Fri, 23 May 2014
The Power of a Time Audit
Do you ever struggle with where your time went? I totally understand. I once had a director lead the entire ministry team through a time audit. It helped me tremendously learn to take control of my schedule and priorities.
Remember, you can't improve what you don't know.
Here are the 5 steps to a Time Audit:
1. Write out what you think you do.
The time audit will give you a great baseline for personal productivity.
Fri, 16 May 2014
Season 2 will launch May 23rd. I wanted to do a quick update for my subscribers and twitter followers. See you in a week.
Fri, 28 March 2014
Since October of last year The Productive Pastor has had great success. It's all thanks to you. The listener community for this podcast is amazing. I love how many connections have been made and the conversations that have sprung up.
Over the last two weeks I have been producing what was going to be episode 12: The App Episode. I never was able to get an interview scheduled and wasn't satisfied with other parts of the production. I was getting frustrated with the whole thing.
Life (and Ministry) have also been chaotic. I realized if I wanted to keep up sharing and currating great content I need to take a break. And that was OK. I also need to put some energy behind a project I can really talk about just yet.
Television shows take breaks. They are called seasons.
So let's consider episodes 1-11 the first season. This episode is here to explain a few things and add to the theological conversation about productivity.
Episode 13 will start season 2. And it will totally rock. With it, I will be rolling out some additional content to the Productive Pastor community. So keep your eyes open. Give me a month or so. (we will absolutely be back up by the middle of May. I promise).
Thanks for listening.
Thu, 13 March 2014
Over the last few episodes we have been talking about time periods of productivity. We thought about the month, several podcasts about the week. It is time to talk about the value of the day. I think this is one of the hardest pieces of productivity to master. It is easy to set big goals...it is harder to move them forward consistently each day (I even used a football reference for the first time in my career in this episode). I have been excited about this episode because I share one of my new favorite productive geek fascinations.
How to Measure Progress in Your Personal Goals: Daily, Weekly and Monthly: Belle Beth Cooper
The Best Times to Write and Get Ideas, According to Science: Kevan Lee
How to be Prolific: Guidelines For Getting It Done from Josh Whedon: Ari Karpel
How to Have a Productive (and Great) Day
I believe there is a secret to building a personal theology of "the day." This secret is simple. Know what you absolutly must do each day to move forward. Ministry is interesting because we can spend all of our time just keeping the ball in the air. I think this is a disservice to calling as well as the people we are ministering with.
Casey Graham (founder of The Rocket Company) wrote a really interesting blog post. He shared a secret to an extremely fruitful week in the life of his company.
While our goal in ministry isn't to make money (no matter what people might say), there are some great lessons to be learned in Casey's blog post. Having a focused point of each day, even if it means devoting a whole day to mundane tasks, let anyone really do great work when it matters.
I have also become fascinated with Day Sheets and how they can help us organize each day. I discovered them pretty recently. Here are a few options for day sheets.
Bill Streger Interview
Thu, 27 February 2014
I am excited about this episode. No matter what you do, everyone has been in a slump. I have a problem with slumps because they are life stealing. They steal for us as individuals, those we work around and those we minister with. I want to share with you three ways to get out of a slump.
How To Get Out of a Slump:
If you listen to the podcast you know I am a fan of goals. I love goals for one reason. Goals help people move towards a preferred future. It might be personal, family or organizational. I believe this is the key getting out of a slump. Here are three tips to help you move forward.
Listener Tips on how to get out of a slump:Charles Meeks: Change location, Change Music
Fri, 14 February 2014
Have you ever wondered where the month went? Sat back on the last few days and realize time has slopped through your hands? I want to talk exactly about that this episode.A Month is a great amount of time to use as part of a productive strategy for life and ministry.
1. Front Load Your Week and 3 Other Stress-Busting Time Management Strategies. 99u is constistently becoming my favorite website for productivity and other strategic leadership articles. This is a great article not just for weekly strategy practices, but many other times.
2. 10 Tips To Keep Your Desk Clean, Organized and Productive. I am horrible at keeping my desk area clean. I even wrote a blog post about clutter and how it relates to our spiritual walk. This blog post gives super practical ways to keep your work space clean and ready to go.
3. 30 Days of Hustle. Jon Acuff is running this free email series. The signup looks low-key, but the content is top notch. It will only take a few minutes a day. I am around half-way through it and I really dig it.
How to Have a Productive Month
Months are a long amount of time. But they are awesome at helping us get focused for one big reason. They can be broken up easily. You can do anything for 30 days. You can also divide most months up into 4 separate weeks. This makes it easy to slowly attack a problem or project and complete it in a succent amount of time. Imagine what your year could be like if you were able to accomplish 12 medium sized goals?
Toolbox Tip:Have you ever struggled with managing sharing articles and curating content as a ministry leader? This article from social media examiner gives really practical advice about automating sharing on social media.
Fri, 31 January 2014
Have you ever noticed how hectic ministry can get? It is an interesting job because we always have certain things needing to get done every week (sermons, programing, teaching), but we also live with the realization at any moment an urgent emergency can take us away from our carefully planned schedule. They can either blow up our scheudle or give us the best possible space to minister to other people. In this episode I share my tips to navigating the time bomb.
