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a blog by Chris Barrow

A Monday morning riff on decorating, dust and making 2019 your best year yet

There is something very therapeutic about having a good clear-out.

Over the weekend, we vacated the ground floor (lounge and dining room with connecting french windows) in preparation for Phil The Decorator, who will be arriving at 08:00 this morning.

It’s effectively going to be a lick of paint, as you might say.

There will be no new wallpaper and even the existing curtains are off to the dry-cleaners but we did say goodbye to two sofas with a combined age of over 20, who have provided comfort to three cats (now sadly gone to the great fur-ball in the sky), two dogs and a range of humans over the years.

The sofa frames are now ignominiously dumped on the front drive, awaiting a man with a van.

On which point I have a rather interesting customer service experience to share with you. Annie spotted one of those men with vans in a neighbouring street and, after jotting down his phone number, called for a quote to take said settees away.

“That’ll be £80 love.” came the typically Mancunian response.

“OK”, she responded, “I’ll check that with my husband and give you a call back.”

“No you fxxxing won’t”, he responded, “I can tell by the sound of your voice that you’re not interested.”

Her reply – “On second thoughts, I don’t think I’ll be calling you back.”

Back to the zen of tidiness….

I have to admit that I don’t think I’ve seen so much dust since visiting Oman to drive across The Empty Quarter. Where does it all come from?

In a masterpiece of timing, my youngest daughter moved out last week after living with us for just over a year and so her domain became available for storage.

Our house is full of books and we have stored them all in the (now) spare bedroom, along with the bookshelves that we can (thankfully) dismantle very easily.

In a show of affluence, we are currently between hoovers and so had two of them to tackle the accumulation of grime and spider webs behind every item of furniture.

I might get it in the neck from the missus here, as it sounds as if we are living in some kind of squalor – far from the truth but I challenge you to take a look behind your own static furniture – it’s a jungle out there.

With the help of said daughter and boyfriend to person-handle the sofa frames out of the front door, the place looked pristine when I left for London late yesterday afternoon.

I’ll be away most of the week (although Phil and I are going to get to know each other tomorrow) and excited by what I will find when returning from the BDIA on Saturday evening.

The new sofas are promised by weekend – we shall see.

The exercise of clearing those two rooms out has really set me up for 1st October.

Today is day 1 of quarter 4 of 2018.

Excluding today, there are 90 days left this year to get stuff done.

Sometime this week, I’ll be pulling out my latest copy of Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner and setting my own quarterly professional and personal goals.

Today I’ll be facilitating the fourth London workshop in The Extreme Business 2018 programme, working with around 35 people on:

  1. reviewing their last quarter’s achievements;

  2. time, priority and task management;

  3. leadership and management for owners and managers;

  4. building the organisational structure in their practices for the next 3 years of growth;

  5. empowering teams;

  6. establishing goals for their next 90 days.

The programme this year has been a blast and I’m delighted to say that applications are arriving for the 2019 Extreme Business programme in both London and Manchester.

If you are interested in making 2019 your best year yet in business, you can read all about the new programme (and watch a video about this year’s London group) HERE.

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