I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #92 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. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says: “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.”
Our quote for today is from Walt Disney. He said: “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 2 of Step 12: “Use Visible Reminders.”
Shakespeare? Was he an expert on procrastination?
He certainly was. Anyone who can grind out more than a million imperishable words, while at the same time working as an actor and businessman, has mastered the art of getting on with the task at hand. As for his writing, I don’t know that he ever used the word “procrastination,” but as Goethe said, “Whatever can be known of the human heart may be found in Shakespeare’s plays,” and one of the foibles of the human heart has always been the tendency to temporize.
Shakespeare’s works abound with admonitions to avoid procrastination. “If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly,” says Macbeth. “Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends,” says Reignier in King Henry VI. “There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries,” says Brutus in Julius Caesar. “We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”
Though he earned his living with words, Shakespeare had contempt for those who use words as a substitute for deeds. “Action is eloquence,” said this most eloquent of men, and he urged that we “suit the action to the word.” He reminded us that “Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried,” and said, “Let’s take the instant by the forward top, for we are old, and on our quickest decrees, the inaudible and noiseless foot of time steals, ere we can effect them.”
Always mindful of that “inaudible and noiseless foot of time,” he reminds us again and again that “The time of life is short; to spend that shortness basely were too long.” His sonnets are replete with references to Time’s tyranny, Time’s fell hand, Time’s thievish progress to eternity, devouring Time, sluttish Time, and the chronicle of wasted time. And, since “nothing ‘gainst Time’s scythe can make defence,” he warned that “we must not stint our necessary actions.” If we do, we “play the fools with the time; and the spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.”
And if you habitually put your trust in what you are going to do tomorrow, remember that “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps in this petty pace from day to day, to the last syllable of recorded time. …” I don’t think procrastination is what Shakespeare had in mind when he had Macbeth utter that memorable line, but I don’t believe he would mind our disregarding the context if it serves a useful purpose. Surely “petty pace” does describe the rate at which we move toward our goals if we always think in terms of acting tomorrow!
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.