The door that will unlock in your thinking if you ponder what I share here long enough could save you years of frustration.
The accumulated moments of unnecessary effort in our daily routines can add up over time and become years of our life. These unchallenged chief robbers of time are the small foxes that spoil the vine. They appear unimpressive and minimal close up, but multiply their destructive consequences and you’ll find time spilling out in all directions.
It begins with the false premise that more effort is equal to bigger or better results.
We seek better outcomes and wonder why they are not forthcoming, and simply jump on the bike and pedal harder. The problem is, some of our cycles have square wheels!
Your habits and processes are the bicycles that you ride in life and business. We flow with the familiar without giving consideration to whether the way we are doing the work is the best and most efficient use of time and energy…
Please note: this transcript is auto-generated so forgive any (or many) errors 😲 – click the timestamps to play that section directly in the audio.
Well, super good to be with you today, this month, I’m talking about just some productivity, thoughts, thoughts around productivity. I see I’m getting a look down here, kind of here. So you have to forgive me. I realise I’m going to, like, buy the give it give it a couple of weeks before lockdown ends. And I have like this big afro and be singing some songs for a bit of reggae or something. But yeah, this month I’m talking about productivity, not necessarily doing more OK.
In many ways, looking at ways to do less but make more will be more accomplished more but with less effort. OK. And today I really want to touch on that subject in in a little bit more detail, because I think that this is a real place of frustration for a lot of people. Are they? People often have. People often face a lot of unnecessary frustration because they’ve not really looked at the accumulated consequences of friction in their daily routines.
Now that can be in life or business. In fact, business and life are one in the same thing in many respects, especially if you’re an entrepreneur. But, you know, it’s it on on close inspection, OK, some things like there’s a scripture in the Bible that talks about how the little foxes spoil the vine and these little foxes in and of themselves may even look quite cute. You know, they may seem quite inconsequential, but multiply them and multiply the small like that.
The scripture says it’s the small foxes or the little foxes that spoil the vine. And the accumulated consequence of little issues in the way that we do things really does begin to add up. We we we begin sometimes on the false premise. We look and we think, why am I not seeing the kind of results that I want to see? Why am I not getting the outcome that I’m looking for? And we can default in our good Protestant way to I think, to begin building on the false premise that more effort equals bigger or better results.
Now, that may in some cases be what’s necessary. Maybe there is more energy needs to be put into an already working system in order to multiply the results. But often it’s not actually the effort that’s going in that is that needs to be given consideration and time and thought. It’s the actual system itself that what we’re cramming our efforts and our time into, you know, oftentimes, you know, our habits. And instead of, like giving consideration to the system where it’s like we jump on the proverbial bike and just start to pedal harder, you know, to try and produce bigger results.
But sometimes the wheels on the bike are square. You know, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a picture of a bike with square wheels or heard kind of jokes or proverbs about, you know, trying to drive with square wheels. But I can tell you, having driven many of my own systems with square wheels, it takes a lot of effort to get that thing moving and it takes just as much to keep it moving. And so, you know, and I have our habits and our processes are like the bicycles that we ride in life and business.
And it’s so easy to just continue to try and flow with what’s familiar without giving consideration to whether the way we’re doing something is the best and most efficient use of our time and our energy. Solomon pointed this out in the book of Ecclesiastes. He said, If the axe is dull and you do not sharpen the edge, then you must use more strength. But wisdom brings success. Interesting, isn’t it, that he says that wisdom brings success, not just effort.
In fact, sometimes we expend more effort than is necessary because we’ve not wisely considered the edge of our acts. You know, both the dull and the sharp axe are going to get the same result, the tree is going to fall, but that poor dude with the dull axe is like expending twice as much effort. It takes him three times as long. And quite honestly, once he’s got that one tree down, he probably won’t be revisiting the forest.
And if we want to be in this game for the long haul, if you want to be in your marriage for the long haul, if you want to be in your business for the long haul, if you want to be kind of just do live well over a long period of time, it really does behove us to stop and to kind of maybe back-pedal a little bit climb out of the saddle and give consideration to how and why we’re doing what we do and you know, really see God’s wisdom for how can we do this better, how can I bake better systems and processes and habits into my day.
