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Administration

7 Questions To Hitting Your Target

Here are 7 questions to work through to help hit your targets/goals.

1. Have you identified and written down your goals?
There seems to be something different from just talking about and desiring different goals to actually writing them down.

2. Did you list the benefits? What will I gain by reaching this objective?
Concentrate on your benefits, not the problems that might be there. Knowing the benefits and having them written down helps keep perspective during those hard times.

3. Have you identified the obstacles which you will need to overcome in order to reach each one of those goals?
You see, if there were no obstacles, you’d already have everything you wanted.

4. Have you identified the skills and knowledge required to reach each one of these goals?
This question really helps you begin to prepare appropriately.

5. Who are the individuals, the groups, the companies and organizations you need to work with in order to get there?
Remember, if your goals are actually God given goals they will be larger than you. Since they are larger than you, you will need to collaborate with many. The bigger the dream the larger the team needed.

6. Have you begun to develop a specific plan of action to reach these goals?
Too many people go to their work every day or tackle life without specific objectives. So many of us have heard this saying: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And yet, many of us do not plan.

7. The final question: Have you set the dates you want to reach your goals?
If you don’t set the dates then it leaves too much open and way too much wiggle room to keep postponing progress in the goals. There will never be that sense of urgency needed often times to get huge goals accomplished.

Fewer gathering places helps efficiency

I am working with one of my coaching students on productivity and have shared a few items that really seem to be a great hit with this student. I thought I would share one or two of them here as well in case it may be of help others.

The one for today is to have less “gathering places”. Here is what I mean. Often times we pick things up and lay them down in a variety of places. Then when it is time to find those items again, be it a sticky note, car keys, letter, or whatever we have to hunt around to find out where we put it. This always takes time.

Instead, I recommend setting up 6-7 “gathering places” for specific reasons. Here are mine as an example:

1. Evernote app. Here is an app that I have on my iPhone, Macbook Pro, and iPad that syncs between all of them. I probably use this as my main gathering place since I can store photos and text and do a search for anything even with a photo. I can search for a word and it will highlight every place that word shows up, even in photos. I keep a file in Evernote titled “Process” which means I will check through there every Monday to file things, or read items that I did not have time to tend to but just threw them in there.

2. Big Box. Here is an old school idea that I still find very useful. Get a big box and keep in the corner of your office, or a decorative one to keep in the corner of one of your rooms in your house. When your hands touch something and you don’t have time or are not sure where to put it, throw it in that box. At the end of every day schedule 20-30 minutes before you leave the office or go to bed to empty this box.

3. File Cabinet. This is one that I do not use often, only because I scan with Neat Receipts portable scanner. I also take pictures of items that would usually go in a file cabinet and keep in Evernote or Neat Receipts (this is my 4th gathering place I will mention next). But sometimes you may have a contract, lease, mortgage papers stuff like that which you can still keep in a file cabinet. In my file cabinet I have a folder at the front of it labeled…you guesses it, “process”. I use this if I have a paper to do something with but don’t have the time take a picture of or scan, so I throw it in my Process folder in the file cabinet. Every Monday this process folder is one I go through as well to do what needs to be with each piece there.

4. Neat Receipts with my scanner. I touched on this above but briefly this is where all my scanned items will go. Within Neat Receipts I have folders set up to accommodate everything I need to file.

5. Email. This is one that I see many misuse. They keep their inbox as a storage place and work off of it. I don’t recommend this as it will eventually catch up to you and cloud your mind, thinking, decisions, and in the end not make you as productive as you could be. Instead file your emails once you read them, make a decision. Ask yourself these three questions:

A. What is the next step?

B. When will it be done?

C. Where is it’s home?

I will share more on these 3 questions at a latter time.

6. Calendar. This is one that I feel many people under utilize. I am a Mac guy and so I enjoy iCal with it’s many color coded options and more. This is another item I will get into at a later time, but decisions need to be made on if what you are filing in this gathering place is a calendar item, a to-do, or a task? In iCal it will handle all 3 of these choices in this one gathering place.

7. Wild Card or voice mail. I don’t recommend voice mail but some use it well. I have listed “Wild Card” because, with some social networking out there, some of us have started to figure out a system to use this as a gathering place.

In closing, remember these are mine, you may have others. The bottom line is to try and live with this principle of fewer gathering places so that you can be more productive and efficient.

Top 5 from 3/27-4/2

Every Monday I always spend time in reviewing my past week in much more detail than I do through the week as it all unfolds. This review is always a highlight of my week because I get the opportunity to sit down with coffee in hand and all my notes throughout the week, and the notes I get from some of my coordinators direct reports.

So today, I thought I would also post a review of blog post that people visited the most from the site last week. Maybe you missed one of them, so here is to helping you catch up, not miss out, and remind you of some that you could help share with others.

1. Finally the true secret to finding volunteers

2. WordPress teaching me children’s ministry

3. Making a living or building a Cathedral

4. You think you know how to motivate think again.

5. 11 book that have caused change in my life since reading. (I have to say this list only includes books read before 3/11. Since then I would add some more and will post on those in a later post).

There they are, do you see your favorite in the list or which one that is not in the list that you thought would be? I do appreciate anytime you can take the post that you enjoy and invest into others lives by sharing them with others.

Michael Hyatt talks about twitter being greatest leadership, influnece, tool ever

I have gained an incredible amount of respect for Michael Hyatt. As a matter of fact he is not even aware of the amount of complete respect and impact he has on my life, so when I ran across this video interview of him speaking of the advantages and ways he uses twitter I could not wait to share this valuable piece with you my blog followers.

