Category: Productivity

Make the Most of Your Commute

For many of us, work requires a morning and afternoon commute.  Whether it is 10 minutes down the street or 45 minutes on the interstate, chances are good that you are someone who will need to spend a portion of your day in the car, traveling to your place of employment and back again.

In my case, it is about a 20-35 minute drive on the freeway twice a day.  That amount of time doubles if I need to travel during a peak commute window or make my way further up the Peninsula than usual.  So, I am typically looking at anywhere between 40-70 minutes of alone time in my car each day.  Multiply that by 5 to 6 days and on the week I am at 240-420 minutes traveling from home to work and back.  Over a given year (allowing for 3 weeks of vacation), I have (on average) 16170 minutes (270 hours) of drive time I must steward for the glory of God.  How might I make the most of my commute time?  I will suggest five ways. Continue reading “Make the Most of Your Commute”

Personal Organization for the Sake of Fruitful Ministry

Some people may think it weird or merely the sign of an obsessive personality, but I get butterflies when I walk into an Office Depot.  Even the thought of notebooks, filing cabinets, planners, and binders gets me excited.  Oh for more sticky notes and file-folders with reinforced tabs!  And, for those who think I am stuck in a bygone era of space-devouring paper goods: yes, I love Evernote and Pocket and Dropbox.  I’ve even been known to block out serious chunks of time (like, on the calendar) to organize my MacBook’s files and de-clutter the desktop.

I have a passion for organization. Continue reading “Personal Organization for the Sake of Fruitful Ministry”

Piper on Pressure and Productivity

Brothers we are not profA quote has been firmly wedged in my mind since I finished John Piper’s Brothers we are not Professionals that I thought I would share with you.  It has been tremendously helpful to me as I have let it simmer in my heart over the past few days.

In the chapter, Brothers, Read Christian Biography, Piper reflects on the lives of some of the most fruitful and, in terms of sheer output, most productive men in church history.  One man in particular was Karl Barth.  Although Barth was massively productive during much of his life, when he retired from his professorship in 1962, T.H.L Parker tells us he “lost the stimulus provided by the need to give lectures.”  Exactly what this means in regards to Barth’s actual output after he retired I am not sure, but Piper seems to interpret it negatively: on the flap of the book, Piper wrote in response,”Has greatness emerged from anything but pressure?  If greatness is to be servant of all, must we not be under authority, under demand, pushed, pressed?”  In other words, when the pressure stops, so does the productivity.

Continue reading “Piper on Pressure and Productivity”

Don't Lose One Moment of Time

Advice to Young Converts - Jonathan EdwardsCurrently I am taking some high school guys through the Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards.  Each Friday we gather together in my office and talk about the resolutions we had read and meditated on the week prior.  We are going at a slow pace – last time we read the first six resolutions, and this week we will only do four – but we are finding that this is the most beneficial way to read through such spiritually nourishing material.

This past week we read through resolutions 1-6.  What a blessing to see Jonathan Edwards’ diligence and passion for the glory of God.  One particular Resolution that was especially convicting was #5.  Edwards writes,

Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but to improve it in the most profitable way I possibly can.

The context of the previous resolutions gives evidence that Edwards considered “that which tends to the glory of God” (#4), the good of mankind, and his own personal good (#1) to be his definition of ‘ most profitable.’  The resolution itself is simply an application of Ephesians 5:15-16, “Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time for the days are evil.”

There are two things that are convicting about Edwards’ resolution: 1) he was diligent not to waste time and 2) he gauged the use of his time by whether or not it was used in the most profitable way.  There are many things I can do in order to not waste time, and many that are profitable; but the question is: is it the most profitable thing I could be doing at that time?  More specifically, does it tend toward the glory of God, the benefit of others and promote my own personal good?

Time is precious;  let’s follow the example of Jonathan Edwards and not waste it, but use it well, so that we might someday hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.  You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).