Busy Work v. Life’s Work

ORIGINAL POST:  6/8/2021


Did you know that your time is one of your most valuable assets?  In my last blog post I shared about the difference between Chronos time and Kairos time, be sure to check out the post if you missed it. 

This post is specifically talking about the time that we spend working.  Did you know that during our lifetime we will spend a large percentage of our time working on our jobs?  In fact, it is estimated that the average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime.

So considering this, it would make sense that we choose a job or career that we find enjoyable and impactful.  However, many people work in jobs or even careers that they don’t enjoy for months or even years! Are you one of the many that is doing this?

I love this quote by Brendon Burchard:

“When you learn the difference between doing busywork vs your true life’s work, that’s the first step on the path to purpose”-  Brendon Burchard 

It’s so easy to get stuck in a cycle of doing work that we don’t enjoy if we think of a job as a way to make money to pay bills, but I believe strongly that God did not put us on the earth to pay bills and die!  He has given each of us a bigger purpose and He desires us to use our talents, abilities, gifts, and skills (I like to call our T.A.G.S.) to do purpose-driven work which is our life’s work.

So how do we identify the difference between “busy work” and our “life’s work“?  I attempt to break it down in this post.

Busy Work

I define busy work as work that we are doing that is not in alignment with the assignment that God has given us.  We can usually recognize it by the following signs:

1. Discontent–  We find ourselves being discontent at work.  The work doesn’t light you up or give you joy.  You basically do not enjoy the work that you are doing! 

2.  Unfulfilling–  The work that you are doing doesn’t fulfill you.  You don’t find the work to be impactful or meaningful.   

3.  Drains your energy–  Because the work is not in alignment with what you are supposed to be doing, it can drain your energy. 

This is not an extensive list as there are other things that could also mean you are doing busy work instead of your life’s work, but these three things are usually a sign that you are NOT in alignment with your God-given assignment.  Busy work keeps you occupied but has minimal or no value in itself.

Life's Work

I define your life’s work as the work that you were born to do in the world.  The work that is in alignment with your God-given assignment.  We can usually recognize it by the following signs:

1. Excites you–  You wake up excited to start your day and to get to work.  You enjoy the work that you do

2.  Fulfills you– You find the work that you do to be impactful and meaningful.  You know that it is part of a bigger mission and you enjoy the role that you are playing in order for the mission to reach fruition. 

3.  Gives you energy–  Even if you end up working long days you are full of energy.  The work that you do tends to energize you and bring you joy.

Usually, this is a sign that you are doing your life’s work, which is in alignment with your God-given assignment.  God designed and knew you before you were even placed in your mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5), He has good plans for you (Jeremiah [29:11]) and those plans include the plans for the work that you would do for the time that you are here on earth (Ephesians [2:10]).  

So as believers, I encourage us to always check in to make sure that we are not going through life doing “busy work”, but making sure that we are doing our life’s work which is in alignment with our God-given assignment. An old saying you many Christians have expressed and/or heard is ‘keep the main thing the main thing’. This means that the primary focus in all that we do should be God. If we keep the main thing the main thing we know all that we are doing is our purpose on purpose.

Do you feel like you are doing busy work or your life’s work?  In what ways do you know that you are in alignment with your God-given assignment? Be sure to comment below:

Posted by Nadine Mullings  |  8 Comments  |  in Blog