My daughter received an interesting gift at Christmas; a five-year diary. But not a five-year diary as we know it, it is a one-line-a-day memory book.
Each page is dedicated to one date so that in five years you can look back and gain an immediate view of what has happened on the same day every year.
It’s kind of like a ‘tweet’ daily diary.
With only a few lines, the idea is that you just summarise a few points; maybe an event, your feelings or mood or a family incident. Achievable I think.
Most of us liked the idea of a diary as children, but realistically who had time to write an epic narrative about our day when the pillow was beckoning?
However, I LOVED the idea of a one-line-a-day memory keeper and ordered one for myself right away.
I’ve been making an effort to find two minutes to record my day, and I’m sure the reality of recording my 2017 days under the 2016 entries will spark many interesting revelations.
How many of us commit to making a change, and how many of us are still doing the same thing one year later?
How many of us start the year with fresh plans and goals, and how many of us are still in the same house, car, relationship, fitness or financial situation one year later?
And then two thoughts collided.
What do I want to do differently this year in my working life?
This is a time for business planning, goal setting and readjusting targets. This is when you take a long, hard look at what went well over the last twelve months and what needs to improve or change.
It is also the time when you examine your own personal work ethic or habits and assess what is productive and what is wasteful.
So how revealing would a five year, one line a day business diary be?
Many business plans span five years so how valuable would it be to look back a few years and examine your actions on a particular day?
Whether it’s a personal or business diary, fast forward to 2021 and take a virtual look back at your five days under January 10th.
How similar or different would each entry be? I would guess that, for the vast majority of us, each entry would be scarily similar.
Embrace The Changes
In order to ensure that your 2021 position is different and hopefully BETTER than your 2016 position, it is not enough to just write down your goals and strategies and then busily get on with doing what you’ve always done.
Not many people like change. The usual excuses emerge: ’I like the old way, I’m comfortable with that system, I’m quicker with that software, it’s always worked quite well for me….’
But working ‘quite well’ is not enough in this digital age of immediate feedback and high customer expectations.
Each year your diary entry should reflect the changes around you.
‘If you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got’
Times change rapidly. Most of the software, platforms and devices that we will be using in 2021 have not even been created yet.
Those of us who embrace technology, and all that the digital world offers, will be in the best position to succeed with our business goals.
Those of us who stick to old habits and old ways may find we are left behind and looking at the same diary entry repeated five times in 2021!
Some advice for ‘doing it differently’ this year:
Use data. If you’re not using data to assess the true state of what works, you’re NOT getting a true indication of what is going on. Whether it’s analytics of traffic to your website or statistics about customer footfall during the day, you need to be aware of what is happening.
Plan your growth. Investment in people, processes and technology must be budgeted for and measurable. Plan
Factor in time to learn. Make it a priority to explore new ideas, new concepts and new innovations in your sector. Do you know if Periscope could be useful for your business? Have you listened to your accountant when she asked you to spend 30 minutes looking at the advantages of FreeAgent?
Be present. Be visible and active on social media. Publish regularly. If this is not your skill, employ someone who is expert in this area. Those businesses that have no social media presence will be left in the digital dark.
Be smarter than your customers. And they are smart. They can access any number of review websites to check you out. They can spend less than five seconds on your website before deciding they don’t like what they see. They know that other companies do it better, faster, more efficiently. What will you do differently to capture their attention? Are you ready for the 2016 customer?
So to ensure you are ‘doing it differently’ this year, buy or create an online one-line-a-day diary and record your day.
In an ideal world every future January 1st will be VERY different. And of course, in an ideal world, your fifth year January 1st entry will read:
“Enjoyed the Andaman Sea leg of our private yacht adventure but quite slow due to no wind. Might be July before we dock back in the UK….”