Strategic Planning: I Never Have Time
Strategic Planning – Why is it So Hard to Find Time?
Why is it always so difficult to set time aside to create goals and strategic plans? Even if you do set time, you’re often distracted or don’t know how to start, why is that?
Firstly, we naturally tend to avoid proactive analysis of ourselves and our own businesses, this can lead to painful and uncomfortable realizations, or force us to accept we have to change.
And we don’t like change.
Even those of us who think we do, don’t really.
It’s hard to take a long hard look at ourselves and why we are not reaching the potential we believe we should, or why we are not as satisfied as we believe we should be.
Our brains are dominated by a desire to avoid confrontation and the unknown – you have to train very hard to get your brain to resist the initial ‘lizard’ level reaction of our subconscious and move into a strategic thought process.
In order to make differences that count, we have to fully own our mistakes and shortcomings. We have to create a more disciplined attitude and approach to our work, or our lives. We have to be more present and more focused on keeping ourselves motivated. We have to be open to opportunity and closed to distraction, and be able to differentiate between the two.
We also have to accept that there might be failure – when you try, you open yourself up to failing, but if you don’t try, you sentence yourself to a lifetime of exactly what you have right now.
Secondly, we never consider how important we are as our own client. We are so busy serving all the other clients and making sure we hit all the deadlines and keeping everyone happy that we very rarely have time to put aside to really dig deep into our own businesses, goals and dreams.
It’s very easy to lose yourself to distraction, to promise yourself that when your inbox is empty you will put aside some time for you, when all the client work is done, you will spend some time focusing on what your goals and plans are, when your desk is tidy you will be able to think more clearly… and on and on.
Always… as soon as I… I just need to finish this one thing… I have one more call to make before…
Distraction is everywhere, we live in a very fast paced world and we are constantly driven from one task to the next, drowning in communication, meetings, demands from everyone around us all the time. It is exhausting and it saps productivity. But every now and then, when we’re avoiding something, we welcome this continuous distraction and we use it to our advantage.
And right now? With everything that is going on in the world? Stopping for quiet reflection is not an option, and yes, you know things need to change but how can you possibly have time for that?
Setting Aside Time For Your Most Important Client – YOU.
You are your most important asset, the decisions you make about your future and the future of your business are the most important decisions you will ever make.
The time you spend strategising about what you need to do, and more importantly, what you are going to do, is the most valuable investment you will ever make in yourself and your business.
Sometimes you will just need an hour or two, but sometimes you will need more than that, when unexpected events occur, or when unexpected opportunities present themselves and you need to decide with clarity and resolution, whether to take them or let them pass, or at least twice a year because it’s a very sensible and game-changing thing to do…
And when you learn to really take time to strategise, regularly, you will become much better at it, you will see what you need to do much faster, you will have a prescribed format that works for you, that helps you work through problems and find solutions in a much more agile way than ever before.
You will see the benefits and you will actually start to enjoy and value these times when you focus on yourself and/or your business to the exclusion of all distractions. The clarity that you will attain from these sessions is invaluable.
And the next time there is a sudden and unexpected crisis (hopefully not on the scale of our current situation) that you need to overcome, you will be more inclined to calmly and rationally sit down, follow your agenda and create a new and robust strategy to help you navigate it.
And, you can also help your clients to do the same.