Goodbye February, hello March…this is the month in which all your preparation for the year is now cemented. It is exhilarating to see how days and weeks have developed their rhythm, and you can now see the plans coming to fruition.
Autumn provides a little cooling off period, colours change, and so do we. Regular readers of this column will know that as the seasons change I advocate that one should sit and re-focus, re-evaluate and re-invent. When you are self-employed one does not have someone conducting a performance appraisal for you, so you need to construct your own. I therefore take out my personal balance sheet which includes a list of my assets and liabilities, and look at what I am doing well, and what I could be doing better. I also bravely ask clients and colleagues for input, and then work with their constructive feedback. I cast my eye over my list of goals, which I have written in a linear fashion. I include long, medium (annual) and short-term goals (quarterly), and check that I have accomplished what I needed to in order to create a solid foundation. I then have my wheel, in which I allocate time slices to each of the areas of my life. Some are more important than others – family and friends especially. Health, contribution to the community and ongoing learning too, are on the wheel (and there are more!).
For a great start, if you have not yet considered your goals, is to write down the slices of your life. The word career may for you encompass your day job plus part-time studying, it may also include self-marketing. Have as many slices as you like, but, there are only 24 hours in a day, so be logical when you start allocating time to your different slices. As a guideline, try to keep career goals into one third, personal into another third, and put some sleep into each 24-hour cycle!
It may sound rather tedious, but taking time to reflect is vital, and busy people often don’t do it, and business owners are often the last to concern themselves with personal growth. If you, the leader, do not try to better yourself, how can you expect your team to grow? Don’t measure your growth merely in a bottom line.
In spite of really loving the work that I do, spending time with family and friends remains the most delicious of all the slices!