These days, business owners are reminded constantly of the “sink or swim” environment.
It’s easy to be fully absorbed by just trying to keep your head above water. But every decision cannot be made on the fly – especially when it comes to the long-term goals of your business. In this harrowing climate, we must remember to be vigilant about building time into our schedules for the old-fashioned act of reflection.
We’re not talking about an unguided, meandering sort of daydreaming, but rather a concerted and focused effort to organize your thoughts, analyze the fall-out of recent interactions, review new ideas and business opportunities, and check-in with your big-picture goals.
One great approach to this that we’ve seen in the field is preserving a weekly “utility day” for processing what happened in the previous week, and what’s to come in the next. Taj Reid, the founder and publisher of wejetset, an online magazine and e-commerce site dedicated to discerning travelers, swears by this method. Outlining his approach, Taj says:
“The one strategy I've found most successful revolves around making time where I'm relaxed to review and acquire the ideas, lessons, and new tasks that make up my day-to-day work. Every week I schedule a ‘utility day’ for myself. It usually falls on a Sunday and consists of four things that occur in the following order:
- Relax: It may be a long walk, playing the Wii with my daughter or watching soccer.
- Review: I sit and think about the last week. I review all of my meetings, notes, tasks, and various ideas that occurred during the week.
- Acquire: After I've reviewed the last week, I try to collect all the things that need to be done in the upcoming week.
- Organize: I try to assign 4 tasks to each day that I think will move projects forward, provide new opportunities, or introduce new learning experiences.”
This helps me create realistic timelines with myself and others. Utility days help me reflect, which provides comfort because I can anticipate where things are heading and minimize unexpected challenges." ***The Behance team researches productivity and leadership in the creative world. These entries are adapted and edited by
The key is to plan on utility days in advance. If we wait for the time to just appear, it never will. We must take time to make time. And to make better business decisions.
***The Behance team researches productivity and leadership in the creative world. These entries are adapted and edited byJocelyn K. Glei from the Behance team's past articles and research. Behance runs the Behance Creative Network, the Action Method project management application, the Creative Jobs List, and develops knowledge, products, and services that help creative professionals make ideas happen.