A friend gave me a book by a business woman named Patty Azzarello. The book is called Rise, and she says it gives three practical steps for advancing your career, standing out as a leader, and liking your life. That’s a pretty tall order for a book to deliver, but even though it’s not written from a biblical perspective, some of her thoughts are helpful. So, I want to explore with you the idea of ruthless priorities, which she defines as “overachieving where it counts.”
Years ago, God taught me that I can’t do everything—I can’t even do everything I could do or would like to do. I have to make choices and those choices determine whether what I do counts in the Kingdom or not. Truly, in order to do God’s will, we need ruthless priorities—priorities that are clearly established in our minds and to which we ruthlessly hold. Otherwise, we will be pulled in a hundred different directions, and accomplish very little that truly counts for eternity.
One of the chapters in this book is entitled “Be Less Busy,” which doesn’t sound like the way to advance your career, does it? But truthfully, we have to begin by getting rid of our preconceived idea that busyness means productivity. When I first began my career years ago, I noticed that many people in the company worked very long hours and took great pride in it. They seemed to think that putting in lots of extra hours meant they were demonstrating a higher commitment to the job, and they were doing a better job than the rest of us. Patty says in her book, “Many people feel that if they are not fully consumed with work and always appearing to be super busy, people will question their commitment and their value.” (p. 15)
I truly believe in working hard, but equally important is working smart. Getting great results with less work is the sign of a very smart person. As Patty puts it, “Just because you can work tirelessly doesn’t mean you should.” (p. 17)
Do you have a ruthless priority for your life that you will slow down, that you will truly “be still and know that God is God”? There’s an African proverb that says, “Hurry, hurry has no blessing”—and truly it doesn’t. Slowing down so we have time to know God has to be our highest priority. When it is, you’ll get more done in less time, and you won’t be so frayed around the edges.more