Perhaps you’re like me – you want to take action and slowing down to think and plan is awkward and challenging. Perhaps you’re the opposite – you love to think and make plans, but taking action on those plans is a challenge for you. Wherever you fall on this continuum, we must all realize that strategic planning is critical for our long-term success.

John Maxwell’s “Law of Priorities” is “Leaders understand that activity is not necessarily accomplishment.” We can be busy doing many things without accomplishing much. We live in a society that wears “busyness” as a badge of honor. Ask most people how they’re doing or what’s new and they’ll say something like “Staying busy!” But one lesson I’ve learned from people much wiser than me is that slowing down and doing “deep” work is much more impacting than going fast and doing “shallow” work.

If your goal is to feel like you’ve accomplished something today, make a list of 20 menial tasks and get them done. You’ll feel good about it at the end of the day, but will you really have accomplished much? What if instead you sat down for 15 minutes each morning to think through your day and write down what matters most? What would it look like for you to strategically map out your days and weeks? Do you think your impact would increase? Do you think it could affect your influence – even your income?

A gentleman I know shared that he dedicates¬†one hour every Monday morning just for “thinking time.” He sits down with only a notepad and pen. He dedicates this time to think about how to move forward in his business. He said the first 15 minutes can be rough sometimes, but once he’s in a good mental place, ideas start to flow. What do you think would happen in your life and work if you dedicated time to stop and think about your life and work?

Don’t get me wrong, this will require discipline and commitment for many of us. For action-oriented people this can be a real challenge. But let’s not forget the value of slowing down and planning so that we can increase our influence, impact, and income. I’m confident we’ll all be better for it.

Be Intentionally Great today!