Drowning in data, staying focused and avoiding the BSO

Travelling on the Heathrow Express yesterday I noted the on-board TV advert from Tata Communications (who sponsor the service) telling me that:

90% of all the data in the world has been created in the last 2 years

Proof positive (as if we needed it) that we simply cannot keep up.

Whether it’s the 2 billion+ photos that we upload to The Cloud every day or the 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Whether it’s the international processing of flight data from 100,000 commercial aircraft journeys every day to the individual profiling of everything you and I do digitally.

The world is awash with data and its analysis.

So where do you and I stand in all of this?

On Monday my Extreme Business workshop was a rip-roaring success and it was only the evening afterwards that I realised just how much emotional energy I had invested in the day.

Meeting for dinner with my business coach Rachel Turner, I arrived a ghost and deteriorated as our conversation progressed (she had the wisdom and experience to cut the meeting short and let me sleep).

In discussing the cause of my dilapidation, I explained how much I had invested in making the day a success but also how much I’ve been “taking on” generally in recent months.

She reminded me (yet again) to avoid the Bright Shiny Objects (BSO’s) that distract me from my core business activities.

My unique abilities (coaching, speaking, writing and content development).

Here – an edited extract from Rachel’s meeting notes – I share so that they might help you think about how you use your time more effectively:

What needs to happen for you to consistently say no to time-wasting opportunities and bright shiny things?
I need to remember who I am, what I do and who I do it for:
“I help owner/manager dentists who want to make more profit in less time with happier people”
“I work with 30-40 practices per year in a year long workshop program. I work 1:2:1 with 10-20 hand-picked practices per year.”
“I speak publicly at dental conferences, meetings and trade shows.”
“I write my own blog and newsletter and frequently contribute articles to dental publications.”

Perhaps you could take a moment to note down who you are, what you do and who you do it for?

As all this distracting data mounts up around us, we need to stay focused.


Published by

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.