I tackle 2018 with a new lean style.

I break my day into 24×20 minute segments. Three segments each hour, covering eight hours, spread across the day. You might recognise the 20 minute segment from the Pomodoro technique?

I assign 18 segments the night before, leaving six open for any daily happenstance. Whatever happens during the day outside my schedule I keep for the next day.

I now complete smaller segments of work faster. As each day proceeds I keep pace with it. Often I face a task I don’t want to do. But I know I need look at my page for 20 minutes before I can move on. That beats facing three planned hours of deep work I am not mentally ready for.

20 Minutes is also a short enough time to survive restaurants and waiting rooms. I spent much of the past two months in both.

Approaching a big project in the past often stalled until I could decide on “the next step”. Seth Godin calls that emotional laziness. But if I limit myself to 20 minutes I approach each task with a sense of urgency. Faster decisions are as good as slow ones.

This doesn’t need any fancy kit. You already have a smartphone. It features a timer. I set mine for 20 minutes. As I finish each segment of work I hit the reset button to start the next.

I will use this approach this year to produce my best work ever for the people I serve. You are one such person if you own your own business.

I hope your year rocks as much as mine.

Finally, a question that you will be asked sometime this year: Are you POPI Compliant?

Govt is already asking training firms to answer this question before they can carry on training. I expect our clients to start asking the rest of us soon. I present a free training session on How POPI Impacts Small Business every Tuesday, at 8PM SA Time. Click here to join me for 90 minutes online.