I’m often too busy to think. Really think.
That’s not to say I’m vacant. I have plenty of ideas and hunches but they are largely superficial thoughts that don’t get worked on because they need deep thinking time, not a snatched 20 minutes between the end of a client meeting and picking kids up from school.
So to make proper time to think I’ve borrowed a practice that super successful fast growing businesses use. I’ve adapted it for small lifestyle businesses and call it Monthly Think Time.
This is how it works.
Monthly Think Time
1. Set aside at least two hours a month for Monthly Think Time. If you can manage three hours, all the better.
2. Pop the Monthly Think Time in your diary as a recurring event. That way if you do have to use that time for something else you’ll be more inclined to move the Monthly Think Time rather than just abandon it.
3. Prepare in advance for your Monthly Think Time so you don’t waste a minute of your uninterrupted time.
4. During your Monthly Think Time you will spend your time looking:
- Reviewing how projects you’ve been working on in the month have been going. (A project is something that you’ve been working on which is outside your normal way of doing things.)
- Thinking about ideas that you’ve hatched in the month that need a bit of working on.
- Deliberating over problems that have come to light that need some good thinking time to solve.
- Deciding what projects you will select to work on for the next month
5. To make the most of the two hours (or three if you can stretch it) use a timer and allocate a certain amount of time to each part so that you don’t get bogged down on one thing. You’ll probably want to start your Monthly Think Time with the most important issue - just in case you do get carried away.
I don’t think you need to be too prescriptive about what you cover in your Monthly Think Time - I really can’t imagine you’ll ever be short of things to think about. But do give it a try. Don’t think of it as a ‘nice to have’. It’s quite essential if you really want to make progress in your business rather than just keep doing the same stuff over and over again.