Time to Think
Things at the Silver Jet office have been very busy lately as we have another new team member (keep an eye out for his introducing blog in the next couple of weeks). Being a small business, this has led to an increase in workload for Stephen as he tries to balance getting his work done with spending time training the rest of us. This led to an interesting office discussion on ‘time to think’ that we would like to share.
When we say time to think we mean time away from the daily to do list to really concentrate on the bigger picture. Time to consider areas of improvement, development and change. Time to implement those new ideas which may cross your mind but constantly get put on the back burner because you have too much to do. Our own example of this is our Pay As You Go (PAYG) concept which we will be launching on 22nd July. (We will be sharing much more on this very soon, so keep an eye on our socials). The idea for PAYG has been floating around for a good 8 months. Why would an excellent idea take us so long to action?
It is a valuable commodity that we all seem to overlook. We are so busy being busy we often don’t make time for the things which could make the most difference.
These days it’s considered the norm to be contactable 24/7, constantly switched on and ready to go, able to answer emails within minutes and always thinking about the to do list. But with all your time being eaten up on a treadmill of tasks do we ever really take the time to think? And does that hinder our progress, both as people and businesses?
Hurtling from one project to another may be productive on a task by task basis but it means you can easily miss out on larger opportunities and ways to improve. You become so focused on the tasks at hand you can’t see the wood for the trees.
It takes time and focused thought to develop as businesses and people. The key here is ensuring we actually take that time. We all use the word busy frequently, it has become the new barometer of success. But perhaps we need to redefine the concept of busy. It shouldn’t just mean short term firefighting. Time spent on the bigger picture is more valuable, it's what drives change and success. The simple fact is, if you don’t take the time to step back and think then your business will stagnate and you and your employees will be stuck in a rut, doing the same old tasks for the same old results.
So that’s all well and good but how do you find that time? Well, we like the simple categorisation of tasks to help establish how urgent or important they are. Here is an example:
By having this in mind we can make sure that we are using our time effectively and giving the long term the attention it needs. Another interesting model we like to use is the ‘zoom out’ model. This means putting time in the diary specifically for ‘zooming out’ to think about the bigger picture, essentially booking a meeting with yourself to earmark that time. The bigger picture might include; where do we want to be in the next 12 months to 5 years? How can we get there? What do we need to implement to achieve these goals? Who needs to be involved? The ideas that come from this inform our strategy and create the day to day tasks for the future.
Do you use any form of time management model? If so, which ones are you finding useful? Let us know in the comments section.