THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

The importance of booking a meeting with yourself – and why it’s taken me 20 years to ge

I’m nervous this morning and wanted to share with you why that is.

I’ll be spending the majority of the day working ON my business and not IN my business.

The concept isn’t new, I first discovered Michael Gerber and The E-Myth Revisited almost 20 years ago; Strategic Coach and the “Buffer Day” back in 1993 (which I’ve adapted to a Bunker Day).

Since then I have endeavoured to have one day per week (usually a Monday) where my focus is to to think, plan and prepare, rather than Gerber’s “doing it, doing it, doing it.”

Those Mondays are often infiltrated by telephone or online calls with clients, prospects, strategic alliance partners, podcast guests, suppliers, people with new ideas and even Team CB.

That has become necessary because I spend my delivery life either in meetings or on public transport.

Whilst important, it eats away at the available planning time and, more significantly, at concentration.

In conversation last year with my business coach Rachel Turner she asked me what I would like to change about the next 5-10 years.

High on the list was a significant increase in the number of true Bunker Days – rules of engagement being no calls or interruptions before 16:00, allowing me pure thinking and research time and a chance to catch up on any genuine emergencies at the end of the day.

In October 2017, Rachel challenged me to do something about it, so we opened my calendar to spot the first opportunity.

Welcome to Day #1, some 5 months later (that’s how busy the last half a year has been).

Looking forward, it is still going to take some time to embed this new habit into my working life – the tally on these extra Bunker Days is looking like this:

  1. February 2

  2. March 2

  3. April 1 (ouch)

  4. May 3

  5. June 2

  6. July 4

  7. August 2

  8. September 4

  9. October 4

  10. November 4

  11. December 4

So you can see that my target was 4 days a month (in addition to my existing Mondays) and that it is actually going to have taken me the best part of a year to get that embedded into my working life.

You could equally argue that it has taken me 20 years to make that decision, perhaps previously I was too scared to do it, that “got to pay the bills” syndrome that we all experience when the kids are growing up.

Most people on approach to age 65 are thinking about slowing down or stopping.

I’m simply thinking about thinking.

I have a new business idea (a variation on the coaching theme) that has been rattling around in my mind for a long time.

Today I’ll be beginning the research process on that idea.

I have a book to read that arrived from Amazon last week.

I have some blogs and newsletters that I’ve been collecting on the idea.

I’ll be looking at a project in Asana that I created around this idea last October and I haven’t looked at since.

I’ll be checking in with my coach later today to se how it’s going.

Why am I nervous?

Like a dentist with a gap in her diary, my internal voice is screaming at me “get to work – see some people – do some delivery – get paid!”

Nervous? Yes.

Excited? Yes.

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