So, THINK DAY!  Sounds intriguing, right?  Well, I wrote about this topic a little in the Flourish Academy Community Group a while back, and I wanted to write a full blog post about the day that I love the most each quarter.  It’s time to think!

One day every quarter, I take a full day to completely disconnect to think about my business.  I call it my Think, Brainstorm and Dream Day.  It’s a day I give attention to all the things I can’t get to when I’m working day in and day out IN my business.  This is my day to work ON my business!  I’d like to talk about the four areas that are important with this day.

Preparation

It is important to do the appropriate preparation for your Think Day.  I put the date in my calendar months in advance, make sure everything is taken care of in the office, and that I’ve got everything outside of the business arranged.

You will need to create your Think Booklet for the day.  This will be absolutely essential to the productivity of your day.  I create my booklet about 1 month in advance, and as more items come up that I need to think about, I add them quickly to the document.  You do not want to prepare your booklet the day of or even the night before, as you will forget critical business items you need to address.

My booklet consists of the following sections:  Agenda, Topics, Action Items, Dream Time and Summary.

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Here’s a breakdown of each section:

Agenda – This section of my booklet lists my schedule for the day.  Meditation, going through topics, reviewing notes, etc.

Topics – Each topic I want to discuss gets their own page so that I can free write on 2 pages.  More on that below.

Action Items – Here I list the summary items that require my action from the preceding topic review.  I include due dates and action status so that I can evaluate my progress.

Dream – Give yourself 10-20 minutes to just sit and dream.  What does your ideal life look like?  What do you see if you had everything you desired?  Draw or write anything if you feel compelled to do so.

Summary – One sheet that allows me to summarize my day.  What worked?  What didn’t?  It’s always good to evaluate.

Disconnection

The most important part of my Think Day is a complete and total disconnection.  I need to immerse myself in my business  and removing all the distractions is essential to the success of the day.  When I say I disconnect, I truly disconnect.  No cell phone, no laptop, no connection to the internet.  They are all distractions.   Distractions that severely impact my ability to focus on tasks.

And, I leave my house/office.  I do not have my Think Day in my home – it’s somewhere else.  A coffee shop (one that’s quiet), a library, the woods (my favorite), etc.  My house holds some of the biggest distractions.  I think, “Oh, I could do that load of laundry” or “the cat wants to play.”  Next thing you know, I’ve got nothing done.  Leave the house, go somewhere secluded.

If you truly can’t be without your phone, leave it in the car.  Keep things away from an arms distance.

While you may be thinking that as a business owner, you could never disconnect for a day – you are lying to yourself.  You can’t wait a day to respond to an email?  A text from your client?  You can afford one day if it means you’re going to boost your business.

What other objections do you have to disconnection?  I will give you a reason why it’s more important.

The Day Arrives

Jump out of bed because a great day awaits you!  I go to the place I’ve decided to have my Think Day, relax for a few minutes, get comfortable, but quickly get started.  Remember, my phone is away – no distractions!

What to bring:  your booklet, writing utensil, a notebook, and a positive attitude!

I do also suggest bringing your date planner with you so that you can solidify dates for specific topics that may need it.  I’m always officially scheduling things in my calendar as they come up.

I will follow the agenda I put together, which typically starts with some meditation so that it brings my focus to where I need to be.

I will then dive into each topic spending at least 15 minutes on each item.  I will put a timer on so that I can ensure I’ve given the minimum focus to each item.  As I go through my topics, I will have an open conversation with myself as I write thoughts on the paper.  There are no right or wrong things to write down.  Don’t stop yourself from writing something down either – that one thing may spark something else.  Free write your thoughts, ideas and any conversation you’ve had with yourself about the topic.  Some things might not make sense to you yet, and that’s OK.  This is about giving your mind time to really think about something and let out anything that’s been held inside.  Keep going, don’t get discouraged.

If you find your mind drifting, I encourage you to take a quick moment to meditate to bring your focus back to the topic at hand.  This will happen so be prepared.  It’s not a sign that you are done with that particular item but that you need to re-center.

After I’ve gone through all my topics, I will go back and re-read the notes I’ve written.  You will find some very clear answers when you look back at everything.  I will then use those notes to create my action plan list and assign timeframes to each item.

I also like to spend some time dreaming.  Just sitting in silence with my eyes closed thinking about my ideal life, the things I’d like to do, how it feels to have all the stuff I listed accomplished.  Just dream.  Be vivid.  Let go.

I will then end my day with reading from a current book and a final meditation.

Progress

The action items you list for each topic are an important tool to evaluate your progress.  You will find that some items do not need action items, as you’ve determined that it’s not something you want to pursue at this time.  Yes, that frequently happens to me during my Think Day.

The day after I will review all my action items, carry over anything that needs to be added to my goals list, and begin to work on those that require tasks to be completed.  I feel great motivation the day after so I like to get as much moving as I can.  At your next Think Day, you can review the action items you created and evaluate your progress.  I often times use this as an indicator on whether I’m taking on too much, too little, need to slow down, or speed up!

I love to keep all my old booklets together to look back at the progress I’ve made throughout the years!  You will find what works for you and what doesn’t, so create an agenda or document that suits your needs!

It’s all up to you!  Take a day that’s for you to think and dream.  You need it more than you know and it can help shape some of the major decisions of your business!  Looking forward to hearing how your Think Day goes this quarter!

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