The Antidote to Going through the Motions

    A preview of August's email-only article.

Sammy Williams

Every month I publish an exclusive article for my email subscribers. (If you'd like to join the club, fill out the form below. It's free!)

In this month's subscriber email we're looking at how to respond when faith becomes inconvenient.

Here's how the article starts:

I recently read David Allen's productivity manifesto, Getting Things Done. I'll write more about it in my annual reading roundup, but the entire philosophy of Allen's system could be summed up in this one quotation:

Your mind is designed to have ideas, based upon pattern detection, but it isn’t designed to remember much of anything![1]

When we don't have a reliable system for recording commitments and to dos, we attempt to store and recall everything in our brains with disastrous effect. Something in the back of our minds knows we have unfulfilled and unrecorded commitments, therefore we must do our best to retain these details. The psychological toll alone is overwhelming since our brains are not great at recall.

Around the same time I read Getting Things Done, I was also studying motivation theory in the workplace for a college course. One dimension of motivation is the contrast between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic desire spurs people to engage in activities for the benefits they will receive from the activities themselves, while those motivated by extrinsic factors engage in activities for external outcomes like money or praise.[2]

Which do you think is more effective?


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1. David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity (New York: Penguin, 2015), Kindle Edition, 277.
2. Steven McShane and Mary Von Glinow, Organizational Behavior: Emerging Knowledge, Global Reality, Ninth Edition (New York: McGraw Hill, 2021), 171.
3. This post contains an affiliate link.

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