Far too many of us are caught firefighting all the time. Never getting enough time to plan to make the future a better place.
During an overseas speaking tour, I was with a good friend one Sunday afternoon, visiting a church fair. We had run out of things to do. Among the stalls was a person selling new lounge chairs. We soon got into conversation with the salesmen. My friend Clive said, “I think I have one of these in the shed, but I have never used it.” The salesman, too honest for his own good said “So do I, and likewise, it is never used.” Both men were too busy to use their lounger and contemplate the future.
When I arrived back at my office I realised that I had an unused lounge chair and was not spending enough time focusing on my future. Hence on Friday mornings, I move my laptop from my home office to the lounge, bring in my lounge chair and then begin to undertake tasks that shape my future.
Suggested Rules for a blue-sky Friday
The rules I adopt during this session are:
- To focus on the “important but not yet urgent tasks,” The report that needs writing, the presentation that needs careful preparation, the research into new system etc
- No answering phone calls, texts, emails
- No time spent on Facebook, Linked-in, or other addictive social media
- To make strategic phone calls to organise site visits to see new systems, staff training, organising one-to one with staff
- To write important emails and reports
This is an extract from a book called ‘Don’t say I never told you’.
The past has great lessons to offer. Whilst technology and the evolving pace of change may lead millennials to thinking that what is ahead of them is unique. In fact, it has all happened before. I am a father in my 60s who has gathered many lessons from the past, and I set them out here for my daughters in the vain hope that they will be a guiding light long after I am physically gone. Some of the suggestions may seem ridiculous at first, but I ask you to chew the crud and make an informed decision later. For a list of topics covered see here.