As the title explains – this isn’t an adult version of “Where’s Wally?”, although, it has to be said, there are certain similarities that you may find along the way (feelings of utter frustration, and a nagging sense of “why am I even bothering?” can, and will, crop up from time to time.
I originally thought about ‘Discovering HUW’, but that, in itself, wouldn’t be completely accurate.
Discovering something, I think, makes it out to be some sort of surprise, or even shock…. “can you imagine my surprise when I discovered a whole family of fairies living at the bottom of the garden?” It sounds exciting, magical…. Finding something, on the other hand, is more useful and probably a bit mundane …. “I was really quite relieved when I found my car keys in the bottom of the laundry basket”.
It’s more of an “aaaah” moment than an “Oooooh!” moment. However, I digress.
Huw isn’t a person. If I had a friend called Huw (which I don’t incidentally) I would think it most unlikely that his name was spelt like that – He would be ‘Hugh’ surely?
HUW simply stands for HOW YOU WORK (or HOW U WORK). This is a very good place to start if you are considering running your own business, and certainly if you are at the very beginning of your journey and feel compelled to embark on a spot of research.
The best way to get the most out of the time that you have available to work on your business it to understand how you work, or more importantly how you work best.
This takes a little thought – and invariably a pen and paper. Let us start.
During the process of finding HUW you should consider a few basic things:
- What’s your ‘time of day?’ (I’m from a family of market traders and I am therefore totally pre-disposed to being a morning person. You will NEVER catch me sat at a computer at midnight creating great works. Never.)
- What time do you have available and in what format? (Do you have a baby/small children that will invariably interrupt anything that takes longer than an episode of Peppa Pig) or are you a shift worker and have blocks of two or three hours at a time?
Once you have considered this – think about your concentration span.
Me? Like I said – I am a morning person and as long as I am uninterrupted I can merrily jog along with a project for two or three hours straight. I do take a 10 minute break after 45 mins or so though – just to rest my eyes, re-hydrate, and double-check I’m still on track for what I’m doing. You may have noticed team, that I tend to wander off a bit….
Give me anything to do after 4pm and you’re whistling up a gum tree frankly. And no, I have no idea where that saying comes from either – feel free to pop it in the comments below though ….. thanks.
- What’s your most effective way to learn? Are you a visual person? Do you like to read? Do you like to read and make notes? Are you an audio person?
I’m an audio person – that’s my favourite. I love audio books and I love the radio. I also love to read – and now I have a Kindle I happily highlight away at pages with key messages and interesting facts and life is better for it.
So ask yourself what you like… there is no point watching a stack of YouTube videos if you’re not going to remember half of what is said or done. Equally, plugging your way through an e-book that is apparently going to tell you the 5 Marketing Mistakes to Never Make – is a waste of time if you’re not going to remember any of it.
You may find that you’re just lucky and have a great memory – and research is a whole lot easier if you enjoy the subject and what you’re learning (the same cannot be said for double Maths last thing on a Friday afternoon…. I swear I should have had some kind of counselling after that….)
- Are you a plodder – or do you prefer life in the fast lane? By this I mean some of us can, once we’ve decided what the goal is, proceed at break-neck speed to our chosen destination. Others, however, prefer to take their time, crossing ‘t’s and dotting ‘I’s where necessary.
Neither of these are bad – but be aware they each have their own pitfalls. The former meaning that silly mistakes can be made, or you miss out some vital components of the journey in the mad dash to get to the end. Equally the plodders can take so long to complete a project that they forgot the purpose of it in the first place – or take so long mulling things over that whatever it is they started is obsolete by the time they’ve finished.
Decide which you are – and just be very aware of it. If you’re a speed freak – you may wish to start each project or ‘milestone’ with a checklist of what you wish to achieve – and make sure you check your work against it at the end. (In fact this should be a rule of thumb for everything you do to stay on track and focussed).
Likewise if you’re a plodder – you might want to have a go at setting a time limit for yourself – say 30 mins to get to “such and such” a point – and see if you can pick up the pace a bit like that.
Don’t overdo it though – if you start getting flustered and panicky – just keep going at your own pace, just be mindful that progress is key.
So, if you have small children, but are not an evening person, and a bit of a plodder – you do have your work cut out, BUT, it’s just about getting organised. Pick out sensible windows of time to work on your stuff – possibly set a little timer – and get going. The other option is a little bit of help perhaps with childcare or domestic stuff? I’ll be talking about this a lot …… so if it’s not an option for you now, it’s not the end of the world – keep calm, as they say, and carry on.
Once you have found HUW, your life will be enhanced – believe me. It took me an absolute age to even realise that HUW is important. You will be aware of the better times to research and work on your business, when and how you will do it – effectively. Without wasting any where near as much time as you would if you had never considered HUW.
Top tip: Time = v. important.
There is an inordinate amount of information out there – so it is soooooo easy to just pick up anything that looks vaguely interesting, sign up for it and then feel compelled to start reading straight away only to realise it’s a load of old crud that you’ve read before (in various guises). In addition, spending three days devouring a copy of Napoleon Hill ain’t worth a sausage if you can’t remember anything other than the Acknowledgements and the second half of Chapter 2.
So – to summarise:
- Time of Day
- How much time?
- How you learn
Every time you need to read up on or research any part of your business (or anything in fact), make sure that it sits with the answers you give to these three questions, and then be mindful of number 4, making sure you are achieving what is intended – whether its learning a new subject or skill, or completing a project of some sort.