If you weren’t allowed to talk, would someone be able to accurately judge what you believe is important by your actions alone? Are you spending your time wisely moving with purpose toward the mission you’ve been given to complete? In this episode, Nathan shares what he’s learning about time and how he’s intentionally allocating it to accomplish what really matters. He also shares some practical systems and resources that help him prioritize family while also accomplishing his personal and professional goals.
- Show Notes (www.Spearing.co)
- Book: At Your Best: How to Get Time, Energy, and Priorities Working in Your Favor by Carey Nieuwhof
- Book: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World
- Founders Fire: Mastercoaching for Entrepreneurs
- Tim Ferriss Podcast: James Clear, Atomic Habits — Simple Strategies for Building (and Breaking) Habits, Questions for Personal Mastery and Growth, Tactics for Writing and Launching a Mega-Bestseller, Finding Leverage, and More (#648)
- Ep. 28 | Your Goals Might Not Be Big Enough
- Ep. 61 | Focus!
- Ep. 3 | Growing Time to Invest with Organizational Skills
[00:00:00] Welcome back to the life on target podcast. Your host Nathan spearing here bringing you my episode solo episode on time. And I have been doing a lot of discussion about this lately in the more recent focus episode. But I wanted to bring you some more incredibly practical stuff that I’ve been applying in my life with amazing results, but also sharing with other people and getting feedback that it is helping them immensely.
So the way I see it, there are two, major reasons why. You aren’t where you want to be in life. And the two major reasons are. You’re not allocating your time appropriately. And then the second one is you’re afraid. Or have a lack of faith. So real quick note, bill gates has a quote that says most people underestimate what they can do in one year, but underestimate what they can do in 10 [00:01:00] years.
And a lot of business people talk about how. If you don’t need money, you don’t need that payout to come immediately. And it’s something that you can keep reinvesting in your company. So instead of taking a paycheck, I’m gonna put it back into product. And instead of taking a paycheck, I’m gonna put it back into marketing. So I’m taking a paycheck, I’m going to put it back into hiring somebody that can help me grow this business.
And if you can continue to delay that payout or that gratification. And that, and you keep discipline pursuit. Of that end state and re-investing that it’s impossible not to win. And now business people use the monetary return as the measuring stick, but we as Christians. I have advantage. Over somebody who is just solely in the business.
Sector in that we’ve been given the cheat codes [00:02:00] on how things work down here. We know. That God’s word is perfect. And it is provides a playbook for us. And we also understand by reading this book. How God. Has woven all this together and how it works. So we, and we’re all able to, in a sense, take our horizon or our that payout. And we’re able to extend that.
For a thousand generations, we’re able to realize that the reality is I may. Work a nine to five and make $26,000 a year. But raise 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 children in a loving home, loving my wife. Well in front of them, taking them to church, showing them what the reality is and the payout, if you will. May not come and tell their great, great.
Grandchild [00:03:00] in the payout being on a bunch of different metrics and realizing that it doesn’t have really anything to do with money in the long run. But it has everything to do with faithfulness spiritually in obedience to God. And then that cheat code that we have, that these business people that are endlessly pursuing.
Monetary return and success, and they can never be satisfied and they have to immediately, they sell their company for billions of dollars and then get depressed. Because their identity and their self worth is what can I produce now? And what can I produce that lasts beyond me. They know that they’re going to die and they don’t understand how it fits in the larger spectrum.
We as Christians do. But that being said, I’m frustrated. By a lot of Christians. And I did a tweet about this a couple of weeks ago, or a couple of days ago about how I [00:04:00] feel like most Christians are just running a bunch of errands. They’re busy, they’re doing all the things that the Canaanites are doing. They’re going to ball practice. They’re trying to get the good education.
They’re trying to get those paper degrees. And get the next job and to repeat. And when you look at how it Christian spends their time compared to how someone who doesn’t know the Lord spends their time. And I had, I was listening to an interesting podcast with Tim Ferriss and James clear, James clear the author of atomic habits.
