Can Tracking Progress Impede Productivity?

I really didn’t think I could do it.

A friend challenged us to take a #StatSabbatical a few weeks ago. Then she totally called me out on social media and bullied me into going for it.

So typical of Christa Hutchins, owner of Do A New Thing coaching, to dare others into establishing great habits.

The idea was to quit looking at your blog analytics and statistics completely for one week.

Seven. Whole. Days.

Sometimes I don’t even go seven minutes without assessing my views and visitors.

Which is crazy because, let’s be real, there just isn’t that much to check. To be fair, I have noticed an upward trend lately (thanks to all of you reading this!). But still, it doesn’t require higher math to calculate my stats. My 7 year old could probably manage just fine.

But that can be such drudgery. Sure it is encouraging when the numbers start to creep up. But when they plummet, it can be downright painful. Yet I was caught in this constant and crazy compulsion to see how many people were reading my blog at any given minute. I was allowing the numbers to dictate my direction. I know, I’m a MESS!

It was more than just a numbers game, it was a heart issue. In reality, I was failing to trust God with my request to help me grow My Messy Desk community.

I’m not gonna lie. The first day was pretty rough. I think my hands may have been twitching a little, just hovering over the button that would reveal how many people had visited my blog in the last hour. In an effort to distract myself, I took Christa’s advice and worked on a couple of tasks I’d been putting off that might actually improve my blog.

By the middle of the second day, after my withdrawal symptoms subsided, I made a startling observation. I had been more productive in those few hours than I had been in a long time.

My fingers were free to type and create. My mind was free to dream and plan. My soul was free to trust God with the details. My ego was free from the need for approval from man (at least in this small corner of my life).

Once I untangled myself from the statistics, I was free to be and do what God has called me to.

Once I untangled myself from the statistics, I was free to be and do what God has called me to. Click To Tweet

We get ensnared by the numbers in other areas of our lives, too. Ones in the bank and on the scale. On the clock and at the party. In the grade book and on the treadmill.

We are all looking to make measurable improvements in our lives, but on the road to becoming MASTERPIECES, it’s more important to track trends than watch the play by play. It’s the big picture that matters, not every tiny brush stroke. Sure those accumulate to create the whole, but by themselves they have little meaning. In fact focusing on them for too long can make us lose sight of the real progress we are making and steal valuable time better spent working on our goals.

Obsessing over progress impedes productivity. Click To Tweet

Obsessing over progress impedes productivity.Focus on productivity and trust God with the progress.

Instead of looking to see where you are each minute, invest that time in making changes that will get you where you want to go. Looking back at how far you’ve come will ultimately be more encouraging than agonizing over every single step and mis-step.

Focus on productivity and trust God with the progress.

What progress in your life are you maniacally managing? Share one small change you could implement that might improve your productivity.

Focus on productivity and trust God with the progress. Click To Tweet

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul SurvivalMonday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His StoryWoman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Word of God Speak, Testimony Tuesday.

15 thoughts on “Can Tracking Progress Impede Productivity?

  1. Wow my mind was all over the place. I can hear the “time is better spent doing and not obsessing” while the other side hears “am I connecting” with others or “are the things a go thru shared with other people?” I think they are both valid aspirations of the human heart. When it is all said and done, knowing God is the main effort and He is also the approving authority.

  2. Your statement, “Focus on productivity and trust God with the progress,” made me think of Stephen Ministry training. We learned to provide process-oriented care and not results-oriented care. In other words we focus on the process of caring and leave the results to God. We are the care givers and God is the cure giver. Also loved your statement, “Once I untangled myself from the statistics, I was free to be and do what God has called me to.” That also works in Stephen Ministry, once we untangle ourselves from looking for results(statistics), we are free to be the care givers God has called us to be. So true that all the numbers in our lives can be ensnaring….loved the examples you gave. Sometimes as Stephen Ministers we want to maniacally manage our care receivers. Thanks for sharing such thought provoking statements.

    1. I’m so glad you were able to translate this into something meaningful to you! I’m noticing more and more how applicable this principle is to my grief journey, too. Thanks for sharing! xo

  3. Um, did you get in my head?!? Seriously, I got over the numbers when I began using Google Analytics. Something about not really knowing how to use the software helped me get over it.

  4. Where you just in my head recently? I have to continuously pray about my numbers and give it to God because it can be a real downer! I am so glad I am not alone! Thank you for the reassurance and keep on writing sista! Have a blessed week!

  5. Great post! It’s so true that we can get lost in the details and the numbers in and out of the digital world. But when that becomes our focus we lost sight of the big picture and we get so much less done.

  6. I hope you know you likely nailed all of us to one degree or another and reminded us of something the Lord spoke to my spirit not long after I started a bit over a year ago: “The numbers don’t matter. What I lead you to write might be for only one!” Okay…the reminder here is a good one. He knows what He leads each of us to write and why each of us has a unique voice. He also knows in advance His plan to use it and with whom. None of will really know this side of heaven perhaps what all of that was about. I think it is also His way of reminding each of us to trust Him, to rest in Him, and to allow this process to keep us humbly dependent on Him.

  7. I was challenged by Christa’s post, too! I spend a lot less time checking stats and I can testify it has really helped change my outlook. The words may be mine, but the message is not. My part is to write them, it is up to God where they land. Thanks for the encouragement to keep not checking! Glad to be your #RaRaLinkup neighbor this morning!

  8. Liz, I love this! I have made an idol of numbers in the past (college GPA, most notably) and so have tried not do that with my blog. But the lure of those numbers and the affirmation they represent is strong. I love your wise words that we need to “focus on productivity and trust God with the progress.” Blessings to you…stopping by from Women With Intention!

  9. Definitely LESS time on social media. I feel like I need to check it every few hours, when in reality it would be more time-efficient to check in less. This would free me from those distractions that keep the best writing from flowing! Thanks for being so transparent, friend. Have a great week!

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