Note from Scott: One cannot separate his/her personal life from his or her business life. Try as you might, if one is not going well, it will spill over into the other. This detailed article, from Tim Richardson, helps you move forward in your career and personal life at the same time.
Here is an idea that can revolutionize your business and your life.
How about planning some meaningful time to go away all by yourself and put some focused effort into your career? This process is commonly called holding a retreat though I like to refer to it as an advance – after all you want to go forward.
Your thinking, concentration ability and focus will be enhanced when you can get away to an environment that is conducive to creative thinking and planning. Find a place where there are no ringing telephones, pending projects, or distractions of other kinds. To maximize your productivity, leave behind your beeper, turn off the ringer on your cell phone, and block out some time where you don’t feel rushed by other commitments. If you completely clear your calendar and don’t call in for messages, your productivity will be greatly improved. I read recently that Bill Gates even copied my idea! Except Bill does a whole week and calls it his “think week”.
He was quoted in USA Weekend:
Ours is a very fast-moving field. You have to be able to step back from it. Many years ago, I decided to take a week every year and absorb myself in thinking many years ahead. I get colleagues to put together what Ph.D. theses I should read, what products I should play with, what memos I should look at. So, it’s been, except for sleeping a little bit, day and night all by myself uninterrupted.
If Bill Gates can do this, I would hope that most of us could find at least one day to spend in proactive thinking and planning. I did my first session on a beautiful remote beach in the panhandle of Florida. I spent some time working on the beach and some inside at the beach cottage I had rented. That one day advance resulted in more career growth and action than any other single thing I have done in my business. Since then, I’ve had a one or two-day session every year. I have done my advances in State Parks, at Bed and Breakfast Inns, on a camping trip, and in hotel rooms. Think of an environment that you enjoy and one that stimulates your creativity. You might try the mountains, a quiet park, at the beach or lakeside. Before you leave, give some thought as to what you want to accomplish on your planning retreat.