⏳The News & Your Productivity
4 min read

⏳The News & Your Productivity

Issue #55: Concerning Times, Getting in the Way of God, Good Habits from Bad Experiences, 500 Words a Day, Beginner’s Guide to Notion, and more.
⏳The News & Your Productivity

Dear steward,

I’m at Shepherd’s Conference this week. It has already been a blessed time of teaching, worship, and catching up with old friends. If you’re also here this week, please come and say hi if you see me!


We live in concerning times.

Yet I find myself consuming less news than ever these days.

I think that’s primarily due to my brief foray into journalism, which had me awash in enough negativity and anxiety for two lifetimes.

And isn’t that the problem with the news?

Most news is bad news.

Bad news gets eyeballs, and eyeballs pay the bills. So when you flip on the TV or scroll the latest headlines, bad news will make up 99% of what you see.

And bad news leads to bad feelings.

You get worried. You start to feel scared, angry, depressed. It wears you out; makes you feel heavy. As Solomon wrote, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down.” – Proverbs 12:25a

When something “weighs you down,” it’s hampering your ability to move; to do productive things.

And I can’t imagine we were built to handle the emotional weight of every bad thing in the entire world being dumped on us daily.

So what do we do if we want to stay informed without becoming weighed down by anxiety?

If we are going to stay informed by the news, we probably need a lot less of it than we think. But we also need to make sure we balance all that bad news with some good news.

I love the way Solomon finishes that proverb:

“but a good word makes him glad.” – Proverbs 12:25b

Anxiety weighs us down, but a good word lifts us up.

And I know just the place to find some good news!

We need to make sure we are in God’s Word each day, especially in times like these. Hearing the glad words of the promises and character of our God, of His never-ending faithfulness, and what He has done for us in Jesus Christ, are the antidotes to news-induced anxiety we need.

Because fear comes from beliefs.

If the only thing you hear day after day is how the world is falling apart, you’ll start to believe it. But as bad as things might be, there’s a truth that trumps all bad news and that’s that God is holding it all together. And that’s a good word that ought to lighten any heavy heart!

So here’s your productivity tip of the week: Turn off the news, open your Bible, be encouraged.

Now, let’s get into this week’s Roundup!

✨ New on Redeeming Productivity

🎙What I Learned from One Year Doing Redeeming Productivity Full Time (26 min)

In this episode, I celebrate the milestone of doing Redeeming Productivity for one full year full time. And I share some of the lessons I’ve learned about productivity, entrepreneurship, and just trying all kinds of different things to make RP sustainable.

Make sure you're subscribed to the Redeeming Productivity Show so you don't miss an episode.

🧑‍💻The Roundup

Are You Getting in the Way of God's Work? (3 mins)

When we think about productivity, we often just focus on our strengths. But this was a helpful perspective on how our weaknesses are actually useful in God’s economy.

We are jars of clay that are always getting in the way, yet this is God’s chosen means of accomplishing his redemptive purposes.”

(Todd Stryd / CCEF)

Good Habits from Painful Beginnings (4 mins)

“How often does God allow something negative or painful in our lives so that we begin something new—a new habit that is for our own good?”

(Rebekah Matt / Great and Noble Tasks)

John McPhee’s Slow Productivity (1 min)

By any reasonable standard, McPhee is productive. He’s published 29 books, one of which won a Pulitzer Prize, and two of which were nominated for National Book Awards. He’s also been penning distinctive articles for The New Yorker since 1965. And yet, he rarely writes more than 500 words a day.

(Cal Newport / Study Hacks)

As for Me and My House (7 mins)

"The point is that this vision for family religion wasn’t something to check off a list; it was a lifestyle. Not merely a devotional squeezed in the cracks, but a consistent disposition to worship. The God worthy of our all devotion fills the believer’s sphere, especially his household. A vision that matches the secret desire."

(Greg Morse / Desiring God)

Beginner’s Guide to Notion

I’m a big fan of the productivity app Notion (I actually compose every issue of the Roundup in Notion). This is a great series of videos demonstrating how to get the most out of Notion.

(Rad Reads)

🖋Quote of the Week

"True holiness does not consist merely of believing and feeling, but of doing and bearing, and a practical exhibition of grace.”

– J.C. Ryle

Resurfaced with Readwise.

🤠 Pardners*

Come Hear Dr. Joel Beeke on “Pastoral Conflicts and Criticism” at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary

Every spring Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary hosts a theological lecture on current issues in Christianity. Speakers include recognized theologians and pastors with a commitment to the absolute authority of Scripture.

Join us on March 18, 2022 for a series of lectures presented by Dr. Joel Beeke of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary as he lectures on criticism in pastoral ministry:

Learn More


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⌛️That’s All for this Week

I'll see you next time!

– Reagan