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Stuck? 3 Productivity Traps & How To Escape Them

Stuck? 3 Productivity Traps & How To Escape Them

How to get unstuck bookMany of us feel like we are not getting done what really matters to us and what we are truly capable of doing. And even when we are accomplishing things, doing so is a battle that surely must be harder than it really has to be.

The goal of my book How to Get Unstuck is to get you unstuck in your productivity in work and life, do it in the right way—a God-centered, gospel-driven way—and enable you to stay unstuck through obstacles.

In other words, this book is about more than just meeting your own needs. It is about getting unstuck so that you can accomplish God’s purposes more effectively. Getting unstuck from things that don’t matter so you can accomplish the things that really do.

All the ways we get stuck in life and in productivity fall into three categories: we don’t know what we want, we don’t know how to get there, and obstacles are in the way.

Personal effectiveness has three components, and they actually match up exactly to these three problems.

1. Personal Leadership

Personal leadership is about developing a vision for your life. It’s the ability to know what’s most important and to define where you want to go. This addresses the problem of not knowing where you are going—and does it in a God-centered way so that you are really going in the direction God wants you to go.

The way to address the problem of not knowing where you are going is to develop a vision for your life. This involves

  • developing your purpose and mission
  • developing your values
  • developing your large life goals
  • defining your roles.

2. Personal Management

While personal leadership is about vision, personal management is about discipline. This is essential because vision alone is not enough—you also have to carry it out.

You know where you want to go from personal leadership, and personal management is the skills, practices, and focus involved in making that happen. It addresses the problem of knowing where you want to go but not knowing how to get there.

Personal management involves

  • determining your intermediate goals
  • choosing the activities to which you will give your time
  • defining and managing your projects
  • determining your next actions
  • managing your schedule, and
  • just plain doing the work

I find it helpful to use the term time management here. A lot of people don’t seem to like using this term, and I myself try to minimize using it because it seems so mundane: “How can you need to learn more about that?” But it is actually central and not at all redundant—at least not at the pace and with the challenges we have in our day. But if you don’t find the term time management super helpful, try maximizing your time or getting things done, or the like.

While time management is central, it is nonetheless only part of the equation. For it doesn’t matter how well you are managing your time if you are going in the wrong direction. Hence, time management must always happen in the context of personal leadership.

That’s what so many miss. And that’s why some people find time management boring—they don’t realize it’s about executing amazing things, accomplishing dreams. It’s the concrete, on-the- ground component of making great things happen.

3. Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming obstacles involves strategies for overcoming the challenges to your time management, but it is about more than that. It is about passion and motivation, for passion is a key part of God’s power that gets you through the obstacles. It is hard to press through challenges when you are not motivated! On the other hand, being motivated and passionate not only gives you energy to do more than you otherwise could but also yields fresh insight for overcoming future obstacles.

Overcoming obstacles also involves being equipped with the specific tools for addressing problems that get you stuck, such as

  • overflowing email
  • distractions and interruptions
  • procrastination, and
  • lack of motivation

Personal effectiveness enables you to get unstuck because it addresses the three chief issues that get you stuck, thereby enabling you to

  • Learn what God wants you to do through the skill of personal leadership
  • Learn how to make those things happen through the skill of personal management
  • Keep going through obstacles

By learning the discipline of personal effectiveness, you will be more able to get unstuck when you need to. You will have the vision to know where you are going, the discipline to know how to get there and do it, and the passion and know-how to overcome the challenges along the way.

— Matt Perman, How to Get Unstuck: Breaking Free from Barriers to Your Productivity.

How to Use This Book

Are you feeling overwhelmed, unbalanced, or just too busy?

How to Get Unstuck will help you conquer busyness, do great work, and escape average for a cause greater than yourself—and do this all this in a holistic way that doesn’t sacrifice one area of life for another (such as sacrificing your family for your career).

This book will help you:

  • master a basic approach to getting unstuck from problems
  • craft an adaptive approach to time management
  • build your willpower and grow discipline
  • get projects unstuck
  • make your workspace clutter-free
  • overcome the #1 sticking point for new leaders
  • ultimately, accomplish God’s purposes more effectively

How to Get Unstuck would serve as a practical tool for a church/ministry team or staff. Pick up a copy today and see how it could help your whole staff get unstuck and become a more effective force for God’s purposes.