I just spent some time reflecting on the last 12 months of running and working in Sunwapta Solutions. This wasn't just daydreaming. My goal was to look at:
- Where I spent my time versus where I should have spent my time?
- When I was the most effective (getting results on important outcomes) versus just being really busy?
- What can I stop doing or delegate?
- Where can I focus my effort to get maximum results in the future?
- What did I do well and what could I do more of?
- What can I do better?
- How can I remove any obstacles to getting results?
This is the process of reflection. If you don't stop and look at what you do and how you do it periodically, you are unlikely to improve anything.
I am lucky to have two great business partners and a good solid team here at Sunwapta.
But I suspect most entrepreneurs and business owners are somewhat like me; doing lots of different things all the time, are constantly multi-tasking and suffering from tons of interruptions.
Unfortunately, constantly multi-tasking means you are not focusing. You certainly can't achieve the state of mind known as "flow" whereby you are at your most creative and productive. Here I measure productivity by the amount of meaningful outcomes you achieve… your results and not hours worked.
Moving things in and out of your conscious working brain is expensive. It also de-focuses your subconscious and much more powerful part of your brain from coming up with creative solutions.
If I look at almost every significant achievement over the last 12 months, it was achieved when I focused on one thing of importance for a period of time and got it done.
So my big change for the future, besides delegating some work.
Focus and flow:
- Schedule separate time for the busy work that needs to get done (you usually can't ignore it),
- Schedule time for focused work,
- Pick one thing to focus on and avoid interruptions and distractions,
- Focus on it long enough to achieve "flow" and make significant progress.
Success is measured more by what you finish than what you start. Lots of people start things all the time. Effective people finish things and get results by their almost single-minded focus.
The ultimate state of effectiveness is when you achieve "flow" in your work.