21 Mar Is it time for direction?
The first quarter of the year is almost over. Incredible! I feel like I’ve just started gaining momentum in my business this month. And I know I’m not the only one feeling like this. It’s often the case for many of us at the start of the year – holiday mode in January, kids back to school in February, March before the routine is ticking along.
Some people seem to get into the groove quicker than others. We often hear (or say!) that we all have the same number of hours in the day, some people just use them better. It’s true. And I think the key to achieving more in our days (and months and years) is partly about having drive, but mostly about having direction.
Direction and action
Very early in my career, working in the Marketing and Communication Department at Deakin University, I attended a professional development day on time management. As a fairly organised person I enjoyed finding out how I could be more efficient and productive. But the huge revelation for me was about planning and making time for activities in each area of your life, to be happy and successful. That without goals and tasks there can be imbalance and inaction. Mind blown.
Wheel of life
A graphic similar to the one above was used, and we were to go home and write annual goals and actions for each area. Then the idea was to plan little steps each month to achieve them. It’s often called the ‘wheel of life’ if you’re not familiar with it and want to Google it. In the example above there are eight segments, and the kinds of things included in each area are:
- Career: work hours, direction, purpose and meaning, performance
- Money: budgeting, saving, income, investment
- Health and wellbeing: eating habits, nutrition, fitness, sleep, relaxation, emotional health, self care
- Family and friends: relationships, time, quality, support, community, parenting
- Romance: partner, intimacy, sex, communication
- Personal growth: education, reading, learning, awareness, spirituality, connection
- Fun and recreation: hobbies, passions, laughter, leisure, travel
- Physical environment: home, location, appearance, transport, sustainability
If you create one of these wheels for yourself you can re-label the categories, add, remove or split them to suit your needs.
Now at the start of each year I go through this wheel of life activity so I have focus and am mindful of what I want to achieve, even if it takes a couple of months to start to find the balance! I must confess I’m less good at always planning the tasks, certainly a habit I need to improve. But the fact I’ve stopped and taken the time to think about each area and set a direction is really helpful.
Balance and direction for business
Balance, direction and attention isn’t only important for each area of our personal lives. It’s important for each area of our businesses.
That’s something we aim to do in Beyond Business Groups. Firstly by actually taking time out to work on our businesses. And then through the modules which provide direction and a structured way to review our businesses and undertake planning in all the different areas – customers, branding, marketing, finances, systems and processes, etc.
Planning tasks as we work through each module ensures the topics are manageable rather than overwhelming. You build an ongoing action plan you continually re-prioritise, and each year you build on it. By giving our businesses regular attention, and putting time into working on each aspect, they will be more successful.
In our personal lives, and our businesses, it’s not more time we need, but direction.