Ask the Expert, Jodi PeterQuestion: I’m having a tough time staying on top of everything. How am I supposed to work on the things I need to focus on as the owner of this company when I’m constantly putting out fires and being interrupted?

Answer: Every owner needs more time to work on the business. That time is hard to come by. Consider a method I call the “Doctor’s Appointment Method.” Set aside two hours each week to just work on the business. Block everything out and reserve this time to concentrate on what is happening in the company. Focus on where you want to go with the business, and, perhaps, take some time to maybe dream a little.

Block the time off on your Outlook calendar. Surely your business can function for two hours during the week without you at the helm? During this time, shut your door. Close your email. Forward any phone calls to voice mail. Shut off your cell phone. Even better, find a quiet conference room or area where you will not be distracted and focus on the health of your business.

What happens if you need to cancel the appointment, it’s a busy day, or a salesman drops by? If you had a doctor’s appointment, would you cancel it? Usually you wouldn’t. We all tend to make it to the doctor, so treat these meetings the same way. Only cancel it if you would also cancel that doctor’s appointment.

Jodi Peter guides Nexstar members to their vision of success through setting and exceeding goals. Prior to Nexstar, Jodi successfully led a large plumbing, heating, and air conditioning business. To learn more about Jodi and the Nexstar Coaches, visit Do you have a question you’d like an expert to address? Email it to

Publication date: 4/29/2013

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