The Productivity Secret: Do things even when you don’t “feel like” doing them

i don't feel like itOur teenage years was spent learning how to do things we didn’t feel like doing. Depending on our parents’ parenting style, some of us excelled at this earlier than others.

As a college prof, I still see students wrestling with this basic life function, putting off important work until it’s too late and then turning in sub-par work, if turning in work at all.

I see this in the field of Christian leadership, belief it or not.  We sign up to be youth workers, senior pastors, children’s workers, or other ministry roles and we quickly work to find ways to avoid doing what we don’t like to do…. even if that is spending time with the people in our groups!


Sounds simple doesn’t it.

It kind of is.  It kind of is.

But it’s what perpetrates the good leaders from the others:  Some just do it.  It’s what made a former student of mine, Joel Runyon, so successful in his work of helping peopleDo the Impossible.”  (You need to check out his story). He helps people create disciplined patterns, take on challenges, and realize a potential beyond their perceived limits. In the end, they do what they once though impossible.

One way to make sure you do this is to schedule in what I call this, the “grunt work” and then be sure to use a weekly tracker to keep track of how you did “getting it done.”  I think that intense physical exercise 3x a week serves as a personal symbol and reminder of what discipline feels like.  Good workouts push us past our self-imposed limits every time … and then we line up and do it again in 2 days….. and again… and then next week ….. and we keep on doing it … and we keep on pushing past those limits ….  and again…..

List the three things in your week that you do not usually feel like doing. Then put them on your calendar. When that time comes … do them.  Then, when your time is up, YOU’RE DONE!  And you can focus on the work that motivates you.

And now I get back to the work that I don’t feel like doing… so I wrote a blog post about it.

  • Aaron Helman

    “And now I get back to the work that I don’t feel like doing… so I wrote a blog post about it.”

    This line was my very favorite – and you’re exactly right in this post. Sometimes ministry professionals aren’t so good at being professionals.