Mercury in retrograde isn’t all bad—you just need a plan for getting through it.

If you’re into astrology, you probably have some negative connotations associated with Mercury Retrograde. And even if you’re a total astrology newbie, you’ve likely heard people talk about Mercury Retrograde with a decent dose of anxiety. That’s because allegedly Mercury in retrograde touches everything—including your business. And with one coming up later this week (on October 31st no less…), you might be feeling a little on edge. 

Don’t panic. We’re here to give you the lowdown on how you and your business can survive—or even thrive—during this time.

What is Mercury in retrograde?

During retrograde, Mercury appears to be going backward (it’s not actually), and it can affect our communication, including how we interact with others, and how we perceive information. Some people find that means that everything seems to go haywire—missed work meetings, a day full of no-shows or double-booked appointments—to shocking or unexpected positives, like a studio investor turning up out of nowhere…or Keanu Reeves asking you out to dinner. 

How to Survive Mercury in Retrograde

So you’re dealing with contracts that fall through, customers whose haircuts aren’t what they wanted, and scheduling mix-ups. Your confidence—and bottom line—can take a hit. But with a bit of planning and strategy, you can get your business through Mercury Retrograde with relative ease.

1. Reflect on your own efficiency. 

Ask yourself: Am I using my time wisely? Am I burning myself out? 

According to astrologer Chani Nicholas, Mercury Retrograde the perfect time to reflect on how we are interacting with the world around us, and to clean up any clutter standing in the way of our success.

Your mantra should be: Work smarter, not harder! Now’s the time to automate every process possible, reducing the chance of human error. 

Did you know you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) invoice, receive payments, or manage clients by hand? Still scheduling appointments over the phone? That can all be automated. If you’re a service-based provider, online scheduling software like Schedulicity will be your new best friend—and any scheduling software worth its price tag should take care of everything. 

To make sure you’re not overworking yourself—making you especially prone to mistakes that kill efficiency—make sure you’re taking breaks. No one can be 100% productive 100% of the time (unless you have superpowers—but even superheroes need breaks once in a while). Go for a walk, eat a snack, and don’t skip meals, either. You’re not doing yourself any favors by “saving” 20 minutes by skipping lunch. Your brain needs energy, too.

Having trouble managing your time or taking breaks? One of our favorite apps is Time Out—it’s macOS exclusive, but it’s free and you can create customizable breaks that work for you. Day Map and Monday are also great time-management apps. Need more direction? Try this advice on how to take time or self-care (and why it helps your client relationships) from salon business guru, Nina Tulio. 

2. Practice patience in your relationships—including with yourself.

Mercury Retrograde impacts all lines of communication, according to astrologist Susan Miller, so we have a tendency to misunderstand others, or miscommunicate what we actually want to say. That makes relationships a little tricky, but that’s okay. Just be conscious, and take a view extra minutes to explain your point, or understand others.

Making connections is critical for small businesses, especially with other local businesses! Just because Mercury is in retrograde doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t expand relationships. Put yourself out there, try some networking events, and exchange contact information. If it seems like communication lines are going haywire, just take a minute to pause, think about what’s actually being said or asked, and then respond. Ask for clarity if something seems confusing, and take this as a challenge to expand your ways of communicating.

3. Renew contracts, and complete unfinished ones.

You may have heard that starting a new contract while Mercury is in retrograde can be…tricky. Some people may even suggest avoiding beginning new contracts, but that doesn’t mean you can’t renew old contracts and complete unfinished business!

Miller explains that Mercury Retrograde is actually a great time to tie up loose ends. Maybe that means finally finishing the agenda for that new workshop or putting those finishing touches on your rebrand. Whatever the case may be, finish what you’ve started before diving into something new. 

The TLDR on Mercury in Retrograde

It’s totally possible to use this period to your advantage. Mercury Retrograde happens 3-4 times a year, so try to figure out how to make it work for you. 

Take some proactive action to lessen the miscommunications, declutter your work, life, and mind, and reflect on how you’ve been running your business.

Better yet, schedule your quarterly planning to figure out what has been working and what has not been working, so you’re ready to start with a clean slate once when Mercury returns to normal again.