Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Memeing My Own Business

Marcus Goodyear who blogs at GoodWordEditing is in the middle of what he calls "Meme Week". Not being a hip blogger, I don't really know what a meme is but he's asked me to share my productivity secrets. The best I can tell, in practice, this meme thing is the blogging equivalent of a chain letter.

Marcus insists that if I do not blog on this, I will be apprehended by the meme police. I highly doubt that the meme police will find me (the blogosphere is a big place) but nonetheless, I've decided to give in to Marcus' request since he's a nice guy. The sad thing is, I don't really have productivity secrets but I'll try and make them up as I go along.

#1 - Do what you like and like what you do

Doing what you like - If you like what you're doing, you're going to be a lot more productive. So pursue work that aligns with what brings joy and root it in God. Use the gifts God has given you and you'll maximize productivity in your life

Liking what you do - Sometimes you're not going to find work that exactly matches your gifts or aligns immediately with your bliss. Still, trust God to help you find joy and purpose in what you do. You can learn to love where God has put you - the secret is to trust God. I can truly say, by God's grace, that I've enjoyed every job I've had.

#2 - Dream, be bold, take risks

Being bold and taking risks is often linked to creativity...but it also leads to productivity as well. If you're pushed beyond your comfort zone, you're going to learn new skills, work harder and trust God. I find that I become more productive with my time when I'm not coasting. Do something that requires you to trust God to "show up" for the endeavor to be successful. There are a lot of caveats to this point but I won't go into them. The whole topic of risk taking is interesting and I hope to post on it sometime soon.

#3 - Mitigate and manage risks

This seems to be counter to my prior point but it really isn't. After I'm committed to doing #2, I then manage my time with an eye to mitigate (not eliminate) risk. This is more about juggling priorities than it is about eliminating or minimizing risk. For instance, if I'm overwhelmed with work, I address what is most pressing by focusing on the items of greatest risks to the enterprise. I'm not saying that's the best approach but it seems to be the one I take.

OK, Marcus - I've done it. Here are my productivity can call off the meme police now.


Mark Goodyear said...

I think you are the first person to respond to any of my meme requests. It's been far too long since I posted here. But you know, memes create a sort of quid pro quo. If you respond, I'm almost obligated to come over here and say hi. Maybe it's more like "Robert's Rules" of Blogging or something.

I really need to explain what a meme is on my site. It's been a crazy crazy week, though. (And I wrote all of these posts last week.)

I love #2, ESI. Be bold. Take risks. I could get excited about that!

And I hear you on #3. Being bold doesn't mean being stupid.

And don't worry about the meme police. The last time I saw them, they were settling into a booth at the Donut Palace and they didn't look like they were going to get up for a long long time.

L.L. Barkat said...

Phew! Good thing. I was getting nervous for you. :)

Every Square Inch said...


I wish I knew no one else took your meme requests seriously. ;-)

Actually, I'm glad to do it. God must have been in it - it took me all of 15+ minutes to do entire post which is pretty good for me.

Then again, maybe it reads like I took 15 minutes.

Every Square Inch said...


Thanks for your concern but the meme police were never going to get me.

Like I said, the blogosphere is a big place and I'm good at hiding out in the nooks and crannies.

HALFMOM said...

So, this is going to sound like silly question but I am quite sincere in the asking. For me, #3 always looks like running around putting out fires, "the yranny of the urgent" if you will.

I seem always to be overwhelmed by work so I get lots of chances to practice #3 and most all of it seems to fit into category #2. In fact, a friend asked me this week if I thrived on extremely hard work and meeting deadlines at the last minute.

My question to you is how do you choose what things to do in the first place so that life is not always chaotic?

Ted Gossard said...

ESI, Good thoughts! I wish I could have heard this and have been in tune with it years ago. Thanks.

Every Square Inch said...


I think your question is a great one. How do we protect ourselves from living under the tyranny of the urgent? I'll say a couple of things which may or may not apply to you.

Point #2 is my encouragement to pursue the dreams and ideas God gives to us. In my post, I mentioned that there are caveats. Here's one - we need to be confident that God has called us to the various tasks that we're giving ourselves to. It's particularly important for us type A personalities. Besides praying about it, we can be helped by asking others to help us evaluate.

My understanding of point #3 isn't simply about putting out fires.
It also means assessing risks on the basis of what might be incur the greatest negative impact...and, not just in the immediate. For instance, despite a busy schedule, I might decide that I will forgo completing certain, important, even urgent tasks to ensure that I consistently carve out time to disciple my children. A primary calling in my life is to be a dad and if I fail at this, I fail, period. So, even though it doesn't fall into the urgent, spending time w/ my children addresses one of my greatest risks.

I don't know if it helps but that's how I work through priorities.

Every Square Inch said...


Thanks for your humble response. I know our faithful God will redeem all your efforts. BTW, please understand that from my perspective, my "productivity secrets" are not insightful or even necessarily helpful. It's just how I think about things

HALFMOM said...

Thanks for your response and for taking my questions seriously.

I think #2 is where I am having trouble - exactly what is it that God is calling me to do? I'm not sure that I know the answer to that anymore.

As to putting out fires - I have become aware that fear of failure is a huge component of that for me and keeps me trying to keep way to many balls up in the air at a time.

Aside from being someone who is pleasing to God, the first priority for many years has been to be a good but working, single mom. However, those days are coming to a close and perhaps God is preparing something new for me to do.

Every Square Inch said...


With respect to #2 - it's tough sometimes to figure this out on your own. I think this is where a gospel centered community can be so helpful.
It's interesting how God might use our friends and pastors to bring clarity.

Grace to you