I have been reading a book called “Getting Things Done.” I know I am a little late to the party, but one of the takeaways I am implementing from the book is the importance of moving past generalities to specifics when it comes to actually accomplishing the goals you have set in place.
In other words, I am learning to rigorously ask myself, “what’s the next specific action I can take?”
This should have been pretty obvious to me as a biblical counselor, because so many people have problems here spiritually as well. They know what to do generally, perhaps, but they don’t know where to begin when it comes to implementing biblical principles into their everyday lives, or at least they aren’t thinking carefully about it.
But, unfortunately it wasn’t always obvious to me and I often have goals and dreams and projects that are sitting out there in undefined land and I am not moving forward on as well as I could because I haven’t stepped up and done some of the more specific planning that I should have.
It is easy to give yourself excuses for not doing so, of course, like I am not so administrative, but really I think it’s more about self-discipline at the end of the day.
I have actually finished reading Getting Things Done and have moved on to What’s Best Next, and I love the combination, because in What’s Best Next the author helps us think through some of these productivity tools and actions from a gospel-centered, biblical perspective.
And one of the points he makes is that seeking to become more productive isn’t so much about seeking to be this awesome, superman leader as it is about learning to best use what you have in every area of your life for other people’s good and God’s glory. I quote, “To be a gospel-driven Christian means to be on the lookout to do good for others to the glory of God, in all areas of life, and to do this with creativity and competence. Further, being gospel-driven also means knowing how to get things done so that we can serve others in a way that really helps, in all areas of life, without making ourselves miserable in the process through overload, overwhelm, and hard to keep up systems.”
Man, I just love that.
The author of What’s Best Next has a web-site you might want to bookmark if you already haven’t. It’s called, wait for it, What’s Best Next. Check it out.
On his blog, he links to an article I was reading this morning, which I thought provided some really helpful thoughts for how to start your work day. Here’s the key question he suggests asking as you make plans for what you are going to seek to do:
“The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?”
Of course, we might take that question and tweak it a bit as Christians, to something like, “The day is over and I am leaving the office with confidence that I have given my best to glorify God and serve others today with the gifts and calling He has given me. What have I done?
Now, I guess, to accomplish that, I should stop writing and start getting to it!