Maybe my most productive hours are still ahead of me, but I don’t want to begrudge the blessed interruptions to them. Most of all, I thank God that I am a girl interrupted. He has interrupted my false delusions of my own accomplishments with the good news of his own. As much as I love to contribute to my family, friends, and society in meaningful ways, I also know that my worth and my value aren’t in my productivity, but in what I have received from God (and it wasn’t a life raft that I had to reach out for).
There’s an article being shared all over the internet this week titled, “Don’t Waste Your Two Most Productive Hours.” The article reports on the statement by behavioral scientist Dan Ariely that our two most potentially productive hours are the two hours after we are fully awake. This is when we supposedly have the best mental capacity to get things done. The first thing I wonder is what qualifies as “fully awake”? I usually measure my wakefulness in cups of coffee. That first cup always reminds me of the illustration of salvation that Arminians like to use:
You are drowning and completely helpless. Someone has thrown you a life raft and all you have to do is reach out and grab it and you are saved.
My coffee is my morning life raft. Unfortunately, I have to get it myself.
Even so, I am probably what people would categorize as a morning person. And yet, this article insults me a little. Melissa Dahl gives commentary on Ariely’s plea that we not waste our most productive hours on mindless activities such as scrolling through social media. I get that. I do. Dahl concludes with a suggestion:
One way to fight against this tendency is to decide the night before what you want to accomplish in the morning, so you can jump right into your day. There is a time for mindlessness, but maybe save it for later.
This statement is a complete joke for a mother. Sure, I predetermine what I would like to accomplish all the time. I even wake up before the rest of the family to try and be more “productive” before the morning officially starts. But the morning begins pretty early in the Byrd house and it is littered with interruptions to my list. By 6:30 (only one cup of coffee in, mind you), I am braiding hair, making breakfast, four separate lunches (MTO), signing folders, feeding the dog, barking out reminders, encouraging young minds, dealing with drama, and driving my rounds.
It’s so easy to look at the first couple of hours in my day as the ones that hinder my productivity. With this frame of mind, my family members become obstacles to the mindful things that I would like to be fruitful in. After all, I’ve created even more hindrances in the process. Now I also have to clean a kitchen and reassess my resources for when they return.
Sure, we can all be kind and say, “But you are being productive, look at all you’ve produced!” But I don’t think that is the kind of innovation to which this article is referring. That’s why it’s insulting.
I take pride in my morning routine, even if I fail to serve with the godly joyfulness that I should.