Hopefully it is not simply a sign of getting older but being busier- this year has whizzed by; the FA Cup Final, Wimbledon, and the cricket season all seem just a few weeks ago!!

The one thing most of us expected during 2015 was a rise in the Bank of England interest rate. The economy has picked up with many people reporting they are far busier than 12-18 months ago; long might that continue. We have seen negative as well as positive inflation during 2015 with the Government looking to achieve an inflation rate closer to 2%.

We are all facing time poverty; there is so much demand on all of us. Successful people are, it seems, far better at managing how time is used. We cannot actually save time, we can hope to achieve is to use time more effectively. Hope however is not the best approach- we have to plan what we want or need to accomplish then put that plan into effect. People who actually achieve more are in control of how they use time and actively review their goals.

It is somewhat disappointing that as people get busier they stop networking; networking is really about forming and developing business relationships turning acquaintances into valued friends and in turn into highly valued clients.

Another thing that we can do is to ensure that we are energised for the tasks we face, have the determination to implement our plans in such a way that achievement is pretty much certain. Sleep patterns, diet, work and rest periods can all play their part. Those that continue to work right through the day maybe eight hours or more (eating at their desk or not at all) deluding themselves if they think it will aid their productivity. Sleep deprivation and working without a rest are killers of productivity.

I cannot quite believe that it has been over four years since I started running my own business – Alan Fletcher Solutions. In that time I have met some incredible people, I have extended my network of contacts, clients and friends. A number of those clients, including a couple with whom I have been undertaking work during 2015 resulted from networking.

Similar to this time last year we are, once again, seeing the price of oil falling with the price at the pump below £1.00 a litre.

Looking ahead to 2016 brings me to mention New Year’s Resolutions.  Many people say that New Year’s Resolutions do not work, wrong! It is people who decide not to stick with it, with many giving up within a week or two. Like goal setting the resolution needs resolve and determination and a sensible approach. What can be easier than reviewing you weekly, monthly or annual goals regularly?  It is always easier not to do something than it is to do something; including goal review!

Some of my clients are in the construction sector and generally it has been another good year with order books being reasonably full. However, it remains a very competitive market with increased productivity possibly the best key to realise better results.

We are possibly living in the best time in human history. In a few generations we have moved from the Industrial Age to the Information Age via the Service Age.  The mind- set rather than the skill- set is the crucial thing. It is not the hours that you work that count but what you achieve in the hours we work.

How many of us critically look at our habits? We need to change something if we are to achieve different (better) results.

We could do more of some things, less of other things, start to do new things and stop doing other things. The desire for change has to be high on our personal agendas if we going to succeed. We need to ensure we are results focused not merely activity led.

Develop yourself continually, little by little, day after day. Commit yourself and keep repeating to yourself, “Do it now! Do it now!”

I trust you had a Merry Christmas and would like to wish you every success both from a personal and business perspective in 2016.


Alan Fletcher

31 December 2015