THE GOAL OF PRODUCTIVITY
There is no better time to become more productive than now. Now is always at hand, and it is your duty to redeem the now in order to be more productive in the future. The more you redeem the now the more you accomplish things that need to get done for the future. This is simple logic. If you can be so focused as to accomplish more than an average person by being organized, you will cram two lifetimes into one. And yet, the redemption of time is not an easy task. It takes, what I call, “focused planning”. Focused planning is nothing more than an organizational skill.
FOCUS RESULTS IN PRODUCTIVITY
In addition to my Theological studies, the writing of weekly sermons, daily blog posts, preparing Bible studies, teaching high school, college and graduate courses, I read books on business, management, leadership and how to organize the various tasks I must undertake to remain productive. These have been a tremendous help to me without which I would probably be so discombobulated that nothing would get accomplished let alone make any sense.
In order to successfully accomplish many things you need to be organized so that you can focus. Focus results in productivity. IN an age of multitasking the art of focus and organization is quickly becoming a thing of the past. If you are not organized you cannot focused. If you are not focused then you cannot perform any of those crucial things needed to get done well. The books and periodicals that I gravitate to are those that offer real solutions to these everyday problems of organization, focus and management. I read them through the lens of Scripture and apply them to my vocation as pastor, teacher and dean of the New Geneva College and Seminary.
THE 86,400 TIME DEPOSIT
Each of us is given a time deposit every 24 hours of 86400 seconds. We are called to spend each second being productive God-ward. In other words we are to make every second count. This means that even the time being spent sleeping must be productive in that you are to get a good night of rest. For some it is eight hours, some nine, others far less. That leave the rest of the day to deciding how to invest the remainder of the time. One thing to remember, you cannot save up any of those seconds for later. They all must be spent each 24 hour period. That is the deal. Then, if God is merciful to you, and if you have redeemed the time faithfully, He invests another 86400 seconds into your life to see how you will spend that. It is all up to you.
God commands the Christian to “redeem the time for the days are evil.” There are two parts to this commandment that should be considered. First, we need to be sure that we are not wasting the time allotted to us by God in frivolous or sinful pursuits. This means that in whatever we do, we do it with a mind to the advancement of the Kingdom of God as it concerns our family, church, community and vocation. Second, the Apostle tells us that we ought to redeem the time ‘because the days are evil’. The implication of this phrase is that each day is filled with things which seek to take you away from your focus in your duty to advance God’s Glory. The word ‘evil’ means to influence away from good to follow that which is wicked. In this context evil implies ‘sinful distraction’.
As a result of the frailty of the flesh, all men, Christians included, are susceptible to worldly distraction. This means that focus is blurred, re-directed, or nonexistent. Thus, the Christian is admonished to redeem the time as a defense against such a distraction. He is commanded to re-focus and not to let the chaos of the world remove him from his task.
GET IT ON PAPER – REFER TO IT OFTEN
The only way to do this is to write it down and constantly refer to it. Once you write out your plan the noise of the world is muted and you are able to focus upon a concrete written agenda. You must write down everything that you need to do. Omit nothing. Write down everything. Get everything that is in your mind out of your mind and put it on paper. Then systematically review it, do it, and mark it as done. Once you begin this exercise, your focus will refine and your productivity level will be elevated.