Do More Better
by Tim Challies
Productivity is using your gifts, time, enthusiasm and energy for the good of others and God’s glory. There are productivity thieves:
1. Laziness – Pr 26:13–14; 22:13
– Laziness surrounds us all over. Checking out Facebook instead of working, texting, watching the latest TV show, etc.
– We are naturally lazy. The bill does not need to be paid today, that essay/ assignment can wait a little while longer, that cleaning up is not needed at the moment, etc.
2. Busyness – It’s the opposite of laziness, it is doing too much instead of two little.
– Our society ranks us according to our busyness, so many times we stay busy so that we look good… even though we complain about it.
– Busyness should not represent value. Busyness does not mean that you are faithful or fruitful.
– Busyness might make you feel better, but it does not mean that you are being more productive. Dizziness many times just means you are doing too many things.
3. Thorns and thistles –
– Originally things were easier but sin, our disobedience, made the ground hard and thorns to grow. They represent things that threaten productivity. God rewards those who faithfully steward what He has entrusted to them. Categorize your areas of responsibility: personal, family, church, social, and business. Define the mission that God has given you. Breakdown your responsibilities that God has entrusted you with. If your goal is to glorify God, then you are most productive with what God has given you when you are right with God.
Write down a mission statement of your roles and responsibilities. Write down what you are currently doing and see if those things lined up with what you are supposed to be doing. If you will use the adequate tools like to-do lists and reminders, you will not have to worry about laying in bed stressing that you forgot to do something. When you receive a message or task, act on it right away. Delete it, store it, do it or delegate it, but act on it immediately. Do the hardest tasks first. Know yourself well enough to know when you work best – are you a morning person, night owl or afternoon person?
During the times that you are not at your peak, plan to do minimal things. If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.
Pray – it acknowledges that God is over all of our plans and reminds us that we need His help to make wise decisions.
Prioritize – there are always interruptions You need times when you can get current by emptying your inbox folder. You need times to look over your calendar for the month. You need time to pray over the activities for the week ahead of time and plan on what needs to be done. Break the giant tasks into smaller tasks. For example, if you put “write a novel”, you will not likely get it done nor be able to track it, so break it down into several smaller tasks.
Stop multitasking – multitasking almost never works. Begin to do something and continue until it is completed. Learn to delegate – spend time on what is most important. What you do poorly, someone else may do well.
Change up the scenery. Sometimes you need to get up and move or go somewhere else to start again in a fresh way.
Track your time – give yourself an allotted time to do something and then move on. Do not leave your email open – check it at certain times, do not just leave it open and continue going back to it. It will distract you. Plan to rest.
Turn off notifications – You do not need to look every time someone sends an email, updates their Facebook page, etc.
Write it down – If you don’t write it down, you will probably forget it.
Schedule breaks – do you need time to get up and exercise, go to the bathroom, walk around or clear your mind. This will help you to return and start fresh again.
Exercise – sometimes the best thing you can do for productivity is to stop and not focus so much on being productive. Exercise and then finish what you need to finish. Productivity is about all of life. It takes all of your body and your mind, so take care of both.