What Ice Skating Taught Me About Creating A Powerful Schedule

🎅🏻Here in Stockholm there’s an enormous amount of ice rinks and places to skate. 

Whenever I would walk by I always looked at skaters with astonishment. I had always wanted to ice skate!

⛸So I wrote my note to Santa and asked for a pair of skates. They showed up and 

I finally got the chance to test them out last week! Thats when the fairytale ended.

🥳So Nezha, a mutual friend and I headed down to the central ring in Stockholm. I had my box of skates with me and was feeling excited.

😥But once I stepped onto the ice and realised I was now standing from head to ice about 6ft 6 inches I realised that this might not be so easy.

💡I had been watching the rink closely, the pros were in the centre and the novices in the middle with the learners on the very outer edge. “Makes sense I guess”

🥺“That’s where I need to be”, so off I go. About 30 mins in and I was scraping along clumsily. Never taking my eyes off the ground. Then boom, I slipped and landed hard on my back “Ouch!”

😩After that, I became shaky, as I tried to go another round a young boy about 7 or 8 noticed I was unsure on my feet and shouted at me in Swedish! (I had obviously scared him)

😔Then I fell again, this time on my arm and hip. I was officially done for the day!

As I sat on the side of the ice rink licking my wounds and taking off my boots, I thought that the ice ring reminded me of a well-organised schedule

🤔When something or someone who is not planned comes barging in at the wrong time, and in the wrong place gets ejected and placed to one side.

🤯But Imagine if the whole ring was full of novices like me, it would have been chaos. This was how my schedule used to look whenever I would try out new idea. I would go all-in on these new ideas and then leave a little room for my core competencies.

🌪But what happened was my week began to look like a skating ring full of novices. No order, no system just chaotic attempts to be good at something first time around

Has anyone else ever experienced this?

🛑My weeks would grind to hold, so would my energy and enthusiasm. The quick burst of energy I had testing out new ideas wore off as fast. The pain of falling again and again without the handrails of an established system to keep me safe would send me off to the sidelines of my business.

🙏🏻Eventually, I realised that I wasn’t getting very far. Each “new idea” was a distraction from doing what I knew how to do well, and what I had to do to make any real progress.

🤔What I learned was to have the ability to test new ideas out, you first need the discipline to stick to what you already know works. Then use the 80/20 principle to test the new idea by placing it into the schedule in the correct place and amount of time. Otherwise it slowed down the whole system.

🤨This can be easy at a job when you are employed and told what to do. But when you own your own business it gets tricky, because you have to lead yourself . We get “bored” and lose sight of the necessary actions that lead to growth, and drift towards the “new” shiney ideas that pop into our mind.

Can anybody else relate to this?

🧐The way I solved this was to get very clear on what actions and processes that make me money and what actions and processes do not. Sounds simple right. It is, but it’s not easy!

🐢Slowing down when we are in a rush is a problem for us. Usually, because we are going so fast in our head that slowing down seems like a distraction from work. It isn’t. You cannot afford not to. When we are clear about how to spend our time we take indecision off the table. Indecision robs us of energy and money.

💰I helped a client with this last month and after, and they were able to increase the amount they billed there client by £40,000. All because they were clear on the time that they used that was billable and what wasn’t. Grey areas had emerged from a chaotic workday, it was impossible to decern what was billable and what wasn’t.

This is how much it could be costing you too!

🎁So just for today take a few minutes and create some clarity around your daily actions.

What actions today actually lead to cash being made, and what actions do not?

No in-between! Now Assess the priority you have given the items, are they in the right order. The first priority is cash production, second is non-cash production.

Get to it.