LISTEN: Consider Deliberate Delay, Part 8 (Get Things Done #70)

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #70 of the “Get Things Done!” podcast. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you get things done every day so that you can accomplish something worthwhile with your life. I am a firm believer that God has put each person on earth to do something great for His glory.

In this podcast, we are going through the book “Doing It Now” by Edwin C. Bliss. I had just finished speaking at a meeting in Philadelphia many years ago, and as I was walking through the airport, I picked up this little book and read it in its entirety. It is one of the best books that I have ever read on the subject of productivity, getting things done, and avoiding procrastination, and along with prayer and the power of God, it is one of the reasons why I have accomplished so much in my life. Today, I will continue sharing with you some of the principles that Edwin C. Bliss talks about in his book.

As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Ephesians 5:15-17 says: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”

Our quote for today is from Thomas A. Edison. He said: “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 8 of Step 10: “Consider Deliberate Delay.”

Of course, sometimes the purpose of delay is not to keep something “warm,” but just the opposite—to permit cooling off. Would that be considered another legitimate excuse for delay?

Indeed it would. Postponing action that might be based on emotion rather than on considered judgment is not procrastination.

After Benjamin Franklin’s death, there was found among his papers a draft of a letter he had angrily written in 1775 to his close friend, William Strahan, upon learning that Strahan had voted in Parliament against the interests of the American colonies. It read:

Mr. Strahan: You are a member of Parliament, and one of that majority which has doomed my country to destruction. You have begun to burn our towns and murder our people. Look upon your hands! They are stained with the blood of your relations. You and I were long friends. You are now my enemy, and I am
B. Franklin

The letter was never sent. Two days later, after some “deliberate delay,” Franklin had cooled off and recognized that such a biting letter would accomplish nothing. He wrote another letter to Strahan—a strong one, pointing out that “words and arguments are now of no use,” but without the asperity of his first draft, thus avoiding a rupture in their lifelong friendship and an end to all communication.

Sometimes deliberate delay is useful not to give yourself a cooling-off period, but to provide one for someone else. For example, President John F. Kennedy, furious over a Huntley-Brinkley report critical of his administration, once ordered Newton Minow, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to do whatever he could to punish NBC. As related by Ross Webber, “Mr. Minow did nothing, then wrote Kennedy indicating how lucky he was to have subordinates too loyal to always do as they were told.” Kennedy, whose anger had now abated, of course agreed.

Aside from the reasons we have discussed thus far for deliberate delay, there is another: to stimulate learning. It has been found that a single intensive period of study is a less effective way of learning than spending the same amount of time spread out over an extended period.

Lord willing, we will continue this discussion in our next podcast.

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Now, let’s pray our prayer together —

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare Thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore Thou those who are penitent; According to Thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

Now, the greatest secret to getting things done with your life for the glory of God is to have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. When you have Jesus in your life, you can say with Paul in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you, and remember: if you have something to do, there is no better time to do it than now.