Living a productive life

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Just because our schedules are full, doesn’t mean that we are being productive. Tim Challies says that in order to be productive, we need to make decisions in life through a personal auditing process.

“We have to be realistic and understand that there’s only so many things we can do; we only have so much time, we only have so much ability.”

“We need to be careful to audit our lives and understand, ‘These are the things I believe God has really called me to do and really called me to focus on. That means there’s lots of things I won’t be able to do.’”

He explains how a productivity strategy can help us structure our lives to the glory of God.

“We need to learn to say ‘no’ to a lot of opportunities. I don’t think we’re managing our time well until we learn to say no to a lot of good opportunities.”

“We might just need to say at times, ‘That’s a great opportunity, it’s just not one for me. I’ve got other priorities of the other things that I need to give my time and attention to.’ That doesn’t mean we’re too busy, it just means that we’re managing our time well.”

Tim says we have to plan to neglect certain things, in order to focus on the few things that matter most. He elaborates on the value of saying a slow ‘yes’ and a quick ‘no’.

“We tend to say very quick, ‘Yes I’ll do this, and yes I’ll do that. You want me to do it? I’ll do it!’ But I think there’s a lot of value in saying ‘no’ to things, and just taking on a few things that we can do very well; giving them the proper time and the proper attention.”

We can learn more about productivity from studying Jesus’ way of life.

“It’s okay to live a simple life; it’s okay to live a life that isn’t just crammed full every day. You can see that in Jesus. The busier He got the more He would just run off by Himself and go up on a mountain to pray to His father – He needed those times.”

“There was so much that Jesus could have done that He didn’t do, and that’s because He was living His life the absolute best way He could.”


Tim Challies is a Christian, a husband to Aileen and a father to three children aged 10 to 16. He worships and serves as a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario, where he primarily gives attention to mentoring and discipleship. He has written three books including Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity.

Living a productive life


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