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Episode 62: Making Time to Think Strategically

podcast Mar 21, 2023

"As I take on more leadership responsibilities, I’m finding that I need more time to step back and do more planning and strategizing. How do I make that time productive so I don’t just spin my wheels?"

It’s true that the more responsibilities you take on the more time you need to step back and plan things out a bit. You can actually keep falling behind if you don’t step back and get a little strategic. It is actually a productivity strategy. 

Plan your time to plan. 

First, you do have to plan the time. Block it on your calendar. Notice when you blow through the time block and do something else instead. You need to run a few experiments. Try different times of day. Try different techniques during the time you block. Give yourself a trial period maybe weeks or months

Find the right time.

Everybody has a “most productive time of day.” It’s usually a block of 2-3 hours when we feel fresh. Creativity is easier to access. You have the capacity to do things that require focus. Finding the right time for thinking time is about that space in the day when you are most alert and ready to engage creativity, strategy and imagination. If you are low on energy when you start, you’ll likely quit and as the brain will go back to the easy thing.

Engage the senses.

Another way you can help your brain be activated during your thinking time >> thus making it more productive >> is to engage your senses. It’s not just reflection but writing too. Not just dreaming but drawing too. Not just planning, but sharing the plan or talking it through with others. 

Structure your Time

One of the reasons your thinking time can turn into just wheels spinning is because you don’t have a goal or a framework for your time. Having a target for your time will make it more productive. And, a framework can accelerate your thinking. Give you a track to run on so that you move toward your goal.

Play with some of the ideas and then step back and reflect on what’s working and what’s not. 

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