Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Workday Wednesdays: The Simplest Secret to Increased Productivity

Most of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that my life is hectic and busy at the best of times. I am almost always working on at least 5 projects, I am president of two clubs, I am a member of the Legion of Mary, I am co-owner of a business, and on top of that I am a wife, and a mother. Needless to say, I don’t have a lot of time to waste and yet, despite all of that, I manage to waste a whole lot more time than I can afford because I am easily distracted and love to have fun.

A few weeks ago during Mass, Father gave a homily in which he reminded every one of us that daily prayer is important in our lives. It was not earth shattering news. I know it, as every Catholic does, but I had been sadly neglecting my daily prayers. This is perhaps why my blog remained so empty for so long - I wasn’t connecting with the source of creativity and I was experiencing some mental constipation as a result. He told us that Saint Francis de Sales wrote in his book, The Devout Life, that everyone should spend at least 30 minutes a day in prayer. Those who were busy should spend an hour.

Of course, it isn’t that you can’t offer your works up as a prayer, but the benefit of setting aside time in your life that is focused only on uniting yourself to God and not to doing anything else is that your whole mind can be devoted to Him. It creates that peaceful state of mind which allows ideas to flow and knowledge nearly forgotten to rise to the top. It sounds counter-intuitive to stop and take that much time out of your day for prayer when you are already busy, but after having tested both methods - not praying and praying - I can honestly say that I am a far more productive person when I pray before I do anything else.

Prayer before I work helps me to focus, to fight off distractions, and to come up with ideas for increasing my organization and productivity. The idea for creating the blog calendar came immediately following prayer on Friday. I have already seen the fruits of that, because I am ahead of schedule for the first time and am no longer scrambling to come up with ideas. I feel more content with myself because I know I am making progress and need no longer devote any part of my life to feeling guilty about what I am not doing. I am better able to resist the temptations to waste my time playing games on Facebook or watching endless rounds of shows on Netflix or Hulu.

To quote Mother Theresa, “Each day we should spend one hour in adoration except on days we are busy, then we should spend two” -Mother Teresa

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