|The Priority of Action|
By Dan Vis
May 21, 2018
Note: Since we're all hands-on-deck busy with our Application Workshop, figured I would pull one out of the archives. And I went back a long ways this time, to my third post ever. It's more about time management than personal application, but the principle carries over. If you are in AWE it's worth reviewing this and making a few connections...
The other day I received an email from a blogger I read occasionally, and he asked a simple question:
Which of the following approaches will help you get more done?
Option 1: Creating a comprehensive to-do list
Option 2: Researching something you plan to do
Option 3: Doing something
He then pointed out something that might seem common sense: while options one and two both have their place, the only option that actually gets anything done is option number three. All the to-do lists and research in the world won't move you forward unless they lead to action. So why not go there directly?
He went on to suggest the reason we don't choose option three revolves around the issue of risk. Creating a to-do list, or researching strategies and methodologies give you a feeling of accomplishment, without involving any risk--so they are both attractive. But as long as we remain risk-averse, it's easy to get stuck in a cycle of preparation (really procrastination) and never quite move on to action.
Taking some action, in contrast, always involves risk. It might not work. Our efforts might not be successful. We could end up disappointed, frustrated, discouraged or worse.
But it is the only path to real progress.
Sometimes even little steps can be massive breakthroughs--simply because they are a step. And small steps can inspire us to go on and take another step. And then another. Each success building on the ones before, creating momentum. Here is the basic process: Action. Success. Momentum.
So the next time you feel tempted to start writing out more to-do lists, or spend a few hours in research--make sure it is not in fact a delaying tactic on your part. Remember the simple truism: only forward movement gets you moving forward!
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What do you do to make sure you keep moving forward? Are there are ways we procrastinate beside making list and doing research? Share some ideas in the comments below.
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/25/18|
|Glad this was helpful Valerie. :) It is easy to be distracted, but praise God, He is calling us to greater focus in these exciting last days of earth's history!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/23/18|
|Yes, a lot of causes for procrastination and I think fear is a common one. I love how you have turned that into something so beautiful and positive. Great testimony Diane! Thank you for sharing.|
|Posted by Diane Castanon on 05/23/18|
I battle procrastination on a daily basis, but not because of to-do lists, or research. I procrastinate because of fear of failure. I was raised in a highly critical family that attended a highly critical church, and a critical church school. I’d rather turn in the opposite direction from responsibility and action.
What I find that works best for me, is every morning I give my will over to Jesus, and ask Him to work in me both to will and to do for HIS good pleasure (Philippians 2:13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.), and the Holy Spirit works in me to make it all about others instead of me (or my fears). II Timothy 1:7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. is helping full as well as Deuteronomy 3:22Ye shall not fear them: for the LORD your God he shall fight for you..
God has changed my thinking from self-preservation, to embracing His desires, and oh what joy fills my being!
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/22/18|
|That's a good rule--to do the hardest part first! Probably the best approach if you can discipline yourself to do it. I definitely like the reward part! :) Thanks Sally!|
|Posted by Sally CH Lam on 05/22/18|
The principle I live by is to do the most difficult things first and then reward myself after each accomplished step, something to look forward to.
Thanks, Dan, for sharing your experience!
|Posted by Dan Vis on 05/21/18|
|I've found that to be true myself Carole. Big projects are turn out to not be so big if don't overthink things and just get going! Good post!|
|Posted by Mary Alice Holz on 05/21/18|
|What a great reminder, Dan! Sometimes I get so caught up in studying about how to study the Bible, that I don't do any actual study!😕 This is a great reminder. Thank you.|
|Posted by Lynn Badger on 05/21/18|
|I have to admit that I can find so many other "important" tasks that can keep me from moving forward. Satan will put anything in our mind to distract me.|
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 02/03/17|
|You're welcome, Musa Sibisi. It is our privilege to encourage one another on this pilgrim's Journey! :)|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/17/17|
|We are super busy these days. Too busy. And we do need lists to keep track of stuff. But on the other hand, Shanthi, the solution is often quite simple: move forward! :) Thanks for the comment.|
|Posted by Naomi Marandure on 01/17/17|
|Thank-you for the reminder Dan. And Fiona, that was a powerful message in your Mum's words!|
|Posted by Juliette on 01/16/17|
|My tendency is laziness so I guess I procrastinate by making to do lists. I need to find that balance between making the list, so I don't forget what needs doing, and then just doing it.|
|Posted by Fiona van Wyk on 01/16/17|
I appreciate this post, Dan. There are many that pray, pray and ask God for guidance, but never actually get to do the things they talk about, and are planning to do. Just as Diana says. I heard in a sermon once, that some people think they are doing, when they are just talking. The actual doing just never arrives. This is something to think about. When I open my mouth and say I am planning to do such and such, I remind myself that I must do what I say I am going to do. Matthew 5:37But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil..
My mother used to say, that God cannot direct a ship sitting in the harbour. Only as the ship moves out into the wind and sea, can God direct the ship. A stationary ship achieves nothing; a ship in the wind arrives somewhere!
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/16/17|
|Great suggestion Jason! I think I need to try doing exactly the same thing!|
|Posted by Dan Vis on 01/16/17|
Great posts everyone!
John, appreciate the balance there. It really is about character development. I tend to lean more towards the planning and preparing stage. My wife much more toward the action spectrum. Thank God He brough us together!
Stephen, such a powerful testimony. Thank you for sharing that. A daily do list does make a huge difference!
Appreciate your posts Diana, Lynne, and Joyce as well. It's good to see how the Lord is working in all our lives to make us more effective in life. And yes, I love II Corinthians 8:11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have.. What a powerful verse! :)
|Posted by Joyce Augustinis on 01/16/17|
|I agree to just start doing moves you forward faster. I also have noticed that starting is difficult because I naturally want to put things off but recently I have been just starting whether I'm in the mood or not and I have had some good results. II Corinthians 8:11Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. - now therefore perform the doing of it that as there was a readiness to will so there may be a performance also out of that which you have.|
|Posted by Lynne on 01/16/17|
|Thank you! Such simple advice. Just take that first small step and watch the Lord do the rest! I had been in the field of procrastination for far to long! The first step begins today. Again thank you!|
|Posted by John Gilmore on 01/16/17|
|By nature, some are more hesitant and others more impulsive. May God help us to see His direction and move in His timing.|
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