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Productivity

Start to finish, implementation ideas to unpack part 2

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This post idea started over here first. Go and read this post first then come back and finish this one.

Decide on the right tempo/speed or frequency.

Once volunteers are in place, it’s important to know where you want to take your volunteers. What does that look like? How often will you need to meet? How long? The key is figuring out the speed/frequency that fits you and your churches culture.

Specific examples of speed and culture.

Here at my church I am noticing that Sundays after the last service are good times for tribes of people within Take TWO Family ministries to meet because they’re already used to having a full Sunday and prefer to stay and carry out a meeting than have to come at any other time during the week.

Helpful Content

Good volunteers are always hungry for content that will help them have a greater impact in their role. They are not, however, open to giving up their time for something that seems like a waste. Helpful content is required to develop volunteers and make them want to attend training events. I enjoy recording some of my groups to use as a teaching tool with them.

Easy to Attend

Training events need to be as easy to attend as possible. You can’t appease everyone, but you can do a number of things to take away excuses people have for not attending training events.

Can’t Miss Culture

The best way to have strong participation in volunteer training is to make the events themselves have a “can’t miss” feel to them. What can you do to make those who attend feel glad they did and want to come next time?

Be on the lookout for more post along this line as I unfold these some more.
I would love to hear what you do?
What do you find successful?

Live Scribe Pen Saves So Much Time

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Electronic data is my preferred way of communicating and filing. I will discuss my ScanSnap scanner that I use as well in a later post, today I want to quickly talk about my Live Scribe WiFi pen.

Several people who I know tell me often:
1. They would love to be more electronic, but they can’t stop using paper because of the familiarity.

2. I hear many talk about filling notebooks of notes from going to conferences and the info dying right there.

3. Meetings where laptops are not welcomed and so their productivity is slowed down dramatically.

4. Holding stand up meetings is difficult when you’re trying to balance your laptop on your hand.

5. Finally taking decent notes but no matter how good they may be, always missing some key fact that they can’t remember what was discussed.

The list can and does go on and on.

My solution that I have truly enjoyed is found in my Livescribe WiFi Pen.

All my notes and the audio of everything around me is recorded as I sit there with my pen. The other great fact is that all the time it is syncing with my Evernote account so everything gets filed into my electronic brain, both through text and audio. To reclaim it I can go into my Evernote folder and search for a keyword or phrase, or if I know where the note is I can click on it directly in Evernote and see the notes and/or hear the audio.

The other option is to also play it back directly from my pen by clicking the note in my notebook with my pen and hearing the audio.

Next time you head out to a conference, stand up meeting, or a variety of other options, make sure you grab your Livescribe pen.

Success or Failure doesn’t just appear, it’s a process.

My Calendar picture

Planning, determination, strategizing, disciplined, and a slew of other words like these may scare some people. Add in the word “Daily” and the fear factor goes up. But it is just that, “daily” you need to make decisions that will chip away obstacles and help you to reach what you are going after.

It is a firm belief of mine that the secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. If you make a few key decisions and then manage them well in your daily agenda, you will succeed. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. You see, success, doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in someone’s life, neither does failure. Each is a process. Every day of your life is preparation for the next. What you are becoming is the result of what you do daily. In other words… You are preparing for something. Look at how you invest your days and you can tell what you are preparing for, knowingly or un-knowingly.

My question for you would be:
1. What are you preparing for?
2. Grooming yourself for success or failure?

I have heard it said several times, “You can pay now, and play later, or you can play now and pay later. But either way, you are going to pay.” The idea was that you can play and take it easy and do what you want today, but if you do, your life will be harder later. However, if you work hard now, on the front end, then you will reap rewards in the future.

Let me Challenge you to think: Does your daily agenda show that you make a habit of paying before you play? If not, it is not too late to change your daily habits or agenda. To start allow me to suggest a couple daily decisions to make sure you do.
1. Spend time in the God’s Word
2. Spend time worshiping and talking to God
3. Spend time with your spouse. Your spouse and God will be the ones to have your back when all else seems to be against you.
4. Make everything an appointment on your calendar. If it doesn’t make it to your calendar, then you don’t do it.

There is a quick start. Now add to it.

Nuggets taken from Seeds Conference prt.1

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I am getting the opportunity to attend the Seeds conference via a Stream Pass thanks to the wonderful technology we have today and a great church of mine that allows me to do just this.

When you settle “your calling” that poison of bitterness and restlessness will be released

“If your pastor was everything you wanted him to be, he still wouldn’t be enough for you.”

You might be in the place you are because it’s not about God changing your leader but God changing YOU.

When you see yourself connected to something bigger than yourself, you’re more generous. Give more. Serve more. Honor more.

Develop a “habit” of being thankful!!!

Spend time daily “thanking” GOD for your Leadership, lean into thankfulness.

An isolated life sees what you’ve done… A thankful life sees what’s bigger than you!

Thankfulness is ALL about being connected. Realizing that something you have didn’t come from you. (via @whitneygeorge)

“The devil didn’t think I was too young to learn stuff, but the church did.” @Willie_George

“The people you admire aren’t necessarily more talented than you. They’re just more disciplined than you.” @whitneygeorge

“We often want the gold but we don’t want the process to get there” @whitneygeorge

Your generosity will change / increase when you stop seeing yourself as the source.

Create experiences that people want to repeat. @whitneygeorge

The 4 hour work week book review

4 hour work week

I cringed at the title of this book, The 4 hour work week, but still went ahead and leafed through it. I actually found myself seeing how some pieces of this book could be applied to my life, and so I decided to go ahead and read it.

