Put Down the Devices

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If you’re like most people, you are going to be tempted first thing every morning to roll over and check your phone or device. It’s going to be the first thing you want to do when you wake up in the morning. Then you are going to drive to your office, and you are going to be tempted to first check your email or check facebook or whatever it is you do on your electronic device. Let me share a little secret that will help you live a productive life.

My goal for you is not that you are busy. The world is full of busy people; they are running, running, running. My goal for you is that you are productive and happy. When you are productive, you are happy because there is nothing as unsatisfying as not being productive. Like running the rat race and getting nothing done; staying busy and but looking around but still having everything to do and having the same problems facing you. You’ve got to aim to have the productive life. If you are going to do that, you have to do what Mark Twain says. He said if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. By eating a live frog first thing in morning, that means I do the most challenging, difficult task first. I put off the fun things, the easy things until I have done the things I may not naturally be inclined to do first.

Don’t get on your electronic devices first thing in the morning. If you use your phone as an alarm turn it off, and refuse to get on your email. Refuse to get on Facebook; refuse to get on Snapchat. Refuse to get on Instagram. When you get to your office or your place of work, unless your job is customer service, don’t start answer emails right away. When you begin your day by spending time on your electric devices, your phone, you computer, that dictates the course of your day.  You immediately begin to think in a responsive mode. Who do I need to respond to? What do I need to respond to? Now again, if you have a customer service job and you are paid to respond, you better do that. For everybody else, don’t chose to start your day by responding. You’ve got to chose your priorities for the day.

Now, eating the frog first. It’s easy for me to check my email first thing in the morning, to start responding to emails, for me to check Facebook and social first thing. What is not easy, the frog I must force myself to eat everyday, is to not do that stuff, and to do the important things that need to get done, then I can reward myself to go to Instagram, Youtube, or other places including my email.

Only you can control your time. Now I understand in ministry, for those of you that are pastors and ministry leaders, as you shepherd people you know all it takes is one phone call, one knock on the door, and as you shepherd and lead people especially in ministry, your day can be changed on a dime. However, you control your schedule for the most part.

Carl Sandburg said, “time is the coin of life. It is the most valuable thing you could have. Be careful less you let other people spend it for you.” Who is controlling your time? Who is controlling your agenda? When I begin my day checking email, I’m letting other people set my agenda. Instead, don’t check your email. Don’t check social until mid-morning, until you have eaten the frog first, until you have done the important things you need to get done. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing all of the fun stuff and the easy stuff (email and social), only to put off the important things until the end of the day. Those important decisions, those important conversations: you get to the end of the day and guess what? You are going to procrastinate, and you will push it to the next day. Eat the frog first. Stay off those digital devices until mid-morning.


Your #1 fan,

Ryan

Ryan Frank