Posts Tagged ‘work’
Al Mohler has some statistics and comment on the pornification of culture: apparently 70% of pornography is being viewed during working hours in the US. He mentions one employee of a government-funded agency who is recorded as spending 20% of his working day viewing pornography online.
Online pornography provides the opportunity whenever the inclination is present, and substantially removes the shaming element of the public consumption of filth.
Mortimer Adler, from his essay, “Invitation to the Pain of Learning” (1941):
Whoever passes by what is over his head condemns his head to its present low altitude; for nothing can elevate a mind except what is over its head; and that elevation is not accomplished by capillary attraction, but only by the hard work of climbing up ropes, with sore hands and aching muscles.
Was it not Thomas Edison who commented on the lengths to which a man would go to avoid original thinking? We are too ready to avoid any thinking.
HT: Justin Taylor.
Those pastors and others who work from home would do well to consider some of the ideas suggested in this post about separating work and home.
Of course, there are different kinds of work and different demands, but some of the advice for genuine productivity can be helpful. You need to ask the question even if you arrive at a different answer.
HT: What’s Best Next.
A gentleman by the name of Mike Elgan posts a fierce and forthright piece on Work Ethic 2.0: Attention Control. Some key quotes follow.
On the deliberate distractions of the interweb:
Columnist David Brooks, commenting in the Dec. 16th New York Times about Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book called “Outliers,” made a statement as profound as it was accurate: “Control of attention is the ultimate individual power,” he wrote. “People who can do that are not prisoners of the stimuli around them.”
But why is that truer now than ten or twenty years ago? Why will it be truer still ten or twenty years from now? As I wrote in May, Internet distractions evolve to become ever more “distracting” all the time — like a virus. Distractions now “seek you out.”
Distractions mask the toll they take on productivity. Everyone finishes up their work days exhausted, but how much of that exhaustion is from real work, how much from the mental effort of fighting off distractions and how much from the indulgence of distractions?
On the need for diligent focus:
The need for “attention,” rather than “hard work,” as the centerpiece of the new work ethic has arisen along with the rise of distractions carried on the wings of Internet protocol. In one generation, we’ve gone from a total separation of “work” from “non-work” to one in which both work and play are always sitting right in front of us.
Now, we find ourselves with absolutely nothing standing between us and a universe of distractions — nothing except our own abilities to control attention. Porn, gambling, funny videos, flirting, socializing, playing games, shopping — it’s all literally one click away. Making matters worse, indulging these distractions looks just like work. And it’s easy to work and play at the same time — and call it work. These new, increasingly compelling distractions get piled on to older ones — office pop-ins, e-mail, IM, text messages, meetings and others.
On true productivity:
A person who works six hours a day but with total focus has an enormous advantage over a 12-hour-per-day workaholic who’s “multi-tasking” all day, answering every phone call, constantly checking Facebook and Twitter, and indulging every interruption.
It’s time we upgraded our work ethic for the age we’re living in, not our grandparents’ age. Hard work is still a virtue, but now takes a distant second place to the new determinant of success or failure in the age of Internet distractions: Control of attention.
I think it was John Wesley who essentially divided his day into five minute sections, and asked at the end of each of them whether he had used it wisely. Our Bibles issue a similarly forthright command: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5.15-16).
So, how long have you just spent browsing the internet? How long did it take you to read this post? What will you do next?
C.J. Mahaney passes along these stirring, shaming words of wisdom from the Scottish preacher Alexander MacLaren (1826-1910):
No unwelcome tasks become any the less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterwards, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant. Accomplished, they are full of blessing, and there is a smile on their faces as they leave us. Undone, they stand threatening and disturbing our tranquility, and hindering our communion with God. If there be lying before you any bit of work from which you shrink, go straight up to it, and do it at once. The only way to get rid of it is to do it.