Dear Coach – how do I find time to think/read/plan/prepare?

Hi Chris
I’m reading Deep Work and The E-Myth Revisited again.
I’m also realising that I need long periods of uninterrupted time to concentrate without distraction if I want to achieve anything meaningful and to produce work of substance.
Currently my work means I can only sit and do this after 10 at night.


How do I find time to think/read/plan/prepare?

Not all of this will be transferable but it may help your thinking:
  • I wake at 05:00 weekdays – my best thinking time is early
  • I never think much after 18:00 – I’m useless after that (knowing when you are rubbish is good)
  • I plan a Buffer Day each week – no clients – working “on” my business
  • I spend about 60 minutes every Sunday morning, updating my personal finances
  • I book a 3-day planning retreat in The Bunker every quarter
  • I take 12 weeks vacation every year – not always a holiday but certainly time to think
  • I travel by train or plane – it gives me plenty of uninterrupted time (in fact – I wish I had done this 30 years ago and never bought a car)
  • I aim to run 200k per month (that’s over 20 hours) – and have never worn earbuds – running is my meditation

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Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.

One thought on “Dear Coach – how do I find time to think/read/plan/prepare?”

  1. I don’t always practice what I preach, but I’ll share this…

    A few months ago, I read an item in a magazine on “essential men’s style tips” or some similar title and one tip was:
    “Mark off your diary in advance for haircuts”. It explained that if you don’t schedule your haircuts in advance, you’ll only get your hair cut when you need to. And a gentleman should never look like he needs a haircut.

    The point being that if something as mundane as haircuts should be planned in advance, then clearly treating patients, running a practice, building a practice should be.

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