A whack on the side of the head

Sep 23

“Listen to advice, accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” (Proverbs 19:2)

That’s good advice!

Yesterday was a productivity game changer. It began when I glanced at Seth Godin’s blog. If you are not familiar with Seth, he is a marketing guru and a contrarian. I don’t always agree with him, but he makes me think. I bounced from Seth to Michael Hyatt. Michael is the chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers. He writes on leadership, productivity, publishing, and social media. Yesterday he had 161,975 subscribers. Today he has 161,976. Here’s why: Hyatt’s post, Yes, You Can Stay on Top of Email piqued my curiosity. I read it, implemented his suggestions, and found myself in a place I haven’t been in a long, long time — an inbox with 1 email in it.

Good things happen when I take time to listen, but honestly, it is not my strong suit.

Sometimes I have trouble listening to others, especially when the others are people who are doing things “better” than me. Mr. Pride, the man lying on a cot in the basement of my heart, gets roused out of his slumber and shouts, “You don’t need to listen to him! You’re doing just fine!” But yesterday, I ignored Mr. Pride. I listened to the advice of Hyatt — and I got wiser.

Hyatt’s post was a very good whack on the side of the head. As I was patching the email leak in my productivity boat, I got to thinking about other productivity leaks. One had to do with my writing habits. That moment of reflection is leading to a revamped website and changes in my daily writing rhythms that will make me more effective and help me be more present for Shannan, my incredibly sacrificial and patient wife.

I woke up this morning with a full day, but a wonderfully light spirit. And it all started when I stopped . . . stopped long enough to listen.

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