It’s just a plain fact that business people get caught up in day-to-day activities, that makes it difficult to focus on the “right” things to do to be effective.

Time gets past you.

You find yourself putting tasks off, pushing them out to future dates or saying to yourself “I’ll get around to it”.

I’m no different.

I tend to agree to do more than I should. I hold on to tasks that should be delegated. Sometimes I’m simply inefficient.

Do you relate to this?

One of the smartest things that anybody has said to me is “schedule 2-3 hours per week and just sit there and think about the business, the big picture”.

No email, no Internet, no PC, no telephone, not interruptions.

Sounds feasible?

Well some interesting things will occur when you try this.

First of all, you will probably have to “force” yourself to actually follow-thru and make the time to do this activity. This will be especially true after the first time going thru about five times. After five weeks, it will start to become a very welcome habit.

Secondly, you may struggle to actually “do” something during your allocated time.

My first mentor insisted that even if I stared at a plain piece of paper and did nothing – that this would be OK. I would have given myself a rest from the day-to-day and given myself a chance to consider thinking strategically.

But the most productive activity that I’ve learnt to do during that time is go through your Visioneering and Journey Mapping process, which I’m going to cover next post.

Additionally, I personally add an exercise that I learnt from Chet Holmes, a masterful businessman and sales leader that used to run some of Charlie Mungers businesses. You may not have heard of Charlie, his Warren Buffets business partner and a multi-billionaire as well.

Chet devised this exercise to enforce constant and focused improvement from his management teams. www.chetholmes.com

I’ve taken Chet’s concept and adapted it for the “business” of investing.

The idea is simple – but extremely effective.

Each week, during your enforce “time-out”, take one hour and focus solely on thinking, planning, brainstorming and creating – using only pen and paper, each of the following topics. One per week for 12 weeks, then repeat.

By doing this, you’ll be devoting four quality hours per year to each of these balanced topics.

I’m not sure about you, but with no distractions, I can get an enormous amount of work done.

1. Enhance Your Skills Through Training
2. Balance Strategy versus Tactics
3. Research Opportunities
4. Enhance Your Presenting Skills
5. Enhance Your Delegation Skills
6. Refine Your Investment Processes
7. Revisit Old Opportunities
8. Time Management
9. Goal Setting
10. Model Successful Investors
11. Enhance Your Team
12. Understand Asset Allocation

One hour per week, completely focused on each topic.

The changes you make by doing this consistently, week in, week out, will be lasting and permanent.

“Murray Priestley has 25 years of commercial and asset management experience having served in board, CEO and senior executive positions with a number of global public and private companies.”