Over the years I’ve often seen some business owners during difficult times, knuckle down and work harder, but this isn’t always the smart way to work. It’s become even more evident during the pandemic, that an attitude of ‘must work harder’ is what gets you through lean times. This is not always the case.

While you’re hard at work, putting strain on your resources to do more, you’ll find you’re too busy to consider a better way to do it. And your resources won’t outlast the work…

Pause! Think!

  1. Looking back at what you’ve been through, worked on, failed at, or achieved gives you the time to reflect on what you could’ve done differently, or what can be repeated. In my view every scenario has an outcome from which we can learn
  2. Time away from the hard work allows you to refuel, rest, and come back stronger with a clear head and new-found enthusiasm
  3. Pausing your hard work gives you time to learn something new; a new process, a piece of software, or brush up your skills for example. If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got.
  4. Taking time out allows you time to refer to your one-page business plan and review your activities
  5. Pausing gives you a valuable opportunity to learn about yourself and how you handle business.

So how do you take time out when you’re busy working?

The most effective way is to plan the breaks in advance. That may be through a 30, 60 or 90 day plan, or blocking out time in your calendar after meetings with your support team. What is important is that you do it and with regularity. Have you ever noticed how a lightning bolt of genius hits when you’re doing something mundane? Stand still long enough to let the bolts hit you!

Refer to your one-page business plan

For an explanation of The One Page Business Plan click through and see how simple, yet powerful it is.

Focus on the bottom half of the plan – what are the activities you should be concentrating on? That plan was put in place, by you, because you identified the activities that will drive the outcomes which then lead to achieving your mission and vision.

Then, ask yourself some questions:

  • What are you doing that’s potentially getting in the way of those activities?
  • Is there something you’re doing in your business that although feels productive, isn’t a true high pay-off activity?
  • Are you being distracted by other the wrong activities, staff, firefighting or even prospecting?

Ultimately, we are aiming to make your business less dependent on you, so you have more time to work on the business, grow it and take an all-important break.

Are you investing in yourself to make sure you’re the best you can be to operate your business? Are you finding the time to read, learn, rest and develop?

A final tip that I use myself: At the end of every day, I look back at what I’ve done, think about what I’ve done well, and what could have been done better. I’m critiquing my own work and being self-aware. Don’t be too hard on yourself when you do this, and remember to give yourself praise too, you deserve it!

As always, I hope you’ve found this article useful, and I hope that you find an opportunity to pause and reflect on everything you’ve achieved soon.

For further support, here are some useful links to tools and tips that have been mentioned above.

Maximising Your Time for Business Efficiency – Article

Change the Way You’re Working – Breaking down the steps to change – Video

What Are You Doing That’s Getting in the Way? – Video

Or, you can book some time with me to discuss anything that might have sparked a thought today, by booking an hour of free business mentoring.

All the best. Mike

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