Are you heading towards the right direction? Last week, I introduced the 4 P’s of Productivity—a list that is applicable to any productivity system you’re using. We need these 4 P’s for optimal and sustainable productivity, productivity that does not burn you out. Today, let me tell you a little bit more about the first of the four P’s: Purpose.
You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s impossible to be (consistently and sustainably) productive without a purpose to hold on to.
What a joy to wake up each morning energized, looking forward to the day because you know the impact of what you’ll be working on! Don’t get me wrong. It’s normal to have days (or seasons) when you wake up and drag yourself to work, but when you know your purpose, you’re going to go anyway, and you’re going to give it your 100%. Productivity is not about making work easy; it is about making hard work effective. This is where purpose comes in. There is no point in hard work, or any kind of effort, if there is no purpose for it.
Purpose is such a broad topic, so let me focus on just two things today that can help us be more productive in different aspects of our lives: Personal Purpose and Project Purpose.
1. Personal Purpose
I have many friends who have a general sense of their purpose in life, and I have many others who are certain of their specific purpose for this specific season in their lives, and yet many others who have a good grasp of both. It is good to have both, or at least one of these to start with.
Having a personal purpose, whether in general or for a specific season, helps us make decisions that lead towards success. It’s like having a compass to guide us which way to turn. Is your work aligned to your purpose? Is this really good opportunity aligned to your purpose? Is where you spend most of your time on aligned to your purpose? We can’t just make decisions based on how the package looks (well, we can, but will it be worth it?). We should always look at our compass to see if we’re on the right track before making a turn. Otherwise, it will just take us more time and energy before we arrive at our destination.
Here are three of the many questions that can help you know your purpose:
- What are your values?
- What are your strengths and your talents?
- What are you passionate about?
How do we get our compass? I believe we can only get it through prayer—asking our MAKER what He made us for. I remember talking to a good friend about making decisions, and he gave me four things to consider. We can apply this in discovering our God-given purpose:
- Word of God: The answer we’re looking for will not contradict God’s written word.
- Godly Counsel: God can use others to talk to us. There is wisdom in the counsel of many.
- Peace of the Holy Spirit: Whether it looks overwhelming or easy, if we allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives then we must trust the peace that He gives (and we must be sensitive and obedient, not overlooking if He is not giving us peace with a decision we’re about to make).
- Common Sense: Sometimes we just make things too complicated, and over-analysis becomes paralyzing!
2. Project Purpose
Everything starts with purpose. Why will you do what you’re about to do? Is it aligned to your purpose? If not, is the idea to be parked or to be passed to someone else? Purpose gives us parameters and borders so we know where to exert our efforts on. Borders are good because they help us focus on what’s best. You can be good at something, but sometimes good can be a distraction for best.
If God says “Do it,” do it. If you’re not sure, continue to pray, especially for life-altering decisions and all the more if you have your own family. It is better to take more time praying and seeking God than end up wasting your time (investment) for something that was just you. Because it’s not going to be long before you want to do something else. Always take a look at your compass.
At the workplace, do you know the purpose of your role? How does your role contribute to your organization? How does your role affect others?
Purpose dictates priority. Whether it’s a project, an event, a speaking engagement, or life itself, when you know your purpose, your priorities will be clear.
When so many deliverables are due and there is so little time, going back to your purpose (or your role’s purpose) will help you determine which tasks are priority. You won’t just do things right, you’ll do the right things.
To know more about the second Productivity P, click here.
33 weeks pregnant already! Still praying for a second name for our little boy. Pray with us for a painless, normal delivery (VBAC) and a full term baby! ????