As 2019 winds down, and I begin my preparations for 2020, one thing that I always make time in my schedule for is reflecting back on the previous year—celebrating my successes and acknowledging what has room for improvement.
For many entrepreneurs, frequently on the list of improvements for the next year is to spend more time working ON versus IN their businesses. When you work IN the business, you’re focused on the day-to-day, and the urgent issues tend to ride roughshod over the important. Working ON the business, however, moves your long-term goals forward because you’ve made the future your priority.
It’s micro versus macro.
So, what is this magic gift you can give yourself that will help you work ON your business? It’s amazingly simple and powerfully elusive: Time.
The gift you give yourself is protecting that future time now. Block out time to work on your business or on the “one thing” that will move you towards your primary and most important goal(s). If this is new to you, try to start with a minimum of two consecutive hours a week that is dedicated to working ON the most important goals you’ve outlined for yourself.
Blocking out time though, is pretty easy. It’s the keeping of self-appointments that is hard. For this to work, you have to do one thing—
Keep. This. Time. Sacred.
Seems easy, right?
We’re all busy with a to do list a mile long: calls to make, fires to put out, emails to answer. Yes, these tasks need to be done, but should be worked on after your primary thing. The world will not end if you put the urgent on hold for two hours while you work on the important.
Look at your calendar right now for the next week—how much of your time is accounted for? How much time do you have dedicated towards working “on” your business? How many of the time blocks on your day would you categorize as urgent versus important?
To give yourself this amazing gift (trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it after a few months), take the time today to review your calendar, and block out time for the two months as a trial. Block at least 2 hours a week, and ideally 2 hours consecutively. It works best if you block the same time every week as an appointment you absolutely can’t miss.
Give it one month and see if you notice improvements in your professional life. If so, you’re already protected the next 30 days and can schedule out the following month.
If something comes up during your sacred time, you have to decide if it really is the most important thing in that moment. Can in wait 2 hours? If so, then do your primary thing. If it’s truly cannot wait, move your block of time to later in the day or the following morning. Again:
Keep. It. Sacred
Try this for 30 days and you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make!
An added bonus is this works in your personal life as well. Block time for things that matter: Dates with your significant other, time with your kids, time for friends, or just time to have for yourself to do things that bring you joy.