Here’s a snapshot of what turned out to be a really frustrating morning. At the beginning, I had around eight emails to answer. Each one I answered generated a reply. So did the next wave of replies I sent. I also had around five I needed to send. Same pattern. And – spoiler alert –
If this meeting happens, the week runs so much more smoothly. And I’ve repeatedly learnt to my cost that if it doesn’t happen, I’m so easily derailed.
This third edition has moved even closer to being the near-perfect solution to being calmly productive, and no competitor I have seen comes close to being second.
If I said that this was the most important piece of secular philosophy I have read in a long time, you’d probably switch off. But it is, and I want you to read it.
I use Evernote as my digital brain – how does that help me as a pastor?
Half term, the boys off school, and we headed to the zoo. Not one of the really big names, but big enough to have lions, zebras, snow leopards, cheetahs, and fabulous café that allows you sit and watch the tigers really close-up. This is a place where the tigers do come for tea. And I
Last week, I took a morning to conduct a Quarterly review. It seemed like a good time – two and a half months into the new ministry post, and I’ve gathered a headful of ideas and impressions. So this was a clarifying three hours, looking back and looking forwards. There are a dozen ways of
Christian ministers frequently report bad backs and shoulders. Mine became so bad that I ended up in surgery at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital a few years ago. I’ve no idea if we deviate from the norm on this, but I’ve a hunch (I know, I know) that hours spent sitting reading as well as using
I have a desk. But my friend Peter has two. Why? Why two desks when he can only use one at a time? Because he’s a shrewd old Christian, and he knows the temptation of the mind, even a disciplined mind, to flit to the nagging task that is calling for our attention, away from
This evening one of my colleagues asked me about something – something I couldn’t resolve on my own. So I contacted the person who could help – and then sent what others would think an unnecessary email. I emailed my colleague saying that I’d spoken to the other person, and would get back to him
One of the ways I waste time on the computer, is by typing the same stuff over and over. The same email addresses. The same websites. The same information. Know the problem? It was the kind of thing that we were supposed to have left behind with typewriters. Enter the world of text expanders. These
You do still have them in your diary, don’t you? Those regular pauses in your ministry life that make it possible to breathe, sink in God’s Word, and regroup your plans. Once a month, perhaps, taking a couple of hours for you, a Bible and a notebook. Once a quarter, perhaps, taking a day for
Jesus taught us that our fundamental role as ministers is to be servants. He has served us, we are to serve each other, and those of us who are pastors are to serve as we lead. But words come in particular cultures and contexts. In Jesus’ time the word ‘slave’ was demeaning and potentially violent
I got it wrong again this week. In public, which was a touch embarrassing. .. I was speaking to a group of pastors in training, looking at the priorities of ministry from Acts 6. You know the story – the needy widows were being overlooked in the food pantry, so the apostles arrange for a
Identifying your strengths is a key part of finding a job or moving on in your career at the moment. Knowing your contribution will lead to your personal satisfaction and worth, and to your being productive and energised. Perhaps the most engaging exponent of this view is Marcus Buckingham. A Brit living in the States,
I’m not a big fan of multitasking. I’ve been persuaded, both by the research and my own experience, that working on two things at once makes me less efficient at both. Phone calls while emailing mean we do less well on both fronts, making more errors. So I’ve never really listened to people who have
Well it can be – or, at least, every week if you get your creativity working. John Piper has a brilliant book out, called Fifty Reasons why Jesus Came to Die. It’s published in the normal ways, but as usual with Piper you can get it as a free pdf