Well done. You’re here, and that’s a start. You have officially managed to roll your Christmas-gorged self away from the snugness of the sofa and back to the work computer.
No doubt you have fantastic intentions for 2018. I start most almost every year believing I will discover the ability to revolutionise my work plans, become a master of three new hobbies, hit inbox-zero every day, start a couple of businesses on the side, redecorate every room of my flat (not forgetting the ceiling and skirting boards), and – if time – perhaps learn Russian.
This year, my resolution is simply: FOCUS!
It’s a lesson I picked up from Stephen Hester, the CEO of the £7bn-a-year RSA Insurance Group, when he came to speak to SSE students in October.
I’ll precis Stephen for resolution number one:
1. Always do the most important thing first
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it’s so easy for that focus to wobble when you are juggling the 101 things every entrepreneur tends to juggle.
Here’s a spoiler alert for 2018: you will not get to the end of your to-do list. No one does. Stop giving yourself a hard time about it, and start being ruthless about prioritising.
Do you know about the Four D’s of time management? They’re a really handy tool for prioritising your workload. You can read more about them here.
2. Make time to work on the business, not in the business
If you’ve been on an SSE learning programme, you’ll know this is one of our favourite mantras. And it applies whether you’re just starting up, or 30 years into running your enterprise.
Day-to-day stuff becomes an inescapable vortex when you’re leading an organisation. There’s so much to do, and everything seems to need to happen RIGHT NOW.
That means you can struggle to find time for strategic planning, reflecting on where you’re at, and horizon-scanning. Which are all essential if you want to survive, long-term.
Here are some suggestions from entrepreneurs I’ve chatted to…