I have found a good compass to help me set new directions in my practice. I have started to keep track of how I feel at the end of the day and what the main activities I had that day. After a few months, the evidence begins to pile up where I really want to spend more time and where I want to spend less.
This is a great idea. Professional service providers can unknowingly get stuck doing something that no longer invigorates them. Conversely, they might be missing signals that there is something they could really enjoy with a change in practice. We tend to take an intellectual, left-brain look at our practices to evaluate, analytically, how we should navigate our market. Don't ignore facts, but your gut is probably a better gauge of value than we'd like to admit. Tip:
Try the practice of giving yourself a "score" from 1 to 5 each day. A "1" means it was among the best days you have, you feel invigorated, excited to take whatever activity that occupied your day to the next step. A "3" is an average day and a "5" kind of day leaves you depleted, upset, disillusioned, etc. Set up your own criteria so that your days are more or less normally distributed. Then, next to each day's score, write down the major consulting activities of the day: client briefing, marketing, staff work, administration, research, going to a conference, professional development workshop, reading in your field, analysis, negotiation, client presentation, etc. After about three months, what patterns do you see? How can you begin to shift your business so that you are having more "1" days and fewer "5" days? © 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA