Friday, January 8, 2016


A home for everything, and like goes with like.
- Tim Challies

I am a hard worker. I don't tend to fritter my time - I stay busy. Why, then, do I so often climb into bed at the end of the day feeling like I have left so many important tasks undone? Why do I often feel pressured or rushed, like I don't have enough time to accomplish my Need To Do List (never mind my Wish I Could Do List)? Why do I frequently have the nagging feeling that there is an important deadline or project that I have completely forgotten?

When Tim Challies announced the release of his latest book - Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity - I was eager to get a copy. Maybe Do More Better would provide solutions for my productivity issues. I was even more excited when Mr. Challies invited readers to participate in a "10 Days of Productivity" on-line workshop. Count me in!

To purchase, click HERE.

Tim Challies is a husband, father, church leader, blogger, writer, and conference speaker. He juggles a lot more balls than I do. If Tim Challies thought he had helpful advice on productivity, I wanted to hear it. Here are a few of my thoughts after reading Do More Better:

I love that Tim begins by formulating a theology of productivity, even before he presents tools and tips for achieving greater productivity. At the beginning of the book, he asks questions such as: Is productivity important? If so, why? How does my faith relate to my productivity?

Answering these questions and taking time to develop a solid, foundational definition of productivity has already impacted my daily life and work in a positive way. A biblical definition of productivity helps me choose wisely how to best use my time, talents, and other resources as a mom, as a writer, as a speaker, as a church member. Tim's simple, practical definition of productivity provides a lot of clarity when deciding what to do, and it alleviates ungrounded feelings of guilt when choosing what to leave undone.

Mr. Challies begins Do More Better by focusing on Scripture and faith, but he moves quickly to practical tools for improving productivity. Challies is technically savvy; I, on the other hand, am a techno dinosaur. I knew from the outset that Tim's strategies for improving productivity would involve electronic tools that would challenge my lack of technical expertise, but I determined to try my best to utilize the tools recommended.

My favorite tool by far is the task manager:  I think I'm in love. Yes, even this techno dinosaur figured out how to operate Todoist (although I have to admit that I spent an inordinate amount of time figuring out how to "color" the dots beside each project heading!)

Thanks to the electronic tools that Tim suggests (he gives step-by-step instructions on how to set these up and use them effectively), I have cleaned a plethora of sticky notes off my kitchen cabinets, I feel less stressed about upcoming deadlines, and I have almost tamed my email.

A few words of caution if you are seeking to be more productive, too, with the help of Do More Better:
  • Don't give up quickly. I am still figuring out the Todoist task management tool. Day 1 of setting up the task manager, I wondered if it was worth the time and effort required to get started - couldn't I be using my time more productively elsewhere? But after only a few days of using a task manager program, I am sold on the benefits of this tool.
  • Life happens. Increased productivity was one of my New Year's resolutions - thus my excitement about Do More Better. But, as I was skipping along the path to increased productivity, my van broke down, the cat threw up on the carpet, the toilet get the picture. Before the end of the first week, I was three days behind in the "10 Days of Productivity" challenge/workshop. Yes, I was tempted to throw in the towel. But I didn't. When the craziness subsided a little, I plugged back in right where I had left off. Finally, when life happens, remember...
  • A tool (such as the Todoist task manager or the Google calendar) is your servant, not your master. Don't let your tools become tyrannical task-masters that load you down with guilt:  make your tools conform to your needs and your life situation.
Would I recommend this book to others? Yes.

At 120 pages, Do More Better is a quick read, but I have found this small volume to be straight-forward and helpful. It is full of useful advice and tips for increased productivity, whether you are a stay-at-home mom, a writer, a student, or a professional.

To learn more about Tim Challies, visit To order a copy of Do More Better:  A Practical Guide to Productivity, click HERE.

(Note:  When I requested to do a review of his book, Tim Challies provided me with a free PDF copy of Do More Better. After reading the electronic version of the book, however, I ordered a print copy to have on hand as a reference book and to loan to friends. This is a resource I anticipate using repeatedly, when I want to reassess my productivity and re-evaluate my goals.)

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