Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Productivity in perspective

I follow and really appreciate Matt Perman's blog What's Best Next. I knew from reading his blog that he was a Christian, but hadn't worked out until today that he works as senior strategy director for John Piper at Desiring God.

Here he is being interviewed on another blog, and responding to three questions on productivity.

I love his answer to the third question, which is "In a nutshell, what is the most important and fundamental principle for being productive?":

I would actually say: realize that you don't have to be productive. By this I mean: your significance does not come from your productivity. It comes from Christ, who obeyed God perfectly on our behalf such that our significance and standing before God comes from him, not anything we do. Then, on that basis, we pursue good works (which is what productivity is) and do so eagerly, as it says in Titus 2:14.

When it comes to day-to-day application, the main principle is this: The key denominator of effectiveness is not intelligence or even hard work, as important as those are. It is the discipline to put first things first. You need to operate from a center of sound principles and organize and execute around priorities. This means that instead of prioritizing your schedule, you schedule your priorities.

Isn't that great? He grounds productivity in the gospel of our Lord Jesus, and rightly defines it as 'pursuing good works'.