In the ebb and flow of business, quieter periods can often catch us off guard. As someone who’s used to – and enjoys – feeling at capacity most of the time, I’ve learned that while this “found time” is rare and temporary, it is the perfect time to take deliberate steps to improve things within my business.

Whether you’re a startup striving for growth or a seasoned entrepreneur looking to optimize operations, here are some productive ways to capitalize on these quieter phases:

Examine your business from the outside in. Listen to your outgoing voicemail message – is it friendly and clear? Look at your email signature – is your phone number included? When was the last time you read your website homepage? Or subscribed to your own newsletter to see what happens?

Check out your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your profile picture is a professional headshot and that it’s up to date. Ask for those recommendations you’ve been thinking about, which can also be added as testimonials to your website.

Post past content. If you’ve got past newsletters that are not yet up on your website as well, take steps to add them.

Clean up “tolerations”. You know, those annoying little things that you are still putting up with. Are you always struggling to find client phone numbers? Do you keep extra office supplies in the basement instead of near your desk? Is there a pile of papers in the corner that you’ve ignored for months (years?)? Take the time now to handle these little annoyances.

Organize your desk. Take everything off (yes, everything) clean it thoroughly, and only add back what you need.

Review your finances. Why wait until tax time to organize your expenses? Bring them up to date now.

Invest in Professional Development: Sharpening your skills with a training program, workshops or online course is always a wise investment.

Plan your next big project. What are you waiting for? Jump in!

For people who are used to being at capacity, a little down time can be disorienting. So yes, make sure you relax. But when you’re ready to jump back in, take advantage of the opportunity to take your business to the next level.

Remember – it is only temporary!