Chapter 2 discusses three productivity thieves: 1. laziness 2. busyness 3. Thorns and thistles.
Both laziness and busyness are okay and even revered in our society today. We no longer feel ashamed about being lazy. We say without apology:"I knew I should do it but I was just too lazy." or "I just had a lazy day today." Even Christians adopt these phrases knowing that the Bible repeatedly warns us to guard against laziness. And busyness is the catchall justifier for why we're not getting anything done. Everyone is busy, and it's okay. Tim Challies says this about busyness in chapter 2: "our society often judges us and ranks us according to our busyness. Although we complain about being busy, we also find it validates us, as if we have only two choices before us: doing far too little or far too much. We somehow assume that our value is connected to our busyness." I could relate to both laziness and busyness being thieves of productivity and could identify it in my own life.
The author describes both busyness and laziness as "issues that arise from within. They are deficiencies in character that then work themselves out in our lives." He describes the third productivity thief, thorns and thistles, as "challenges that come for outside ourselves" such as traffic delays, appointment delays, illness, etc. Thorns and thistles may be those obstacles in our lives that we cannot control, and they impede productivity, but they are also the moments when our true character shows. I'll close this post with a quote from the author that ties up that thought in a neat little bow.
"God calls you to productivity, but he calls you to the right kind of productivity. He calls you to be productive for his sake, not your own. While this book will emphasize tools and systems and other elements of productivity, nothing is more important than your own holiness and your own godliness. No amount of organization and time management will compensate for a lack of Christian character, not when it comes to this great calling of glory through good--bringing glory to God by doing good to others."