Remember back when summer felt sooo long? When each day of summer seemed to last forever with lots of lounging around? Summer break doesn't quite feel this way to me anymore, as it did when I was a kid. Instead, now I anticipate the fleeting days of a relaxed schedule and am tempted to feel overwhelmed at the vast amount to be accomplished before the leaves turn. Projects around the house, dates with my kids, closets to be cleaned out, people to spend time with, books to finish reading, skills to pursue and develop....all these and more make it to my to do list. And while my kids have enjoyed plenty of hours with their imaginations in the backyard, I have hopes to tackle many "unfinished projects" with them as well. Teaching my boys how to paint, starting Number 2 on the piano, and working on specific issues of character make it to that list.
While doing and doing seems to be our culture's formula for accomplishment, I'm finding, more so than ever, that sitting, thinking, and planning is a crucial aspect of productivity. You all know that I've found much encouragement in Carolyn Mahaney and her daughters' book Shopping For Time, in the practice of rising early to spend time in the Word. Though this discipline has continued to be of foremost influence on my daily fruitfulness, the authors in this book share of another principle that makes all the difference in the pursuit of productivity:
Spending fifteen minutes thinking about what you are going to do before you start will save four hours of wasted time later on. Any individual who has thought through her workday, set priorities, and organized the day's tasks is likey to accomplish far more than someone who randomly moves through the day.
According to the 15:4 rule, when we deposit a few minutes into morning planning, we'll yield significant returns in time and productivity all day long.
Planning, organizing, and implementation looks different for each person. However, the principle is the same. If I aim at nothing, I will very likely hit it. I don't know where you all are at in your goals for the summer break. (For some of you with fresh-out-of-the-oven babes, your goals for the summer may be to survive the first several months of exhaustion!) Whether our desire is to clean out one drawer this summer or to learn a new language, fifteen minutes of planning at the start of each day can pave the way with intentionality. What are some of your goals for the summer?
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