I have a subscription to a magazine called Bottom Line. Reading it the other night there was an article for small business owners by Dan Sullivan of StrategicCoach.com. He had a terrific list of ideas to help grow your business. One that hit home, after talking with so many of you over the years, was under the subtitle of "Manager Your Calendar Like An Entertainer".
He broke it out with the need to schedule your days into one of three categories...
Free Days: Days that are totally free...zero business on these days. No email, business calls and no guilt. As he wrote:
"You're not slaking off - you're giving your mind the downtime it requires."
Preparation Days: He called them "Buffer Days" and they were for meetings, organizing various projects and essentially the behind the scenes stuff you need to run a business.
Focus Days: These are the days that are all about performance and focus exclusively on what makes money! All distractions are put aside - no interruptions, just concentration on things you need to do to earn a living.
A few of you are already rolling eyes thinking this is just too simplistic, but the more I think about it, the more I love the concept. In trying to write yesterday's post, I took three phone calls, answered a couple of emails and had at least two IM conversations with photographers on Facebook. We all pride ourselves on multitasking, but we really are becoming masters of mediocrity! So, the concept of dedicating yourself to a schedule, but still allowing ample time to slow down now and relax makes so much sense.
It's a great topic to think about over this long weekend! I'll let you know how it's working out as soon as I'm finished with some scheduled "almost" free days over this holiday weekend!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.