In 8 Deadly Wastes, we introduced an important aspect of good stewardship. In fact, it might be the most important idea to wrap your mind around. The word “waste” means: to consume, spend, or employ uselessly or without adequate return; use to no avail or profit; squander; to fail or neglect to use; useless consumption or expenditure; use without adequate return; an act or instance of wasting. In layman’s terms: to have no purpose.
The first and the one causing ALL other wastes is: Over-Production.
What is it?
In essence, over-production is creating or consuming too much of something. In the manufacturing world, the “batch-and-queue” system is seen as good because we have falsely believed that it is impossible to do one thing at a time. In our personal lives, we might consume way to much food and drink, only to waste more time in the bathroom having it excrete from our openings. In our finances, we buy to much pointless junk, only to require bigger houses and storage units in order to store our junk (Luke 12:16-21). Over-production in our minds is seen as thinking about all sorts of thoughts and all kinds of philosophies and arguments. It is having way to many projects going on at the same time. Over-production is having all sorts of cookies, but no one to eat them. Over-production is a lack of focus. Over-production is when supply is greater than demand. We all no what happens when there are five sellers and one buyer. When there are too many potatoes and not enough potato-eaters. We all know what happens when there is to many dollars being printed and not enough economic goods being produced.
Who Causes it?
Who causes it? Everyone on God’s Earth. There is not a single person who doesn’t over-produce.
Where does it happen?
This happens at work, at home, in our minds, with our checkbook. It happens in our relationships and our conversations. It’s much more than just a manufacturing system. We see it in our government. We see it in our schools.
Why Does it Happen?
There are a few reasons this happens. 1) Lack of focus/commitment 2) Mis-understanding 3) Sin
When we lack focus, we produce to much. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started projects, and before finishing it, started a new one. Even now I have at least 4 unfinished projects sitting in my garage. I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve produced and written down, only to not pursue a single one. It’s like trying to chase 8 rabbits at once.
This may also happen because we are deceived in believe that it is a good thing to have “lots of stuff going on” or being “busy”. When in reality, we lack understanding. Which leads to the third reason.
Sin. Sin is blinding. It turns falsehood into “truth”. We think we are doing so much good by producing, yet it serves no one. As stewards and servants of God, all that we produce, must have a purpose and a goal to serve and do good to others.
How Do You Solve it?
The best place to start solving this problem, is to stop producing more. Then, make an “inventory” (which is another waste caused by over-production) of all your over-production and finish one thing that you’ve started. It is to focus! As my manufacturing friends will understand, it is to have “single-piece-flow”.
How Do you Prevent it?
After you’ve stopped over-producing, we must constantly be checking and clearing out over-production. For some reason, we as humans tend to naturally lean toward over-production.
Till next time.