In this third installment of my Forty Days to 40 Journey, I tackle work. A topic we bloggers don’t blog a lot about even though it’s where we spend our time. Whether you, like me, are working nine or ten hour days at an office or whether you are working on keeping your household and family running or some combination of those two, we work A LOT! But sometimes I get bogged down by the steady stream of do-this, do-that, run-here, run-there, that I don’t actually get a lot of good solid work DONE. Ever more so with the bazillion new technologies assailing us (remind me to share my newfound Voxer addiction).
So in this journey, this is what I said I wanted to accomplish:
I wrote a bible study a while back and part of it focused on how God requires us to work hard. I am not sure what this looks like yet, but part of it is focused on improving how efficiently I spend my time at work and how dedicated I am to producing the absolute best day in and day out.
Here are a few areas I have found to improve efficiency in my work day:
1. I turned off the “ding” on my Outlook email alert. That durn ding. I can’t help myself. I look up and get distracted and see who emailed. 5 times out of 10 it’s a news alert or an administrative matter that is completely unnecessary. And yet I just broke my train of thought of solid work to check it out. No more dings!
2. I made myself work away from my computer. This is hard I realize, but there is SO much distraction on the computer. Checking email or news or shopping or party planning. If I turn around and work at my desk, even rough out my writing in pen to transcribe (or give to my assistant), I remove a lot of the temptation.
3. I set simple goals. For example, you can get a cup of coffee or walk down the hall as soon as you edit this document and send it out. Having a hard target to work toward, and then getting a brief break to not think about work, gave me focus and drive to accomplish a task.
4. I made lists and set deadlines. I knew they weren’t all “real” deadlines. But they were written down. Plus my list of action items were prioritized and things didn’t fall through the cracks because they were simply forgotten. Write it down. With a pen and paper (at least for me).
The Bible describes one hard working woman in Proverbs 31: “She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.“
I love this because sometimes the faith community pushes back against working women, but this “ideal” woman described by the Bible is working full time. She provides food for her family, buys a field and plants the vineyard, and makes her trading is profitable. There are over 500 references to work in the Bible and at every turn it emphasizes work hard. Be diligent. Don’t give up. Stay faithful. That’s why, as I turn this new corner, I want to make sure I am doing the best I can to work diligently and faithfully – at home and at the office:
2 Chronicles 15 – But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded;
2 Chronicles 31 – This is what Hezekiah did throughout Judah, doing what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God. In everything that he undertook in the service of God’s temple and in obedience to the law and the commands, he sought his God and worked wholeheartedly. And so he prospered.;
I Chronicles 28 – And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you…Consider now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house as the sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.