Many years ago I had a boss who had a catch phase he played back to business stakeholders when they wanted to do major projects “It will require 50% of your time. So is that mornings or afternoons?”.
Of course, in reality, this never did happen. But it is the truth. To get things done you need to dedicate the time and effort, and not be distracted with other things. This is true in business as it is in your personal life.
Clearing away distractions is critical when you want to achieve a successful outcome.
I see there are a two of types of distractions:
Operational – the day to day work going on in your life and business, that is required to keep the lights on.
Structural – I also call these emotional distractions, such as people issue, financial problems, internal politics.
How many times have you been part of a project that just seems to stall because of lack of progress or decisions? The people who need to do the work are working on operational issues, and decisions makers canceling meetings last minute. It’s really frustrating. O
We all work in busy jobs and finding the time to do those important projects gets in the way of operational and day to day running of the business. In my case, right now, the time to find new clients at the same time as working with clients is always a
Clearing the runway for a few hours or days is often possible, but with large projects it often means focussing on things for weeks and months.
Clearing Operational Issues
I often use a couple of techniques to allow me to focus on the important things that are not my day to day things, but things I need to do to achieve long term objectives – such as growth, efficiencies or new processes and systems.
Blocking Time – use your diary carefully. Depending on what you are doing block out time specifically for the type activity you need to get done, not too many. I often use Strategic, Sales, Client Work. You can choose your own, but it really helps me ensure I focus on the important things (longer term), as well as the urgent things (short term).
Succession Planning – this is tricky to do in smaller
Delegate Commodity Activities – this is something I do a lot. Smaller
Recognising Structural (and emotional) Distractions
There are also other distractions that prevent a business from doing things, from delivering change and success. They take less (or sometimes none of
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve been distracted
Capture The Issues – making a list of the structural business (and emotional) issues is a useful exercise. What do you need to resolve before you proceed? Are people motivated? Can you refinance? Can you provide training for a team? What is clouding up your mind that is stopping you or your
You can’t fix these structural issues, unless you acknowledge them – and it might be these are the issues you really need to work on and confront, rather than the big idea you had in the first place?
I can think of many times in my life when I cleared the runway to success – I can reflect on one crucial time in my personal life when I was juggling so many things it was stopping me achieving a happy outcome in my life. Clearing away things that were not important was critical to succeeding, removing the structure and emotional distractions took many months – but having the clear runway led to a change that transformed my life for the better.
In business and working in
As businesses, as people, we can only do a few things really good at one time. When we must do something outstanding – clearing the runway is essential.