Step 1: D is for Definition

In this section Ferriss tells us to do an important task: define what you want. And I agree that most of us live through life not knowing what we want; just following the crowd like a herd of sheep. This section was the motivational, make you feel good section. This wasn’t the how, it was the why.

Step 2: E is for Elimination
Okay, so he basically says to eliminate all the junk in your life. For example: watch less TV, don’t check your e-mail so often, don’t look at your phone a bazillion times a day, don’t surf the web for hours a day, etc. It focuses on some very straightforward techniques for eliminating most of the regular mundane activities that fill our professional lives. Here are seven examples that I liked:
I. Make your to-do list for tomorrow before you finish today.
II. Stop all multitasking immediately.
III. Force yourself to end your day at 4 PM or end your week on Thursday.
IV. Go on a one-week media fast.
V. Check email only twice a day
VI. Never, ever have a meeting without a clear agenda.
VII. Don’t be afraid to hang up a “do not disturb” sign.

Step 3: A is for automation
This is where I began to disconnect with Tim’s method of creating a “4-hour workweek”. He spends a good deal of time talking about having a VA (Virtual Assistant). In my profession of pastoral ministry, this would be a hard sell, so I didn’t spend much time on this.

Step 4: L is for Liberation
Here Tim combines all the parts to show you how to move more of your life to remote type living. I actually believe this is valuable as I have been able to carry out a lot of this myself already.

Here are some last closing key insights I took away:
• “Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer without a clear list of priorities. You’ll just read unassociated e-mail and scramble your brain for the day.” (This alone has saved me about 35 hours since I finished the book 2 weeks ago.)
• “Being busy is a form of laziness and lazy thinking”
• How to end a meeting on time

My last thought with this book was it does a great job of teaching a person how to self-promote, but it comes at a high cost of teamwork. I hope that one day Tim Ferriss can take a break from perfecting his self to experience the pleasure of cultivating community. And those who pursue all the things in this book will be able to learn the value of as well.

Improve your life with just 20 minutes a day

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Re-reading “http://www.amazon.com/Brothers-We-Are-Not-Professionals/dp/1433678829/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425423934&sr=8-1&keywords=brother+we+are+not+professionals” by John Piper and it hit me hard when John begins to discuss the power of just scheduling in 20 minutes a day to read.

Suppose you read slowly, like around 250 words a minute (there is a great app that I use to increase speed of reading called ReadQuick). This would mean that you could read about 5,000 words in just 20 minutes. An average book has around 400 words to a page. So you could read about 12 1/2 pages in 20 minutes. Suppose you could discipline yourself to read a certain or topic 20 minutes a day for 6 days a week, for a year. That would be 312 times 12.5 pages for a total of 3900 pages. Assume with me again that an average book is 250 pages long. This means you could read 15 books like that in a year.

Now venture with me if you could discipline yourself to set aside 20 minutes early in the morning, 20 minutes before, after or during lunch and then 20 minutes again before bed as you try to calm your mind from the day’s activities. That would amount to 36 medium size books.

I am not trying to say we should all strive to limit our reading to quick shots or two times a day. Just for those who are struggling with getting in reading, to try to discipline yourself these quick 20 minute times with a book where you can live in another great mind or two.

Lastly, I am not trying to give you the impression that reading a ton of books is the best either. I agree with Spurgeon: “A student will find that his mental constitution is more affected by one book thoroughly mastered than by twenty books which he has merely skimmed, lapping at them.”

What do you think could be accomplished if you found the 20 minutes a day or 20 minutes 3 times a day? Imagine where you will be a year from now.

Swipe your way to productivity today.

swipes logo

Time to get busy and get down to knocking out your to-do list. So you run around and collect all the sticky notes on your mirror, your desk, your computer screen and all the other misc. areas. Then you turn to the most recent incredible life changing tool – Evernote. You begin to search through Evernote, or as you call it, your brain online to find all of your to-do list in there as well.

Now you are just plain tired and mentally worn out not to mention you have spent 1 1/2 hours just getting prepped to become productive for the day. Have I got a great solution for you that I started using a few weeks back and it has kept me very fluid and able to stay on the go but keeping my to-do list getting done at the right time.

This tool is called…”Swipes“.

Here is how Swipes works with Evernote. Evernote, by its nature, is a workspace for the way we work today, collecting information from multiple devices and from just about anywhere in the world. Swipes, however, is the task management app that not only stores your tasks, but helps you prioritize them and break-down the important things into doable steps. The blend of Swipes with Evernote gives you the possibility to not only collect the things that matter to you, but act on them. This is a combination of pure productivity joy!!

Stop wasting time looking for ways to be productive and get Swipes and get conquering your to-do list.

Ideas to make 2015 your most productive year yet. Part 3.

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Here is part 3 and the last one for “Ideas to make 2015 your most productive year yet.

7. CLUMP TASKS TO CREATE FLOW
Your more productive if you can stay in one task mind, instead of changing gears. Try to schedule your day around one activity; a day of networking, or a morning of writing and an afternoon of research. I work with all of my coaching students to create this type of theme with their days.

8. CREATE A LIST OF EASY TO-DOS
Carson Tate, author of Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Productivity Style, makes a list of tasks that can be done in 15 minutes or less. He suggests we keep this list with us at all times so we can convert those odd moments of time like waiting in line or waiting at the dentist’s office into productive microsegments of work. I enjoy using Todoist as my to-do app of preference.

9. CONSISTENTLY SELF-EVALUATE
Rigorous self-evaluation is the beginning, middle, and end of self-management. It is the essential habit of self-improvement.

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