 34 C (about 88 F) and with our lovely maritime humidity it felt like 41 C (104 F). I am not very good with high temperatures like this – not at all. So my productivity this week has been less than my norm and that only adds to the cranky-i-ness.
We are all human and have issues at times. Today mine was the heat. Oh, the horrible heat of the last few days. Earlier this summer I told my husband (during another mini heat wave) that I had had enough and was going to buy a portable air conditioner for my office. Of course, it was a hard sell, that type of purchase, when in all honesty I might only need it a few weeks (even days) every year. Yet the arguments against it were coming from someone who works day in and out in a nicely air conditioned office building. So we decided it was not something we would pursue.
Yesterday, however, was my breaking point. We all have them, and mine was when I started sweating in places I did not know that it was possible to do. The kids were all cranky and hot, I was cranky and hot and nothing (not even a quick trip down the road to the neighbourhood beach) could keep my mind off the uncomfortableness of it all. Needless to say I was not very productive at all. I even tried working late at night, but the heat just wouldn’t go away.
As a small business owner, my work is the business and if I cannot work then not too much gets done. And this heat wave is to continue until Friday night when we will probably get hit by Hurricane Earl.
This morning when I got up at 7 and the day was already stifling, I made my executive decision. Right after walking the dog, and checking some online availability, I headed out – telling the kids I would be back in while.
I went right to my local Canadian Tire store (think Lowe’s, but even better) and found what I was after – the tool to make me a productivity machine! I also got the extra materials I needed to rig up something to make it work properly and back home I went to spend the next 3 hours on setup. (Or should I say sweat up)
The end result was absolutely what I needed. Sometimes you just have to go for it and take the steps needed to make everything work properly. And that is exactly what I did. I took a picture and emailed it to my husband at his work. His response?
“You look happier in this picture than you did on our wedding day.” (Absolutely not true, but I was pretty happy).
You can see for yourself my level of happiness!
The lesson for other Work at Home and Small Business Owners – Staying productive is Key. Always be looking to implement systems or use tools that will help run your business efficiently and keep you productive. And, these tools/systems may not always be standard to everyone.
PS. Hubby was quite okay in the end with my purchase – partly because by the time he made it home from work, the humidex was setting records all over the province and neighbouring ones as well. My task for tomorrow? Figuring out how to keep everyone from crowding in my office to stay cool!