Meetings

Today I have five meetings.

If I’m totally honest meetings are not my favorite things.  Mainly because meetings are often too long.  Today all my meetings are back to back so I need to be more diligent on getting the meeting straight to the point.

The biggest frustration that I have with meetings is leaving the meeting without being clear about what I need to do, and what is expected of others.  I really do think that every meeting should have an outcome.

So these are my goals today.

1)  Concise meetings.

2)  Clear Outcomes and action steps.

I’ll see you later after my marathons of meetings.

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I Have An Idea

I have a lot of ideas actually.  But I need to finish the ideas that are right in front of me (a talk on Work for a Men’s Conference, Two Sermons For May, My Thesis) that have deadlines.  But after all these ideas processed and shipped out, I have another idea that I’d like to investigate.

I recently read Poke the Box by Seth Godin.  The book is great. The distribution model is better.  Godin started The Domino Project in cooperation with Amazon.  They publish books quickly, efficiently, and inexpensively.

I would love to write books.  I have several ideas in my head, and on various documents both digital and print.  I’d love to write fiction, and nonfiction.  I don’t know if I would make a ton of money on these books, but I do know that I need to get these ideas out there.

What would it take to start a publishing company these days?

I’d love to create a place for Creative Christians to distribute their ideas, via e-books, on-demand hardcopies, Music, Video, all of that.  But I don’t want to create a Christian Publishing company.  I want to help people get their work, their art, their ideas to the world.  I want to help an Author who has the next inspiring Young Adult Fiction book to get their work to an audience.

There has to be a way to make this happen.

Who wants to help?

Shipping Is Important

In my line of work it’s very easy to have projects that just kind of float in my brain.  I might tweak a project every once and awhile and feel like I’m making progress.  But I know a simple truth and I think you know this too.  If the project doesn’t have a due date, I (and so will you) will put it off as long as possible.

Seth Godin’s Linchpin talks a lot about the value of shipping.  Set a due date or a ship date, work on the project, and send it out on the ship date.  It might not be perfect, it might need to come back for revision, you might have to update the project later.  All of that doesn’t matter.  What matters is getting in the habit of shipping.

No one knows about your ideas.  No one cares about your ideas.  No one knows or cares until you ship.  Make something happen.  Don’t wait for other people to fill up your life with their projects and deadlines.  Carve out some time for your projects and ideas.  And ship them.  This could be self initiated projects for work, or it could be a hobby that you want to share with others (music, writing, photography, etc.).  Whatever it is Ship It!

I just shipped a project to some volunteers in our community.  I need them to be involved and I told them that I would have their parts to them this week.  No one told me that I had to get volunteers.  No one told me that I had to write this project. No one told me that I had to get people on board early.  But I know myself and if I didn’t give myself due dates for this stuff then I would not produce quality.

So what is your project?  What is the thing you are putting off?  What will it take for you to put a ship date on it? And then what do you have to do to ship?

Ordering My Digital World pt. 1 – Distractions

It’s so easy to get distracted by all the digital noise around us that we can lose sight of what we need to be doing.  And by writing this post I may be adding to the digital noise.  But I hope to be a help.

Watch this video from Pastor Josh Harris:

When I watched this I was in a place where I knew that I needed to change my interaction with technology or it would continue to dominate my schedule and hinder me from getting things done that I need to get done.  So I’ve been taking some steps to help organize my digital world.

Step 1) Twitter

Instead of getting on Facebook to update my status and then getting sucked into status updates, new pictures, people surveys, pillow fights, etc.  I decided to be active in Facebook without needing to use Facebook all the time.  That solution for me is twitter.  I can updated my status from my phone and twitter is connected to my Facebook profile so it looks like I’m on there and using it but I’m not.  I do hop on Facebook.com from time to time but this little work around has been a huge time saver for me.

Step 2) Email Hours

Usually I keep my email open all day, and when a new message comes in I check it and reply instantly.  I have been trained like a rat with cheese to get that immediate gratification of pushing the button to get more cheese.  It’s insane.  But I’ve also realized that I’m not very good at responding to email when I have it open all day.  I just tell myself that I’ll get to that email later.

My hope is that by making my email checking intentional I will actually answer email and I won’t be distracted by every message that passes my inbox.  We will see.

I also send out an auto response to people saying, basically, thanks for sending me your email.  I’m going to answer it at either 8am, 11am or 3pm.  So that gives me a little bit of accountability as to when people should expect a response from me.  I think this will help me quite a bit.

Ideally, I would like to check my email once a day.  I’m stealing this idea from Tim Ferris and The 4-Hour Work Week.

Step 3) Blog Checking Hours

I follow about 95 blogs in Google Reader.  I don’t read that many blogs every day but I at least scan through them.  Blogs have been a valuable resource for me.  I can get news, ideas, and inspiration from leaders and and thinkers around the world.  So I’m going to limit my blog reading to 8:30-9:00 am and 8:30-4:00 pm.

My hope is that all of these little things will help me to eliminate distractions and help me to get things done.

What ways do you order your digital world?

yesterday

yesterday was arguable the most productive day I’ve had in a long time.  I got up early and went tothe gym.  Then I went to Aloha Cafe and worked on our outlines for our cell groups this month.  I got two of them done so that’s awesome, and I know where the third one is going so that rocks.  Then I got some good organizing done on our info table, we’ve had a thing that was lame, but now we are going to get it going.  And I wrote the message for transit. So that was good.

Then later one I met with Emily to talk about out missions trip and she’s going to be helping me keep the ball rolling on this.

And after that we had a really great time at transit.

So it was a busy but productive day and I left feeling really great about it.