So I get you multiplied results and the truth is a better system. I mean, you put you put round wheels on a bike instead of square ones, you will go a great deal further with far less effort. And it’s the same for us in life and business, you can bake good habits, better habits into your day, into your business and see tremendous results that are disproportionate to the amount of energy, money, time and effort that it takes.
Abraham Lincoln said the same thing or similar thing. He said, give me give me six hours to chop to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. Now, I would I would imagine that Abraham Lincoln was probably a man who was imbued with some wisdom. He was a man, a deep thinker. He was a believer and he would have he wouldn’t have spoken words lightly. And here we see he says, look, if you’re going to try and accomplish something, spend the great spend the greatest part of your effort thinking through how you’re going to do it, sharpening your axe and then and only then go to the actual work of accomplishing what you’ve set to do, the outcome that you’re seeking.
And every habit in our life can be like these axes. You know, we need to ask ourselves, can this be sharpened? Can it be streamlined? Can it be rounded in a way that’s going to make the wheels turn with greater ease? I’m presently revisiting a lot of the systems in my own businesses and particularly in my publishing business. I’ve got a great business working there. You know, we published hundreds of books last year, sent out like millions of emails to our subscribers.
But there’s so much more I could do. I could multiply my results not so much by adding effort in. And I’m like pedalling harder, but by simply improving some of my systems and streamlining some of the ways that I do things and not just the way I do things, but the way I have other people do those things for me. And then and then with the same energy in, we can get a greater yield out. So, you know, sometimes instead of focussing on how much or how little we are doing or not doing, you know, and how you might work harder to accomplish more, maybe just take some time to think I’m not giving you the answers here as much as just encouraging you to kind of apply wisdom to your own situation.
Consider how you might be able to do less and still see the same results or better in a baking, streamlined shop and habits into your routines, especially ones that you repeat over and over again, will save you far more time than it takes to think through plan and implement them. If you then if you simply continue running in old familiar ruts, it’s very easy to to continue doing what we’ve always done because that’s the way we’ve always done it. And quite honestly, we’ve done it so often that it is like second nature.
There is an ease to that. There’s a simplicity to that, even if it’s really complicated, even if we’ve overcomplicated it, even if there’s friction and that that kind of hinders our results and hinders the time it takes to accomplish something, because we’ve done it so many times. We feel and think that, oh, it’s easier just to do do it this way rather than kind of give myself a brain cramp, trying to figure out how I could do it better.
You know, and I mean, for me, I know I’m always asking myself, how can I do this in a simpler way, not simple, where it’s stripped back to just like a bare frame. And it doesn’t know Lloyd no longer accomplishes the outcome that I’m looking for. I’m not talking about kind of just like leaving the thing bare and naked. I’m looking at systems and thinking, how can I improve this? So it’s more effective and more efficient and takes less effort to move the wheels, to swing the axe and to get the result that I’m looking for.
And, you know, sometimes it does mean that you’ve got to pull the wheels off for a while in order to do it. But it is worth doing that. You know, if it’s if it’s the right time and the right season to do so, it’s worth just turning that bike upside down, pulling that wheel off. May be kind of pressing the pause button for a short time until you can fit some better wheels on whatever habit or system or process you’re currently working with in your business.
And like I say, you can apply these things to life as well. You can consider, you know, how am I communicating in my marriage? How am I working with my children? Are there some habits, daily kind of routines that I can build in that will better serve them and better build me as a parent? Sharpen the axe, sister. Fix the Big Brother. And I believe, you know, as you give some thought to this, this can be like this can be powerfully, powerfully applied in so many contexts and can really be quite life changing because you don’t when you change, when you change a system or a process or a routine or a habit, you don’t just change it once when you when you change it, if it is something that you do on a regular basis, you don’t just change it once.
It takes a lot of energy, effort and thought to change that one. But that one becomes ten, becomes 100, becomes a thousand, becomes 10000. Because it’s these things that we repeat. These things that that that are regular. Activities that are the most impactful and when we get them right, when we when we when we apply wisdom, as Solomon said. It will bring success. Well, thanks for listening, hopefully. It’s been an encouragement to you today, if you want to connect any further, you can do so through my website at Davidleemartin.com.
Have a great day.