99% of Productivity is Prioritizing

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Most people think productivity means doing lots of things. As if busyness and productivity were synonyms.

But that is entirely untrue.

Nevertheless, it’s easy to see how we can come to this mindset just by looking at the titles of popular productivity books:

  • The 4-Hour Workweek
  • Getting Things Done
  • 168 Hours

They can make it seem like productivity is all about getting as much stuff done in as little time possible. In this mindset, effectiveness takes a back seat to efficiency. The result is we become overscheduled, overcommitted, and overwhelmed.

This is the wrong way to think about productivity.

If we really want to get done the stuff that matters, we need to be more focused on our priorities than our productivity.

Doing more things is pointless if you aren’t doing the right things.

It’s good to be fast.

But even Usain Bolt will lose the race if he runs in the wrong direction. Likewise, productivity is important, but only as it’s applied to the right priorities.

And for Christians, our priorities are laid out plainly for us in Scripture:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33

We need a “priorities over productivity” mindset.

When Christians adopt this mindset, we are instantly able to cut through distraction. When you tell yourself “Today, I’m putting God’s kingdom first,” suddenly you become less concerned about the typical interruptions, diversions, and worries.

You may get less done, but you will get more of the right things done, the right way, and for the right reasons.

Change your mindset from “productivity” to “priorities.”

Give yourself a reminder. It’s so easy to forget about what’s most important. So why not write out Matthew 6:33 on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror, your computer monitor, or your car’s steering wheel?

You’ll find that when you daily realign your thinking with Christ and His kingdom, it becomes easier to say “no” to trivialities, you’ll experience greater satisfaction in your work, and most importantly, you will be confident that you are bringing God more glory with your life.

In this age of unlimited options, endless distractions, and countless temptations, only those with crystal clear priorities will make progress on the things that matter most to God.

And here’s the bonus: When you focus on your priorities, productivity follows naturally behind. Because clarity of purpose begets motivation.

So stop trying to do more stuff and instead start shifting your mindset from productivity to priorities. Because when you do, you’ll begin experiencing the joy that comes from faithful stewardship.

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1 comment
  • Thanks, Reagan! This is the same basic conclusion I’ve come to, as well.

    A question for you is how do you see effectiveness vs. efficiency? I’ve recently started reading your Redeeming Productivity book and searched your website but haven’t found that yet. Sorry if I missed it! I’m thinking prioritizing is more about being effective than being efficient, but maybe I’m missing something. :)

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