How Can We Stay Productive Over the Long-Haul?

During a recent trip to China , I was invited to spend some time with some friends who live there. They asked me questions that ranged far and wide, but here we talk about productivity and how we can remain productive over the long-haul.

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How do you continue to come up with new ideas for content and produce it so regularly?

Well partly, it’s what I do, so I just have to come up with content. So, the longer you write, the more you interpret the world as a writer, which means you’re just constantly looking at the world and saying, what can I write about, what’s interesting, what would be of interest to other people, what’s of interest to me? And so you just kind of look out at the world as a big opportunity for things to write about, things to think about.

In terms of productivity, I’m a very, by nature, a very undisciplined person and its always been that way. As a kid, I just lived in a world of chaos and, but over time was finding that, you know, I’ve got a family to lead here and bills need to be paid and I’m involved in a church now, and I’ve got responsibilities to that church and started going looking for tools, for help. And, a lot of false starts, you know, read this book, oh this is going to change my life and you put all these systems in place and it all kind of falls apart after a week or two, or a month or two. And I came to realize that I wasn’t thinking about things in a distinctly Christian way. So I was taking essentially secular, mainstream ideas, which can be very, very good, but they don’t have the spiritual foundation. So I had to kind of go back to the foundation and say, why should I be productive? What does being productive have to do with being a Christian? So I built, really for myself, a theology of productivity. And then on top of that theology of productivity, I could build out an actual process of it and that’s what I laid out in my book Do More Better.

So, the temptation is, just tell me some tools I can use that will get my life organized, so I will feel good about myself and I’ll be able to put lots of x’s through little boxes to indicate that I’ve gotten things done. But, far better to go right down to the beginning and say, why should I do anything at all? What does it mean to be a productive Christian? How can I live in this world in a way that’s pleasing to God?