In this week’s podcast, Brandon Osterbind discusses practical ways to redeem your time. In this episode, we will discuss the big picture of time and how you can use it to grow as an individual even when you may be suffering from poor circumstances. It is our responsibility, and only our responsibility, to use our time in ways that will be productive in the end. Nobody else can do it for you. You have to do it for yourself and we are here to help you do that.
Eph 5:15-16 – “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
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Announcer: We promise we are not a bunch of stuffy old lawyers saying stuffy old things. You heard that right. This is the Insight to Injury podcast sponsored by Osterbind Law, PLLC, the podcast that reports to you, central Virginia, about what's going on in the injury and disability world. We answer all the questions you don't even know to ask. Now here's your host, Brandon Osterbind. Let's get started.
Brandon Osterbind: Welcome back, team Osterbind. Thanks for joining us again on the podcast. We're so excited that you're here. We have another great episode here for you today, but before we get into that, I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who's been listening. I have been just amazed at the quality of outpouring of support that you guys have shown, all the kind of words that you've mentioned, all the shares and all the listens that you guys have given us. It's really been outstanding, a lot more than I imagined that there would be with the creation of this podcast. So thank you so much for tuning in, for listening, for using this resource as a value add to your life. And I really hope that this is what this is.
Brandon Osterbind: This is not a podcast about me for me, let me pound my chest, yada, yada, yada, which is sometimes, especially in this space that I'm in with personal injury and workers' compensation and ERISA disability lawyers, a lot of the podcasts out there are, listen to me, I'm the best thing since sliced bread. And I really don't want this to be that. I want this to be something that you can listen to and you find helpful in your daily life. And obviously our target audience is those folks who have been affected either by a work injury or the negligence of another or a disability that has rendered that person unable to work. And we want to be able to help people that are in that situation. We want to be able to give you some guidance and not only guidance. This isn't just a legal podcast. This is an encouraging podcast for people who might find themselves in that situation.
Brandon Osterbind: We want to build you up. Even though you may not hire us as your attorney, and I encourage you to be very careful about who you hire as an attorney. But even if you don't hire us to represent you as an attorney, we still want to see you succeed. We still want to see you get better. We want to make sure that you will feel good about your life and the direction that your life is going. So not only are we here to talk about a couple of legal issues here and there, but we're also here primarily to talk about life and how life affects others and how these circumstances that we have affect us and how we can use those circumstances to show good to other people and to be salt and light to other people. So I hope that this podcast has been encouraging to you.
Brandon Osterbind: We want to make sure that you become a well-rounded person, a person that other people look to and say, "Wow, that person has got it together." And even though none of us truly have it together, we want you to have it as together as humanly possible. We want to give you strategies that will help you to be a better human being. And I hope that is what you get out of this podcast, especially this podcast today. Today I want to talk to you about, and this is why, what I named this podcast title, redeeming the time. Redeeming the time, what does that mean? Well, obviously there are references to redeeming the time in scripture, and if you aren't a religious person, that's okay. You can still listen in and get something out of this podcast. But Ephesians 5:15 and 16 say, "See that you walk circumspectly not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil."
Brandon Osterbind: I'm sure you've heard the phrase, idle hands are the devil's workshop. And I want to talk to you just a little bit about that and my thoughts on that. And the reason we entitled this podcast redeeming the time is because I want to give you a few strategies that might be helpful in your quest to redeem the time. So there are a couple of things that I like to think of when I think of redeeming the time and the first thing is that we have to be conscious of the fact that we might not have another day. I know that seems somewhat morbid and you don't like to think about it, but the reality is none of us are promised tomorrow. And I think that's why one of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People in Stephen Covey's book, seminal book on leadership and personal growth is to begin with the end in mind.
Brandon Osterbind: He starts off that paragraph or that chapter in a very morbid way. Imagine you're going to a funeral, you walk up to the casket and you see yourself and you come face to face with yourself on the day of your funeral. And yes, that is pretty morbid. But when we are preparing to go about our day, one of the last things we think about is our funeral and what we're going to see or what we're going to hear from our friends and our family. Who is going to be in attendance? What are they going to say about us on the day that our life is celebrated? And that's not something that we'd like to think about, but it is something that we need to think about. So if you back up and you think, okay, if that's how I want to be remembered, if I want to be remembered as a person who does this or a person who does that, what do I need to do today in order to make sure that I can get there, in order to make sure that that is the legacy that I leave?
