Issue #17: Focus, productive journaling, the most important decision, writing, and more.
Happy Thursday, everyone!
Let's talk about focus.
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14
This week marks 3 months since I began working on Redeeming Productivity full time. So, I've been reflecting on how things are going and trying to find ways to be more effective with my time. That got me thinking about the idea of focus.
We talk a lot about stewarding our time, but perhaps it would be wiser to talk about stewarding focus. I don't know about you, but in the mornings, I tend to look at the hours I have ahead of me and think, "look how much time I have!" My mistake, however, is that I'm appraising each of those hours to be of equal value.
And that's just not true.
When I started working on Redeeming Productivity full time I thought, pouring 5x the time into it would yield 5x the results. I was surprised to find, however, that 5x the time does not, in fact, equal 5x the output.
The reason for this is focus.
When I just worked on podcasts and blogs in the early morning hours before work, those were the best hours of my day. So, of course, I was able to get a lot done!
Some hours are more valuable than others because we have more energy and are more focused. It is wisdom for us to identify those times and allocate the most high value work to those periods.
The truth is there are only a few slivers of our day that are actually ultra-productive. So, let's steward those times of focus well, for the glory of God.
✍️Quote of the Week
“When you choose who to follow on Twitter, or Instagram, or wherever, you’re choosing your future thoughts.”
– James Clear, Author of Atomic Habits
That quote is from this interview in which he explains how he curates his information diet. If only we Christians were as discerning with what information we choose to consumption.
🧑💻Happening on the Web
Kevin DeYoung offers some absolutely crucial advice to graduating high schoolers heading off to college.
Of all the decisions you’ll face this year, the most important one may be whether you get up and go to church on the very first Sunday when no one is there to make sure that you go to church.
Some brief but excellent advice for writers. A few of my favorites:
Whoever says the most stuff in the fewest words wins.
Good ideas are easy to write, bad ideas are hard.
Good ideas can’t be scheduled. They come randomly, usually after you read something that connects the dots to an unrelated thing. A lot of bad writing comes from scheduled writing.
Christian productivity may look different in our later years, but as long as God gives us breath in our lungs, He has work for us to do.
I often find myself wanting to share words of encouragement with older Christians but fear they will be taken wrongly. I don’t want to sound like the young know it all. Despite my hesitation, I think the message must be heard: Older saints, God has work for you to do. Your race is not finished. Although our culture values youth, God values you and has work for you to do.
I had never heard of this technique before, but used to do something very similar to it some years ago.
The idea is that you write in a timestamped journal every time you transition from project to project during the day. One line is about the project you just completed, and one line about the project you are about to start.
Journaling as you work produces mindfulness about your context, goals, mood, and skills. Honestly, many so-called knowledge workers are going through their day as mindlessly as possible. You’re really going to stand out with this tactic.
🎙On the Podcast
Too many believers flit through life without a plan wondering why we don’t see growth or success in our endeavors. For many of us the problem is that we don’t look ahead; we don’t make planning a habit.
The Redeeming Productivity Show is my weekly podcast on a biblical approach to personal development and productivity. Subscribe on your favorite platform.
▶️ New Video
This is how I survived seminary reading lists. A step-by-step guide to creating a reading plan for students or anyone who wants to read more productively.
⌛️That’s All for this Week
Thanks for reading!
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See you next week!