PODCAST: Behavior Modification, Part 1 (Get Things Done Episode #115 with Daniel Whyte III)



I am Daniel Whyte III, president of GLM Omnimedia Group, and this is Episode #115 of the “Get Things Done!” podcast. The simple purpose of this podcast is to help you get things done every day so that you can accomplish something worthwhile with your life. I am a firm believer that God has put each person on earth to do something great for His glory.

In this podcast, we are going through the book “Getting Things Done: The ABCs of Time Management” by Edwin C. Bliss. Today, I will continue sharing with you some of the principles on productivity, getting things done, and avoiding procrastination that Edwin C. Bliss talks about in his book.

As we begin, let me give you this reminder from the Word of God. Proverbs 14:23 says: “In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.”

Our quote for today is from John F. Kennedy. He said: “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at “Behavior Modification, Part 1.”

Misuse of time seldom involves an isolated incident; it usually is part of a well-established pattern of behavior, and to change for the better we often must grapple with a habit that has been developed over many years.

There are two ways to change behavior patterns. One (described in the section on procrastination) involves forcing yourself to practice the new behavior pattern until it becomes ingrained. The other involves gradually “shaping” behavior through a system of rewards, the behavior modification technique generally associated with B. F. Skinner of Harvard.

If you were to go all the way with behavior mod, you would plot carefully, perhaps on a logarithmic graph, the specific habits you wanted to reinforce or extinguish so that you could accurately measure your progress. And you might want to try aversion techniques, which cause undesired acts to evoke unpleasant associations.

For most of us, though, the important thing to learn is that any behavior that is followed by something pleasant tends to be reinforced and is more likely to happen again. You can get this reinforcement from others, but you can also reinforce your own behavior by giving yourself some kind of token reward for accomplishing (or starting or sticking with) a difficult or tedious task; staying with a priority item instead of getting sidetracked on a secondary job; getting started on an unpleasant task; turning down an unimportant but time consuming request. The reward can be something trivial, as long as it has pleasant connotations. It can be tangible–a stick of gum, a drink of water, a snack. It could be giving yourself permission to do something–taking a break or leaving work a little early or buying a pair of shoes. Or it can consist of nothing more than giving yourself a mental pat on the back every time you take a small step in the right direction.

Lord willing, we will continue looking at this topic in our next podcast.

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Now, let’s pray our prayer together —

Almighty and most merciful Father; We have erred, and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But Thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare Thou those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore Thou those who are penitent; According to Thy promises declared unto mankind In Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for His sake; That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

Now, the greatest secret to getting things done with your life for the glory of God is to have the Lord Jesus Christ in your life. When you have Jesus in your life, you can say with Paul in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, here’s how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

God bless you, and remember: if you have something to do, there is no better time to do it than now.