LISTEN: Establish An Action Environment, Part 5 (Get Things Done! #56 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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.

Psalm 128:1-2 says: “Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.”

Our quote for today is from Martin Luther King, Jr. He said: “Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 5 of Step 9: “Establish An Action Environment.”

In our last episode, we continued our discussion of the 3D system — Do It, Delegate It, or Ditch It. Today, we address an issue regarding a common distraction — reading materials.

Q: You mentioned having a stack of things to read. Are periodicals and other reading material another exception to the 3D approach?

A: Definitely. You don’t want to “Do” the reading until you have a slack period, you usually can’t “Delegate” it, and you don’t want to “Ditch” it if it is something worth reading. So make a separate stack — away from your work area — of things you intend to read at leisure. But don’t let it become a collection of junk; anything that obviously is not worth reading should be discarded immediately.

And don’t overlook the possibility of heading off some of this reading material before it gets to your desk. Try to get your name taken off mailing lists for publications that don’t really help you. If possible, have most publications routed to a central point, such as a coffee table in the reception area of your office, instead of having them circulated to each individual in the organization. Do all you can to cut down on the amount of nonessential reading matter that flows across your desk.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Establish An Action Environment, Part 4 (Get Things Done! #55 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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.

Proverbs 13:4 says: “The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.”

Our quote for today is from John Burroughs. He said: “I have discovered the secret of happiness – it is work, either with the hands or the head. The moment I have something to do, the draughts are open and my chimney draws, and I am happy.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 4 of Step 9: “Establish An Action Environment.”

Q: The Three D approach sounds logical, but how do you handle the exceptions? There are some things that can’t be Done, Delegated, or Ditched right now, and which probably shouldn’t go in the To Be Done Today folder either because they are very low priority and perhaps should be handled only if and when there’s a slack period. Should there be a special place for these items?

A: Yes. It is quite true that you should not downgrade your “To Be Done Today” category by including odds and ends that you know won’t be done today and it makes sense to set aside a separate tray or drawer for them. I call mine the Back Burner. (One executive that I know calls it the Procrastination Drawer. I don’t care for that designation myself, because putting something aside while higher priority items are taken care of isn’t the same thing as procrastination.) Another executive calls it his Friday Afternoon file. Whatever you call it, if you limit it to low-priority items, you will find it useful. Some people tell me they find at least half of the things they put in such a category seem to take care of themselves if left alone. But remember, you must set aside some time each week to go through the stack and eliminate the deadwood and handle the rest. Bunching up these low-priority tasks for Friday afternoon seems to work very well for many people.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Establish An Action Environment, Part 2 (Get Things Done! #53 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Proverbs 12:11 says: “He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.”

Our quote for today is from Thomas Edison. He said: “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 2 of Step 9: “Establish An Action Environment” from “Doing It Now: A Twelve Step Program for Curing Procrastination and Achieving Your Goals” by Edwin C. Bliss.

In our last episode, we began talking about changing the environment in which we work so that it is conducive to accomplishment and the prevention of procrastination. Today, we continue that discussion.

Q: You also mentioned that having things organized will help reduce the temptation to procrastinate. Exactly what did you mean by that?

I mean that it is important to avoid clutter in the workplace.

A neat, orderly workbench, with each tool hanging in its allotted space, is an invitation to get busy, whereas a jumbled aggregation of wrenches, pipes, hammers, clamps, wire, files, pliers, sandpaper, and half-finished projects stifles enthusiasm and encourages delay and diversion.

The same is true in an office. A tidy desk encourages concentration; a disheveled one is a psychological roadblock.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Establish An Action Environment, Part 1 (Get Things Done! #52 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”

Our quote for today is from Elbert Hubbard. He said: “The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 1 of Step 9: “Establish An Action Environment” from “Doing It Now: A Twelve Step Program for Curing Procrastination and Achieving Your Goals” by Edwin C. Bliss.

Q: To what extent does the physical environment affect procrastination?

