It is Possible to Stay on Top of Your Work!
As I wrote my book, I thought hard about the question of whether it is truly possible to stay on top of our work. Sometimes, there is so much coming at us that it seems like it actually might not be possible at all, and that the solution is to give up the hope altogether. Further, in one sense that solution can sound very “spiritual.”
There will always be times in our lives where the realities of the situation exceed our capacities. The process of writing the book was one for me. I simply was not able to keep up with all of my work during that time. If I had more money, I would have hired lots of help to keep my day-to-day non-book routines and actions in motion. But given the limitations I had, I often had to let my email and other tasks build up. I eventually got through them all, but it took a long time to catch up.
Extreme situations aside, it is indeed possible to stay on top of your work. This is our natural instinct to believe, and if we reflect on it a bit, we see that it is indeed correct.
For example, if I’m at McDonalds and the lines are going really slow, I don’t think to myself “well, it doesn’t matter; I’m just glad I’m able to get lunch at all.” Not at all. Unless there is a crisis, emergency, or other extreme need, that would be a truly horrible over spiritualization; a denial of the doctrine of vocation. I don’t have that mindset, and the manager of the restaurant, let alone the corporate offices, doesn’t have that mindset either. If things are going really slow and are held up, they find a way to fix it and resume their standard of providing fast service to people. That’s part of the reason they exist. If you look at most successful companies, they’ve developed systems that enable them to meet customer needs in a timely way. This is one of the callings God has given to businesses.
And if businesses are able to keep up with demand, you are able to, as well.
What I’ve found is that the key determinant in whether you are able to keep up with your work is whether you believe that you can keep up with your work.
If you don’t believe you can keep up with your work, then you’ll never be able to do it. But if you believe you can, you will be able to figure it out.
The challenge is this: the practices for keeping on top of our work are not widely known. Developing the capacity to keep up with things takes effort and creative thought. It doesn’t come automatically. But if you take the time to step back, retool, and learn the practices for managing your work effectively in the knowledge era, you can do it.
Though I didn’t start our writing this post with the intention of pointing to my book, one of the reasons I wrote my book is to help you with this. The book will be coming out in March, and hopefully you will find it helpful practices for getting on top of your work and, even more than that, an overall framework of thought for how to do all of your work, in every area of life, for the glory of God and good of others — which is, ultimately, the essence of true productivity.
If you’d like to keep up with plans for the book launch, receive any early excerpts, or otherwise stay in the loop on things, I’d love for you to be a part of things as we get ready for the launch. Subscribing to the blog would also be the best way to do that at this point, and I’ll have more details for how you can be involved down the road.