The Single Grain schedule works like this: Monday through Wednesday, we’re in the office. Thursday through Friday, we’re at home. Being in the office together offers space for good collaboration, and time at home allows us to get actual work done.
For Fridays, I like to block out the afternoon. In fact, I have a calendar block that says, “Do not disturb strategy.” This is the time where I try to disconnect and start thinking about things that we as a team could be doing better. I could go to the beach and completely separate myself from the constant work and thoughts I’m surrounded by on a typical day.
Strategy days are good for me because they give me an opportunity to have a clearer and more objective look at the company. I can ask myself key questions, think on action items, and talk with my team to implement them.
I ask myself questions like:
I make sure to help myself out in getting a real habit going. I put templates I can use for “Strategy Days” in Evernote.
In my calendar invite, I include key questions I should be asking myself ahead of time. I’m carving time out every week, I’m repeating these things over and over and the goal is to have at least one meaningful insight from each of these sessions.
If I can take away even one thing, that’s a win. One key idea or breakthrough can make a world of difference for your business.
When you’re doing so much, you don’t have time to step back and say, “Well maybe we need to make some changes.” You don’t have time to strategize and grow your business for the long term.
In order to give yourself more of that time, think of your business as a baby. You don’t just feed and clothe and comfort your baby—you also need to think about how you can continue to nurture it so that it grows into a happy, healthy adult one day.
I have a friend who marks Wednesdays as his strategy days. He doesn’t go into the office but he gives himself space to think. He studies up on marketing and looks at what other people are doing. Some people listen to an audiobook or a podcast or read a blog post or a book.
If you keep doing the same things over and over, you’re just going to be stuck with the same results. You have to keep thinking about how you can innovate. You have to approach an issue from every angle.
Learn More: What to Do When Your Business Growth Hits a Wall
If somebody else is trying to eat your lunch, what would you do to stop them? On the flip side, if you were in their shoes and trying to eat someone else’s lunch, how would you do it? You want to constantly think about how to go on both offense and defense at the same time because things are always changing. You never know what could happen. There could be a stock market crash in the next minute.
Block out some time. How much time depends on you. Maybe you don’t need half a day or maybe you actually need a full day. Just make sure you block out that alone time for you to think. If you’re reacting to emails constantly and picking up calls all the time, you’re not really able to take a step back.
Taking the time to get that 10,000-foot view could be the key to taking your business to the next level.
This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post: