Following on from last month’s article and a spin off from the conversation I’ve had recently with a few of the members from the Oak Mastermind Group, I thought I would share something that worked very well for me.
We all have hundreds of things that draw on our time, and time is one thing that is precious to us all. After all, it doesn’t matter how rich you are there are only 24 hours in any given day and that’s the same for everyone. What we can control though is how we use that time to our best advantage.
Until recently I was still involved in 3 business ventures that ran alongside my Renegade commitments and earlier this year, I started to feel I was losing my edge. I felt tired and frustrated and walking around in a bit of a fog. My attention span was slipping, and I felt I was ineffective in work.
That was strange because I was working as hard and as long as ever, but I just didn’t feel like I was achieving anything. The to do list was getting longer and everything felt like it was number one priority. I just couldn’t get the feeling of general malaise out of my system.
I decided to take charge of the situation and take a little bit of my own medicine and book two days out of the diary and do my own strategy session.
We all know that I spend days in other people’s businesses running my Fast Forward Program. I get teams that work together, it can be a board of directors or a senior management team. It has even been a project team in a room, and we pick apart what the plan is for the next 90 days.
We work on reflection, but mainly agreeing what the priority actions are that need to be completed over the next 90 days that will allow the team or company to take a big step forward.
It was clear to me, actually that’s a lie, it was clear to those around me that I needed to do my own Fast Forward Program on myself!! Dave Dean made it pretty clear on our 1-2-1 coaching and mentoring session that it was clear to him what needed to be done.
I then experienced what all my clients feel, “I can’t afford to spend two days away from the business, I’m too busy!!”
Sometimes you must spend time away, a little bit like one step backwards to make a huge leap forward. I had to do a sales job on myself.
I bit the bullet and booked those two days out and it was just what I needed. The clarity and huge leap forward I got from it was immense.
I was working as hard and as long as ever, but I just didn’t feel like I was achieving anything
It became really clear to me that I had fallen into some bad habits that weren’t conducive to high impact productivity. I could see that I was spending all my day “butterflying” across all my business interests. I was grabbing 20 minutes or an hour here and then half hour there and an hour somewhere else. I wasn’t allowing myself to be and remain 100% focused on any of my business interests.
I felt that because I was doing a little bit every day, then none of them were suffering. I was giving up a little bit of my time to each and every one as well as outside things that were important to me like my family and my wellbeing.
The sad fact is I was neglecting all of them to a greater or lesser extent. Each one, in their own way, was robbing time off the other one. I wasn’t spending enough time anywhere to have a sufficient impact on anything.
I made some changes and the impact was immediate.
I blocked days out for each of my business interests. Monday became Renegade day and I devoted myself, 100%, to Renegades for the day. That was easy to do as we have the Monday Mentorship Call at 5pm that evening. I could see the impact that this had immediately. I would then block time slots for particular Renegade activity that day. I was 100% focused on one business for one whole day and I started to get some real momentum.
I quickly realised that I knew I wasn’t going to be working or back to Renegades for a week, then I best have a great day. I would list everything that needed to get done and then smash through it.
We all know that we work different to normal employees. I passionately believe that as a business owner I can get at least three time more done in a day than most people can. Now I was focusing like a laser on one subject, I could blast through mountains of work in a day.
My mindset changed alongside the changes I made as well. It made me feel better that I was achieving something and that helped outside of work with the family. Rather than being frustrated and in that fog, I had focus and clarity. I could feel a sense of achievement that made me far happier and that spurred me on even more.
I know that this will work for everyone. You may only have one business, but I bet you are doing multiple roles within that business. I would block out perhaps a day for sales, a day for finance and a day for another function and work like that for a bit. Imagine the impact you can have on your business by just having that laser focus. You may not want or be comfortable devoting a whole day to something, but that’s OK. Start by blocking just hours or maybe half days.
I know that it not only helped my business interests, it helped my state of mind and it really helped those around me like my family. I felt guilt free and that I was getting stuff done. I had time again for personal stuff like golf and family meals etc. I also felt that when I was doing these not work-related activities, I was present and able to enjoy them more.
I urge you all to look at your diaries this week and take charge of them. Don’t allow yourself to butterfly between tasks like I was. See how much more you can achieve by being focused and block that time out.
Don’t just do it for work, do it for family activities, do it for your personal activities. If it’s in the diary and planned, then you will feel like you have permission to do it with energy and vigour.
Time block, go on, give it a go!