Sunday, October 14, 2012

Taking A Break

This past summer I did something I had never done before, I took a break from all social media and just listened to God and made time to focus and work on me. It was truly a life changing week. Out of that week came tons of revelation knowledge. It was truly a game changer sooooooooooo.......I'm doing it again! I'm just saying no to email, twitter and facebook as well as my blog for a whole week. I can't wait to tell you next week what I learn.
Goodbye #kidmin universe, I'm taking a little me time.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Re-post: Keeping Life Simple- Part 5...

Here are the final 6 of the 18 steps I use to keep life simple when things are crazy...

13.      Don’t ever quit or make big decisions during the madness. Major decisions and crazy times don’t go together. This is a key rule to remember.

14.      Don’t make people decisions when time is limited. When it concerns someone else, take your time and consider things from every angle. Always treat others the way you would want them to treat you or your kids. Don’t let the shortness of the hour keep you from making a wise decision, slow things down and think it through when it affects people.

15.      Develop a plan to make next year better.  Learn from your experiences. As soon as an event is over I ask my team what did we learn? How can we make it better? What do we need to simplify?  Do this while it’s fresh on your mind, go ahead and start next year’s file.

16.      Get feedback from others. A good leader is a good listener. I consult others before hand, during, and afterward and get a cross section of opinions from different perspectives.

17.      When it’s over, crash! Get some rest. I try to always schedule a break between big pushes. Watch out for too many irons in the fire. Be realistic on the amount of projects you take on. I have learned to get others on board to help you limit what you do. I have a group I run outside projects b so I don’t take on more than I can handle.

18.      Do more by doing less. Focus on the main thing. Why were you put on the earth? If God has a wonderful plan for your life, (and He does!) then what is that plan? Focus on your main thing. Focus calls for a concentrated push or intentional actions. What are you doing presently that’s keeping you from your main thing? Just because it a good idea doesn’t make it a God idea.

            If you are serious about mastering the art of simplifying life you must master the habit of evaluating constantly. Listen to your spouse. Ask the timeless question…”Where’s the beef?” Examine and inspect fruit, gains, and losses. Evaluate efficiency and look for ways to build systems and streamline efforts. Every experience in you life teaches something a great question is what did I learn today from life?
Ask daily “What should I discontinue, change and/or add to my life? Last but not least, look for your next step. God leads us in steps not leaps or jumps. We calm the crazy and simplify life by walking life out in steps and climbing them one at a time.

Want to know more? Read my book "Beat The Clock" it will help you!
Oh by the way I scheduled all these posts last week just to keep this week simple!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Re-post: Keeping Life Simple-part 4...

Here are my next 6 steps I use to keep life simple when things are crazy...

7.      Get creative with your family time. I try to take a family member with me every chance I get. I also try to combine my family time with something else. I go walking with Julie, cycling with Julie, Shopping with Yancy, Whitney and Julie, movies with my sons-in-laws and baby sit my Grandson anytime they will let me. I like to call them when I can just to say hi and to encourage and let them know I proud I am of them. 

8.      Schedule a break even if it’s only for a few hours when you are at you craziest. Even convicts get time off for good behavior. If I can’t go out of town or schedule a massage I make time to play my guitar or visit a music store or make a Starbucks run, or a bicycle store. These kinds of breaks are real therapy for me and all take me to a happy place.

9.      Be open to change in your lifestyle. Different results require different actions.
Don’t despise change. Change is not a four-letter word it’s a six-letter word and can be your friend. (Which is also a six-letter word.) When I have to change something that I know is not a permanent change I remind myself this is only for a short while and I can do this! As with anything else guard your thoughts and your tongue and line them both up with scripture.

10.      Do your homework and see what others do in hectic times. I love to study busy people. I check up on busy people by calling, emailing, read their books and blogs, network at conferences or on facebook. I look for new places to learn all the time.

11.      Stop and listen to Jesus.  I shouldn’t have to say this to Children’s ministers but make time for the Word! You are the only person who can make sure you stay refreshed spiritually, and that you feed your spirit. If you can’t go to church, listen to the CD. Sing and praise God in the car in the shower and in the craziness of life.

12.      When you are tired and busy, don’t think, rely on a checklist. I’ve been saying this before I got gray hair, “Paper is for remembering not my brain. I don’t try to remember anything that I can know by having information with me.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Re-Post: Keeping Life Simple-part 3...

Here are the first 6 of the 18 steps I use to keep life simple when things are crazy...

1.   Set your priorities! You can’t keep priorities if you don’t have priorities. If you can’t name your priorities by number at gunpoint then they are not how you order your life.
Arrange your events, tasks and duties by your priorities. My first 3 never change. My relationship with Christ, my relationship with my family, and my pastor’s problems. All other priorities in my life can change daily. I must be willing to make their choices on a daily basis. Could you make a list right now of your top 10 priorities?

2.   Keep your priorities in order. As I said above this is a daily choice. The order of your priorities may be different at different times; this is where your leadership must become intentional. My favorite scripture in the whole wide world is Proverbs 28:2 “When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order. Maintaining order is the missing element in becoming a super leader.

3.   Delegate to others those things that they can do for you even if it’s short term.
When you’re out of time use someone else’s. There are times I need to delegate something long term there are times I do it for a season. Make a list of everything you are doing that someone else can do. I hear you saying “but they can do it as well as me.” I know, I’ve been there. This is why you use checklist and job descriptions as well as special assignments to get them to do it your way. If you have not identified where you need help and what you need to stop doing you’ll just keep doing what you’ve always done and have the same results.

4.   Use time saving tools. Every job goes smoother when you use the right tools. Here are the tools I rely on to help me keep my life simpler: Cellular phones, (pda phone is the best of both worlds, and yes I want an iphone.) a timer, thank God for Radio Shack! I use it to stay on time and end meetings, phone calls and sermons at the time I have allotted. I also use a service at My most valuable tool is my calendar. You can’t manage time without a day planning system. I use a Smart Phone because I had reached a place where my calendar system was a time waster. How did you know that, Jim? Because I have developed a habit that saves my bacon on a regular basis, I account for my time daily as I spend it. Another wonderful tool is  email. It can eliminate some memos and even a meeting.  Next is a tool that is where my master calendar is kept is my computer. I use a laptop because it helps me keep life simple everywhere. By having a computer with me everywhere I am it helps me meet deadlines, network and brainstorm with others, do things once rather than constantly redo. I depend on a computer so much I have a spare just in case I need it. Other tools I use include email and text groups and drafts so things I say over and over I can send without retyping and those people I send to a lot I make a group.
The problem with email is knowing when to talk and not type, it’s all about keeping life simple. I’m also a big fan of two other tools blogging and websites. Both can be huge assets in communicating with key leaders, workers and parents.

5.      Do more than one thing at a time. I try to always make the most of waiting, commute times, and meals. All 3 of these are great times for study, meetings, and people development, time to return messages and emails and to make assignments as well as plan. Take something to read with you where ever you go. I even use a hands free phone so I can type and check emails while I talk.

6.      Decide what can be postponed or eliminated. This step goes back to priorities. You are the only one that can determine what’s urgent and what can wait.
Don’t just look at the task look at the time you have and the time involved.
Learn to say no! This is a key skill required to simplify life. I’ve also learned that a big part of saying yes to urgent and important matters means you MUST say no to less urgent or unimportant things. When time is short I look to managing me first, then others and manage things last.