I think it is wisdom for all of us to hear from people like Michael who have great minds but most importantly they are able to execute their great ideas.

Enjoy

How Can Christian Leaders Get Started with Social Media? from Michael Hyatt on Vimeo.

4-D solution

Beginning this post allow me to say up front that I am in no means the originator of this and actually to be truthful I am not even sure when the first time was that I learned process. So, as it was free for me to learn, I offer it to you as well.

I see people struggle all the time trying to handle a large load of activities and projects. As they try to juggle all of these activities they are trying to just survive and trying to figure out a new system that will help. This is what I desire to offer you today, another possible system that is tried and true according to me. I work this system myself and believe you too can find it valuable if you will work it faithfully. So lets begin with this 4-D solution.

1. Dump It. Learn to say no. Pretty simple but it seems that those who work with Kids have a great hardship that comes upon them when they think of saying no. Dump It.

2. Delegate It. These are projects and items that need to be done, just maybe not by you. Hand them to someone else and don’t walk under guilt for doing this. Always ask yourself, “Who should do this?” When you figure it out then allow them to do it. If no one else comes to your mind who could not do it at least 75% as well as you, then it may be for you. But be careful to not think too highly of yourself and skill levels. So, delegate it out.

3. Defer it. These are issues you do not need to work on, at least not immediately. They can be deferred. Schedule a future time to handle these types of things.

4. Do it. Important projects that need your attention right away. Move ahead with these items, don’t make excuses if you have boiled a task down to this level.

So there you go a 4-D Solution for tackling your heavy load.

Testing, Checking and asking Why?

Please excuse this test, I am only checking on some settings and making evaluations of what I have set up.

Here is a quick thought as I end this test. I find it helpful to occasionally pop in and run some test when I add new features to my blog and also check not only the new things but examine plugins that are already installed here as well to make sure that everything plays nice with one another. By running these test it has helped me to be the one to discover when things where not going as I thought they were and not have to hear it from a reader of the blog.

So how often do we run test, examine things that are not just the new things we are creating or introducing, but how often do we make sure that all of our created systems and processes are still running well with everything else? I heard a story once which I will share the brief version of it here.

There was a mom and daughter cooking the Holiday season ham together. The mom took the pan out and began to place the ham in the pan, but before doing so she chopped off the ends of the ham and threw them away. The daughter asking, “Mom why do you do that?” The mom replies, “I don’t know your grandma always did this”. So they both agree to try to find out the reason and call grandma. As they get grandma on the phone and ask her the question they are amazed and embarrassed as grandma gives the reason. Grandma’s reason…Because the ham was to big for the pan she and her mom used to bake the ham in.

In short, just as I am checking and testing this blog to make sure everything is running well with the old and new stuff, we need to know it is ok to question, test, and check what we do and why we do it. The reason people used paper cut outs with Popsicle sticks glued to them for puppets at one time does not mean that we still need to do the same now. Have you ran your methods through a check as to why you are doing stuff the way you are?

Spend some time today to go and do a systems check.

Success equals Stewardship

I have been given some thought as to what determines success really and with all the different thoughts I have noticed different results in each of the situations that I have looked at. Not all of these situations I have examined are mine alone, but each of the situations I viewed were viewed as successful. So, I continued to drill down into what do these all have in common? Then it comes to me, each of these situations that had successful results all had in common:

“Great stewardship = successful results”.

Regardless of the success or the situation that I was using in my many examples it always came down to the stewardship executed that made each more successful than others. Of course it was the leadership that determined how the stewardship would be lived out.

I looked at several life results with varying success and leadership abilities and found that even with a mediocre leader who is a good steward of using all known resources they were more successful than even a known great leader who chooses to not be a good steward of resources. For the record, leaders who chose consistently to not be a good steward did not remain long term as an influential leader. More on becoming a lazy leader in a future blog.

Summary – Using % of known resources + % of discipline used for execution = amount of success. Allow me to try and say it in another way: The amount of good stewardship of known resources and amount of good stewardship of execution determines success. So success equals amount of stewardship.

Time

“Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing”, says business consultant and author Michael LeBoeuf.

Time is the one thing that in today’s world has become extremely valuable. You can make up a lot of stuff like: the few dollars that you may have missed out on, a favorite television show, a meal, but you can never regain the time you have lost. To help me from losing too much time I have been figuring out what big decisions I need to make and I am making them, and I am making sure that I manage them daily. Yes one of my goals is to determine and act on important priorities.

Finally after all these years in full time ministry I am beginning to understand that since I can’t change time, I must change my approach to time. When I was younger in ministry about 17+ years ago or so, I thought I could do everything. Yes I heard from those much wiser than me that this was impossible but I demanded that they were wrong and that I was different. It has been a long hard road at times to finally convince me that there is wisdom in, yes, getting things done but also leaving things undone. True wisdom lies in the elimination of non-essential’s. We can have anything we want, but we can’t have everything we want.

I have read where author Robert J. McKain says, “The reason most goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first.” If we were to be honest we would have to admit that there is a ton of stuff that is fighting for our time and energy. I have noticed that people who are able to reach their potential and fulfill their dreams have determined and act on their priorities daily. They do first things first and eliminate their non-essentials.

Will you make a commitment with me to examine your time and priorities and lets get rid of the non-essentials and major on the essentials for ourselves?

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