Since I embarked on my journey as a business coach I have had to make some major changes to how I plan and run my days. I have had to learn a huge amount, much of which has been outside of my normal area of comfort and expertise. When I first set out, I realised that my work in Corporate life had conditioned me to only be able to concentrate on any one thing for a few minutes at a time. This was, I believe, because of the constant need to multi-task and respond to interuptions. Not at all effective but that seems to be where the pressures of corporate life take you. I realised that it would take some time to change these habits and behavious so I let things run their course and I changed things bit by bit until I settled on an effective routine. Here is what I now do.
I have always been a life-long learner so I am comfortable with the notion that learning is part of every day life, what I therefore needed to do was to change that approach to my new way of working.
I read at least one book per week if not two (and sometimes more). These books are a combination of paper books, e-books and audio books.
I find that I absorb and understand best when I am reading a paper book so I ensure that I buy the most insightful books as paper books. Seeing the words and diagrams on real paper just connects better with my learning style.
Books that I only want to skim or review I read as e-books. I normally have an iPad with me so I load several book up at a time and normally have more than one on the go at a time.
Audio books - I subscribe to Audible and generally have several audio books on the go at any one time. I find that I absorb audio books best when they are telling a story rather than conveying hard facts. Pat Lenciono's book are great as audio books as he weaves great and informative story lines through his business fables.
Putting time aside to read is great but to really maximise and solidify the learning I find I need to put time aside to reflect and think. This seems to be a luxury in modern life but to me it is crucial to the whole reading and reflection cycle. I put time aside each day to reflect on my reading, learning and experiences and I find that this helps me know what needs to be next and plan for the short and long term. I have different areas around my house and garden that I use for reflection time, sometimes I only need a few minutes just to bring a few concepts together but one thing is for sure, without the reflection time, my mind wouldn't have the context to make this happen.
I try to put time aside every day to read and reflect. Several times a week, I'll get up at five AM and read for an hour or so before the rest of the family starts their day. I normally commute into the city several times a week and I'll often allow an entire journey to reflect and think. This might be in preparation for a client meeting or to put order into my thinking for an activity I have planned. Often it is just to let the various strands of thought settle themselves so I can process them more effectively later. I often look around the train at my fellow commuters staring at their phones thinking that their days would probably be much more productive it they just put their phones down and just reflected for a while.
Spend some time reading and reflecting each day and see if it makes a difference to you. It certainly has for me.
Posted by : ged | On Sunday, 05 June 2016 | Modified On Thursday, 18 August 2016