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Sep 22 2008

Personal Productivity 01 // Limit

image In the past I have heard people say "I don’t know how you get everything done."  I shrug it off and say "It’s no big deal."  As I have been reflecting on productivity, it has come to mind that I do get a fair amount of things done.  I though I would give you a peek into my world in hopes that it might help you in some way.  I am a little hesitant to write about this lest I sound arrogant.  However, I will risk that in hopes that we can all invest ourselves better in what God has called us to do.

I’ll not address setting and working toward goals.  I will assume that you have set goals and are working toward them. 

1st a rundown of my outcomes, then we will explore what I do to get to those outcomes.  Here is a list of current things I am working at (or working on):

  • Lead Pastor of exchange (full-time)
  • Weekly teaching/preaching at exchange
  • Lead worship at exchange 3 times/month
  • Lead staff of exchange (paid and volunteer)
  • Sr Associate Pastor of MCC
  • Work as a team member with paid staff at MCC
  • Maintain this blog
  • Daily Life Journaling
  • Date with Stephanie once per week
  • Date with one of my daughters once per week
  • Recording a new CD
  • Collecting ideas for my first book
  • Training for a marathon
  • Take 2 days off per week
  • A ton of other things I am forgetting :>

My 1st keys to personal productivity: limit.

  • Limit Gear.  The amount of things designed to help us be more productive is simply overwhelming.  Less is more in this case. The more we have, the more time we waste.  To be honest, I would love a Blackberry (or so I think).  But, having one more thing means I have to take time to learn to use it and most of my time checking emails and contacting others.  Should it break, I need to take time to get it fixed (or spend hours on the phone with tech support).  I lead about 100 worship and rehearsal sessions a year.  I do all this with with one nice guitar and cheap backup.  I simply don’t need more stuff to maintain. Whatever you have also has some of your time.  You must HAVE your stuff, you cannot allow the stuff to have you.
  • Limit myself.  I make myself (somewhat) unavailable. I have had to learn to say no.  I can’t be available to everyone all the time.  There are crisis’ that I don’t respond to.  There are weddings that I refuse.  The more you are available to other people, the more they will take you up on your offer of availability.  After awhile, you are drifting away from your goals and your schedule is being set by other people.  You might as well hand them your calendar. Now, before you write me off here, I admit that we do have to make ourselves somewhat available to others.  All I am saying is that we should choose wisely.  We have things that we are supposed to protect. For more on saying no, check this out. 
  • Limit the phone calls I make.  I dig the whole telecommunication scene, but we waste valuable time talking on the phone.  I am finding that the less time I spend making calls, the less people call me. I have been experimenting with limited calling and I can tell you that on an average week, I have 4-5 messages on my work phone (and none on my home).  I also am stingy with giving out my cell number.  Note:  if you are a Verizon user, dial *67 before you dial. This will block your number from showing up on the caller ID of the person you are calling. 

Before you think that I hide in a cave all week and never respond to people, let me assure you that I am easily reachable.  As a matter of fact, if you want to get in touch with me Sunday – Thursday, I will be back with you within 24 hours.

Drop in for the next article where we explore using your computer for hyper-productivity. 

Copyright 2008, Scot Longyear at Resonate


About the author

Scot Longyear