June 18, 2019 Cory Carlson

Do you need a personal strategy day?

Are you struggling with paralysis by analysis? Do you need time away to just think?

A few weeks ago I felt buried and was not motivated to do anything.  I had so many thoughts, even some great ideas, going through my head.  However, I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to apply my focus.

Do I focus on one-on-one coaching or culture improvement projects for companies?  Do I recruit clients to coach or recruit coaches to build up and train?   How do I promote the book and not spend way too much money outsourcing the work? Or spend so much time away from my family during the week or weekends that I am not ‘winning at home first’?

All great opportunities, but it was weighing me down. 

Maybe you can relate.

Are you trying to grow your business?  Do you have many great options swirling around in your head but don’t know what to pursue? Where should you invest capital and add more resources?  Where should you invest in more IT and become more efficient?

Maybe you are like me, and at times, you allow those circling thoughts to demobilize you.

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Personal Strategy Day

It worked fantastic for me, and I bet it would you as well.

During one of my stressed-out days, I reached out to Impact Cowork to see if I could use their space for a day.  If you live in Cincinnati, you need to reach out to them because they were awesome – spectacular space and very accommodating.  If outside Cincy, then find a creative space that allows you to open your mind.

Here is what I learned from my personal strategy day:

  • Your business will survive without you.    This may seem concerning at first, but it is correct.  Some of us never want to completely take a weekend off for fear we will fall behind.  Some of us think if we take a personal strategy day then the business will stop. However, we don’t think about it when we are on a flight across the country.  Or when we are at an all-day conference for work.   Point being, we are OK being ‘off-line’ from work for a few hours, or even a whole day, if it is work related.  Unfortunately, many people don’t view a personal strategy day as work-related.   I beg to differ.  I made more progress on my business during my strategy day than I have in a while.
    • Your business needs you to step out of the business for a day to actually think about the business, instead of being ‘in’ the business every day. We have heard the phrase, you need to think ‘on’ the business and not always ‘in’ the business
  • The emails don’t bury you like you think they do.   I had my computer and phone wi-fi turned off from [8:30]AM-4PM. When I turned on my email at 4, I had tons of email! However, it was so fast and easy to go through 90% of them.  The other 10% I had to spend some time on during the next few days.  Of the 90%, I probably deleted 25% of them without reading them because they were junk or email subscriptions that I could skip a day reading.  Of the remaining emails in that ‘not as important’ bucket, my team members answered most the questions so not much more for me to add.   However, if I would have been on my computer all day then I would have been checking my email every 5-10 minutes (great article here about email use).
    • Only checking my emails a few times a day is much more efficient than checking them throughout the day
  • Reminded of what a stress-free day felt like.   So often in our day to day, we operate at a high-stress level.  Running from meeting to meeting, email to email, that our stress is high, yet we accept it as our normal level. Similar to the frog in boiling water story that if a frog is in water and you slowly increase the temperature, the frog never jumps out, to the point he eventually dies in the boiling water.   We are the same.   We continue to live our high-stress life and slowly adding more stress to the point we are at risk.   During this strategy day, I was reminded of what a stress-free day felt like and it was great. 
    • Since then, I have looked at ways to create space throughout my day to reduce stress, whether it is music, walking around the building, or even riding a Bird scooter in downtown Cincinnati for 20 minutes the other day in-between meetings.
  • Change of place and pace, give a new perspective.  This is not my quote, but so true.  The new space slowed me down and brought clarity. Same can happen for you.

Take a break from the office and get away.

Turn off your phone and email.

Just think about the business.

I wrote on lots of pieces of paper. Read scripture and prayed. Drew on the whiteboard. Listened to music. I walked around the office. Did some pushups. I even took off my shoes at one point. Had lunch on a bench near the river. I had clarity with some new ideas. I built some confidence in some actions to take. Put together the next 6-month goals based on the five capitals framework.

It was awesome. I encourage you to try it for yourself.

Thanks for reading.

Cory Carlson

Cory Carlson is passionate about connecting people to greater performance and more significant purpose. Cory's competency of extensive sales/marketing and team development mixed with character of helping people have greater impact allows him to transform businesses and their leadership. As the leader goes, so does the company...and home. Cory's professional experience includes being President of Sales for national contractor, interactions with private equity ownership, boardroom meetings, to sales call with sales personnel. Coaching experience ranges from one-on-ones with CEOs/Executives to team workshops/retreats. If looking for holistic growth, let's connect!