Coping with stressful changes, your vocation, and the real reason why you need a productivity system

Why we Want to Start “Organizing Ourselves”: Getting a Grip on the Mundane

I was thinking back the other day about all the crazy changes my wife and I went through since we got married: moving house and country four times, changing jobs, adapting to new cultures and languages, getting involved in various parishes and churches, starting a teacher training and a PhD…gosh, they say change is good, and it is, but they forgot to mention how stressful it is! Don’t get me wrong, I’m extremely happy about the final outcomes of all these changes, but man was it was tough sometimes. It was challenging, because it meant thinking about so many things at the same time. That’s where my need for a better productivity system came. That’s why I’m writing on this blog today.

We all had to live through stressful moments like that, where there seems to be no time for anything. However, I learned over time to embrace these times of change, and take them as opportunities. As it turns out, those moments are actually ideal to stop for a moment and re-think about our lives, not just about that new house and how the commuting thing is going to work with the new job, but to actually think about what our living space is, what work really represent for us.
These are the time when we think about “getting a system” to “be more efficient”, but they also can be the very moment when we can ask “why”?
These are the moments of chaos we can embrace to challenge assumptions and build a better life for ourselves and the people around us. These are the moment to buy a new filofax or try a spanking new iPhone to see if that’s going to finally work for us as a productivity tool, and these are also the moments to pray and ask the Lord to guide us in uncertain and sometimes outright scary moments.

Why we Should Keep our Productivity and Organization Skills Sharp: Staying In Touch with What Really Matters

These changes, these decisions we made to change our lives, what are they for? More importantly, who are they for? If you took the time to think about that, you’ll find the right productivity system, the best tools for you (that unique you, the real you, not the one that your boss or others might want you to be), simply because you know exactly what you want out of it. And if you know what you want, you’ll know what you need.
If the change was imposed on you through bad circumstances such as health or the economy (we live in very difficult times, especially for young people), this might be the perfect moment to make the best you’ve ever made of a bad moment. That’s what true success is all about: not avoiding failure and problems, but rising from them and being grateful for what we actually have. Hang in there, and learn to appreciate what is beautiful about you and your life before doing anything else: your family, your friends, your passion. Then, pray and think back to what your really want, what you really need, maybe that thing you never had the time to do before “it” happened. And then, do it. It will be hard, but you will find your way through it, if you know who you are, if you know what success, real success, means to you.

And here is the big secret, my friends: once you know where to go, a productivity system is only a compass to guide you there, so that you never, ever stop looking at what really, truly matters to you. And as Catholics, we believe that what truly matters to you, your profound desire, is actually God calling you to be great, for His glory. We think it’s so important, we even have a name for it: vocation. It comes from the latin “voce”, the voice.
Lets’s start listening.

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  • Shaun

    Reply Reply June 23, 2010

    Great article Dean! Thought provoking. I felt like I was on a roller coaster with you while reading it. Reminded me of St. Augustine quote. “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are and courage to make them the way they ought to be.” I read about the stress caused by choices and how you are rising above them through prayer and hard work. Inspiring! Living out a life of masculinity and agape love.

  • Jean-Rémy Duboc

    Reply Reply June 25, 2010

    Hi there Shaun,
    I’m the author of the article, Dean kindly accepted my guest posts on his brilliant website.
    I am so glad you liked the article, I would like to thank you for your nice comment on it.
    Take care,

  • Dean Soto

    Reply Reply June 30, 2010

    Haha, yes. I can’t take the credit at all for that one. JR did a fantastic job.

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