We all want to live our own life. A life that is full of the things that are important to us, the things we value. In other words, a life according to our values. And living life according to your values means allotting time according to your values.

Allotting time for life involves allotting time for work. And let’s face it. There’s only so much work you can do in a day.

The Farmer

Imagine some farmer doing backbreaking work on his farm. His skin in tanned by the sun, his eyes squinting. His hands are rough and strong. His clothes are dirty and worn. He takes off his hat to wipe his brow, and looks over all his land. He is a prime example of workmanship and work ethic. You want a work ethic like this guy has, to wake up before day breaks, to know your land, to be in charge. But even the farmer could only do so much.

I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. – John 9:4 NKJV

Night falls, and you have to call it a day, like it or not. You can’t hack this, even if you try to. And sure, people tried. In the Oklahoma agricultural boom of the early 1900s, farmers gained the ability to attach lights to tractors. Now they can plow the earth all day and all night – nothing stopping us now!

But history shows us that this ended up reaping devastating consequences. It was what is considered to be the greatest ecological disaster in US history, the Dust Bowl. A decade of drought and dust storms that cost people their farms, and often their lives as well.

So let’s face it, we can’t work all the time. Even if we think it’s a good idea. We weren’t built for it – not as individuals, not as families, and not as communities.

Enjoy Your Coffee (While it Lasts)

So what do you do with the time when you really can work? We usually want to roll up our sleeves can get to it. We pour a cup of coffee from the pot, and sit down at our desk. But as soon as we take our first sip, we find ourselves being tugged in all kinds of directions.

We try to manage it all, we even came up with a concept called “multitasking,” which is just a way for us to do more things poorly.

And when we are pulled in all kinds of directions, we feel like it’s coming from everywhere. But what if it was just coming from a few, manageable directions? What if I told you that you were actually being pulled in only four directions?

The 4 Types of Work

There are four distinct ways work-time is spent:

  1. Management: responding to decisions based on values.
  2. Production: acting on decisions based on values.
  3. Development: the search for better responses, actions, and decisions based on values.
  4. Leadership: making decisions based on values.

Did you notice a word that keeps popping up, a word that holds all these together? Values.

Whether you like it or not, your life will follow your values. You will be successful, be it for good or for bad, if you know your values. And if you don’t know your values, let’s hope you can get through that first cup of coffee and survive the rest of the day. Because that’s what you’ll be doing: surviving.

Here we will discuss the different types of work, according to four criteria:

  1. The agreements that they entail.
  2. The tools used to do the work.
  3. The time allotted for each kind of work.
  4. Identifying any violation of each kind of work.

Thanks for joining me in this exploration of the concept of work.

– The Adster

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