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a blog by Chris Barrow

A simple time management exercise that can ensure your business grows every year

Today, the sheer unadulterated pleasure of working ON my business with no face to face meetings, no Skype calls and no telephone.

A day in The Barrow Bunker.

I do love working IN my business because that’s how I fulfil my calling, it’s where I observe the best and worst systems and people, where I stimulate my future-thinking – oh – and it’s where I get paid.

But all the real growth in business happens when we stop working IN and pause to work ON – you and me both.

My plan at the start of every year is to work 40 weeks and to invest one full day per working week ON the business.

Human nature (or is it Sod’s Law?) dictates that what happens next is the 80/20 rule.

20% of my days ON the business get infiltrated by the “urgent and important” or the need to attend client meetings that cannot be accommodated elsewhere.

Which means that I might only have 32 completely protected days each year to think, plan and prepare.

Yet that is considerably more than most of the clients I work with, whose work ON their business is squeezed between patients or conducted during what should be family and free time or when they are simply tired out.

If you don’t take the days to work ON your business, the result is a glass ceiling – zero growth.

So when I get the call that says “the business is doing OK but we have hit the same turnover and profit for each of the last 3 years and I’m concerned that we are not moving with the times”, the answer isn’t always innovation.

It can often just be a time management exercise to release the untapped potential in the Principal’s head (or to listen to her team’s ideas).

A business coach full of new ideas is no bad thing but a business coach who can show a client how to make more profit in less time simply by re-organising their calendar – that’s equally satisfying.

TIP: Plan your calendar a year in advance and get those ON days booked in – allow for the 80/20 rule.

I’m off for a run now – then it will be a 10-hour shift down in The Bunker – lots to do and few interruptions – lovely.

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