Rhythm : Patterns, Progress, and Productivity
Interviewed by Gregg Stone
Bro. Wilson, briefly tell us about yourself and your ministry.
I have served in pastoral ministry for over thirty years, including as senior pastor. I am also an adjunct professor, as well as a traveling speaker, focusing primarily on leadership development. Finally, I am the founder and executive chairman of Equipping Leaders, a nonprofit coaching and consulting organization.
Tell us about your book, Rhythm. Why did you write it?
Rhythm is an outflow of a personal growth endeavor. I wondered, “Can I better organize and structure my life as to not only achieve more things (God-given desires) but also to establish better margins (i.e., God’s plan also includes rest)?” I then thought, “Perhaps there are others who are interested in the same thing. Maybe I should turn what I discover into a book.” And that’s precisely what I did.
How is this book different from your previous one, Rodentivity?
Most of us have goals and dreams that we would like to see come to fruition. Yet there are so many things demanding our attention that we struggle in creating space to turn them into realities. Hence, Rodentivity addressed the erroneous mindset that to be busy is to be productive, which is not true. We can be busy but going nowhere of great importance, much like a rodent on a running wheel. Rhythm comes alongside Rodentivity and says, “Now that you clearly understand your purpose and are committed to rid yourself of mere busyness, here are some practical ways in which you can be most productive.”
What do you mean by having “Rhythm” in your life?
Rhythm is defined as a pattern of beats; it is about movement. It has also been defined as “variation marked by the regular recurrence or natural flow of related elements.” It is found in Creation. It is found in Solomon’s remarks concerning times and seasons. Thus, when I speak of rhythm, I am talking about creating a beat to life whereby a person can successfully maneuver through the ebbs and flows of life. It is about achieving progress in a balanced manner; movement that yields results without unnecessary stress or burden.
What are the danger signals that a person desperately needs rhythm?
Some signs in which there is a need for rhythm are burnout, unhealthy or decaying relationships, extreme busyness, and so on. For the over-achiever, a danger signal is often the inability to slow down, to rest. For the under-achiever, it is often the failure to achieve stick-to-it-ness, to endure long enough to achieve substantial results. For most people, the lack of rhythm is revealed in their struggles to reach their goals, to turn dreams into realities.
How can Rhythm help you to accomplish more, to reach your goals and fulfill your dreams?
We live in a busy world that seems to be getting busier. For the person who desires to experience forward movement in accomplishing big and audacious goals, to see dreams come to fruition, the struggle is real. We think, “How can I do this when I have so little time as it is?” Yet there is a way. Rhythm was written with such a person in mind, the author as well as others. Rhythm can help a person create balance; it can help a person achieve the highest functionality in a specified allotment of time.
What can a person do to create balance and rhythm?
There are many things a person can do to create balance and rhythm. Some of them are centered around a change of mindset. Many of them are simple “tools of the trade” of which productivity gurus have long understood. And what is especially exciting is that they work for others, too. Here are just a few.
(1) Create a fixed week. Regardless of what may lie outside of our control, there is much of which we do control, even if it is a few hours in the morning or evening. To best optimize this time, consider creating themed days. For example, I strongly dislike administrative work; it is not my gifting. However, Tuesdays have become one of my most productive days. It is a day set aside for administrative purposes. Having a fixed week, made up of multiple themed days, has helped me to better organize my activities. This includes enhancing my focus with necessary things, even though I am not as passionate about them as I am with other things.
(2) Refuse to be held captive to technology. For many, this involves managing one’s notifications. If your smartphone notifies you of every text message, and you keep nearby at all times, you likely struggle to maintain rhythm. So, do this: turn off your notifications. Place your phone on airplane mode for thirty minutes of deep, focused work. If you must, turn it on for five minutes, to check missed calls and messages, then quickly place it back on airplane mode for another thirty minutes of focused work. You might be surprised at what happens—you will accomplish more when you control your environment as opposed to allowing your environment to control you. I address this in greater detail in Rhythm, in sharing the “Pomodoro Technique.”
(3) Stop multitasking. We think we are making progress when we multitask. The reality is that we are just switching back and forth between activities or tasks. This activity is deceiving. While we think we are being productive, we are actually wasting time, up to forty percent of productivity. Consequently, due to multitasking, things that could have been accomplished quicker take longer, and things that could have been achieved easier are harder.
Can you share some success stories of how these principles have helped you and others?
I have witnessed church leaders and business people achieve greater things while getting their lives back. They contribute much of their success to the application of simple insights, things that help to free one’s brain to function at its fullest capacity. I share a story in Rhythm in which a business coach and consultant taught me how to use a simple yet highly beneficial system that freed my brain (he called the brain “a tool”) so that it could function at a much higher level of performance. I use it daily.
Can readers contact you if they have questions? If so, how?
Absolutely. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please share some information on how to order, cost, etc.
Rhythm, along with my other books, can be purchased through the Pentecostal Publishing House. You can also find the ebook version on Amazon.