We’re pummeled every day by advice from the time management experts. There is no shortage out there of systems, tools, procedures, and approaches.
You’re searching for the perfect one. You’ve given the different methods an honest shot. But some just seem silly. Some seem too rigorous. Some seem like they won’t work in reality.
And you begin to think perhaps something’s wrong with you. You wonder if you’re just lazy. Are you just destined to be unproductive and ineffective?
Don’t lose heart.
One of the unique foundations of biblical productivity is the fact that you are an individual.
Not only is this profoundly Christian, but it’s freeing emotionally and beneficial practically.
God Is a Person
For the Christian, the core principles of our individuality arise from the fact that God is a person.
In The God Who Is There, Francis Schaeffer writes:
The Christian system is consistent as no other system has ever been… Whatever you discuss, to understand it properly, you just go back to the beginning and the whole thing is in its place. The beginning is simply that God exists and that He is the personal-infinite God… Christianity says personality is valid because personality has not just appeared in the universe, but rather is rooted in the personal God who has always been…
If we say that personality is not an intrusion in the universe but is central, the world has a right to see the Christians both individually and corporately living on a personal level.
Schaeffer doesn’t use the word personality in the way that we would normally use it today. He wasn’t referring to our tendencies to act or think a certain way.
He was instead referring to God being a personal being, not simply some force. And we were created as personal beings in his image.
We Are Individuals
Each person is to be treated with a certain dignity. Made in the image of God, we aren’t robots.
There is a communal aspect to Christianity – we are to love our neighbors. Gifts were given for the benefit of others. God establishes institutions such as marriage, family, and church.
But there’s also the sense in which we are all beautifully unique.
Embracing Our Personality
So what we normally think of as personality – our behavioral traits and normal way of acting – is actually part of this individuality.
I think this has strong implications for how we are to live our lives.
The Holy Spirit enters us to sanctify us, transforming our sinful tendencies into righteous ones. But he doesn’t change our personality or individuality from one form to another.
The unique traits and characteristics of personality are part of the wonderful way we were made – part of the products of God’s handiwork in creating us.
Instead of stamping this out, we should relish this.
Why Personality Matters
This is the crucial application to our productivity:
You are you.
Not only is this OK, but it’s expected and to be embraced.
1. Your personality will influence the productivity approach you take.
Understand that you’re not looking for an objectively perfect system. You’re looking for one that fits you.
2. Enjoy the wonderful freedom of finding your way.
Don’t guilt trip yourself if you don’t follow the advice and methods of those that you respect.
3. Take seriously the responsibility of determining the unique ways that you will function best.
There’s a difference between using some particular guru’s method because it works best for us and settling just because we grew tired of trying to refine our approach. Don’t mistake laziness as fidelity to a system.
What are some ways that you’re unique in the way that you work?
Have you ever frustrated yourself when you tried to follow someone else’s way of managing their time?
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