Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Monday, August 22, 2011

Free to Write

I learned something over the past two weeks about productive message preparation. I came back from a substantial break and, expectedly, had a sizeable backlog of messages in my email inbox and Facebook. There were also a few lingering questions that folks had held until my return, so I had a lot of cleaning up to do.

I felt like I couldn't possibly really get to it all in a week, so I attempted to inter-mingle 'catching up' with writing for the weekend. But I could never really clear my mind. There was a constant nagging about what crisis or urgent situation needed my attention that I was neglecting. I learned that, for me, writing with stuff like that hanging over my head does not work well.

Every week, my standard operating procedure is to begin my week by going down my emails and messages and to-do list and addressing anything that is urgent. That normally takes until mid-day on Monday, if I start working on it Sunday afternoon.

THEN, when I'm finished addressing urgent things, I close gmail, close facebook, close twitter, close my reader, calendar, picasa, docs, blog, etc, etc. I shut it all down. Often, I will actually go through the formal 'shut down' process on my laptop - a psychological exercise that makes its point.

With a clean screen and LOGOS (my Bible study software) and a Bible next to my laptop, I write. My mind is uncluttered. I'm not worried about lingering things that I should deal with because I KNOW I've already addressed everything that cannot wait.

Normally, this buys me enough time for a rough draft. Then I open a few windows and step back into the world of 'important but not yet urgent'. When I do this well, I finish writing by Wednesday afternoon, and move into lots of other things Wednesday evening and all day Thursday. I take Fridays off and work most Saturdays.

So, I learned that my routine works for me, and that trying to put it all into one big calendar casserole doesn't.

1 comment:

jf said...

I keep thinking we're going to get a pearl here any minute.