10 million plus copies sold the foremost. Recognized. Uh, author and writer on habits was saying that. If you really want to see what’s important to a person. And just remove like a helpful exercise, be to remove the words that they say. And then look at their actions. And another way to say this is to look at their calendar. [00:05:00] How are these people?
Spending their time. And I honestly think if we stack up, what does the Christian life look like? Compared to the Canaanite the Hedon the one that doesn’t know the creator denies the creator. When you overlay the calendars on each other, do they look different? Does what you do in a day.
Look. Radically different than what just the normal person that doesn’t believe the Lord does now. I’m not trying to. Disparage. The way people are spending their time. In the sense that if they don’t know the truth and they’re lost, but if they don’t know the truth and they’re lost and they’re chasing after things that are of this world and that are perishing.
And we know that we have an imperishable. Inheritance in Jesus Christ because of the [00:06:00] righteousness of Jesus Christ. Will that not also change the way that we spend our time? If you look at okay. I wake up and get coffee. I didn’t, didn’t get to bed on time. And so I’m rushing off to the office. I work for a global corporation that hates everything I believe in.
And is contributing money to all these causes that are trying to destroy the biblical. Family, the actual real family, the way that God said a family is where I’m building productive property for other businesses. I’m a corporate wage slave to this instead of. Finding someone that has. Like-minded beliefs in helping them build their household in their productive property. Abraham had 318 train men.
That lived in his household that ate of the produce of his field. Being an employee and working for someone is not bad, but if you’re an employee and working for a, [00:07:00] a household. Like bayzos or a household, like all the different, all these things you’re building. And tending the flock of a.
Household. And so. Are you serious about when you spend your time working and making money, making sure that that work and that time invested is building something that also on the backside of what you’re doing is supporting your values. And I think Christians need to be a lot better about how we allocate our work hours towards things it’s bigger than just work.
I know that this is business podcasts primarily and about life and, and integrate. Grating business and family and things like that. So I’m going to immediately go there. But for me, What I had to do several months ago, I signed up I’m paying thousands and thousands of dollars a [00:08:00] month. On on education to get better and realizing that I have to spend money to get access to certain people.
That have knowledge that I need to implement. Now, the belief that as Alex Hormozi says that. Bringing your future self to the present. So how can I speed up that process of growing into the person that I want to be? That’s money. That’s paying somebody who is an expert to spend time with me and to go through. And that’s what we’re doing for my construction company.
We’re getting under the hood. I’m transparent with everything with this guy and he’s an expert. , I hire him to help me overhaul my construction business. But the first thing that we talk about. Is key relationships and, and how those key relationships. Get scheduled time-wise first. And I had a conversation with a [00:09:00] brother in Christ that just started his own business about this, uh, yesterday.
Is asking. I got these young kids, um, I’m feeling like I got to build this business. Is it just, you know, Hey, I’m just going to miss out on the, uh, the kids for now. Cause I got to build this business and, and we’re from where I sit and what I’ve done with my business coach. Oh, no, you don’t have to. That is a Pharaoh mentality. That is a make more bricks.
With less straw mentality, you don’t have to. Forsake the calling and the responsibility that you have to be a husband and father or a mother and a wife or a son in a, in a household growing up in. Underneath biblical authority to try to hack the system and make the sacrifice. Now that’s entrepreneur. Culture, that’s not kingdom mindedness. Kingdom mindedness is that I have enough time to do everything I’m [00:10:00] authorized to do. And this is from my coach, Eric Beck. Who’s working with me on this and founder’s fire it’s. It is a ability to say, God has given me. 168 hours in the week. And that is enough time.
And if you feel like there’s not enough time, then you’re doing more than you’re authorized to do. And so what we did at the beginning, I’m starting. All right, let’s get this business. Systematize it’s get everything figured out, whatever. Okay. Stop key relationships in the way that he did it. Hierarchy wise is God is the key relationship. My relationship with the creator is the most important.
