GYLB – #4 Enter the “You-time Room”

Time for reflection

“You-time Room”. I know what you’re thinking; that’s one of those ever so trendy coachy terms (and therefore has little substance in the real world). Well it isn’t and let me explain why. Most of our time belongs to somebody else: work, the kids, the other half, a list of jobs to do longer than your January credit card statement (by the way this year mine came by special delivery and was leather-bound by the bank. How sweet of them). The combined effect is that we can only exist in the here and now; dealing with what’s pressing and proximate. So how will things change? Will these pressures suddenly go away? Children grow up and not need you any more (fat chance!), you hire a home-help, work load suddenly drops? No. The only way your situation will change is if you change it yourself. To do this you will need to do three things: –

  1. Have a clear idea of how you want things to be
  2. Build a plan to take yourself from here to there
  3. Grow a pair and JBDI (just bloody do it)

The first two depend upon you finding time and I don’t mean a snatched half hour at lunchtime whilst you hoover down a sandwich and do your internet shopping at the same time. You need to enter the You-time Room. Let me describe what this looks like and then suggest how often you need to get in there. Definition of the You-time Room: –

  • You have complete control over what happens when you’re in there
  • It does not allow interruptions like the telephone, emails and other people.
  • You feel comfortable in it
  • Ideally you can stay as long as you like; anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of weeks.
  • Present day problems get left on the doormat outside.
  • The room is for thinking not watching TV, slipping into the Black Hole that is social media or such similar activities.
  • When you’re in there think, visualise, plan and look at the bigger picture.

A quick word on visualisation if I may. Most successful entrepreneurs, great leaders and high achievers (especially sports people) also tend to be dreamers: visionaries if you will. Mohammed Ali was trained in it! Stephen Covey in his book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” calls this sort of behaviour “the first creation”. In other words if you want something to happen you have to first spend time building the situation you want in your mind and experiencing what it would be like if it were true.

Techniques for this can be found in “I can change your life in 7 days” by Paul McKenna. They are very powerful.

There are three types of stay in the You-time Room and here they are: –

  1. Your annual holiday. “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag……”
  2. Long weekends. A caravan, a hotel (preferably), a cottage or if you are short of dosh buy a tent. Get away from work, the house and preferably the kids.
  3. Weekly check-in. Once a week an hour of two that you schedule and keep to. Weekends are probably your best bet.

Here’s the interesting part. I don’t need to spend any time explaining what you to do in the room; think pain of the present and fruition of the future and away you go. If you provide the right ground and climate the seeds will germinate and grow all by themselves. If you do the thinking and the planning the JBDI becomes soooo much easier. Change comes when we take a look at our lives and decide we want something different. To do this we need to find time to think, plan, visualise and generally get a bigger perspective on things. Each year we need a fortnight’s holiday and 4 long-weekends as the foundation with regular weekly trips to the You-Time Room scheduled in as well. Let me leave you with this quote by Peter Drucker – “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action”.

Time for Reflection Image Courtesy of Stuart Miles / Free Digital


Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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Posted in Get Your Life Back, Lifestyle

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Mike Ames

Passionate about making business development a profession not just a job. Built and sold a £40m group in less than 9 years. Doing it all again and loving it!

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