It’s rare for you to come up for air. People in your situation tend to be either at their desks, behind the wheel, in front of customers or inspiring team members. So if you do have the luxury of five minutes to spare, how can you put it to good use? What actions can you take that will drive the business forward or enable you to recharge and refocus?
1. Watch your thoughts from the sidelines: Become aware of what is occupying your thoughts and taking up space in your head. Most of your thoughts will typically be about things you are unable to influence at this moment in time. Perhaps you are dwelling on a past experience you don’t have closure with or a future situation that doesn’t yet exist.
2. Take note: If you have a bunch of things on your mind, it helps to offload them elsewhere. Jot down anything you need to action that you haven’t yet added to your to-do list. This instantly creates space by freeing your mind from having to remember it over and over again and allows you to review and take action at a more convenient date.
3. Let go of a mindset that doesn’t serve you: Angry with someone? Replaying an ugly situation or lost sale over in your mind? While this is natural, it also takes up a lot of space. Letting go means choosing to move your attention away from a ‘non-essential’ thought or feeling or deciding to re-frame it in your mind. It’s not the circumstances that determine your outlook but the way you react to those circumstances. Which mindset and which reaction will you choose?
4. Find a new vantage point: Finding a new vantage point brings clarity by allowing you to see the business in a whole new light. For example, take 5 minutes to consider how an existing customer, a target customer, the industry sector, an advisor, a supplier, your biggest competitor, a future investor or a journalist may view it. What do you notice? What needs to be addressed?
5. Dive into research: Use Google/Twitter and other social media to search for your company/product name and read reviews and ratings about you and your business. What are the most common positive statements said about your products/service? What are the most negative statements said about your products/service? Now repeat the exercise with a competitor’s company and product names. How do you compare? What can you do about this?
Embracing just one of these recommendations each day will not only start to silence the internal chatter, it will also move you in the direction of achieving business clarity. Use five minutes wisely and you could figure out just where to focus to have the greatest impact on the numbers.
Lisa Barber is an SME sales and marketing mentor and founded Roots and Wings in June 2013. The company supports SME sales and marketing leaders to cut through the ‘noise’ and focus their time and energy where they will have the greatest impact. Lisa has Board level credentials within one of Hampshire’s most acclaimed SMEs and is a CMI-accredited Coach and Mentor.
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