This is your go-to spot for diving deep into the art of standing out in both your personal and professional life. Whether you're aiming to boost your business, enrich your personal connections, or just sprinkle a little more happiness into your daily routine, you're in the right place.

This is your go-to spot for diving deep into the art of standing out in both your personal and professional life. Whether you're aiming to boost your business, enrich your personal connections, or just sprinkle a little more happiness into your daily routine, you're in the right place.

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The Power of Planning Time

June 27, 20243 min read

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

~Pablo Picasso~

 

“Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”

~Thomas Edison~

 

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”

~Alexander Graham Bell~

 

The life of an entrepreneur includes wearing a lot of hats, including most prominently being a CEO. The main jobs of a CEO are to analyze, reflect, and make decisions. Doing those things is often a challenge, since many times we are also the marketing department, the creative team, communications, finance, etcetera. All of that tends to keep us pretty busy.

With all of those roles and in such an action-driven culture, it can be counterintuitive to stop and think about what you’re doing. It can even feel like there isn’t time. But we are all given the same amount of time; it’s all about prioritizing and using it well. And part of that is not being all action all the time. We can break down planning times daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly.

Daily, set aside time to plan the next day (15–30 minutes) and think through the urgent versus important tasks on your list. Make sure you include something fun.

Weekly, set aside time to plan the week (about an hour). Leave yourself one day off. Keeping a Sabbath will help you to recharge from the busy week and give your mind a bit of space to recalibrate and be creative. Resting plays an important role. Don’t be surprised if some of your best ideas come on your day off, when you’re in the shower, or on a walk. That space and time??

Monthly, plan one full CEO day to think about the bigger picture in your business. Communicate that you will be unavailable to others that day. If you have a company partner, this can be a day that you spend together. Try to get out of your normal environment for the day. I have one day a month that I drive up the mountain (in the summer) and just sit under a pine tree in my chair and journal, write notes, and think of where I want to go next.

In addition to the one CEO day, I take another day to plan the quarter. I often take this as a weekend (a long weekend, if I can). Most often, I will either go away for the weekend or stay in a hotel (staycation). I also believe in taking at least a couple of days off, completely a quarter. Sometimes this takes the form of mastermind getaways, where I meet up with a small group of entrepreneurs and we both work and relax. In fact, much of the amazing ah-ha moments come when we are simply chatting over dinner.

Planning yearly really focuses on looking back with gratitude and looking forward with hope. This is not the heavy lifting time of my planning (that happens during the quarterly planning time). 

We need longer breaks during the year. I advocate for two full weeks off during the year. I know when you are a team of two (you and Jesus), it’s tough to take the time off, but it is 100% necessary. I take an extended break over the Christmas season and also take time during the year to vacation with my family. 

So to sum up, I make sure to take time off as planned: one day a week, a long weekend a quarter, two weeks a year. 

Carving out these times and being intentional about planning will give you a clear focus and help you to use the time that you have in the best ways possible. So instead of shooting in the dark and hoping that what you do is going to work, you can think it through and make a plan for how to do it. Taking those steps back has been instrumental for me in creating and curating my own business.

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