Start Small Pt. 2

Welcome to the second in our brand new podcast series, Start Small. Check out the audio and today's script down below!

Need to catch up? Check out Pt. 1 here or download our app for easy access to all of our amazing content at Pipeline!
Podcast Notes:

Welcome to habit 2 in our start small series. Last week the first habit was scripture and how to study it in 3 very easy ways. But this week is a little different. We are talking about productivity. This is something that can help you in your spiritual disciplines, school, work or home. This will be able to translate across the board. And if it can help you be more efficient, then you will carve out time for other spiritual disciplines that we shelf due to our busyness. Before I give you a few practical ways to be more productive, let’s see what the Word of God has to say.

Ephesians 5:15-17 ESV
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.

This verse is talking about making the right decisions while everyone else are making bad ones around you. While there are many distractions to keep you from your focus, make the best use of time. Look carefully how you walk and make the best use of time. And understand God’s will. That’s a great reminder that we need to be the most productive for God as we can. I think this can translate to everyday things. But the most important is how we will make the best use of time for Him. Most people aren’t making their time use for God outside of Sundays if even then. So hopefully the habit of productivity will help steer you even closer to Him on a daily basis. And remember, these next few things can help you in other areas as well. But ultimately if you feel like you don’t have time for God, I’m going to help with a few tips that may push you over the edge of change. Let’s get in there.

Embrace the “why.”

I love talking about the why. It translates to business, family and faith. If we don’t know our why then we will be all over the place. Ask yourself why this is important to me? How does this align with my values? In our family we have values. We started with 5. Then we realized we needed two more. Here they are: We pray, we play, we work, we thank, we honor, we share and we forgive. Everything operates out of those values. We know our why. In our ministry at Pipeline Church, our why is simple. We move people towards Christ, community and calling. And we aren’t going to do something just because it’s good. It has to be right. It has to line up with moving people to one of those three. That’s how we stay on task. So the point is this: Find your why. And if you add another thing on your plate of productivity, ask yourself if it aligns with your why. If it doesn’t, it’s just another piece of fluff you didn’t need.

Focus over spreading too thin.

In this day we live in we are incredibly bogged down by more and more things. Focus is one of those topics we know we should practice, but let’s face it. It is hard and it doesn’t happen mostly. But as we are talking about starting small, focus has got to be one of the center talking points. You will always be in competition for your priorities. That’s why the next topic will really help you find that focus. But let’s not jump ahead. How do we keep ourselves from jumping to one thing and then the next thing? How do we stay on task until it’s done? One of the things that we do if we just started the day is we work on planning or goal setting for that day. That sounds like a time waster to do each day, but it is more simple than it sounds. It really requires one question: Where do I want to be with this at the end of the day? And be realistic. If you are writing a book, setting a goal of 8 chapters in a day probably isn’t going to go as planned. Start small. Write a paragraph to a page. So one thing that helps is carve out time and call it your focus time. Turn your phone on do not disturb if you have to and give yourself a certain amount of time but be flexible. You will find that if you make this a habit, you will get more done in short spurts of time than if you tried to cram it all in one weekend. It’s a disciplined focus plan. You may find out that the other items you were on become things you don’t need anymore. Ok. Next thing.

Effectiveness over productivity.

This one is a little more involved on the front end because it may require a planning exercise.

This sounds like a contradiction to the topic, but it’s really not. Just because we are being productive doesn’t mean we are being effective. I can produce a lot of songs on a daily basis but that doesn’t mean I should be singing anywhere other than the shower. Productivity does not equal effectiveness. So what is the method for being more effective with our time? I like to use an exercise where we cut the fat off the meat. Ask yourself what are the three most important things to get done every day. Your top 3 things that must get done no matter what. Then what are the 2 secondary things that must be done, but if it doesn’t get done, the next day cannot wait. Then ask one last question. What is the 1 thing after all of that, that must be done within 3 days. These 5 things are probably your main things that you can do effectively. So I’ll give you mine so it can translate. My top 3 things I have to make sure gets done every day: Number 1. My Devotion time. This includes prayer and Bible reading. This is non-negotiable. If I don’t have time for God daily, I don’t have a time management problem. I have a priority management problem. My next one is family time. Even if this is a minimal amount of time due to homework, extra curricular activities and sports, carving out family time is vital. My third thing that must be done is something for the church. Whether it is working on my sermon or an outreach idea, I am always trying to work hard for the community that I lead. If you lead something then I believe you should be the lead investor. That doesn’t always equate financially, but my time into it is vital. My secondary is dinner time at the table. Not in front of the tv. Not by ourselves. But at the table with no technology. This is only a secondary priority because there are days where activities take longer than normal and we may eat dinner watching a baseball game. My other secondary priority is to read something that is self helpful. It doesn’t happen every day, but it must happen within a two day span. The more I’m pouring into myself the better person I will be for those around me. So this is important to me. The last thing that can’t go without doing within a few days will be practice for my children. It’s important to practice every day. But it is unrealistic to do so daily. So whether it is a sport or an instrument, we try not to go three days without doing something. But at their age I have to orchestrate that.

So you can see, some priorities are for me and some are for those around me that I lead. When you ask yourself these questions it cuts out a lot of fat that we do on a daily basis. Many times we don’t realize how long we are watching tv, or how much energy we are giving to social media. And when it’s time to crash, we have made those things more important than the right things. One thing to remember is to say more “no’s” to your previous “yes’s.” This is just one more way to be more productive.

Thank you so much for investing your time into this series. You are already carving time out to be a better you and start small. If that’s not starting a productive habit, I don’t know what is. See you next week as we continue the series.