How We’ve Gotten Productivity all Wrong


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

John 15:1-2

If you’re a high achiever, you’re probably always out to look for the latest productivity hack. We want to be able to do more and achieve more. We buy all the productivity apps, acquire information and certifications, get more jobs, more clients and generally just more workload.

What happens, however, is something we don’t dream of but fall into nonetheless. We burn out. We get overwhelmed. Many of us lose relationships, fail in the area of health or even give up.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I’ve come to realise by reading through John 15:1-2 how many of us get productivity wrong. We think of productivity as solely adding to our lives. And while there is always a need to add more load, more knowledge and more tools, we also need to unload as well.

Jesus’ invitation to us is to abide in Him. Once we do that, one of the things he does to our lives is he starts pruning us of aspects that don’t bear fruit. To give way to the productive, we must get rid of the unproductive things also that eat our time, energy and resources. Here are a few things that Jesus prunes us of so that we can become more productive at work, in our families or in our ministries.

Remove wrong mindsets

Nothing can be more debilitating than wrong thinking. Maybe it’s the thinking that you won’t amount to much, the fear that stops you from taking risks or the unhealthy pessimism that drives you to inaction. Whatever those mindsets are, God will deal with them as you get deeper into a relationship with Him and deeper into His Word.

Remove unproductive activities

One of the common traits of sin is that they are highly unproductive and energy-draining. What has idolatry, envy or pride ever gotten us? Not much. In fact, it just sucks the life out of us. God is in the business of removing sin and anything that might be unproductive in your life to make room for the fruitful and life-giving.

Remove life drainers

Aside from things that keep you stuck, there might also be things that make you move backwards. A bitterness, a failure or a struggle that is deducting life from you. You may feel like it’s moving you farther from your purpose and not towards it. Jesus intends to prune whatever that is so that you can start achieving more.

Will you give him the shears?

The thing about pruning is it will always be painful. But it’s necessary if we want to start living a more productive life without the burden of burning out or getting overwhelmed. So will you allow Christ to bring you through the process? If you are, get ready for pain. But also get ready for a breakthrough.

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