How to Work Better — Part 5 of 9: Looking Good! (Day 3)

how to work better evaluate your workThis is our fifth lesson in improving personal productivity based on a study of Genesis chapter one.

Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear,” and it was so. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day.

Unlike day two, on day three we see enormous visible progress. On this day, not only life, but self-sustaining, reproductive life comes to earth. With this information we can resolve the chicken and egg debate forever: God made the first chicken on day three. The egg is RE-production. God commanded highly complex life into immediate existence. God took two mini-rests, both for personal satisfaction and quality control. Twice God stepped back from his work, looked at His creation, and “saw that it was good.” Looking good! Those who work this way enjoy their labour more. I once read that when asked for his key to success, John Deer, the founder of John Deer tractors, responded, “I never sign my name to something until I am personally satisfied with it.” All craftsmen and masters of their trades take pleasure in their creative work. They pause, evaluate, enjoy, and then continue polishing until they are personally happy with the results. Taking reflective mini-breaks to enjoy the progress made is the way our Creator worked. Learn from Him: Create, then pause to say: “It looks good!”

Let’s apply this technique to the financial world. One of the biggest financial challenges in our culture is debt. How do we become debt-free? It’s hard. Many people start by attacking the debts with the highest interest rates. This makes mathematical sense, but not common sense. It’s better to use the snowball approach. Start with the smallest debt. Pay it off in full. Pause and enjoy the satisfaction of having it paid off. Take a mini rest and see that your progress is good. That’s how God worked. Pay off one debt entirely, and then use the extra cash to pay off the next smallest loan. It’s like the strategy employed by Julius Caesar: Divide and conquer. In contrast, debt consolidation loans can be a step backwards as they turn many small debts into one massive gorilla. However, sometimes debt consolidation makes sense. It works well in the case of a formal consumer proposal, which includes debt forgiveness, and results in a single lower interest rate. But the personal productivity lesson from God’s way of working on day three is the mini reflective rest. This is similar to the small breaks taken to enjoy the new scenery before climbing higher while hiking in the mountains. In conclusion, when facing up to a massive debt, set small goals with breaks to enjoy the progress made. This way you can get the satisfaction of hitting the goal as per the time-tested maxim, “It’s all hard by the yard, but inch by inch, anything’s a cinch.” Check out the significance of the phrase little by little.

Tom Lipp

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