And so that requires spending time with me. Growing me praying me reading the word of God, me sitting still and listening to the still voice of the creator, the holy Spirit’s seeking wisdom and applying that. And doing that every single day. [00:11:00] And then. He relationships. And for me, that’s my wife and my five children. And the reality is.
That there’s not time for very much more after that, as far as key relationships, that doesn’t mean that there’s not time to podcast. There’s not time to have coffee with other men and mentor, but as far as the first tier number one priority things, that’s the hierarchy me with respect to the creator, enabling me to.
Prioritize my wife and children. And we scheduled that. And I think I’ve talked about this a little bit, but I put that on the calendar. I’m going to do date night this night. We’re going to do family worship and read and the way that that works for me. And I explained this to. The guy last night. From dinner until the kids go to bed is me. So every single night, we’re almost except for prayer meeting nights and a couple of little exceptions here and there. We’re sitting down to dinner.
We’re eating together. We’re hanging out that goes into family worship, reading the word. Reading most recently read [00:12:00] in CS Lewis, the horse, and his boy just finished that up the night before last. So I’m reading them good books, and then I’m putting them to bed and I’m praying for him now, is it messy?
Am I losing my temper. Am I having to apologize to them before they go to bed? Say, Hey, sorry. Yeah, it gets messy. But I’m there and I’m living it and I’m all in on that. And then I know in my mind, it’s like from 5, 5:30, until 8:30-9pm, I’m getting a dedicated two and a half, three hours with my kids.
And then my wife and I have a time where we sync every day and talk about. What the day is going to look like, and I’m checking in at lunch, and then we have date night and then we’re, we’re actually setting aside time to design our house. So I’ve scheduled that. And now I know if I can knock out those things in my week and I can do those relationally and I’m waking up and I’m starting with the Bible. I’m doing this.
I know. That I don’t have to have this insecurity of, oh, am I [00:13:00] missing it? Am I chasing after this thing? And my hustle and grind in, and now I’m missing out on my, the key things where my kid’s life. I’m not because I’ve sat down intentionally at the very beginning of how am I going to spend my time.
And I’m going to allocate it first and foremost to the relationships that matter most. Now the next side of that is the reality is, the freedom that I get from allocating my time, that way. Is the rest of the time I am producing, I am building. And that’s where I think the next thing is that Christians be, oh, you know, prioritize God and me and all this kind of stuff. And then the rest of the time is mindless, Instagram scroll and chasing after the things of the culture.
Digesting all the media stuff and spending time chasing after I want my kid to be a professional athlete and all these things that are distractions from producing. A, at a high level for God’s glory.
So Carey Nieuwhof talks about this. I talked about it in my focus [00:14:00] episode. But it’s at your best is identifying. Where are the times of day? That I can produce the most and that I am the best and understanding what that is for you doing a kind of an audit and he calls it your green, yellow, and red zones. And I’m going to allocate the tasks that I believe are most important. For the things I want to do during my green zone. And for me, for the longest period of time, I was allocating my mornings. Okay. I got to get the construction crews start. I got to do this kind of stuff. And I would get into the afternoon and not realize why couldn’t produce what my company needed me to do.
I couldn’t work on my business instead of in my business because I just, I was in a yellow and I was in a red zone. I was zap mentally because I had to run around. So I restructured my day. And now I am knocking out 90 minutes of deep work. And this is essentially my second deep work cycle of the day where I’m recording this podcast. I know I need to get it out. So I got 90 minutes set aside to sit and focus. The phone is away.
I’ve set the [00:15:00] quick text instructions to the crew and I’m in this studio and I’m recording this for you now. And the reality is if I get a five 30 or a 6:00 AM to seven 30 and then a 7 45 with the break till nine 15. And then a nine 30 to 11. So I get three 90 minutes cycles in of deep work and I’ve scheduled that and I put it on my calendar. I know what the theme is, what I’m working on in my businesses. So I’m maximizing those three 90 minute cycles, deep work cycles, like Cal Newport talks about and deep work.
