Join us today for an episode about the reason I spend many hours planning and reflecting...

Today's episode is focused on how to be more effective and efficient instead of more busy...

In today’s episode about investing in yourself by stewarding your time, I talk with you about why I spend as much time as I do planning and reflecting, why that time is a worthy investment, and how you can use it without turning it into analysis paralysis.

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00:00:00 Thanks for joining me on episode 678 of the inspired stewardship podcast. I'm Wade Galt. I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent and your treasures to live out your calling. Having the ability to live to work instead of working to live is key. And one way to be inspired to do that.
00:00:27 Listen to this, the inspired stewardship podcast with my friend, Scott Mader, Now don't get me wrong. This is not perfect. I don't work this way all the time. There are weeks that I forget to plan, or I don't spend as much time reflecting. There are weeks where I struggle because unexpected things happen. Life happens, but the truth is by spending this time more often than not,
00:01:01 I'm moving the big rocks every single week. Welcome and thank you for joining us on the inspired stewardship podcast. If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent and your treasures for your true calling in the inspired stewardship podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others and develop your influence so that you can impact the world. In today's episode about investing in yourself by stewarding your time.
00:01:38 I talk with you about why I spend as much time as I do on planning and reflecting why that time is a worthy investment and how you can use a similar process without letting it turn into an analysis paralysis. As we talk about stewarding your time, wouldn't it be great if you could support this podcast and do it without just taking too long, it turns out you can't.
00:02:03 All you have to do is use inspired stewardship.com/amazon. When you're ready to make a purchase via Amazon and a small commission will come back to support the show. Just that quick, if you enjoy the show, when you are ready to buy from Amazon, just use inspired stewardship.com/amazon. So I've talked before on the podcast about some of the processes I use for doing my planning and my reviewing,
00:02:31 or reflecting on how I use my time. And I wanted to give a quick overview of that in case you've missed one of those episodes. Uh, and, and we're a hundred percent sure. Or just to kind of refresh your, your memory if you've been listening for a long time and heard it. And then I want to talk about why I actually spend that much time doing it,
00:02:55 because usually the question I get when people find out how much I spend on planning and reflecting is how do you waste that much time doing this? Why, why do you spend so much time doing it? So just because I have to have a frame of reference, let's talk about what I do on an annual basis. And then I'll break it down by quarter and by month and by week and by day,
00:03:18 and kind of give an overview of the time that I spent. So on an annual basis, I take a, uh, almost full day, anywhere from five to eight hours. And I use that in December and I break down and I do two things I spend about half of that time, reflecting on what happened the year before I pull out all of my journaling,
00:03:40 all of my record, keeping for every single week, every single day, every single month and every single quarter. And I began to kind of dive into it a little bit. I'm looking for patterns, I'm looking for things that happened. And I really asked myself three questions as I go through this process, what went well in this case this year?
00:04:02 What went, what did I struggle with? What didn't go so well, and what would I want to change and recognize by the way that, what did I want to change? Isn't necessarily only about changing things that didn't go well, you could even work on changing things that did go well. Maybe you're trying to take something from good to great, or maybe you've identified that something that's actually going well is an area you need to eliminate.
00:04:28 So that thinking those three questions allows me to dig into all of that data that I have, and really reflect on what has happened the previous year. And then I take the next half of that time. And I began to create somewhere between five and seven, maybe even eight, uh, annual goals. These are big things that I want to accomplish in the coming year.
00:04:53 They're not necessarily all of the same size. Sometimes they're things that are habit goals, where I'm just trying to do something repeatedly, like walk every day or something like that. Sometimes they're things that are big output goals. I'm looking for an expectation or an output, like creating new content, getting a certain number of clients, this kind of thing. So I've set those goals down and I try to make them specific and measurable goals.
00:05:18 You know, the smarter kind of framework where I can look at these and really measure them in some way, I need to be able to know, have I completed it or have I not completed it at that point, I've got my annual goals fleshed out. And then I take some time and I take those annual goals that I look at them and I go,
00:05:35 which ones am I going to focus on in Q one Q two quarter one quarter, two quarter three, quarter four. Some of them, I focus on the full year because it's something that I want to stretch out and work on constantly throughout the year. Other ones have a particular timeframe. Like I want to complete them by the end of Q1, or I want to compete Pete them in Q4.
00:05:56 This is something that needs to fall at the end of the year, but I break those down and I kind of plot them out by quarter. And then for the first quarter, I'm going to do my quarterly process. So every quarter I sit down and I take, you know, about three to four hours. And I look at what has happened in the last quarter.
