What I’ve Learned About Time Management Now That My Daughter Started School.

My little Kambell is growing up. She started Kindergarten this year and while that first day was definitely harder on my wife than me, it has still slapped me into a new reality. In the last week, I’ve had to learn an entire new schedule for drop off and pickup, but also a new schedule to get my work done. My time in the office has been cut by 2 hours.

There are 7 things about time that this new routine has shown me that are applicable for business owners and pastors alike.

1. Identify your strengths

We are all gifted in certain areas, yet if you’re like me, you want to do it all. What I’ve learned from this is that you are only stretching yourself thin and doing nothing well. Personally, I am working to identify what I do well and find alternatives for those things that I am less than stellar at.

2. Time limitations increases productivity

For as long as I can remember, I have worked better under pressure. Some would call this procrastination. It’s amazing how quickly I can get stuff done when given an impending deadline. Funny thing is, usually I could have had that done much sooner and off my plate because my perception of the task was much larger than the actual reality. Now that I have fewer hours in my office per day, I am learning to get things done much quicker and prioritize projects.

3. Focus on what works

I’m a dreamer.

That’s it. My mind is constantly going and I am always seeing things that I could get myself into or do. Now that my time has been limited, I now have to focus on what works for us. Does that mean stop dreaming? No. But I have learned that Evernote is my friend and when a new idea comes to mind, I take note so I can review later.

4. Prioritize Yourself

We’ve all been on the airplane where the safety briefing says to secure your air mask before your child. You are useless to those that need your help if you’re unconscious. Take the time to keep yourself in order so that you can continue to invest in others.

5. Ignore non-critical task or pay someone to do it

I like to mow my grass. It’s a good excuse for me to spend 30 minutes quiet. I spend a lot of my time mowing in thought and dreaming (see note 3). There are several of my business owner friends that have told me to hire someone to mow my grass so I can focus my time on the business. The good thing for me is that mowing is time I focus on my business. I do get their point though.

I’m sure there are tasks you are taking on that are much easier handled by someone else who has more expertise in that area (see note 1). Plus, there is an opportunity cost related to that task. If it’s taking your time and effort away from something you’re better at, then it’s actually costing you more.

What tasks are you still trying to manage that could be outsourced?

6. Adapt based on limitations

After I pick up my daughter, I still have a few hours at home that I can work before my wife gets home and its family time. I’ve started teaching my daughter a routine to work on her school work or reading while I’m doing the same. My hope is that this will instill in her habits to use for the future. I’ve had to find ways to continue to get work done, in a new environment with new tools since I’m not at my desk.

7. Laugh at yourself

When push comes to shove, we always think we’re under the gun more than we actually are. I know for me, the timelines and pressure I put on myself are far greater than what’s actually expected of me from others. Its good from time to time to take a few minutes and laugh. I’m glad that I’m very good and turning off and doing nothing. While it only lasts a short while before I get fidgety, there are a few minutes where I can say I’m relaxed. You should too.

It’s only been a week so I’m sure this list will grow and be refined, but I am so glad that I have the opportunity to invest in my kids life.

What are some ways you find to effectively manage your time?


Who’s Left?

We’re doing an informal survey with planters who have launched their churches asking the question, Who from your core group or launch team is left?

Now I realize that semantics can play a big role in this. For most, a launch team is by design not supposed to last once the church has started. That aside, we’d like to know how many people who started with you are still around after 6 months, 1 year, 3 years.

Please respond in the comment section and let us know.

Setup your response as:

start = # people or couples
6 mos = # people
1 yr = # people
3 yr = # people

We’ll hopefully be able to put out the results albeit informally.

Thanks in advance for your time!

blog Church Management Time Management

Tomorrow is Today

I have to make a confession, I am a Lazy, Procrastinator.  You need only look at the timing and consistency of this blog to see proof.  Like many people, I’ve learned that there are never enough hours in a day and there is a consistent struggle between work, home, family, etc.

One thing I realized recently was the fact that Tomorrow becomes Today real quick.  Looking back a consistent message to myself was “I’ll do that tomorrow.”  What took me this long to see was that tomorrow was here before I knew it, and tomorrow has tasks of its own.

So what now?

I have now set a rule for myself to filter the statement “I’ll do that tomorrow.”  If I say that, I have to schedule it right then for a time the next day.  What I found by scheduling the tasks was a reality of what it would actually take to complete.  Often, by planning it on paper (typed into my calendar) I was able to get an objective look at the task and realize that it wasn’t as big as I thought and getting it done now would not take that long.  It was amazing what I was able to get done once I used my calendar as a filter to objectively plan out the task to complete.

What steps, processes or thoughts to you use to manage your time?


Our Offices Have Moved!

We’re happy to announce that our offices have officially moved to the Metro East!

Axess Network now has our entire concept operating out of O’Fallon, Illinois, just across the river from St. Louis, MO.  We’re excited about the opportunities that this creates for us being closer to a larger metropolitan area.

For Your Records –

please update our address in your records.

For Mail:
PO Box 195
O’Fallon, IL 62269

For Visits:
40 Commerce Drive
O’Fallon, IL 62269

Thanks so much for your continued support and the opportunity to work and serve your ministry.


Send North America Conference 2012 Recap

I just got back from the Send North America Conference put on by the SBC’s North American Mission Board. It was a great time to meet with 2,000+ other church planters and partners from around the continent. I was amazed at the excitement and momentum that seemed to be present.
Here are just a few items that I took away from the event.

1. SBC churches in North America are losing ground. In order to reach the church/population levels that existed in the 1960s, 15,000 churches need to be planted. While that sounds like a huge number, there is hopeful news. To reach that goal, the current churches in America need to each plant only 2 churches.

2. There is a definite need for our concept. I met with several planters and leaders to explain what we can to do to help plants. They were all very interested and saw the value in our concept. That was very encouraging to me.

3. The is a need to equip planters. There are several planting organizations out there that offer any number of resources and tools to help planters. While that is great, there is also a need for practical tips for planters. We realized that you could attend a conference relating to planting almost every week of the year if you wanted. What we need are for the boots to hit the ground. Quit talking and just get started.

I am very pleased to be working with NAMB to be a small part of their strategy to plant new churches in North America. The Gospel is advancing and we are blessed to be a small part of that effort.

blog Church Management

There’s Freedom in Trust

I recently had a conversation with my business partner.  We were discussing the business and what the next steps might be for us as things progress.

In the discussion, he mentioned to me that I needed to be careful that I guard myself so that when I attend my church, I am a worshiper and not an advisor/consultant/etc.  It is so easy when we work to help churches for a living, that we can become unable to divorce business from worship.

That caution led me to an interesting observation.

He is the Executive Pastor at the church I attend.  I was confidently able to tell him that I am able to separate when I attend church because I trust him.  I can attend church and worship freely because I trust that the “business” of the church is being handled.  It’s amazing that:

“There is Freedom in Trust”

We’ll hash that idea out over the next few months but it does lead to the question:

Do the people that attend your church trust that everything is being taken care of on the back end so they can focus on worship?