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Time to Play Hooky?

Aug 12, 2009

Conventional wisdom suggests that when you are falling behind, you should just work a little harder to get more done.  Productivity experts have filled book store business sections with tools and systems that can help you improve your performance and productivity.  There’s some great advice out there, but if what you’re looking for is a quick fix to help you refocus, try this simple three-day plan for getting back on track.


Day 1:  Take the day off!
When you are a business owner, you are often engaged in your business 24/7.  It can be nearly impossible to take a day off sometimes, but you simply must!  Unless your business deals in matters of life or death, it’s time to hang a “gone fishing” sign and head out the door.   This is not the day to clean the house, wash the car, or do anything else on your to-do list at home.  You must spend this day doing something you really love, possibly something you haven’t done in a very long time. 

Sidebar: I have to say, the creative excuses people came up with for playing hooky in a survey earlier this year were pretty funny (my personal fav is #6...employee was kicked by a deer)


Day 2:  Clean your office
Leave your “gone fishing” sign up an extra day if you possibly can - it’s ideal if you can complete this step while your business or office is closed.  If you are feeling scattered and unfocused, take a good hard look around your business or office.  Is it cluttered?  Disorganized?  Dirty, even?  Chances are pretty good that it is.  Throw on some comfortable old jeans, grab some trash bags, turn on some music, and start cleaning!  Clear out the clutter, take out the trash, file what you can, sweep the floors, and wash the windows.  You might not reach clean office perfection by the end of the day, but you’ll certainly make great progress.  Resist the temptation to actually do any work, or you’ll get side-tracked.  Just focus on cleaning and organizing.  


Day 3:  Map your strategy
Start this day by getting out an old-fashioned notebook, a pen, and some colored pencils or markers.  Using a fresh page in your notebook for each of your major projects, consolidate all of your to-do lists, sticky notes, and ideas for each project into a mind map. 


What’s a mind map, you ask?  It a brilliantly simple tool for organizing information graphically. Tony Buzan developed this technique, and explains how to create a mind map in seven steps on his web site at:


You can also watch his youtube video: Maximise the Power of Your Brain – Tony Buzan, MIND MAPPING:


By the end of this three day plan, you’ll feel refreshed, have a cleaner, more organized office, and have a mind map outlining what you need to do on each of your major projects.  By the time you come to work on the fourth morning, you’ll be back on track!


Amy Lea

Category: Strategy

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