“I am never caught up! I always have a list of things to do! I will never get it all done! My work is never done!”. It seems that just about everyone has said one of these lines or something similar. This is true especially with those personalities that are never happy with the status quo and are not afraid to “create” more things to do. What is not the key to getting things done? What is the key to getting things done?
Our attitude plays perhaps the most significant part in a day’s work. We have a choice no matter how long the list of things to get done. We choose to either be apathetic or committed.
I’ve often thought that an apathetic spirit causes people to feel like they are a squirrel on a treadmill getting nowhere. I sometimes exercise on a treadmill, but I don’t like it as much as I like just getting exercise by accomplishing something physical on my list while exercising.
Speaking of lists, a list that is long and getting longer can lead to apathy. We often get to that state unknowingly until we have arrived. Then we are alarmed and struggle to get out of that state of mind. Most people don’t like that state of mind and tend to blame themselves for it. That compounds the problem. We want to know where we went wrong or what is wrong with us? What fast solution can I come up with to fix it? Sometimes, people tend to blame everyone else for their state of mind because other people help create the work or aren’t doing enough, so we think.
There is only one way to get things done: that is to pursue a true spirit of commitment. Commitment is the opposite of apathy. It takes maturity to reach this point of acceptance, though at times a person must look honestly at themselves and come to learn and accept their limitations. It takes maturity to reach the point where you accept that you can only do with what you’ve got. Sure, you can stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone or learn new skills, but we are more than just machines. Our life consists of the physical, mental and emotional blend of a life now. You can stretch any of that reality to the breaking point like a weakening rubber band and it will come back to hurt you or your family.
On the other hand, there are things you can do that will help maintain a spirit of commitment. It is much like a church, because a group of Christians can become apathetic. The key can be to make sure we spend time with people who mean business. Jesus didn’t beg people to follow him or spend enormous amounts of time with people who didn’t want to listen to Him. He spent most of his time in his ministry interacting with people who were willing to interact with Him. The same is true no matter what our task involves on any given day. If you spend enormous amounts of time with people who are apathetic, you can also become apathetic by the shear force of that drive, coupled with discouragement because you can’t get it all done. There is something to be said about wiping the dust off your feet and moving on to someone else.
If you hang around people who get things done, it can encourage you to get things done. Think about it. Apathy is contagious and something negative as much as the measle outbreak right now. We reach the apathetic state through a tunnel of downward spirals like a steel culvert that is elevated gradually downward. We need the encouragement and positive feedback from others that is every bit as contagious but something positive. It is much like a church, because a church is not a building but rather people committed to God and each other. Even there, it is best to work with people who mean business. People who encourage each other and produce positive vibes of commitment towards a greater maturity to imitate God.
Whether in the secular world or the church, it pays to be around those who are serious about what is important. In God’s world, He requires us to be serious, sober and dedicated to His mission. As an energetic and creative person, though, I also understand the need to elevate these qualities, as well as part of that serious, sober, dedicated and committed approach. We can’t be afraid of thinking outside the box even it means more work. This is true regardless of the kind of task and where it might be including church, work, home or otherwise.