Planning week

If you’ve been following my social media updates, you’ll know that this is a “Buffer Week” (as the folks at The Strategic Coach would say).
A chance to take a breather from “delivery”, to catch up on future profit work and an opportunity to creatively destroy my business – ditch what isn’t working and try new stuff.
Just to show how difficult it is to do “time management”, I planned a week like this every 2 months in my 2011 calendar – and this has been the second so far this year that I’ve managed (the last being in February).
Because two things get in the way

  • the need to generate cash flow by selling fee-earning time
  • not wanting to let clients down when they say “yes”

So that joke about Chris Barrow “running around the country teaching everyone work/life balance” has an element of truth – although I think I’m consistent in NOT holding myself out there as some kind of guru or the epitome of all that is correct in personal development.
It took me the whole of day 1 to sort out various bits of paper, lists and ideas into a prioritised to do list.
Day 2 morning was rather “startled rabbit” time, as I stared into the headlights of the volume of work I need to complete this week – but after a good run along the coast, day 2 afternoon I actually managed to get some of those “A’s” done and make start.
Day 3 (today) will be the same

  • do my usual on-line checks – banking, social media, blog
  • wade into an extensive pile of emails that have arrived over the last 24 hours (the job must go on)
  • tackle more of the “A’s” in order of priority

Annie works a last shift today and will not be home until 21:00 – so I’m girding up my loins for a long shift.
Day 4 – tomorrow – will be a visit by Phillippa – coming over so that we can work through my calendar for the rest of this year and allocate time for various activities.
So – here goes – day 3 – my goals for the day:

  1. Email catch up
  2. Financial analysis of associate profitability for an existing client
  3. Launch article in next week’s ezine for the new Dental Business School regional programme in the Autumn
  4. a lunchtime run
  5. Important letter on my accounts
  6. Phone call to worried hygienist in a client’s practice ( ha – that will get you worried)
  7. Project work on a new dental business launching in the Autumn

and, of course, whatever else the day brings.


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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.