Brandon Osterbind: So I think that we need to take a moment here and there and just be conscious of the fact that we might not live another day and today might be the last day that we have to lay the groundwork for that legacy that we want to live. So, begin with the end in mind. I think that you have to envision that last day here on earth and say, "What do I need to do before that?" And then I think the second thing that you need to do is ask God for direction in your day and ask God for what is my day's purpose. And I think that if we sit down and we earnestly question those things, even in a state of injury or disability, there is purpose. There is meaning to life, and there is a reason you are going through the experiences that you're going through in living the circumstances that you're living. And I think that we need to ask those questions.
Brandon Osterbind: We don't always get the answers to those questions right away. We don't always get the answers to the questions that we want, but I think that they're questions that we need to ask anyway and I think that we need to be open minded to the answer. One of the things that I think we often do is we ask for something and then we ignore the answer and it could be a complete answer to our prayer, but yet we've ignored it because it's not the answer that we were expecting. I think that we need to be more open minded when we ask for things, when we ask God for things because he provides for us in ways that we may not anticipate. And it may be that you are going through this circumstance so that you can benefit someone else later on down the road who's going to be going through that circumstance too.
Brandon Osterbind: And the question is, during times of disability and injury, are you relying more on your father or are you relying more on yourself? And I think the injury and disability circumstance that you may be finding yourself in is an opportunity, an opportunity to grow closer to your creator, an opportunity to rely more fully on him and to engage more deeply in that relationship. So take a moment, and if you're wondering why in the world would I ever be put in this situation, think instead, how can I use this situation for the glory of God? And I think ultimately that's what we need to be focusing on day in, day out in our lives. I think we need to sit down every single morning and begin to plan our day with the end in mind. And even before we do that, we need to ask God for our day's purpose.
Brandon Osterbind: The third thing that I would recommend to you, and this is a more practical recommendation, is something that I do every single day. And it's the write down your three biggest tasks that if you accomplish them, you will count today as a success. And the other good thing that this does is it encourages you to think what are the three biggest things that I need to do, and you put that at the top of the page. There may be a hundred other things that you need to do and those things may not require as significant of an effort for you to do, so maybe those things get written down on another list, but I always write down what I call my big three. Those big three task items have to be accomplished today, and if they are accomplished today, then the day was a success.
Brandon Osterbind: If you back up to the week, you can also write down a weekly big three. And those three things, if those projects, those three things that you need to get done, if those things get done this week, then this week was a success. This is an implementation tool to help you to accomplish your goals. If you start with a big goal but you don't have a way to implement that big goal, then you'll never accomplish it. That's why so many people fail to follow through with their new year's resolutions. So if you can say, "I want to accomplish this habit goal," maybe exercising three times a week, and you can put that down in a weekly big three. I want to make sure that I hit all my exercise goals for this week and that is your weekly big three. And then today, I know that if today's a Monday and I want to exercise on Mondays, then I'm going to write down one of my big three items today is to make sure that I exercise today. That is a task that I want to make sure it gets done.
Brandon Osterbind: Or maybe it's reading. We talked last episode about why we read. Maybe you want to read a certain number of books every single year and you need to figure out how you're going to do that. Well maybe you need to put on your big three that you're going to read for two and a half hours this week and then you need to break that up into a daily allotment and then put that on your daily big three. So, make sure that you write down your big tasks on a separate piece of paper and make sure that when you accomplish those tasks, you scratch them off and you'll feel a sense of accomplishment.
Brandon Osterbind: And the last thing that I would recommend is for you to on a daily basis, set aside time for deep work, at least three to four hours a day. Now you may be wondering what I mean by that. I use that term deep work as a borrowed term of art from a gentleman by the name of Cal Newport who wrote a book that was, you guessed it, entitled Deep Work. And one of the things that he studied and one of the things that he talks about in his book is that we only have about three to four hours of deep concentrative work a day. Now there's a whole bunch of other work that needs to be done that you can do throughout the day, and he calls that shallow work. So things like responding to email or returning phone calls or organizing files or paperwork or scanning things or things like that, things that still have to happen in order for the world to go around, but they're not necessarily things that require deep concentration.