And I’m executing. I’m using my green zone. I’m Alec I’ve no, I got my time for my relationships. I’m producing and I’m making headway strategically on. What I’m trying to do. And I, I look, I mean, I, I can pull up what it takes away from me. The fact that it’s all scheduled in the calendars, I can pull my calendar up and I can look and I can say, okay,
The next thing that I got to do is goals. I did income this morning, you know, I’ll look tomorrow. Okay. I got a, but some podcast posting stuff, cause it’s going to [00:16:00] go live. I got a break. I’m doing client updates, doing weekend review with my team, doing a little bit of admin and billing, and then I’m heading back to the house. And so it takes away the fact that I’ve sat down and intentionally said for this month or this 90 day cycle, this is what’s going to look like deep work wise.
These are the areas in a business that need the most attention I’m going to allocate those. So I’m going to get to. 90 minute sessions a week for the three areas of my business that need the most attention. I got podcast. I got creativity stuff. I got personal growth time in there where I’m actually becoming better at being a general contractor I’m studying this past week. I studied some alternative building techniques and some solar stuff and trying to figure out stuff for upcoming projects. It’s getting more technically. Experienced in things and then systematically working through and making my business better. And the reality of doing this is now.
When somebody says, Hey, can I get coffee? And the re and or, Hey, can I [00:17:00] jump on a quick call with you? I am looking at my calendar and I’m able to say I got that scheduled. I know what’s going on. How does somebody reach out to me and say, I want to help on okay. I will be at church, doing fellowship from these times. I’ve allocated that time to spend with the people that are in my inner circle. Before and after evening worship. You can find me at this time, this is the location and let’s talk. And I have defined that these are the points in the week. It’s important for me to connect with other people and I can invite other people into that. Even if they’re not in my church, say, Hey, meet me at the church. We’re going to have a fire pit. We go on, we’re talking about this. And I know when I have these requests on my time, I know where to put them. And Carey Nieuwhof talks about how if most people go ahead, six months. Their calendar is open. And, and a lot of people view that as freedom. I got white space on my calendar, but the reality is, is that is going to enable other [00:18:00] people.
And the evil one. If you’re a Christian, that’s in your producing the evil ones, trying to enter in and take your minutes. He’s not concerned about your hours, your days. He’s going to take little minutes here, little minutes there, and it adds up to a lifetime of ineffective. Allocation. Of your time.
And so now I have it in my calendar. Somebody makes a request on my time. I have certain windows that have been allocated. They’re not in green zones are not in times that I’ve said this is an important time for me to produce. And I’m able to say, yeah, here’s the time I got available. Because I’ve spent my time.
The limited time that I have. On the things that matter. And I know what’s open and not, and essentially kind of a good metric with my coach. I’m at you should have about 80%. Of the hours that you’re awake and even allocated. This was when I sleep. Allocated to the tasks that are most important. And you should execute that 80% [00:19:00] week.
The same. Every week, and that is back to that horizon, that time horizon, if you can be disciplined to allocate your time. This way and 80% of my week. And so my kind of goal is like, Hey, I got three deep work cycles, times five weekdays of the week. There’s going to be some mess up. There’s going to be like this morning, my wife and I were just talking about some stuff and I’m not going to end that because I got deep work because I’ve all said this is key time to have a relationship so I can. I understand it’s a tension between, do I do a full 90 minute cycle of deep work on income this morning?
Or do I say no, this my wife is a key relationship and I know what I’m supposed to do. I have on my perfect week, but I’m going to enable just make a one-to-one substitution. Based on a much flatter plane or a much easier decision matrix, then getting just yanked away and your organic conversations happening. I made my wife coffee. We’re standing there and in.
And the bus [00:20:00] chatting. This is great discussion. This is going to be the best way to spend my time and I can jump in. I can get right into a podcast prep deep work cycle. I’m a little bit off, but it’s okay. One, one deep work cycle. I got 12 this week and you just know that I didn’t make a substitution because of Instagram.
