For millions of Christians worldwide this is Lent – a period of 40 days from Ash Wednesday, which started this past Wednesday, March 6th and ends on Thursday before Good Friday, April 18th.
What is Lent and what the heck does this have to do with business? Keep reading and I will reveal to you how this can deepen your business focus…
Lent is defined in religious terms as doing penance, almsgiving and self-denial.
Ouch! Sounds rather dreary, right?!
However, the other day I read the best analogy ever on what it means…
Imagine you are living in a space station. You would have very limited movement. Your diet would likely be sparse. You couldn’t just get up and go to a Mall shopping or go to the theatre.
Yet, you would have a lot of time to ponder and reflect on bigger things and this vast interior space would emerge as you look out on Earth and the vast cosmos from the space station.
That is what can open up from that rather unpopular term in our modern world of “self-denial”.
Ok, so how does this all apply to business?
During Lent it is strongly suggested that it is a time to fast. And, fasting does not just mean not eating.
Fasting can be giving up the Internet, email checking every 5 minutes. Checking Facebook and Twitter feeds all day. Fasting from getting upset.
In business, focus is everything.
When you remove distractions, your mind sharpens. You have time to think about things. The bigger picture of your business and where you want to take it. What is the purpose of your business?
Here are some tools you could apply to use the next 6 weeks (a great period of time to change habits) …
Boomerang is an Outlook email add-in that you can use to stop your INBOX feeds from receiving emails for a set period of time, or you can set it to only deliver emails for certain blocks of time.
That means you won’t be tempted to look at emails after 6pm or before 9am, as an example.
This is an amazing and powerful tool that I just discovered through a Team Member.
(**NOTE** I do know that for some businesses this will not work, like real estate brokers who need to stay in pretty constant contact with their clients).
For myself, for this Lenten 40 days, I have deleted Facebook and Messenger apps from my phone. I leave my phone on full silent for blocks of time during the day, so I can concentrate on my work.
I have decided to stay away from all media, and that includes messaging and looking at any news.
It is incredible how much more focussed my mind is without these constant distractions!
I have stopped all alcohol (my wife and I are just social drinkers anyway). This means if I need to do something in the evening my mind is a tad clearer, and in the morning as well. Even one glass of wine can fog the brain for a task…
As a business owner you could practice “going the extra mile” for an employee or client in need, or someone in the community as a project for the entire Team.
Penance can mean forgiving a cut throat competitor who cheated you, or an employee who quit, or asking for forgiveness from someone you wronged.
I know that many of you reading this may not have any connection to Lent at all, yet you could borrow from some of its suggestions, and see how your business life is over the next 6 weeks as a result.
Try going cold turkey on all media. Try limiting your emails with Boomerang.
Use that extra time and brain power to strategize in your business, do some more marketing, or just think about what the real purpose of your business is beyond the making a profit part…
Thanks for reading…