Lett's Set A Spell

A break from routine schedule will generate new ideas
Nov. 10, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

Ideas create excitement. 

Ideas shape our lives.

This week I have given myself permission to spend some time at the beach to get away from my routine so I can generate new insights. Feeling frustrated about some career challenges, I decided to take a break from them to gain clarity about solutions and strategies. 

In 1995, while attending a conference in Raleigh I heard a fascinating keynote by speaker Dan Sullivan, author of The Great Crossover, Personal Confidence in the Age of the Microchip. Since I had just bought my first personal computer, I knew only that a microchip was a central processing unit (CPU) that performs operations and executes software commands. I had no idea then that this computer would dramatically change the way I worked in the world.

Sullivan said that three forms of language — spoken, written and printed — previously brought about great crossovers in society. He predicted that a period of global transformation was happening due to the utilization of the microchip and the invention of a digital language, therefore bringing about the fourth crossover. And, of course, Sullivan was right!  

SULLIVAN’S FOCUS was using technological tools and implementing strategies for managing time in a way that accelerated productivity. He commented: “By focusing our energies on only those activities which produce the greatest short and long-term results, we gain tremendous energy and satisfaction.”

The Great Crossover, written in 1994, is about the entrepreneurial attitudes and habits needed to live creatively and with confidence in a world governed by technology. These approaches apply to everyone in the working world, even those who punch time cards and work at the beck and call of supervisors. 

Sullivan’s ideas transformed many lives, and they are even more relevant today. He invented an Entreprenurial Time System that structured time into three areas:

Focus days for Productivity

Buffer days for Preparation

Free days for Rejuvenation

In The Great Crossover, Sullivan defines these three days: 

1) Focus Days

“A Focus Day is a 24-hour period, again Midnight to Midnight, in which you spend 80 percent of your time on the activities that create results for your business. On Focus Days, you concentrate on your most important business-related activities, relationships, and opportunities.” 

2) Buffer Days

“If Focus Days are for performance, Buffer Days are for rehearsals. On Buffer Days, you handle all of the details that would otherwise distract your attention on a Focus Day. You use these days to catch up, clean up messes, delegate, and learn new skills. You use them to maintain and restore simplicity and order in your life — what could be more satisfying than clearing a week’s worth of phone calls to return from your to-do list?” 

3) Free Days

“A Free Day is a 24-hour period, Midnight to Midnight, in which you, the entrepreneur, do not engage in any business-related thinking, communication, or actions. The idea is that by taking time away from the business to rejuvenate, you’ll tap into more energy and creativity.” 

Obviously this does not apply just to entrepreneurs!

BEFORE GOING on vacation, my computer started doing weird things like it was going to crash. This seemed to symbolize my spinning thoughts and confused mindset. Then my laser printer wouldn’t work, so en route to the beach I dropped it off at a new repair place in Lillington. 

While taking this brief break at the beach — away from my computer and commerce in my home office — I am going to ask for wisdom about next steps in my health, my business and my life. I need to thrive again!

I am looking forward to walking on the beach, clearing out cobwebs from my brain, reading books filled with exciting information and generating ideas for future projects. I am praying to God for answers and also meditating and listening for guidance. 

As always more to be revealed…

AlexSandra Lett is a professional speaker and the author of “Natural Living, From Stress to Rest;” “A Timeless Place, Lett’s Set a Spell at the Country Store;” “Timeless Moons, Seasons of the Fields and Matters of the Heart;” “Timeless Recipes and Remedies, Country Cooking, Customs, and Cures;” and “Coming Home to my Country Heart, Timeless Reflections about Work, Family, Health, and Spirit.” Lett can be reached at (919) 258-9299 or LettsSetaSpell@aol.com.