Maximum Productivity

Genuine productivity is not about getting as much done for God as we can manage. It is doing the good work God actually has for us in a given day.

Alan Fadling, An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest (pg 54)

One great equalizer is the 24 hours we each get each day. Nobody gets more, nobody less. God’s not in the habit of rewarding the more productive among us with an extra hour or two.

God knows we all need time for a range of activities like social interactions, intellectual stimulation, exercise, rest, spiritual disciplines (e.g. prayer, scripture meditation & study, silence & solitude), serving others, supporting our families, and whatever else He calls us to.

So answer this: Does God ever expect anything of us that He doesn’t give us the resources to accomplish?

If you agree with me that the answer is “no”, why is time management the number one question people ask me for help with? Nearly everyone I know behaves as if God has given us more to do than He has given us time for.

I believe the solution for “not enough hours in a day” is to spend more of those hours in highly productive stillness. If we spend more time like Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus (Luke 10:38-42) instead of being busy like Martha, we will know how God wants us to spend our busy hours instead of doing what we (and others) think is important. Then when it’s time to work, we can do it with gusto, knowing we’re doing the right stuff.

Be still and know that I am God. (Ps 46:10)

It’s not just slowing down to hear what God wants us to do. It’s slowing down so God can reveal to us Who He Is. We should work hard first at seeking God…even if that hard work takes the discipline of “doing” less.

God doesn’t award us extra hours, but He does multiply or minimize the outcome of our effort. Consider what God says to the disobedient Israelites in Haggai 1:

You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes…You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away.

Compare that to the promise of Malachi 3:

…put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts.

You choose: Haggai or Malachi?

Seek God with your best hours, and let Him multiply the fruit of the rest.


One thought on “Maximum Productivity

  1. Thanks Alan. Love this phrase from your post: “…the solution for “not enough hours in a day” is to spend more of those hours in highly productive stillness”. So true … and so easy to forget. May we all have some highly productive stillness this week!


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