Get Off the Treadmill
(…and onto Solid Ground)
Purposeful Pathway is a haven for faith-based entrepreneurs. Part of my mission is equipping faith-based businesses with information that is practical, actionable and Scriptural.
The theme of this post is getting off the treadmill.
Have you ever felt you were on a treadmill in your business – or in your life? Going and going and going with task after task after task? If you have, I can relate completely. It seems you are breathlessly running with very little fruit to show for it. My encouragement to you, garnered from my own experience, is to get off the treadmill.
Okay, I realize that is easier written than done. After all, if you could simply get off the treadmill, wouldn’t you have done so already?
Yet sometimes we do not realize we are on a treadmill, and sometimes it is very difficult to get off its endless movement. But there is good news: it is most certainly possible to accomplish, and doing so gets easier with practice.
When we are on a treadmill of endless to-do’s, we often become disconnected from our businesses, our clients and our overall vision. We become knee-deep in doing, doing, doing, and we lose perspective and traction.
Take a moment now to envision someone running on a treadmill. Running and running and running. That person, despite all her exertion, goes nowhere! In getting off the treadmill and in hitting solid ground, she can walk (rather than breathlessly run) and make substantial progress on her journey.
So how can you get off the treadmill and get on solid ground?
1. Recognize you are on the treadmill. If you recognize you are not bearing fruit consistent with your level of labor, this is a red flag of treadmill-traveling. Some projects, of course, require substantial upfront work. You, however, know the difference between delayed fruit and minimal fruit. Ask yourself: are my efforts being channeled in the most effective way? Are my tasks bringing me to my goals in the most efficient manner? Am I connected to my vision in my daily projects? Or am I lost in a tunnel of tasks?
2. If you are on the treadmill, commit to getting off it. It is not easy to simply stop. Indeed stepping off the treadmill can be rather dizzying. So commit to making the change despite the discomfort.
3. Take a break to breathe. Ask God for guidance in how long this “breathing” time period may be: perhaps a couple hours, perhaps a couple days, perhaps a couple weeks. It may seem counterintuitive to stop working in order to heighten productivity; yet the fruit borne from careful planning and refining will far outweigh that which is borne from treadmill to-doing.
4. Establish boundaries on this breathing time. Gracefully notify others about your “breathing” time period. Send emails, make phone calls, set up away messages, prepare your support team and notify colleagues and clients. Most importantly, respect the boundary yourself. Remember to use “no” in a positive way. Journal about your emotions, discomforts and discoveries; document ways in which you can maintain boundaries for this time.
5. Take the time to prayerfully reconsider your activities. Ask God for His guidance. Listen to His voice. “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10) Be open to shocking revelations that may steer you in a completely different direction. If you have hit a plateau or have found your labors to be relatively fruitless, perhaps God does not want you to continue moving in a particular direction. Your “being stuck” is His attempt to get your attention and steer you elsewhere. It is His gift to you.
6. Create a plan with the revelations God has shared with you. Re-write your vision and mission statements, goals and daily action steps. “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’” (Luke 14:28-29) Take the time to thoughtfully and prayerfully plan your steps (while submitting to God’s will and accepting He may steer you away from this plan in the future).
7. Joyfully hit that solid ground! With your new plan, refreshed vision and aligned steps, go ahead and walk (and sometimes run) on solid ground. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) Enjoy the beauty of traveling the most effective, efficient, powerful, meaningful and purposeful pathway.
Getting off the treadmill often requires more work than staying on the treadmill, as it involves a conscious, disciplined effort to stop the momentum of fruitless (or low fruit-bearing) activities. Yet, as all things, doing so grows easier with practice…and is made possible with God’s grace.
I promise you will find treasures when gaining traction on solid ground.
If you need help in getting of the treadmill and getting on solid ground, let me get you started. I offer to you a complimentary Boost my Business session. You will walk away with clarity, renewed vision and a completely customized next-step action plan. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time or click here.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, thank you tremendously for the gift of walking purposefully in you. How blessed we are by Your love and providence. Open our eyes to any areas in which we may be stuck in a treadmill of to-do’s. Help us to see Your way, the perfect way, that we may channel our efforts and energies most effectively and powerfully for Your glory. We love You, and we desire to bring honor to You in all we do. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.