A fabulous afternoon in Portofino

For those of you who have been keeping an eye on The Global Strategy Institute’s Instagram and Facebook feeds for the last few months, you’ll know that I have been travelling and working in Europe. What I have found really interesting is how many people have made comment about how lucky I am and how much they wish they could do the same.

Yes, I guess luck does have something to do with it, but what my feed doesn’t show is that I spend 3-4 focussed hours a day working. I am finding that shorter intense bursts of work are producing great results for me. I certainly don’t miss the days of the inflexible work schedule that required me to be sitting at my desk from 8:30am until 5:50pm 5 days a week. If anything, it seems ridiculous to me now. I realise though that the current entrepreneurial culture seems to idolise working long hours, and there is certainly something to be said for putting in the hours, but is it really that productive for you and what sort of ROI does it provide? So, if you find yourself working long hours in your business and you want to do something about it, ask yourself the following:

1. Is the business managing you or are you managing it? Are you ruthlessly prioritising your tasks based on your strategic goals? If something is taking up your time that doesn’t support your strategic priorities, put it on the backburner or consider not doing it at all.

2. How productive are you really? Those familiar with Parkinson’s Law will know that matter tends to expand to fill the space provided. Ask yourself honestly, could you be producing the same output in less time? Perhaps try implementing a few self-imposed deadlines and see what happens.

3. Are you getting enough rest and sleep? In its down time, your brain organises files of data input during the day, and connects them with previously stored data. It then attempts to make meaning of the data collected to help you make decisions. If your rest and sleep is limited owing to working long hours, it may well be impacting on your quality of thinking, as well as your creativity and the speed of your thinking.

4. Are you a perfectionist? It took me years to realise how much time and energy I wasted at work trying to ensure things were “perfect”. Today I fall back on the question, “is it commercially acceptable”. And it is liberating.

What will you be doing after reading this? Wouldn’t you rather be at the beach?

Angela Sedran

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