In many cases, it plays a key role; in others it’s a minor factor. But it will always encourage or discourage action to some degree, so it must be considered.

Q: What environmental factors are most important in preventing procrastination?

Two of the most important considerations are (1) to have the necessary tools and materials at hand, and (2) to have them organized.

Q: Isn’t that first point a truism? Obviously, one cannot do anything without the necessary tools. Why even mention anything so elementary.

Because lack of the proper tools or materials is a very common reason for procrastination. As Sherlock Holmes remarked one time, “The first rule, Watson, is never to overlook the obvious.”


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Use the Reinforcement Principle, Part 7 (Get Things Done! #51 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

1 Corinthians 10:31 says: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

Our quote for today is from Alexander Graham Bell. He said: “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 7 of Step 8: “Use the Reinforcement Principle” from “Doing It Now: A Twelve Step Program for Curing Procrastination and Achieving Your Goals” by Edwin C. Bliss.

In our last podcast, we left off talking about using rewards as reinforcements. Now, Edwin Bliss answers the question, When the reinforcement process fails, what is usually the reason?

It’s usually because of making the reward contingent on reaching a distant or overambitious goal, rather than an immediate and modest one.

For example, suppose you are procrastinating putting your garden in, which you figure is about a five-hour job. Don’t say to yourself, “If I finish the garden today I’ll reward myself tonight with a steak dinner.” Instead, say, “As soon as I get my work clothes on and haul that bag of peat moss to the garden, I’ll give permission to pause and eat that apple I’m in the mood for.”

That apple may be the only reinforcer you’ll need, because once you get started your momentum will probably carry you through—in which case you won’t have to worry about rewarding yourself for subsequent phases of your gardening project. In other words, the apple, used this way, can be a more powerful reinforcer than the steak dinner!


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Use the Reinforcement Principle, Part 6 (Get Things Done! #50 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

Proverbs 16:3 says: “Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established.”

Our quote for today is from Dwayne Johnson. He said: “Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success.”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 6 of Step 8: “Use the Reinforcement Principle”.

We left off talking how we should use positive reinforcers to reward ourselves when we reach our goals. Now, Edwin Bliss answers the question about the other side of the coin. Can’t punishments be as useful as rewards in a self-administered program of behavior change?

A: As a general rule, no. There must be penalties, of course, in the sense of withholding the reward if the desired behavior doesn’t occur; but to inflict pain or discomfort on yourself deliberately as punishment for having failed to measure up is generally ineffective.

Q: But what about the analogy of using both the carrot and the stick to get the mule to move? Shouldn’t the same principle work with people? Can’t we motivate ourselves with both the carrot and the stick?

A: Most psychologists caution that this is unwise, especially in a self-administered program. Your punishment should be simply depriving yourself of the carrot. Forget about the stick.

Psychologists have a term for the stick. They call it “aversive conditioning,” and it is sometimes used in treatment of certain behavior disorders—but usually with someone else enforcing the punishment.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.

LISTEN: Use the Reinforcement Principle, Part 5 (Get Things Done! #49 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

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

Our quote for today is from Steve Jobs. He said: “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work”

Today, in the Get Things Done podcast we are looking at Part 5 of Step 8: “Use the Reinforcement Principle”.

We left off talking about the value of using a graph to record how well you reach your goals over time. Now, Edwin Bliss tells us what to do if we don’t reach the goals we set for ourselves.

A: In view of what happened during the week, I think that in this case, whether you use a graph or not, you should consider adjusting your goal downward. Of course, if your failure to meet your quota was a result of goofing off, then you should leave your goal at four, and get off your duff. But if you really worked hard on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday and still were able to do only two or three pages on those days, then I’d be inclined to go back to the drawing board and establish three pages, or even two and a half, as the goal.

You want an objective that you have a good chance of reaching on a typical day, not one that represents a rare achievement. Otherwise you deprive yourself of the opportunity for reinforcement.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.