Tag Archives: New York Times

day 2572: Shift Shaping

“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

I read an interesting article that said that “A full 80 percent of people have work schedules that clash with their internal clocks.”  As I thought about it, it made total sense.  I happen to be a natural early riser and when I am forced to do something in the evening that is work-related, it not only bothers me, it also causes me stress and I know I am not at my best.  I have been fortunate to have been able to control and influence when it is that I work, but it’s not always been that way.  I have had to work second and third shifts and I remember how that made me feel; not good.  The article I read went on to describe a company in Germany that decided to just give people the choice and they assigned the night shifts to the night owls and the day shifts to those who rose early and then they studied their productivity.  But they also discovered something else.  They found that the workers were sleeping an extra hour a day because their internal clock was aligned to their work.  More sleep; more productive.  There is a lesson in here for us.  Let’s not just schedule our work to our own preferences, but let’s schedule, best we can, to what works for someone to work their best.  Undoubtedly, it will be more work for us, but in the end, the gains may far outstrip the pain.

Part of our daily preparation is to find our time to be close to God.  We are taught to devote ourselves to prayer and to do so with an alert mind.  Sounds easy, but it isn’t.  To have our mind in a state of alertness we have to be disciplined to get to that state.  That means knowing ourselves, listening to the state of our mind and then responding.  It means maybe shifting our patterns so that when we come to God, we are rested, alert and ready to hear Him.  With some shaping and effort, we can find that our alertness will increase and we will be more ready in Him to do what needs to be done today; to bring glory to God in our work.

Reference:  Colossians 4:2