00:06:19 What's happened the last few months what's happened the last few weeks what's happened the last few days. And I asked myself those same three questions in this case. I don't have to do that so much for Q4 because I've already done it as part of my annual review process. And then I plan that quarter. So I take that couple of hours and I plan out looking at the quarterly goals,
00:06:40 which ones do I want to focus on all, all of the months? Which ones do I want to focus on? Just one or two months or whatever it is within that quarter. I break them down by time. And then for the month, I again, would reflect normally on the month before. But right now I don't have to do that since I just did annual planning and I break down,
00:07:00 what do I want to focus on in January week by week? What do I want to pay attention to then usually on Sunday night, I plan out the week ahead. So I look at those monthly goals and I look at those quarterly goals. And I think about my, my week, I look at my calendar and other things, and I begin to plan out which days am I going to focus on podcasting?
00:07:19 Which days am I going to focus on other tasks? I actually blocked time off on my calendar if I need to. And I began to look at what's the rhythm for that week. What's going to happen. And again, I'm asking myself those same three questions about the week before, you know, what went well, what did I struggle with? Or what do I want to change?
00:07:41 So I do that week by week, throughout the month at the end of the month, I take a couple of hours and I reflect on each of the weeks and each of the days, the month before. And I break that down again and I plan the next month and it takes me anywhere from two to three hours. So every week on Sunday,
00:07:58 I'm spending an hour to two hours planning for the week. And then on the day, let's talk about the daily rhythm. So the night before I plan out my task list for that day, for the next day, and then in the morning, I look over that task list. I look at my emails and anything else that came in overnight. I look at my calendar,
00:08:18 see if anything has changed and make adjustments if needed. But it takes me anywhere from, you know, 20 to 30 minutes to kind of get ready for the day I've done my morning routine. This is my work startup routine, where I, I check all of the information that came in overnight and make any adjustments to my, to do list for the day.
00:08:37 What am I going to focus on? What are my big rocks? What are the things that I must get done? So that takes anywhere from, like I said, 20 to 30 minutes at the end of the day, I reflect what happened today? What went well? What did I struggle with? What do I want to change? And then I plan for the next day.
00:08:56 That takes me anywhere from, you know, again, 2030, sometimes 45 minutes to do that. So if you think about it, there's a lot of time there spent planning. There's a lot of time there spent reflecting. But what I found is this is a worthy investment of time. Again, remember what I tell people to focus on is productivity.
00:09:18 This isn't about getting more things done. It's not about being busy. It's about being effective and efficient. It's about getting the right things done. And the truth is by spending this time planning and reflecting, I get more of the right things done. Now don't get me wrong. This is not perfect. I don't work this way all the time. There are weeks that I forget to plan,
00:09:46 or I don't spend as much time reflecting. There are weeks where I struggle because unexpected things happen. Life happens. But the truth is by spending this time more often than not, I'm moving the big rocks every single week, every single day, every single month, every single quarter. And I'm getting things done that I really want to get done. So you can do this kind of process.
00:10:13 And one of the problems that a lot of times people have is it turns into analysis paralysis. This is, this is where you spend all of your time planning and reflecting and none of your time putting it into action. But by having set schedules, by knowing kind of how long it takes you to do this, by having set questions that you work on and reflect those,
00:10:35 allow you to not get bogged down in spending all of the time, just doing the things that you want to do and, and getting all of the time, reflecting and planning instead. Instead, what happens is you work through it and you actually have kind of a clock, you know, how long it's going to take you. And so you can actually move relatively quickly into action,
00:11:07 but you're moving into the right actions. You're not bouncing around and just reacting to everything that comes in instead you're acting and moving forward effectively, efficiently and productively. Thanks for listening. Thanks so much for listening to the inspired stewardship podcast, as a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling.
00:11:45 If you like this episode on the stewardship of time, be sure to sign up for our stewardship of time tips series, by going to inspired stewardship.com/time or texting four, four, two, two, two time tips, and that'll get you our best tips on stewarding your time until next time, invest your time, your talent and your treasures, develop your influence and impact the world.


In today's episode, I talk with you about:

  • Why I spend as much time as I do planning and reflecting... 
  • Why that time is a worthy investment...
  • How you can use it without turning it into analysis paralysis....
  • and more.....

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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About the Author Scott

Helping people to be better Stewards of God's gifts. Because Stewardship is about more than money.

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