How do you spend your time off from work? When you get time off from work – a week or weekend – what do you choose to do? Most of us hopefully choose to complete a few unfinished jobs around the house, exercise, and sleep a bit more.
Posts Tagged ‘work’
This week literary agent Rachelle Gardner posted a report on how she was doing implementing Tony Schwartz‘s 90-minute solution to being more productive. I don’t want to repeat all that Tony said – it’d be best for you to just read his post. His main premise is that we work best in 90 minute intervals, which need to be set apart by times of rest and renewal. He states that we’ve adopted some unhealthy AND UNPRODUCTIVE work habits and we need to reconsider how we naturally accomplish tasks. He also identifies something I’ve been saying for a while: We have become addicted to, and dependent on, adrenaline to accomplish tasks. ( I think we learn this while procrastinating during our schooling days)
So, I’ve taken up the challenge and will schedule four 90-minute periods a day to get stuff done. Big stuff. And I will do other things in between – enjoy conversation, read, work-out, rest, and renew (this does not look like social media).
At a recent conference I attended, one of the speakers shared how engineers at some universities receive an iron ring upon graduation. Supposedly started by Canadian Herbert Haultain in 1922, the engineers are told the ring symbolizes the reality that if they don’t do their jobs well, people will die. For Canadians at the time, the memory of the Quebec bridge collapses were fresh in their mind. Finished in 1907, it collapsed due to poor engineering work, killing 75 people. Re-engineered and rebuilt, it collapsed again in 1917, killing 11 more people.
Which made me think: What happens to people when I don’t do my job well?
An event recently took place that caused me to question what we in youth ministry are communicating (in our silence) to students in our youth ministry. The ‘normal’ ones, the young people who don’t want to go into vocational ministry. I caught myself teaching and talking in a way that made vocational ministry the ultimate level of obedience. And the silent inference was that those who didn’t aspire to that weren’t living up to their highest potential.
When we talk about discipleship, how do we describe it? How do those in youth ministry talk about what it means to follow Jesus faithfully? We often elevate the apostles’ stories and draw some analogy to the vocational minister or missionary as the ‘ideal’ to follow. And many of our students may feel they don’t measure up. We champion the short-term mission trip as the ‘ultimate’ thing we do each year.
Have you ever received an unexpected gift that meant so much you remember it still to this day? Have you ever given a gift to another person that surprised them to the point where they couldn’t speak? Those are special moments in relationships. What is it about gifts that touch us so? And why are we sometimes so poor at giving gifts in our organizations? And even our families?
For years I had always been the one who gave bonuses. I sat on boards that decided to reward those in the organization or church for their hard work, or I participated on committees that wanted to say thank you to groups of volunteers. However, this year for the first time in my life, I was on the receiving end of a bonus. And I can’t tell you how much it meant to me and to my colleagues. Completely unexpected yet perfectly timed. And it instantly created a new and positive dynamic in our organization.
This prayer comes from The Book of Worship as printed in A Guide to Prayer, a great daily devotional book that I’ve used for years. It’s an appropriate prayer for those to whom work or ministry has become drudgery, which can often happen. May we work today with cheerfulness and gladness as we serve God with that gifts, talents, and abilities that He has given us.
One of the common battles we face, or at least I face (but I do see this in my college students’ work), is that of managing multiple projects and responsibilities. And one often looms larger than the rest, taking up most of our attention. You know what I mean, it sits there undone or unmanaged for weeks, casting a shadow like Godzilla over Tokyo and we’re running away, screaming “AAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!!”
What I’ve discovered is that many of our fears, worries, and hesitations are merely a battle of inertia. And, once we scale that barrier, we gain perspective. We see it wasn’t so difficult. In fact, it often goes better than we had imagined. Writers navigate this all of the time. Many people can write a book to 20-30K words. But, to get it to 90 and then mold, edit, cut, and expand it to a GOOD 90K words is more difficult.