Fri, 4 July 2014
I learned a HUGE lesson this last week that will change your ministry.
The funny thing was it already applied to this episode. Isn't it great how things work like that?
In this episode I want to share with you why you (and your ministry) needs a production calendar. It is one of the big pieces in the picture that helps your ministry be effective and reaching people. I share plenty of resources in this episode, so get ready.
31 Ways Your Meetings Are Inefficient: Craig Jarrow
Tracking Producing vs Consuming: David Seah
Productivity for Pastors-Know Thyself: Tim Spivey
Why You Need a Production Calendar
This last week I have been at a training with other friends starting new United Methodist congregations in Louisiana this year. We have had an amazing time and I learned a lesson that really affects out discussion today.
Many times we ask questions about why we should be productive (because we are secretly scared we don't know what to do next). As ministers, many of us didn't receive practical training in seminary and bible college about these skills. We just keep our fingers crossed and learn as we go.
Imagine what our ministries could do if we understand the simple steps to managing large projects.
Here is my 9 ft long butcher paper timeline for the new church.
It is a simple, step by step timeline for everything I need to get done.
One of my growing passions is to help people learn to take ministry from A (a dream) to Z (done and won). An essential part of this is learning why everyone needs a production calendar. A production (or editorial) calendar is simply a map of everything you have going on.
Nothing in ministry should be guess work.
Here are the three benefits of a production calendar.
1. Production Calendars help you see the big picture.
No one is shooting in the dark.
They also help you realize when you are teaching way to much of the same subject (yeah, that happens). I learned that lesson from preaching rocket and it changed the last 8 months of my preaching.
2. The Content is right in front of you.
3. You and your ministry is consistently, steadily moving forward.
Doing this shouldn't be scary. It is all about small steps toward much larger goals.
Keep something with you to always write down ideas. It might be an app, notebook or note cards. This way you can write it down and come back to it later.
Remember to sign up for the Productive Pastor Insider. I'll give you my Weekly/Daily tools to keep you focused on ministry priorities. These are amazing, big picture resources to help you minister at the highest level of effectiveness.
Fri, 20 June 2014
In this episode of the Productive Pastor, I interview Justin Wise. Justin is a consultant and runs #ThinkDigital. If you ministry is curious about how the digital age matters, Justin is the person to talk too. When I sat down to plan out season 2 I knew I wanted to interview Justin. He was gracious with his time and shares plenty of great information with us. I especially appreciated the conversation about call and what ministry looks like (and doesn't look like) these days.
How to Do More of What You Love (and Less of What You Don't): Michael Hyatt
How I Work On Several Projects At Once: Mike Vardy
Schedule Productivity Around Ebb and Flow: Tanner Christensen
Thu, 5 June 2014
Welcome to this episode of The Productive Pastor. I have some great resources to share, great conversations and a great announcement. The focus conversation this episode is having a great weekend.
6 Subtle Things Highly Productive People Do Every Day: Eric Barker
How To Have a Great Weekend
When I first started thinking about productivity I read Laura Vanderkam's "What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast." It changed everything. I quickly started reading the rest of her books. My favorite is "What The Most Successful People Do on the Weekend." Go pick both of them up. They are only 2.99 and are really short reads.
Laura's basic premise is weekends need to be planned. I know, some of you are instantly turned off.
Think about it. If you want a great weekend, you need to plan for a great weekend.
Here are three tips to make your weekend great!
1. Find Something Special. Something you can only do on a weekend, with the space you have access too.
2. Find Something Regular. Plan a normal activity, a special breakfast or place you make part of your weekend routine.
3. Find a Way to Build Relationships. This isn't just about you, but about those you love the most. Plan a great weekend that fills everyone up.
Tool Box Tip:
Productive Pastor Insiders List
I am super excited to release the Productive Pastor Insiders List. This will be a bi-weekly email featuring the best of the conversation about productivity, time management and the called life. It will be a place to feature community members and jump even more into the conversation.
As my FREE gift to you for signing up, I have developed an amazing weekly priority kit. It includes a weekly priority schedule, a day sheet and instructions on why I use this system every week. I want to give it to you just for signing up for the email list.
You can become a Productive Pastor insider HERE.
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!