Brandon Osterbind: But that deep concentration, your brain is really limited in how much of that you can do per day. And he recommends setting aside time of about three to four hours a day to make sure that you can do that deep work. Now you may be wondering, well, what if I'm not employed because I am disabled. And I still think that, of course, depending on your disability, if you have a cognitive disability, maybe not, or if you have a mental health disability, maybe this won't work as well. But I still think that there are opportunities for you in your disability to engage in deep work. And it may not be that you are producing material that you could sell on the open market and it may not be that you are producing some type of work that would benefit an employer. That work may not be possible, but there are things that you can do that would be considered deep or study or things of that nature that would allow you to grow as a person, to grow as a human being and to redeem the time.
Brandon Osterbind: Because I don't think that there's anyone here on earth who does not have a purpose. I feel like we all have a purpose and we just need to find what that purpose is. And how do we find what that purpose is? Well, one, like I said earlier, we need to ask God for it, but two, we just have to do the next right thing. It's as simple as that. I think that we focus so much on, well what is the deepest and grandest meaning for my life? Well, we may not know that now. Now may not be the time for us to understand exactly what's going on in our life and to see the big picture. But what we need to focus on is one, our relationship with our creator and two, what is the next right thing.
Brandon Osterbind: Every decision that you make has to be the next decision, and the next decision has to be the right decision. So make sure that in every opportunity that you have, you're just moving on and doing the next right thing. And take the time that you have. If you are out on disability or if you're on workers' comp and you cannot work, redeem this time. Use it for something valuable. Either use it for self growth or use it for some other type of benefit where you can help other people in their circumstance.
Brandon Osterbind: So I hope that this episode has been helpful. I do think that there's a lot here that has a lot of meaning to a lot of us and I think that even though life may not have turned out the way we have envisioned it and we may be finding ourselves in circumstances that are sub optimal, I think that there are things that we can do and there's an attitude that we can take that will help us prevail in the end. And a lot of times, I think it starts with gratitude instead of bitterness. I think that we all too easily become bitter about our circumstances and we seek to blame someone, and it's not helpful in the long run to be finger pointers or blamers. Yes, if someone injured you, they ought to be held accountable and they ought to pay for the damages that you've suffered. But at the same time, I think that we need to be thankful that our circumstances are not worse and that we're still here to enjoy our time with our family and our friends, and we need to use our circumstances for the glory of God.
Brandon Osterbind: So I know that this has been somewhat of a religious episode and if that offends you, that's okay. We are all different people and we all have different belief systems. But my belief system includes a creator God who created the universe and who sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins and to redeem us. So if God was willing to send his one and only son to redeem us, I think that we should focus not only on that redemptive work of Christ, but I think that we should also look at our days as something that can be redeemed because the days are evil. And if we can redeem the time as the wise do, then I think that we should. All the way back to Ephesians 5:16 now, because if the days are evil and the days can be redeemed, I think it is within our power, no, it is within our duty to redeem those days.
Brandon Osterbind: So, focus on redeeming your days and I'll just go over a quick recap of what we talked about today. One, be conscious of the fact that we may not have another day. Two, ask God for your day's purpose. And three, write down your big tasks and accomplish them one by one. And four, set aside time for deep work three to four hours a day, and use that time to benefit yourself and to benefit others. So I hope that this episode has been helpful. Of course, if you have any comments, if you would like to reach out and talk to us, you can always do that by telephone or you can do that by email. We're happy to engage in conversation with you. We hope that you are doing okay during the coronavirus pandemic. We are all working a little bit more from home. We are all seeing life as a bit different now than it used to be and we are all longing for the days when we can get back to what we would call normal. And I think those days are quickly approaching.
Brandon Osterbind: So, hang in there. Use this podcast as an encouragement that even when our circumstances might seem crazy or odd like they are right now during this pandemic, that we can use this time, we can redeem this time to better ourselves, to better our circumstances and to better those around us. All right guys, thank you so much for listening. Until next week, we'll see you later.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to the Insight to Injury podcast by Osterbind Law, PLLC, where we declare mortal combat against information and equality about your injury or disability. We hope you enjoyed this show, but don't stop here. Don't stop here. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and give us a five star review. We need your help so that we can help more people.
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