I didn’t make a substitution because somebody called me in this. And I’m becoming somebody that is on mission and going someplace where God has called me to go. And not somebody that’s just running around and running errands and letting people just take their time and thinking, oh, I’m just serving with it. You’re running errands. And how is that adding up to effectiveness and.
Obviously relationship is more than just transactions and all this stuff. And a hook demonstrated where I can substitute and I can make these calls, but by and large, I’m looking at the tasks that I have to do. And I’m able to say, is this. Going to be able to fit. And I know where it fits so somebody else’s not stealing from me. It’s [00:21:00] fitting into the structure and you can adapt that. But, so it’s literally taken me about.
Um, About two to three months of kind of chipping away at this and getting more and more effective to get that. 80 90% solution for my week and after even just two to three weeks of executing, this it’s phenomenal, what I’m able to accomplish. And even just the ability to go back and use some yellow zone time to get into these admin tasks. These meetings that just zap your attention a little bit.
You schedule those in the afternoon, you’ve already got your core work done. If you’re a night person, you flip it it’s you just have that control. Even if you’re employed. Carey Nieuwhof off talks about this in the book. You still have control. Over the majority of how you spend your time, even if you’re employed for somebody else, no matter what, there’s a portion of your time that there’s a little bit of control. And even if you can go to your boss and say, Hey, I’ve noticed that I’ve, this is more, can I come in at five 30 and knock this out and just adding some creative [00:22:00] mindset to explain to your employer? How, if you read this book, you got better at it. You listen to this awesome podcast life on target. This guy named Nathan was telling you, maybe he checks out the podcast too.
I’m wanting to be more effective. I’m wanting to produce more for you as my employer to give more value. And I’ve done an audit of my time. And I think if I allocate it this way, it’s going to help. It’s going to allow me to. Produce more for you and ultimately better for the company and what, what could we do here? And, and they’re not going to say no, and they’re not going to do it from cause it’s ultimately for giving value to who you work for.
And if they do say no and they crush it, then you need to go back and look at, listen to podcasts about starting your business and need to launch your own dang things so that you don’t have to worry about this crazy, boss, that one allow structure for this and can’t see that , and so you have options.
I talked about this. How I love Mondays. And several people talked about help. What do I do? It [00:23:00] goes back to. The reality is you can allocate your time and you can spend it however you want. Whether you even with you work for somebody. 168 hours in the week. And you’re working 50 hours a week. Most people aren’t, most people say they are most people, the hustle grind. No, you’re not doing that. You’re not working that hard.
You still have 118 hours of the week. Now you’re sleeping, you’re eating, you’re doing these things, but even your employer does not control the majority of your time. And you have an opportunity to invest it and to have it. And it’s going to bring a yield. You extend that out. Uh, horizon out long enough. You see, I’m investing in my kids. I’m investing in my wife. I’m investing in my community. I’m building these businesses. I’m creating value for customers.
And, um, I’m delivering and I’m executing and I’m staying on mission every week and I’m not letting people pull me off because I’ve done intentional time with the Lord and said, this is what my. I’m here to do. This is what you’ve given me to do. And then you get it done. And then there’s a [00:24:00] tremendous freedom at the end of the day, when your head hits the pillow, you did it well, or, you know how I messed up here, but guess what I did, I had a bunch of wins every day is not going to go perfect.
And the sum of this week and some of this year, and some of this decade drawn out generationally to thousand generations. Equals me. Being on mission, my children, my children’s children, and continuing being on mission there, being a yield from that allocation and those investments made in relationships and in business.
That will be knit together by the Heavenly Father for an effective. end-state and victory. In Jesus Christ. Now. And forever.
If you got any value out of this podcast? Share it with a friend. Shoot me a message. Jump over to that. Rate and review. Feature on the podcast episode, you’re on, give me five stars.
Let me [00:25:00] know how it’s working out in your life. Shoot me a message. And let me know how you are transitioning from being someone who is running a bunch of errands. Or. On mission. Making those changes in your life. Hopefully this was helpful. As always. Have a good one.