Today, I’m going to show you a simple framework for planning your day.
I firmly believe that if we want to make the most of each day for Christ, we need to plan for it. When you plan your day in advance, you’re drawing a map for yourself. Having a map brings clarity and peace of mind even when things get hectic.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have a good system for planning their day, so they don’t do it consistently.
Most people don’t have a template for how to plan their day.
When I talk to other Christians about how they plan their day, one of the following elements is always missing.
- They don’t plan for spiritual growth
- They don’t plan for their goals
- They don’t plan for their commitments
They may have one or two, but rarely will they have all three elements.
If that sounds like you, don’t worry. I’m going to show you a simple, repeatable framework for planning a God-honoring day that you can use every day.
Step 1: Set a specific time for Bible reading and prayer.
Without hearing from God in His Word and speaking to Him in prayer, you will not grow spiritually.
So don’t leave these critical disciplines up to chance. Schedule a time (preferably in the morning) in which you will always spend some time in prayer and reading the Word.
I highly recommend having a Bible reading plan, as it takes the guesswork out of this part of your plan. Personally, I use the Five Day Bible Reading program. But here’s a roundup of some of my other favorite Bible Reading Plans for 2022.
There’s nothing like beginning your day with the Lord. So plan for it!
Step 2: Block out time for your goals.
The place most people go wrong in their daily planning, is they only schedule for reactive work.
By reactive work, I mean commitments that don’t make a contribution toward your goals. Things like answering emails and returning phone calls are reactive work. Someone else is setting the agenda and you are just reacting.
We all have to do reactive work, and we’ll talk more about that in step 3, but it’s critical to make focused time every day for work that brings you closer to your goals.
For example, I have a block of time on my schedule from 8:30 to 11 a.m. every day that’s dedicated to writing. During this time I mute my phone, I block social media, and I don’t check email.
Because most of my goals are tied to writing—writing books, scripts for videos, outlines for podcasts, courses, and newsletters. If I don’t make time for writing every day, it will get pushed aside by more urgent but less important reactive tasks.
So make sure you’re blocking out a specific chunk of time each day to make progress on your goals.
Step 3: List your commitments.
As I noted above, we all have commitments and obligations that don’t necessarily contribute directly to our goals and spiritual growth. But as good stewards, seeking to love and serve others, we still have to plan for them.
But managing your to-do list doesn’t have to be chaotic.
At the start of each day, plan for the commitments you want to get done today. Write them out on a piece of paper and put a star next to the most important, non-negotiable task. Do that task first, then work your way down the list.
Now that you’ve planned for spiritual growth, blocked time for your goal, and listed your commitments for the day you’ve got a plan of action. And you’ve done all of this in only about 5 to 10 minutes.
Now, go forth and execute on that plan to the glory of God!
P.s. if you want more help on step 3, keeping your commitments and not feeling overwhelmed by your task list, check out my course To Do Lists Done Right.
Spiritual Lessons from My Dumb Phone (6 mins)
Dru Johnson switched to the same dumb phone I tried and shares what he learned from the experience.
“Keeping their phones out of their hands and off their bodies seemed to them a dream. And when they dismiss such dreams as unrealistic, other dreams can get shoved off with it too: sexual self-discipline, contentment, generous giving, giving up prestigious opportunities, and a host of practices that characterize Christian maturity.”
(Dru Johnson / Christianity Today)
A friend emailed me after last week’s article on The Airplane Mode Email Technique and recommended a service in the same spirit of taming your email inbox. After I read about it, I signed up immediately.
Mailman is a Gmail plugin that lets you decide how often emails hit your inbox. I scheduled mine to be delivered in two batches each day, once at 11 a.m. and once at 3:30 p.m. When the emails come in, I’ve been quickly processing them all, then getting straight back to work. It’s been amazing so far and has significantly cut down on the total time I spend in my inbox each day.
The service is $8 a month if you pay annually and has a 21-day trial.
If you do end up signing up using my link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which helps support this newsletter.
“At its core, productivity addiction is based on the same reward systems as other addictions. By providing constant reinforcement — for example financial rewards in the form of salary increases, or social rewards in the form of work recognition — productivity can become a goal in and of itself, resulting in compulsive behaviours.”
(Anne-Laure Le Cunff / Ness Labs)
The gospel changes everything—including how we spend our time. Life is brief, after all. Teenagers can so easily waste it in sinful busyness or laziness or distraction or discontentment.
(Jaquelle Crowe Ferris / The Gospel Coalition)
It’s Better To Suffer Wrong (3 mins)
“It is no small thing to suppress our natural instinct for vengeance or to set aside our natural longing for retaliation. It is no small thing to allow ourselves to be wronged and then to meekly suffer the consequences. It may be one of the greatest challenges we are ever called to face. Yet we can be equal to the challenge if we take hold of the grace God offers us.”
How to Tame a Wild Beard (17 mins)
This one is a bit random. But I’ve had a beard most of my adult life and have never really taken the time to learn how to properly trim it when it gets long. Lately, I’ve been letting the beard grow out and I was starting to look pretty gnarly. I stumbled across this tutorial for trimming your own beard and it’s by far the most helpful video on this topic I’ve found.
So here you go, fellow beardsmen.
(Matty Conrad / GQ)
👍 Something I Like
I’m at the end of week two of Don LaTorre’s 12-week workout program. I’ve really been enjoying the workouts. They’re manageable both time-wise and intensity-wise. And I especially appreciate the way he addresses not just the body but the mind too.
The program includes devotionals that help you gain a more biblical framework for thinking about work, the body, and physical exercise.
If you want to hear more about Don and the story behind Layman’s Fitness, I had him on the podcast last November.
Or if you want to give the program a try for yourself, check out Layman’s Fitness.
Do you struggle to stay on top of your commitments?
Do you find yourself saying you’ll do something, then completely forgetting about it?
What you need is a to-do list. But not just any to-do list. You need a commitment management system grounded in biblical principles that’s flexible enough to work with any app or even just paper and pen.
In my course, To Do Lists Done Right, I teach you a practical system for managing your commitments in a God-honoring way.
- Protect your soul with screen accountability software. Try Covenant Eyes free for 30-days with promo code “ROSE”
- Redeem your commute by listening to audiobooks from Audible. Listen free for one month.
- When it comes to calendars out of sight often means out of mind. See your whole year at a glance with NeuYear giant wall calendars.
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⌛️That’s All for this Week
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I’ll see you next time!