Three tips to increase your productivity

It's already the middle of the year....and here is a question for you:

'What have you done so far this year? Does it feel as if your year was productive or a total waste?'

What is productivity?

If you surf on the internet, you may find several definitions of the word 'productivity' but for me, the word productivity can simply refer to the art of creating or building something with the time we hold in hand.

People often confuse the word productivity with ' just making money'. They might be right but their understanding is incomplete. It is possible to be productive without making money. For example when a man spends time educating his child , he might not be making money but he 's being productive by raising his child correctly. There are so many other examples of productivity not involving making money.

You might be productive while making money and even if you don't make money. Your productivity totally depends on the way you manage your time.

You can not be productive in the absence of time. Therefore, time can be considered as the most important tool given to a human life. Time is also the span of life given to us.

Let's say that God gives you 95 years to live; those 95 years form the time you have in hand to be productive. Your life is your time and you only have one life.

Why am I saying that time is too important?

Here is my response: ' you can lose a lot of money, a cellphone, a house, a car, or anything else, but you can't get back the time lost.'

It is not possible to get back the time lost. You can't get back time wasted.

Let's assume that someone calls me for an appointment in Sandton City five times in a row and during those five times, he never shows up. I would have wasted time that I can not get back. I can get back the money spent to reach Sandton but not the time....

How to make progress fast in life?

1. Learn to budget (count) your days

'So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.' (Psalms 90:12)

So many of us tend to waste time simply because we do not count our time. We should budget our time in the same way we would budget a salary. Suppose that you have a sum of money in hand, would it not be wise to budget the way you would spend your money? Unless we act careless, we would spend the money before planning.

The verse above mentions the desire of the Psalmist to learn to count the days. Let's count time the same way we would count money. When we go to the supermarket, we give direction to our money and I think we should also give directives to our time.

2. Select what and who should consume your time

'Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.' (Colossians 4:5)

Simply because we are Christians, does not mean that everyone and everything should consume our time. You have not been called to do everything and to spend time with every body.

As a matter of fact, if you are wise with your money, you would not spend it on everything you see on the supermarket, would you? A wise person would spend his money on selected things.Treat your time the same way.

Time wasting circumstances become like heavy weights slowing down our journeys. Those 'time eaters' take many forms such as wrong jobs, unfruitful relationships or meetings, and other various forms.

3. Discern the will of God carefully

'Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.'

(Ephesians 5:15-17)

Understand what the will of God for your life is. If we understand fully what God wants us to spend our time on, we will not spend it in the wrong relationships and the wrong activities.

Anything outside of the will of God which consumes your time is a distraction.

Whenever you are busy with someone or something that is not part of the will of God for your life, then you are wasting time that you will never get back.

Be careful because the days are now more evil than yesterdays...

So how did Jesus respond against time wasting situations?

Here is a short Biblical passage relating to Jesus way of dealing with time wasting:

'After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.'

( John 7:1-6)

The above mentioned text is a show of complete textbook productivity and time management from Jesus. On the day his brothers told Him to move to Judea, He told them that His time did not come yet, but notice that He also tells them this: ...'for you anytime will do.'

Jesus knew exactly:

1. How to spend His time

2. What to do with His time

And since He knew that his time management skills were higher than his brothers, He was fully confident to tell them: '...for you anytime will do'

Spend your time wisely. Select what matters. And move faster. Jesus only needed 33 years to change the world.