How to Be Productive and Reduce Stress (at the same time)

Have you ever been doing something and had the heavy, frustrating feeling that you should be doing something else? Have you ever been talking with someone and wished you were talking with someone else? Not only do I think we all have this experience, I tend to believe many of us spend much of our lives in this state!

Two very costly things happen when we find ourselves often in this situation:

1)         The first cost is STRESS. It is so stressful to feel trapped doing something, when you know or wish you were doing something else. Our minds and bodies put up with a constant tension of trying to be in two places at once. Our mind and hearts are not where we are!

2)        The second cost is UNPRODUCTIVITY. Here are two examples:

I recently heard this statement: “Love is attention.” When someone is talking with you, and his or her heart is not there in the conversation, you can tell! The relationship is not growing and the conversation is not effective. What a waste of time!

Another example is the daily experience we have of trying to accomplish a task that requires attention and thought, and we are continually interrupted. This is frustrating! We lose much time and energy when we have to refocus ourselves on the task. We have to figure out where we were so we can begin again. We lose momentum! What a waste of time.

Paul tells the Ephesians, “Make the best use of the time, for the days are evil” (Eph 5:16 ESV).

One of the major ways we make the best use of time is FOCUS! The reason this is important is that “the days are evil.” There is a spiritual battle taking place and there is much at stake. We cannot afford to waste time!

One of the keys to giving something your full attention is to be convinced you are doing the right thing. Here is the rest of the verse --->

So, here is what we should do:

1)         Carefully select what you are going to do, making sure it is the best and most important thing at the time to do. Be willing to say no to the many other things that you could do. When you find yourself doing something that is not the Lord’s will or best, STOP.

2)        Give yourself fully to what you are doing. This can be done because you have a conviction that it is the thing you should be doing. Give your whole mind and heart to it.

3)         Relentlessly resist distractions. Now there is the possibility, of course, that an interruption may trump the current activity in urgency and importance. A person who has clearly delineated his priorities and goals will quickly be able to assess whether an interruption should trump the current activity or not. MOST things can wait.

Ahhhhhhh! What peace to know I am doing what is best and give myself to it. And so much can be accomplished when I am focused! Have a peaceful and productive day.