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Taming the Whirlwind

We face common challenges. In five years of coaching conversations, I’ve found very few unique issues.

An expert is a person who has found out, by his own painful experience, all the mistakes that one can make in a very narrow field.

Dr. Niels ….

You are not alone

We face common challenges. In five years of coaching conversations, I’ve found very few unique issues.

  • Common struggle
  • understanding the problem

The Common Struggle

  • Strategy vs. Execution
  • Execution is what we do
  • Strategy is why we do it
  • Both are critical
  • We understand the need for strategy
  • More efficient, more productive, more profitable

How’s your strategy?

  • Why is it so hard to keep our strategy in focus?
  • emergencies, life, other important stuff

Understanding the Whirlwind?

  • The energy and attention needed to run your business.
  • Whirlwind is the urgent!

The Problem with the Whirlwind

  • Goals and strategy are important … see slides
  • Delaying strategy… see slides
  • it’s not bad; it just is what it is

The Plan

  • You need a plan to accomplish your goals in the middle of the whirlwind.
  • Without a plan the Whirlwind always wins — always plan for your week at the beginning
  • initial planning
  • weekly planning
  • … see slides

Initial Planning

  • two hours unplugged, schedule it as an appointment
  • id the issues
    • what changes do ineed to make?
    • which bring the most immediate impact?
    • top two action items
  • pick the top 3 issues

Weekly Planning

  • 30 minutes
  • Before you start your week
    • Friday evening?
    • Sunday evening?
    • Early Monday morning?
  • Plan that time to execute at least one action

Nathan’s Weekly Planning

  • Daily columns
  • one whirlwind block
  • one family block
  • one project block
  • family always gets one block. others can be mixed

Weekly Execution

  • 2-4 hours
  • schedule the time and don’t compromise it
  • okay, maybe for a real emergency but if you plan well, there are few emergencies

Quarterly Planning

  • 4 hours
  • every quarterish repeat the process


  • prioritize. you will always have more goals than time.
  • sometimes good idea have to be put on the shelf.
  • separate your roles
    • you are the CEO and the employee who executes the plan.
  • taming the whirlwind takes time, give yourself a break.

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first.

G.K. Chesteron — or somebody

In six months…

  • how would life, business improve
  • more work in less time means more free time


  • if you don’t have a lot of client work spend more time with the other items. strategy, family etc.

By Joseph Dickson

Joseph Dickson is a web developer in higher education and an avid proponent of using WordPress’ core features to create flexible and manageable design solutions.

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