3 Reasons Why I Quit Facebook (and You Should, Too)

3 Reasons Why I Quit Facebook (and You Should, Too)

Productivity and Time Management
Ah, Facebook. I remember being so excited when, as a mere high school student with only a MySpace page and a Xanga blog to my name, I could finally create a Facebook profile - previously the exclusive realm of college students. From there, Facebook pretty quickly took over my life. I spent over a decade on the site, logging countless hours uploading many a photo, posting many a vapid status update, and getting into quite a few public arguments with friends and family. Ah, Facebook... However, I'm happy to announce that, after over a decade on Facebook, I've finally decided to quit. It's been over a week, and I'm very happy with my choice! In case you're also considering quitting Facebook, here are my reasons for quitting. I submit them…
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Prioritize Your Life in 5 Minutes: An Introduction to the Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Prioritize Your Life in 5 Minutes: An Introduction to the Eisenhower Decision Matrix

Productivity and Time Management
If you're reading this blog post, I imagine that you, like me, are pretty busy. You've got a lot on your mind, a lot on your to-do list, and you're not sure how to prioritize your time and attention to the things that really matter. Having introduced the 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle, "law of the vital few," etc.), I'd like to now introduce you to its powerful partner: The Eisenhower Decision Matrix. The Eisenhower Box is worth your time because it will help you to perform an 80/20 Analysis on your life. That is, it will help you zero-in on the "vital few" - the top 20% or so of your tasks, habits, etc. that are responsible for 80% of the positive outcomes in your life.…
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How to Pray Before You Read and Write: A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study

How to Pray Before You Read and Write: A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study

Church and Theology, Productivity and Time Management
I want to share with you the following prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study, based on Oratio S. Thomae Aquinatis ante studium, which Thomas Aquinas would pray before studying, writing, or preaching. We prayed it responsively before class (Patristic and Medieval History and Doctrine) with Dr. Piotr Malysz at Beeson Divinity School, and I’ve since turned back to this prayer often! A Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas Before Study O God, Creator of all that is, From the treasures of Your wisdom, You have arrayed the universe with marvelous order, And now govern with skill and might. You are the true fount of light and wisdom. Pour forth a ray of Your brightness Into the darkened places of our minds; Disperse from our souls the twofold darkness into which…
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5 Books Every Christian Should Read

5 Books Every Christian Should Read

Productivity and Time Management
OK, OK. I get it. Claiming that every Christian should read these 5 books is a bold claim. But, honestly, I think that these reading recommendations stand up to the scrutiny. I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with just the top 5 books that a busy Christian should read if she wants to learn the essentials about: Productivity and Time Management Bible Study Theology And, I think I've arrived at a pretty good shortlist if I do say so myself. If you read and understand these 5 books, you'll be well on your way. Specifically, you'll receive the following information: My favorite study Bible My favorite guide to how to study the Bible My favorite overview of Church history My favorite overview of Christian theology My favorite…
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An 80/20 Approach to the Christian Life: 2 Reasons Why Christians Should Care About the Pareto Principle

An 80/20 Approach to the Christian Life: 2 Reasons Why Christians Should Care About the Pareto Principle

Productivity and Time Management
Do you want to live a more meaningful and purposeful Christian life, but you feel like it's hard enough just to get everything done on your to-do list each day? I'm right there with you! That's why I've made "Get Your Act Together (Productivity and Time Management)" the first of my Steps to Find Purpose and Meaning in Life. Thankfully, I think I've found something that can help. I'd like to introduce you to the "Pareto Principle," also known as "the 80/20 Rule," the "law of the vital few," or the "principle of factor sparsity," if you want to get all technical about it. Put as simply as possible, the 80/20 rule says this: 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. Take a moment to think about this, and…
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How to Understand and Remember What You Read: 4 Questions to Ask While Reading a Book

How to Understand and Remember What You Read: 4 Questions to Ask While Reading a Book

Productivity and Time Management
Let's be honest, reading is the closest things we humans have to a superpower. And yet, even when we somehow, miraculously carve out time to read something, it can be very difficult to understand and remember what we read -- especially if it's a difficult book that's worth reading in the first place! This is because, as Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren note in their perennial classic How to Read a Book (affiliate link), we aren't usually taught how to become skillful readers. Instead, in school, we're given the bare basics and then set loose into a jungle of long and complicated books that we struggle to make sense of. So far, How to Read a Book is the most helpful guide I've found to become a better reader -- to…
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Principles: 10 Imperatives for the Good Life

Principles: 10 Imperatives for the Good Life

Productivity and Time Management
Why write out a list of principles? For one thing, it's my birthday. And, although I'm only in my twenties, I'm feeling a bit reflective. For another, I've just been given a copy of Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio (affiliate link). According to Dalio (ix), Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. They can be aplied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals. With that in mind, here are 10 principles I've developed so far. I've followed Dalio's lead in casting my principles as imperatives. No, I don't always do an excellent job at these. But they're worth striving for. No, this is not an exhaustive list. And no, I don't always…
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Podcasts You Should Listen To

Podcasts You Should Listen To

Productivity and Time Management
Podcasts: An Introduction Although podcasts (think "iPod" + "broadcast") have been around for over a decade, we're living in a bit of a golden age - or a least a Rennaissance - of the medium. For the uninitiated, here's a nice video about what podcasts are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oerm5Q_9u2A Currently, podcasts are one of my very favorite ways to consume information about a wide variety of topics. Sure, gun to my head, I'll choose books over podcasts as a way to learn. However, unlike books (or videos), you can easily listen to podcasts while doing other things - whether folding laundry, washing dishes, or going for a run/walk. (Note: as I mentioned in my list of favorite tools and apps, Overcast is my current favorite podcast player. Although, there are plenty of…
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Tools You Should Use

Tools You Should Use

Productivity and Time Management
Who doesn't love great tools? These are my current (2017) favorite tools, some electronic, some digital. Please note that all Amazon links are affiliate links. Also, please note that these are not ranked in order of importance! BEST PEN: Zebra F-701 Stainless Steel Ballpoint Retractable Pen This is my "desert island" pen. It may not be the very best pen in the whole wide world, but I'm quite sure it's the pen at the intersection of durability, versatility, and affordability. If you really want to, you can "hack" the F701 by putting in a better ink cartridge. But I've been perfectly happy with the standard Zebra refills. BEST NOTEBOOK: Leuchtturm1917 Medium Size Hardcover A5 Notebook - Dotted Pages I use this notebook for a personal combination of the Bullet Journal method,…
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Is The Well-Equipped Christian Worth It?

Is The Well-Equipped Christian Worth It?

Productivity and Time Management
Have you ever had a problem finding a reliable resource for recommendations? I have. Certain Google searches are a piece of cake, but the "best resources for ______" ones can be hit-or-miss. And don't even get me started on the decision fatigue.  As a serial over-thinker, I start to hate myself a little bit after reading through the upteenth list of "5 Best ____s." It makes it so hard to make a decision! Then, when you pick something, you end up doubting your decision. Not fun. I'm sure these dynamics apply to a bunch of different things in life. However, while serving as a Youth Minister in seminary, I realized that finding reliable Christian recommendations and resources can be very difficult. Sure, it's not for lack of content out there! When…
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