All too often I see owners of private businesses focus on whoever is screaming the loudest at them. You might even do that yourself. I know from time to time I still get sucked into what looks like an emergency, and it’s not.

The issue is you have all of these immediate problems that need your attention. The challenge with this is if that’s all you focus on, you never have time to work on the really important things.

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All too often as the owners of private businesses, focus on whoever is screaming, the loudest at them, you might even do that yourself. I know from time to time, I still get sucked into what looks like an emergency, dealing with it, even though I know it's not if I think about it for more than 10 seconds.

The issue is you have all these immediate problems that need your attention. The challenge with this is if that's all you focus on, you never have time to work on the really important things in your business or your life for that matter. We know, and I bet you also know that finding time to work on the important things is crucial if you wanna have a company that is personally and economically sustainable.

I know how difficult it is for you to find time to work on these long-term issues. You probably at times feel like a firefighter. There's one problem, there's one fire over here and there's one fire over there. And there's one fire over there. And you run from fire to fire with your fire extinguisher. You put it out and you feel like you're getting something accomplished.

But you're really not. You're really just taking care of these problems that come up, that most of the time somebody else could actually take care of. I don't want you to feel that way.

I want you to feel that you're in control of your time and the things you work on in your business.

This means you need to find a way to carve out time, to work on long range issues and not just putting out one fire after another. I've been in the position over a longterm, often felt like two weeks. It seemed like I never had the time or for that matter to the interest to think longterm until I realized a huge mistake I was making.

So here's something that you might wanna do.

  1. Number one, start by having a conversation with us about what you can do to find some time for longterm thinking. By the way, the conversation is free and I can guarantee you'll get at least one good idea out of it.

  2. Number two, understand what OKR's are. OKR stands for Objectives and Key Results. It was invented by one of the CEOs at Intel. It was used by John Doerr extensively at Google is how Google manages her product. So here's what it is. In OKR, we have an objective and then we have the key results that lead to the objective. And then we have tasks that lead to the key results being done. Now you might have this tendency. In fact, I can almost guarantee you're gonna have a tendency that's gonna list a 10, 15, 20, or even more projects you wanna work on. You can't do that. You can only have one or no more than two projects at a time. Now, many times these projects might take 90 days or 180 days to get done, and then sometimes they take two or three weeks to get done. When you complete a project and it's completely done, you can add another project, but no more than two. You're gonna find that if you just keep it to two and you use the OKR method to get there, if you want more information, just put OKR into your Google machine and you'll get all the results that you could possibly want to learn about it. You're gonna move way faster than if you're trying to get 15 or 20 things done. And the truth is if you have 15 or 20 projects you're working on at the same time, none of them get done. You just work a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit there. And at the end of the year, you say, "What did I accomplish?" With OKR is if you document you're doing, you can say, "Here are the major projects that we accomplished in the, over the last year, and here's the results that it gave us." Isn't this something that you might want.

  3. And number three, this is something I have a hard time with. Make sure you celebrate the wins when you find the time to think long term. The truth is, you don't need a lot of time to do this. When you're doing tight planning for just a couple of things, you might need an hour a week, and I'm gonna bet that you can always find an hour a week. And if you can't, talk to me, I'm gonna teach about time-blocking and you'll find that hour in about one or two days.

So I would love to have a conversation with you about long-term thinking. So feel free, contacting me at jpatrick@stage2planning.com to set up a time to talk.

In the meantime, if you're not ready to talk, download our free, infographic and how to use OKRs in your business. And while you're at it, scroll down, let me know what you think about OKRs planning and making sure that that's something that will be good for your business.

Hey, this is Josh Patrick. You're at the sustainable business. Thanks a lot for stopping by. I hope to see you back here really soon.

download success path for okrs infographic

Topics: Sustainable Business, strategic planning, OKR, long-term planning

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