Be Intentional

No one will accomplish their life’s masterpiece without being intentional. Malcolm Gladwell proposes a 10,000 Hour Rule. He believes that 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice” are needed to become world-class in any field. If you Google the “10,000 hour Rule,” you will find both adherents and detractors from this idea. Whether Gladwell is completely correct or not, consider devoting 10,000 hours to following Jesus’ teaching.

Remember, this is what Jesus taught to be the supreme activity for humankind.  Also, remember that Jesus was the most successful and joyful person to ever walk the earth.

Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22.36-40).

How can I become a world-class lover of God and others?

Where does someone find 10,000 hours to love both God and others? Let’s learn from one of my favorite business consultants, Terry Schmidt. In a recent newsletter Schmidt recommended this to his readers.

  1. What are your priorities? What do you want to accomplish this week?
  2. Set daily objectives. Setting targets for each day the night before boosts your productivity.
  3. Do the worst first.
  4. Enforce uninterruptible blocks of time. When you must concentrate, don’t permit any interruptions from others or yourself. Refuse phone calls, drop-in visits, and sneak-peaks at your email until the task is done.
  5. Box your time. Give yourself a fixed time period – 30 minutes works well – to make a dent in a big task. Don’t worry about how far you get. Just put in the time. Once you get in the flow, its easy to continue.
  6. Set completion targets. When you begin a task, identify the milestone you must reach before you can stop working. For example, when writing a book, decide not to stop until you’ve written at least 500 words. Hit your target no matter what.
  7. Batch similar tasks. Batching your phone calls, emails or errands together lets you knock them out in a single session without the loss of attention from task-switching.
  8. Rise with the roosters. Get up early in the morning (5 a.m-ish?) and get straight to work on your most important task. Early birds can get more done before 8 a.m. than most people do in a full day.
  9. Pick Up the tempo. Deliberately pick up the pace and try to move a little faster than usual. Walk faster. Read faster. Type faster. Finish sooner.
  10. 10.Tame your wild space. Cluttered work environments breed inefficiency. Prune excess papers, books, and whatever else messes with your mind. Colored and labeled file folders can work wonders in improving efficiency.
  11. 11.Respect Pareto. Follow the Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule which states the 80% of the value of a task comes from 20% of the effort. Focus on doing the 20% well and do the noncritical 80% just okay or not at all.
  12. 12.Visualize it as done. Visualize your task as already accomplished. Stick a mental fork in it. Put yourself into an associated emotional state of actually being there. Make it real in your mind and you’ll soon see it in your reality.

Wow! That’s overkill, isn’t it?

That’s a bit of overkill, isn’t it? Not if you’re really serious. Frankly, I don’t know if anyone will follow all of Schmidt’s suggestions. What I do know is that being a world-class lover of God and other people is a worthy life’s masterpiece. I also know it will never happen until we devote time and energy to making it happen.  Schmidt has some excellent suggestions for getting started.

Prayers for June 27, 2017

Dear God, may we all become world-class lovers of you and other people.

Bob Spradlingrose-quote

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