One thing that my coaching clients consistently want to discuss is dealing with stress, overwhelm, and the “I’m so busy syndrome”.
Since we cannot slow the world down, we must manage the time we have in a wise and productive way.
In a previous blog, I wrote about the positive and negative mindsets around time management and gave 4 Time Management Tips for Busy Leaders:
- Write down your life focus.
- Assess your current time use.
- Evaluate your list and decide what to: do, delay, delegate, or delete.
- Commit to a consistent weekly/daily planning time.
In this blog, I want to focus in specifically on the last tip about having a weekly planning time.
Here are 8 benefits of having a weekly planning time and how 90 days of coaching could make you wiser.
8 Benefits of Weekly Planning Time
1. You will gain a heart of wisdom.
The writer of the biblical text Psalm 90:12 says to God, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” A heart of wisdom is much more important than simply getting more things done. One of the most practical ways I know of living a life of wisdom is by having a weekly planning time.
2. You will remember the key aspects from your Personal Development Plan.
Once you have written out your Personal Development Plan, you can review this during your weekly planning time. This plan acts as a map and compass, and will help you make strategic decisions about your time use. Instead of just doing the next thing on your list, your life plan will show you which tasks to tackle first.
A coach can help you design a life plan and accelerate your progress in the first 90 days. The coach can help you apply that plan in your life and leadership in a wise way.
3. You will activate your priorities by getting them into your calendar.
Generally, the tasks you schedule are typically the tasks that get done. If you only make a list of tasks without allocating time to complete them, your tasks may never get done. In your planning time, you can take the important non-urgent priorities and get them into your schedule/calendar.
A coach provides the support and encouragement you need to live out your priorities. Support may come in the form of questions like: “What progress did you make on your actions?” or “What are you learning about yourself?”
4. You will be able to decide how to use discretionary time.
Depending on your job, you have some amount of discretionary time to manage. When you take time to plan and think clearly, you can make wise decisions about how to spend your spare time. When we are too flexible with our schedules, it is easy to lose track of our priorities and shift our focus to the wrong things. Planning allows us to be flexible without compromising intentionality.
A coach can be an objective sounding board as you are learning new time management strategies. Most coaching clients find that they are becoming more productive yet living a more balanced life.
5. You can plan out key conversations you will have that week.
As leaders, we all have important and difficult conversations. We know how dangerous a spontaneous conversation can become if we don’t prepare adequately for that conversation. Developing other leaders requires intentional conversations. In your planning time you can think through and write down key aspects of the conversation.
A coach can help you prepare for these key conversations by helping you think through the who, what, when, where, why, and how of what needs to be said. Sometimes coaches use role play so you can practice those conversations in a safe environment.
6. You will begin to see reduced stress.
When you have a clear plan for the week ahead, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Planning ahead allows you to anticipate any potential roadblocks and come up with solutions before they become a problem. There are three interesting perspectives about “Time Management Won’t Save You” about reducing stress that you might find helpful.
A series of coaching conversations has proven to reduce stress because of the human connection in practical problem solving. Having a processing partner will help you get into the pattern of a weekly planning time. You will experience more focus with reducing stress.
7. You will experience an improved work-life balance.
By planning your week in advance, you can ensure that you’re making time for both professional and personal activities. This will help you to achieve better work-life balance.
In just 90 days, a coach can help you develop new planning habits that can last for months or even years. At WinShape Teams, our 6-session coaching engagement includes a strategy session to help you set goals, a self-awareness session debriefing your DiSC profile, and four focused conversations around your life plan and time management. Together, these sessions can help you lay the foundation necessary to achieve a more flourishing life.
8. You will anticipate hearing “well done.”
In the Parable of the Talents, Jesus said that the faithful servant will one day hear the words:
“Well done, good and faithful [leader]. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of the master”.
We want to finish the race and receive the reward. Putting together a lifetime of weekly planning times can bring that reward.
A coach can help you hear that “well done” as you are learning to apply time management strategies. We all need encouragement and equipping to live a wise life.