Navigating the Time Bomb:
Part of ministry is responding. We respond to crisis, emergencies and pastoral care. We are called to be the living presence of Christ in our areas of ministry. Sometimes that means dropping everything and being with people. It comes with the territory and we need to learn to be fully present in those moments, not distracted and thinking about what else we can be doing. Here are three tips to navigating the time bomb.
I like to use the analogy of jazz music. Jazz musicians can improvise beautifully. Before they get that talent they have to spend the time building a foundation. They practice scales, modes, chords, inversions and many other things for years to build up the ability to improvise. It is their foundation that lets them jump off into improvisation and brings them back into the structure of the song. Our schedule is our foundation. We improvise when we navigate time bombs.
1. Have a Structure for the Week.
2. Knowledge of the small, medium and big stuff.
Resources Mentioned:The Emergent Task Planner
Share your productive space-Earlier in the year Mashable ran a great piece on taking a picture of your productive space. I really nerded out checking this out. Earlier this week I saw a great instagram picture listener Bill Streger posted (here is the picture). I think it would be awesome seeing all of your productive spaces, tips and how you keep your ministry organized. Tag your picture #productivepastor and share with us! You can keep up with peoples entries with the #productivepastor tagboard. Every picture will be an entry to winning a great prize package. If you review and rate on iTunes you get two entries!
Fri, 17 January 2014
In this episode I want to share with you the three most productive times of my week. These are the three blocks of time I will fight for and I find essential to having a great week. I am a big fan of finding repeatable patterns and realizing the benefit of them. Some of these times I stumbled into and other times I heard about them from other people. I have incorporated these blocks of time into my week over years.
Busy Isn’t Respectable Anymore: Tyler Wardis
More Insights on Building a Rock Solid Routine: Jocelyn K. Glei
What I have really been thinking about more is how and why we are supposed to be doing ministry the way we are/want too? I have struggled for years with taking a modern communication approach to my ministry and as I think about why I write and podcast I still struggle. There is a basic truth providing momentum to me over the last few months. The more I think about it I realize it is totally true.
We cannot wait for someone to hand us the ministry we have been called to.
This is a process of discernment. All of the conversation about productivity stems from this. Are we doing everything we can to be fully living inside of our own individual call? Our participation in moving forward is the reason we do focus on certain passions.
The Three Most Productive Times in My Week
I have three times I look forward to every week.
1. My Sunday Review:
2. My Monday Morning Planning Session:
3. My Friday Creative Session:
Mon, 6 January 2014
In today's podcast I talk about my new favorite productivity trick. I use templates for EVERYTHING. I cannot imagine not having access to them. They are super handy for several different reasons and I will share those with you later on.
The List:Top 10 Reasons Why I Love Evernote from Timemanagementninja.com
Mikes on Mics Podcast
You've Got 25,000 Mornings as an Adult: 8 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine: James Clear wrote a fantastic article about why mornings really matter and how they can be the best time of day for anyone. If you haven't taken advantage of mornings yet, I hope this convinces you.
Organize Your Life in 21 Days from Michael Lukaszewski
Up Your Productivity With Templates
How many times have you realized you missed doing a really simple task a couple of days back? For me, it was always sends the exact same email every Wednesday. I had to find a way to automate it, but it had to be customized every week. I tried putting a calendar reminder, but that didn't work either. It would go off at the wrong time and I would still forget.
I also like to evaluate regular events (like Sunday) and wanted to go through the same questions every time. This was a little bit more familiar. I realized I just needed to start setting up templates to organize many of the same tasks I do each week. Here are a few reasons templates can nearly instantly up your productivity.
1. They focus life. If anything is important in our life, personal or work, it has to be part of our habits. We focus so much of what we do around regular tasks, like exercising, reading, prayer and even event preparation, committee emails and other communication tasks. Templates help us with consistency.
2. They help us complete unnatural work.
3. They help us grow.
Tool Box Tip How many times do we know when we are worthless? I can tell you, without a doubt, I can't get anything done around 2;30. So I don't plan on it. I schedule really mindless tasks for this time. Or I take a quick nap or read a book. Getting over this 30-45 minute hump in my day the right way really affects what I do for the rest of the day.
I talked about the Evernote Essentials ebook on the episode. I highly encourage you to get this resource. If you have every wondered what you really should be doing, or could be doing with Evernote, this is the best way to learn.
A few episodes back I interviewed Jonathan Andersen and he gave us his template for Exegesis. In the shownotes I shared his template plus another one I was already using
Tue, 24 December 2013
This episode of the Productive Pastor Podcast will be just a little different. Since it is the holiday season and many of us will be taking some time off, I decided it was time to have a conversation about Sabbath. For this topic...I know only one person who could share with us.
JD Walt is the sower-in-chief for Seedbed. This is fancy language for chief executive officer. I spent several years working with JD and it was one of the best working relationships and friendships I have ever had. JD is a practical theologian with an amazing command of scripture and the Christian life. He is also the first Sabbath keeper I have ever met.
JD shares with us a conversation about Sabbath, peace and chaos and what the sabbath keeping life is like. He gives some practical rhythms of keeping Sabbath as a family.