Archive for the ‘Productivity’ Category

             There are good and bad things to getting great chapter recommendations. The good thing is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money when someone has already weeded out the best content for you. The bad thing is, when the chapters are exceptionally good, they make you curious about the rest of the material. Reading, Leaders Who Last, chapters 4 and 5 only made you wonder what else was in store. 

            The only two chapters I read were phenomenal. Kraft begins in by encouraging his readers to think about what would be most important for them to do. In terms of priority, what would be the most significant thing to accomplish in your role? He then asks leaders to take stock of how well they have done in protecting their priorities. Kraft knows well that leaders have a tendency of wanting to do everything. I was really encouraged by this chapter to sit down and think of what would be the most beneficial thing for me to be accomplishing. Am I protecting it? What do I need to delegate in order for me to give myself to what only I can accomplish? I never would have thought in this way, if not for the help of Kraft. 

            But then I began to ask myself “Why?” Why do I have to stop certain things that I am doing? Dave followed up with what seemed to be a direct answer to my question. Pacing. It is all about pacing. Leaders have different capacities and it is important for leaders to operate within the God-given capacity that has been entrusted to them.

            I overwork. I have been burnt out. I have felt like quitting…and I am only 25. I need and will always need the reminder that in order to accomplish something well, I need to zero in my energy into what I am gifted to do. I don’t have, nor will I ever have, the capacity to do more than what I am physically, mentally, and spiritually capable of doing.

            Kraft brings home the point by giving us an analogy. Leaders are like rubber bands, which come in different shapes and sizes. Different bands were made for different things. When a rubber band is stretched far too much for far too long, it is only a matter of time before it snaps under the pressure. We need to be able to stretch but come back to a rested position before enduring a prolonged period of hard workflow.

            Overall this, accompanied with the other resources for this month, has made me protect my priorities, and pace myself. This is an extremely helpful resource for young leaders like me. 

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The Leader’s Pacing

Posted: May 30, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Leadership, Productivity
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I love recommending books. Good books, challenging books, convicting books, practical books, and well written books. But not everybody is going to like the entire book. Sometimes we read for fun. Other times we read and discover a helpful chapter. Sometimes we only find a sentence that is meaningful. This is one of the reasons I am thankful for my friend Jon Smith. I know that may look like a pseudonym, but that is really his name.

Jon has at different times recommended books, pages, paragraphs, and chapters to me. Recently, he asked me to read a chapter titled, The Leader’s Pacing by Peter Kraft. Again, the whole book wasn’t necessary but this section was extremely helpful…well mostly the analogy. Here is a quote that I found helpful in understanding how I should pace how hard I work.

We all don’t have the same gifts, personality, or capacity. I think people are like rubber bands, which come in all sizes and shapes. Some are small and some are large. A small rubber band can only be stretched so far. It has limits. A rubber band that is larger can obviously be stretched further. Regardless of how big or small the rubber band, it can only be stretched for so long, and then it needs to go back to  a resting position. If it is stretched too far and stays there too long, it will snap.

We have all had the experience of picking up something that was wrapped with a rubber band for a long time, only to have it snap when we touched or moved it. Likewise, leaders need to determine what size their capacity is and how long they can remain in a stretched situation before they need a pause-whether emotional or physical.

He then goes on to say that most leaders need to slow down. There is a tendency to believe that being busy is the same as being productive. It isn’t. We can be busy doing a hundred unnecessary things and miss the most important things on our plates. There are times that we know we need a break, recalibrate and slow down, but we decide to push through. God has given us a capacity and we should work within that range. We should work hard and rest, trusting in the sovereignty of God.

Kraft then writes this convicting section

I think that if the Lord were an officer of the law, he would give many of us a speeding ticket. Is there a speed limit for life and ministry? It’s called the gauge of God-given capacity. We are not all the same.

If you are a leader, or someone who feels like life is fast paced, you may want to slow down. Take a look at your capacity, your strengths, and your priorities so that you can focus on what is really important. You don’t have to do everything. If you are a leader, you can delegate work to someone who would not only do what you can do, but potentially thrive at it. Work hard, play hard. Rest intentionally so that you can work intentionally.

Time Management

Posted: May 24, 2013 by thoughtsfrommyshelf in Productivity
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Hey, all.

I was  recently thinking about what a time-sucker all things internet-related can be.

Some of you may be interested in some apps available. For you Firefox users, LeechBlock (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4476/) can be configured to limit your time on specified websites. For example, I am gonna give myself 10 minutes on Facebook every two hours. If you’re on it and your ten minutes expires, you can have it just say “this site’s been leech-blocked” or you can have it send you to a more “productive” site (work-related) or something.

It’s easy to work with and configure. Once the site is blocked, you are unable to go and switch the settings until the time unblocks it.

For those of you that use Chrome (or if you have both browsers, and would be tempted to get around your controls) you can install StayFocused (https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/laankejkbhbdhmipfmgcngdelahlfoji)

These two apps are basically the same, just different in the way that they look.

That is all. I hope this benefits some of you.