“We’re in a world where we’re rarely as productive as we want to be. We all have this big gap between what we think we can accomplish or we want to accomplish, and what we actually do accomplish.”

Pastor and author Tim Challies shares a few of the primary instigators to living a life that is unproductive.


“We just we get lazy. A lot of the ways that laziness expresses itself is through distraction or through procrastination, just laziness in other words.”


“It’s also busyness, we do too many things which means we can no longer focus on the few things that God really means for us to accomplish.”

He explains a dangerous cycle that may occur as a result.

“Sometimes those two things collide; I’m lazy for a while and then I get frantically busy which burns me out, so I take some time off and then go back to being lazy. We enter into this vicious cycle.”

The fall

Tim points us towards the fall in Genesis 3 to get a better understanding of the obstacles we may face in life today.

“This world that is full of sin. When Adam sinned God told him, ‘you’ll still be responsible for growing crops; they will still grow in the fields but so too will thorns and thistles.’

“In any pursuit of what God calls us to and any pursuit of productivity will have to deal with those thorns and thistles; those things that will interfere with us as we’re trying to do the good things that God calls us to do.”

There will be inevitable delays on a daily basis, for example; our cars break down, physical ailments hold us back, or our alarm clock doesn’t go off. All of these obstacles can remind us that we live in a fallen world.

“We live in a fallen world and a world that is really opposed; it’s opposed to us in our pursuit of doing good to others which will glorify God.

“The sin in this world the fallen world is outright hindering our pursuit of the best kind of productivity.

As Christians, Tim says we need to develop patterns and routines that will help us overcome those obstacles.

“Really, it calls on us to develop character; to be men and women of deep Christian character and conviction, where we are so convinced of the goodness and the rightness of doing good to other people; that will let nothing hinder us, will fight hard against every distraction, everything that would keep us from glory to God.”

Tim warns us that we are in a spiritual battle on a daily basis and we need to be prepared.

“It is a spiritual battle and we are caught in the middle of it. If Satan can hinder us from doing good, if he can hinder us from drawing attention to God, then of course that’s exactly what he wants and too often we fall into that very trap.”

Find more helpful tips, tools and time-savers for productivity in Tim’s book Do More Better.

Living a productive life

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