We have a beaver that lives in the pond on our property. I was a little surprised at first because I thought beavers always build dams and therefore, always lived along a river or creek. Turns out I was wrong because our beaver lives on our pond and has built no dams. Beaver dams are interesting things. They inhibit the natural flow of water. A beaver dam can affect a lot of what happens downstream. What once was a free flowing stream or creek can be dried up, or have far less water flow. This could be the difference between robust healthy soil for growing and soil deprived of good nutrients. While Dams can be good when used constructively, dams cause a disruption in the flow of life-giving water. Similar to dams, we all have things in our lives which stop up our flow of productivity. If we can accurately identify our productivity dams, the things which gum up our productivity, then we will be able to remove them and increase productivity.
Removing your productivity dams could be more simple than you think . One of the most important ways to identify the things in your life which inhibit your ability to be productive is to engage in self-reflection. While too much self-reflection can be unhealthy, no self-reflection is also unhealthy. One of the most common mistakes we make in our lives is to do things for no other reason beyond that it is the way we have always done it. We assume that because things are a certain way, they should be that way. Consider your goals. What things in your life get in the way from you achieving your goals? Are they things that are unhealthy and need to be removed from your life? These could be things such as overusing social media, watching too much media or sporting events on tv, or staying up too late on a daily basis.
Some things are very good and healthy and it would be wrong for us to remove them from our lives, but maybe we need to better manage how we relate to them. For example, if you work from home, maybe you need to designate an isolated work area during the day and set schedule boundaries for your children so that you can work productively undistracted during work hours. Whether you identify things around which you need to set stronger boundaries, or things that are simply unhelpful and need to be removed, engaging in a little self-reflection will help you be able to identify the things in your life which are damming up your productivity.
Once your have identified the dams through self-reflection, you should spend some time writing down what you are going to do about them. Write down what your dams are and how you plan to remove them or work around them to increase your productivity. Tell a loved one what your plan is and ask them to regularly check on you to see how you are doing at keeping the dam cleared in your life. Recommit yourself to keeping these dams cleared in your life on a weekly basis. Spend time on Saturday or Sunday revising your goals for the week, and plan out how you are going to achieve them, anticipating the dams that could arise this week and planning how you will prevent them from doing so.
The main point I want to encourage you in (and myself) is that you can increase your productivity simply by identifying the things in your life which are operating like productivity dams, and find ways to strategically remove them, thus increasing the flow of productivity. When we remove our dams, it causes much productivity to flow downstream for years to come. Most of us are able to accomplish far more than we ever thought we could. But we need set ourselves up for success. Accomplishing great things for the God’s Kingdom does not come automatically. It happens through hard work, struggle, and commitment. It takes inspiration and resolve. It takes inspired resolve.