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Set Aside Time

ave you noticed that everyone is busy? This is risky.

Busy people are less likely to take the time to pause. Stopping can seem life threatening. It reminds me of an overcrowded bus in Sri Lanka. As the bus approaches your stop, it slows down but it doesn’t stop. You have to jump on as it’s moving and eventually, get off while it’s moving. Life can seem a lot like that. Everything is in constant motion. We desperately jump on the bus, sometimes any bus that comes by, because we are not sure when and if the next one is coming.

To quote the late great Stephen Covey,
“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the busy-ness of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall. It is possible to be busy – very busy – without being very effective.”

So, is your ladder leaning up against the right wall? More importantly, how do you know?

Investing in the time to answer the above 2 questions is important. It builds awareness. Awareness guides behaviour change. Behaviour change drives the results in our lives. Here’s the kicker. You can’t just answer the questions once. You have to keep answering these questions over and over. Life will keep trying to veer you off into different directions. As Chris Freeman says, you have to keep course correcting….forever.

The process of building this awareness and acting on it can be simplified to 4 steps.

  1. Set aside time every week.
  2. Ask good questions.
  3. Answer them.
  4. Do.

You can do this by yourself or with a trusted third party, like a coach or mentor. Interestingly, I do this by myself, with a coach and as a coach. Triple threat!

Set aside time every week
Thirty minutes at the same time every week is a good start. These days, I enjoy doing it on Monday mornings. On a Monday, my to-do list is long and there is every reason to do this “self reflection” stuff at another time. It challenges the default mindset of doing the urgent thing and builds discipline into doing the important, not urgent thing.

Ask good questions.
Good questions give good answers. Great questions can change your life.

Here are some good questions. Some of them, asked at the right time, may be great.

  1. What would make this week incredible? What can you do to make this happen?
  2. What are you most proud of?
  3. What am I neglecting that is important, not urgent?
  4. What is working well? What do you need to improve on?
  5. What have you learnt this week?
  6. What is the biggest problem you are facing at the moment? Why is it a problem? What would happen if you do nothing about the problem?
  7. What is important to you? If someone was observing me, would they be able to tell?
  8. What are my goals? What is the most important one?
  9. What do I need to focus on?
  10. What is a relationship that I need to invest in this week?
  11. What days am I going to exercise this week?

Practice making up your own questions. Often it’s not answers we need, it’s better questions. Of course you don’t need to answer all of the questions above. Pick a few and have some fun.

Answer the questions.
Physically write the answers down. It often makes more sense in our head than on paper.

This part is important. It will change the results in your life. It’s the only thing that will.

I believe coaching and mentoring is so effective in creating personal transformations due to these 4 steps. You can also do this by yourself. It is definitely easier if you are accountable to someone else, like a coach or mentor.

Recently, I was speaking to a dear friend about my coaching program. Her biggest takeaway was the idea of having “a time in the calendar that is dedicated purely to her success, whatever that means to her”. I wish the same for you my friends.

If you would like to learn more about coaching, email me on I love to help people.

Much love to you and of course, myself.

Dr G

If you want to find out more about coaching, email me at
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