Time to think inside the box

Don't be a Learning Vampire

My blood thirsty theme of the last couple of weeks got me thinking about vampires.

Vampires are all the rage these days.  We’ve made heroes of our fanged friends with the insatiable thirst for blood.  They’re so much more good looking and sophisticated than their old low-budget, laugh-out-loud scary (from behind my cushion)Hammer House of Horror predecessors too.

No one is afraid of vampires these days.

But you should be, cos if they get into your business they will suck you dry!

I’m talking about Time Vampires!

The external sort are bad enough – you know, those people who’ll call you up at their convenience, and expect you to drop everything and talk to them…at length! Colleagues, clients, friends…they come in many disguises, and can suck the life out of hours of your time.

But bad as they are, they aren’t the worst. The worst time vampires are in your head.  You know, the ones who tell you you aren’t good enough, that you’re not smart enough or, most time-drainingly, that you don’t know enough, that you can never know enough, to take effective action.

So you learn, and you keep learning, you develop an insatiable thirst for knowledge.  You read loads of books, you surf the net looking for how ‘successful people’ do it, and you subscribe to their e mails, you sign up for development course after development course.  You become a learning vampire.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against learning, I’m a huge fan of personal development myself, love reading, love modelling others, and totally get that the right learning at the right time is essential for your business success.

But when it comes to your business success, can you really afford to let learning suck your time dry?

If you subscribe to websites or read about a smart new way of doing something in your business and then do nothing with it, all you’ve done is waste precious time and money.

Business learning is only worthwhile if it is a catalyst for action.  If it’s focused on one area of your business that is struggling, or that you’d like to strengthen, and if spending time learning leads to clear and tangible improvement.

For years we have been taught to think outside the box.  It’s something we do naturally as business owners and entrepreneurs – we’re always outside the box thinking and creating, looking for the new and exciting, and as a result our approach to learning is scattergun.  We’ll stick our learning fangs into any book, or any body that we think will feed our thirst for new information, and spark yet another new idea.

With learning, we need to think inside the box; to focus our attention on one business challenge at a time – learn, implement, review, learn, implement, review until it’s sorted, until it’s no longer a drain on our time and energy.

Whatever your particular priority, focus your learning and action on it.  And, like any good vampire, stay inside the box.

Do one thing: Go through your e mails and unsubscribe from anyone whose information won’t help you resolve the main challenge in your business today

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