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January 11, 2008

How Mountain Bike Riding At Night Taught Me About Business Planning – Part 3

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , — Greg Larkin @ 7:14 pm

Hello again everyone,

I hope you all had a nice holiday break, and I’m back with the final installment of my “bicycling for business planning” posting arc.

To refresh your memory, in the last post I broke down how I spend my time while I’m riding my mountain bike at night:

  • 85% of the time – focused on a spot 3 to 6 feet in front of my wheel
  • 10% of the time – last-minute steering corrections
  • 5% of the time – looking further up the trail, but can’t see more than 30 feet ahead

I plan to apply similar ratios to business planning to help answer the perennial question “What should be worked on next?”

These ratios map to the following tasks:

  • Spend 85% of time on Important tasks (business planning, market research, adding technical features, CRM tasks, etc.)
  • Spend 10% of time on Urgent tasks (reactive support issues, special customer requests and the like)
  • Spend 5% of time thinking about everything that could be done, but don’t get too wrapped around the axle trying to predict the future!

I don’t want to minimize the importance of the last bullet point with its small percentage of mindshare, because any business still needs folks holding brainstorming sessions and thinking about new possibilities. However, once the primary direction of the business is set, it’s extremely important to review those ideas in that context. Otherwise, expect to be going sideways more than forward!

Comments and feedback are welcome, and if you have any methods that have worked well for your business, let me know.

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Keep in touch,
Greg, LLC

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