On the subject of booking appointments with yourself

There are some projects (almost always associated with working ON as opposed to working IN your business and your life) that simply cannot get done in between your daily tasks.

One of the lessons I was taught many years ago was to realise that it’s perfectly OK to book an appointment with yourself in the calendar so that you can GTD (get things done).

Sometimes that might be a few hours of uninterrupted time, so that you can mentally focus. That might be just as easy in a crowded coffee shop full of strangers as it is in your office or study. I’ve suggested to owners and managers over the years that they may have to get “off site” to get their most important work done, simply to avoid that tap on the door – “I know you asked not to be interrupted but….”

When planning this year’s calendar under the expert guidance of my business coach Rachel Turner, I decided to go one step further and attempt to find 4 consecutive days EVERY month in 2019, in which I could focus 80% of my time to working ON the business and 20% to maintaining email and audio contact with my team and clients.

In the event, I managed 10 of the 12 months in 2019 (vacations clobbering the other 2). The first week of January was easy enough to identify but it has required some creative juggling of time and travel to facilitate the other 9 months.

The first of which begins this week. Today I’m working IN the business in The Bunker, answering the weekly tracker emails that have arrived since last Friday morning and attending a series of client/team calls on telephone and Zoom.

Tuesday through Friday I’ll be spending 80% of my time working ON content development for the soon to be launched Extreme Business Club as well as a number of other long-term projects.

I’m excited, a little nervous and so capable of distraction that I’m checking in with Rachel Turner twice a day to make sure that I stay on track (it’s easy to get distracted by digital bright shiny objects down here in the basement).

Having said that, one of the features that makes this an enjoyable prospect is that over the years I’ve become very happy with the company I keep when I’m alone.

It remains to be seen by Friday evening just exactly how much will be done (there’s a long list) and I’ll keep you posted.

10 months – 4 days a month = 40 days this year of focus ON the business – I’m setting my expectations high for what this can help me to achieve.

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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

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