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My wife and I lead what many would call  a full life. We always seem to have either family or friends, or both  in our home as well as connecting with new people elsewhere. We wouldn’t want it any other way. After all, life is  about giving of ourselves, not in a way that makes us feel driven; but rather willingly, resulting in a deep inner fulfilment. We are constantly making decisions about how we spend our time whether on future personal engagements or day to day involvement with people. People matter more than projects is a phrase we use from time to time.

“You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time you must make it.”   – Charles Bruxton

I remember being called to a business meeting where some of the directors looked pretty frazzled. No enthusiasm or clear mindedness and certainly no sense of purpose for this meeting.  With tongue in cheek I asked them a question. “How many of you sitting here today will say on their death bed; ‘I wish I had spent more time in the office?’ “ Some of them gave an embarrassed laugh! But the truth is they will continue in that cycle unless they take time to reflect on their lives and make important changes.

Where are we going with this? There is a mentality in the workplace that says we work hard through the year so we can take our holiday. Well, it is sensible (to take time off) however, for some that means dragging yourselves around for eleven months of the year in order to recuperate for the one. Don’t get me wrong. Work is very good for us, when it is done well. Here are some principles that I have learnt over the years that have contributed to making me who I am.  I would like you to consider them and tell me what you think.

1. Take time out to THINK. How many reading this are saying, ‘You must be joking, I am too busy!’ Too busy to think about your life, your business, your future, your time, your family, your friends, your role in life, your purpose for being. Really? Tempus Fugit – Time flees or as we now say, flies. You might want to chat with my good friend Ed Hayes about this whole area. He helps people to rediscover the value of time!

But where does our time go and what have we achieved? Have you tried  going for a walk alone with no ipod or mobile?Just to think. Or, sit alone with no Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter and no Internet  to distract you and think. For some this would be a scary proposition but the value far outweighs the challenge. Try it.

2. Make notes on your thinking. I tend to make copious notes about many things in life. I feel that it sets a ‘place’ for me to return  and  remind myself about the things I have decided or discovered while alone. It also helps to gauge if I am making the right decisions in business. Today for instance, I set time alone to think about some new posts. I felt that one of the key visual areas of marketing for me is the website. I shall be looking at the “Anatomy of a website” very soon.

3. Be who you are. With the immense sea of influence in business today it is difficult not to copy what everyone else is doing and so lose our identity. Of course, there are the basics. But, once they are covered let your personality shine through in your business and be the friendly, responsive, helpful  and considerate self. We can all improve our life skills and find better ways to serve our customers. So, let’s do that. Give yourself time to think through where you are going and what you are doing with your business. If you practice this time out you will see some remarkable results.

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