From dawn to dusk people are engaged in lot of activities. I know many people who are always seemed to be doing something but at the end of the day, month or the year they feel they have not accomplished anything. Is that you? It is time to examine and to check how productive your work/activities are. Next time you feel like losing your breath, running around like chicken – take a deep breath and ask yourself, “Am I being productive or just active?”
Activity and productivity are two different things. If a man is active, it doesn’t mean he’s productive. We can be engaged in any activity, but activity in itself isn’t much useful if there is no productivity. In business activity is generally a set of actions with no specified outcome/goal, timeframe or pre-determined results. Productivity on the other hand is efficiency achieved through the activities of the entrepreneur yet focusing on a desired outcome/result, planning towards a goal, and specifying timeframe within which such goals would be reached.
The student entering into school is an activity. But going to school is not enough activity in guaranteeing success and passing exams. Going for lectures, studying and engaging in group discussions, setting his heart and mind into his studies will make the student productive enough to pass exams to achieve the objective or success. Activity with purpose and determination will bring productivity. “Activity gets you busy but productivity gets you results.”
Activity (systems and procedures) should be developed to compliment productivity – not hinder it. When you walk into a McDonalds, you don’t see the activity get in the way of delivering a burger in the quickest time possible. A lot goes on behind the scenes that the customer and the front-line staff don’t see. Management seamlessly manages ‘activity’ without interfering or impeding productivity. Managing activity in this case, is a proactive function, instead of a reactive function. ‘Activity’ keeps everybody running around and looking very professional and busy, it can be equally disruptive to work-flow and productivity. Activity with purpose and determination with constant evaluation will bring better productivity. If we do a serious evaluation of our activities perhaps many of our activities are impeding the productivity that we desire to have in our lives. You should discard those activities from your life which are not bringing productivity or impeding your productivity.
Finally our productivity must affect eternity. Jesus said “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain…” (John 15:16). The very reason the Lord has chosen us is not just to be engaged with some activity but to engage in activities that brings productivity or bear fruit and fruit that remain forever. Life is not only about the present but God has a plan for our eternity. You must do an honest evaluation of all the activities you are engaged in and ask yourself, “Is it affecting eternity”?
Jesus told a parable of a rich man in Luke 12:16-21. He was engaged in lot of activities and he was very productive. But he could not look beyond the present. He was living in the here and now. All that he accumulated was only for here. God addresses him as, “You fool”. If your productivity is not affecting eternity we are like the man who built his house upon the sand.
How can one have activity with productivity affecting eternity? First abide in Christ because life flows from Him (John 15:5). As you keep growing in your daily relationship with God He will impress on your heart the work/activities that you need to get involved in. Write down those daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and life time goals God impresses upon your heart. Pray and pursue after it and you will have the satisfaction of seeing activities with productivity affecting the eternity. Anything that comes from heaven will have its effect on heaven but anything that rises from earth can never reach there.