I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #83 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. Proverbs 13:4 says: “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”
Our quote for today is from St. Augustine. He said: “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.”
Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 9 of Step 11: “Manage Your Time.”
You seem to be quite a believer in lists. You recommended earlier making those four procrastination lists, and now you’re suggesting a list of long-range goals and a list of short-range goals. Aren’t your lists of goals likely to overlap the procrastination lists?
Yes, but if they do, so what? No harm is done. However, as a practical matter, I do think you will find it convenient at some point to merge your procrastination lists into your goals lists.
The next step, of course, is to make sure that those lists aren’t made and then filed away and forgotten. They must be kept current, and they should be kept where you will see them at least once a week. Then constantly ask yourself whether or not you are spending enough of your time on the things that really matter—the goal-oriented tasks—as distinguished from the trivia.
Next let’s take a look at “wheelspinning.”
When people get behind in their work they feel guilty. To assuage those feelings of guilt, our tendency is to get busy and do something—it doesn’t seem to matter what, just so there’s plenty of action.
Just as a wheelspinning car can carve out a big hole in the mud without moving much, so a wheelspinning person can carve out a big gap in a day without achieving much.
This pitfall is related to the previous one, of course. People who are really goal conscious don’t spin their wheels. Their purpose is not to look and feel busy, but to achieve.
Is this what some people refer to as the “activity trap”?
Yes. Whenever you feel pressured by time, don’t try to solve your problem by more frantic activity. Pause and calmly survey the situation, so that you can “work smarter, not harder.”
Next we come to “fire fighting,” which means, of course, living in a state of perpetual crisis. Actual fires often result from procrastination—the faulty wiring that somebody meant to have fixed, the pile of oily rags somebody was going to discard, the additional smoke detector somebody intended to buy, the fire extinguisher somebody forgot to recharge, and so on. The metaphorical fires we fight also often involve
procrastination—usually the postponement of planning, so that we are suddenly confronted with a situation we haven’t prepared for.
Some crises, of course, cannot be prevented, just as some fires cannot. But most could. The secret is to schedule time for planning on a weekly and daily basis. Think in terms of fire prevention instead of fire fighting.
One helpful technique is to try to schedule your time as much as possible around opportunities rather than problems. It’s tempting to put off taking advantage of opportunities, which usually aren’t urgent, and to focus entirely on problems, which usually are. But this is a recipe for frustration, failure, and perennial crises. Many of those opportunities you tend to neglect are ways of gaining lead time, thus preventing a crisis farther down the road.
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.