Flowcharts (Get Things Done #146) with Daniel Whyte III

I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #146 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 “Getting Things Done: The ABCs of Time Management” by Edwin C. Bliss. Today, I will continue sharing with you some of the principles on productivity, getting things done, and avoiding procrastination that Edwin C. Bliss talks about in his book.

As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. John 6:27 says: “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.”

Our quote for today is from Booker T. Washington. He said: “I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has had to overcome while trying to succeed.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at “Flowcharts.”

A map increases your chance of reaching your destination. Similarly, a flowchart increases your chance of reaching your objective.

Like a map, a flowchart shows you what lies between you and your goal, and helps determine the best way to get there. It’s useful in planning almost any project and indispensable in planning a really complex one because it depicts in visible form the relationship of various tasks. Although designed primarily to coordinate the work of a number of people, it is equally useful when one person is responsible for performing a complex task and needs a system for setting priorities and monitoring progress.

Most flowcharts are variations of the PERT* system devised by the U.S. Navy for development of the Polaris submarine. A simplified form is shown above. Each circle represents a milestone or a point in time. For example, in a construction project, circles would represent such events as completion of the floor plan, granting of a permit, completion of the brickwork, and so forth. The lines between the circles, represented by letters, denote activities or processes, such as the drafting of the floor plan, preparing the paperwork for the permit application, the actual bricklaying, and so on. The number below each line indicates the estimated number of days required for that particular process.

The flowchart thus depicts the relationship among various activities, showing which can be pursued independently and which are contingent upon others–information that is often overlooked in the absence of such a diagram. Furthermore, it makes it possible to determine the “critical path”–the steps that will determine how long the overall project will take. For example, in our flowchart the critical path is 1-3-5-6-8. Assuming the time estimates are correct, those steps will take fourteen days, which is how long the entire project will require. If activities A, C, D, F, or I were accomplished in less time, it would have no effect on the final date of completion since the critical path takes fourteen days. If any of those activities took a day or two longer than scheduled, it wouldn’t matter, but the gain (or loss) of a day in activities B, E, G, or H would result in a corresponding speedup (or delay) for the entire project.

Obviously, then, the planner initially would give top priority to activity B, which is on the critical path. Without the flowchart the tendency might be to start with A or C in order to get the more time-consuming tasks done first. But to do so would be a serious mistake, creating a bottleneck at milestone 5, thus delaying the entire project.

The flowchart also has another function: It reminds the planner that certain activities, such as A, B, and C (and later, D, E, and F), might possibly be carried on simultaneously–again avoiding the likelihood of a bottleneck occurring because of oversight.

It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words. The flowchart is simply a “picture” of what needs to be done, and it’s worth a thousand explanations.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic and more 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.

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