Oh, sure, if we’re digging postholes the more time we spend sweating over the holes, the more we are going to get done. But much of the time it just doesn’t seem to work like that.

This past week I cleared out my inbox, got fresh submissions out on most of my clients, worked down my stack of incoming submissions significantly, got requested changes made to my current work-for-hire manuscript, trimmed a number of items off my honey-do list and a number of other things. And I didn’t seem to work at it too hard. I was just productive.

A couple of weeks ago I spent a concentrated week trying to do the same thing and really worked my tail off but seemed to get a pitifully small amount accomplished for my effort. This happens a lot. There is not always a direct correlation between work expended and success achieved.

What’s the deal? If I really understood could I have increased success all the time?

Maybe I’m trying to do things myself instead of turning everything over to the Lord. Is anything in my life too small to ask for his help? Sometimes I hate to ask His help with the postholes. Ask the Lord of the universe to help me scratch out a hole in the ground? Something not right about that. But is that faulty thinking on my part?

Then there’s the ‘man’ thing. Guys are taught from birth to take responsibility for their life and the lives of loved ones. Take charge, be someone who can be counted on. It’s hard for a guy to know when and how to turn it over to the Lord. The gentle sex is more sensitive and I believe can accomplish this more readily.

If it is something we need God’s help on we have to do it in His time, which often is not the time frame we have in mind. It amazes me how often I seek His help and the answer is immediate, maybe not exactly the answer I was looking for, but clearly the right one. But sometimes the answer is “not yet,” or maybe even “not what I want you to do.”

And I think a lot of time it is just us. We know we have to be working so we’re sitting at the desk staring at the computer, or we’re trying to dig down that honey-do list, or something else but our heart just isn’t in it. There is something else crowding our mind. Maybe we aren’t even consciously aware of it, but it’s there in our subconscious gumming up the works. Could even be that it isn’t as important as the task we are trying to do but it’s there. Too many things on our mind instead of focusing on the task at hand.

Maybe we are trying to use that creative right brain to write but that logical left brain editor has a task that we’ve assigned and is trying to push its way to the front. Maybe it has bills to be paid, a couple of lists to be made so we don’t forget some ideas that have occurred to us as we did something else. Perhaps we can’t do the creative task with success until we take a little time to satisfy our left brain friend and get him off our back.

The word maybe shows up a lot in the above paragraphs. Like I say, if I really understood maybe I could be more productive all the time.