How Productivity Apps Can Kill Your Productivity

Our idea of productivity has changed in the last few years, and I don’t think it’s a change for the better.

A few decades ago, the word productivity would’ve conjured up images of efficient factories. A decade ago, productivity was equated with goal-driven executives and salesmen.

What do you think about today when you read the word productivity?

Let me guess: Software. Apps. Systems.

And this thinking about productivity causes all sorts of problems.

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My Capture Device Recommendations

In this series, we’ve looked at the benefits of using a capture device, some strategies on using a capture device, and even why I don’t like to use my iPhone as a capture device.

Now that we’ve got a lot of the underlying philosophies down, I wanted to wrap up by talking about what I’ve found works for me as a capture device.
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Repentance: Journey or Destination?

So maybe you’ve fallen off the productivity wagon.
Maybe your conscience has just been pricked over all the time you’ve wasted channel flipping or aimlessly surfing the internet.

What now?

The answer, of course, is to repent. To admit that being a poor steward of our time is a sin. To claim the mercy offered us because of the cross of Christ. And then to change our behavior.

In fact, that change in behavior is crucial. A change in heart leads to changes in the way we act – and without this change in our actions, repentance never really happened.

But what does this change in behavior look like?
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Do You Have a “Get-To” Philosophy?

A few days ago, I was having lunch with a mentor of mine who was telling me about his recent missions-related trip to El Salvador.

As he saw the faith and the maturity of the Christians there, he was convicted. He had the impression before going that his wisdom was going to be a great benefit to the people of El Salvador. He realized that, deep down, a part of him thought that God needed him.

But on the trip, it was as if God was saying to him, “I’ve got this covered.” Our omnipotent God wasn’t in need of assistance from anyone.

And this is where he was reminded that serving God is not about what we bring to the table. It’s not about what we do for God. It’s about what we get to do with God.
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Why I Don’t Use My iPhone as a Capture Device

After seeing the benefits of a capture device and thinking of a strategy to use it, people sometimes still struggle with using capture tools regularly.

I think this issue stems from choosing the wrong capture device, because not all devices are created equally. Deciding which one to use in the first place is something that we must think about in order to make the best use of our strategy.

For many, it seems like a no-brainer to use your smartphone. You always have it with you and it’s so powerful, why would you use anything else? But I believe using a smartphone as a capture tool is a mistake for most people.

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Principles and Techniques for Using a Capture Device

If you’re convinced about the benefits of having a capture device, how do you go about actually using one in real life?

Here are some basic principles to follow, as well as some of my own personal thoughts on how to get the most from your capture device strategy.
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Why You Should Use a Ubiquitous Capture Device

One of the great takeaways from the GTD system is the concept of a ubiquitous capture device.

It’s an absurdly complicated name for a very simple thing: having some way of writing down or recording ideas as they come to you throughout the day. (Ubiquitous simply means it’s always there in case you need it.) For instance, you could use a pen and paper, an iPhone, or a pocket voice recorder.

This practice is something that I’ve found to be very beneficial and something that I would strongly recommend to anyone.
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Five Ways Busy Parents Can Find Balance

For a lot of parents, back-to-school season means back to being stressed.

There’s homework, soccer practice, piano lessons, church activities, birthday parties for friends – and that’s just Monday.

We want to be good parents. We want to give our children opportunities. But we also want to take care of our health, get adequate rest, have personal devotionals, maintain a loving marriage, and battle that growing mountain of dirty dishes.

How do we balance it all? How can we be good, God-honoring parents, while still being obedient in other areas of our life? How do we make practical and spiritual sense of all of this?

That’s the intro for my guest post today at Pop Parables, the blog of Keri Welch. She uses metaphors and parables to make thought-provoking points about faith and the Christian life.

Thanks to Keri for allowing me this opportunity, and I hope you all can benefit from the post. Click here to check it out.

Action Isn’t Optional

More times than I can count, my wife and I have disciplined our three-year-old for not listening to us. Of course, when parents speak of listening, they don’t mean simply hearing and comprehending our words. There is an implied result of this hearing.

Listening to Daddy means hearing Daddy and doing what he says. The proper action is assumed to follow – so much so that listening and obeying are used interchangeably.

The Old Testament concept of hearing was similar. To hear the word of the Lord was not simply just to comprehend the words; there was implied action.

I think there’s profound beauty in that idea.

Action is what really matters.
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Do You Think About Your Death Often Enough?

Have you ever had that sick feeling as a deadline approached? This is especially true if you’re behind on your project. You look at all you’ve got to do and the limited amount of time you have left to do it, and stress levels rise.

That’s not altogether a bad thing. It can be a reality check that gives you a good, hard kick in the pants. You realize you don’t have much time to waste and you’ve got to get to work.

Perhaps you’ve had a different feeling as you’ve thought about projects that you’re handling well. The due dates don’t get your stomach acid bubbling. You have no reason to be stressed. The deadlines merely just serve as calm motivation to keep up your current pace.

Now, which of those feelings do you get when you read these verses from Psalm 90?
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