For a few days last week my phone was driving me crazy. It would be good most of the day and then every evening it froze up on me. I could reboot it and it would work for a couple minutes, then it would freeze. I couldn’t figure out what was going on and it was driving me bonkers.
Finally, I did what you’re really supposed to do and I started playing with apps and looking at which apps were on, trying to turn some on and some off. At one point I got a notification from the nightlight app that it was having an issue. That was the clue because it was the blue light filter that I had set to come on at nine o’clock in the evening, and I realized that’s when my phone was seizing up.
I made two decisions this morning right at the start of my day that are going to save me four hours a week, as a conservative average, for the rest of the year. To me that’s just amazing. When I figured out what those two decisions were going to do in my life, the decisions actually became a little bit easier.
Now, the first decision I made was about the YouTube video I’ve been producing once a week for our 12Church. It’s a foundational bit of teaching and leadership level stuff, which I think are important. We’ve got some good and very important videos out there talking about discipleship versus disciple making, and some of those basic disciple making principles. It takes me about about four hours a week to do that.
I want to highlight something today that I have probably mentioned in the past along the lines of productivity and energy management, but something that I’ve revisited here early in the new year. It was one of our better household habits over the last year or so and we’re actually enhancing it a little bit. What I’m talking about is having a timer on our modem for the internet.
Now in our household, we don’t have cable TV. Our TV is effectively the internet, and our primary location probably is YouTube both for instructional and entertainment. We also have Amazon Prime, so we catch some things there, but YouTube is where we spend a lot of our time.
Today I’ve got an excerpt of an interview I did with Kenda Reimer on the Disciple Making podcast. Kenda is a spiritual director in Squamish, British Columbia and the excerpt I’m playing here is one that is tied to spiritual direction and Christian leadership. I think you’ll find it interesting and might get you digging into this topic a little bit further.
If you want to know more about Kenda you can find her at explorewatersedge.ca and also soulformation.org will tell you more about spiritual direction. So we’re going to jump into the middle of the conversation with Kenda Riemer on spiritual direction.
This is the final instalment of 2020 on the afternoon of December 31st. My virtual assistant says she is able to get it out today. I was actually contacted her to see if she was able to do it hoping she’d say no, but when she said yes, that took care of my final excuse for procrastinating on this.
I want to give you an update or basically a report on this nightmare mode I shared with you last time. Nightmare mode, you may recall, was just a month plus of time I was setting aside just to focus in on some tasks, do some extra seeking and address different issues in my life and get moving ahead.
Basically I had 13 different things I wanted to check off every day and they were not all big. The things were, I wanted to spend some time in the Word and spend some time in prayer. I wanted to make sure that at the beginning of the day I wrote down my daily win from the day before. I wanted to get in a cortisol stroll with my wife, which is a walk earlier in the morning to get some natural light early. I wanted to identify my one thing I wanted to get done each day and then list of backup to-dos.
I wanted to eat lightly. I want to do a couple different forms of exercise. I want a reasonable workout, whether a hike or working out on my TRX or something like that, as well as doing a neck mobility set that we’d come across, that we’ve been doing. It’s pretty interesting and its impact on keeping that neck flexible.
I wanted to make sure I didn’t check the news before five o’clock and limit our entertainment time to between 8:00PM and 10:00 PM. I wanted to make sure I only hit Facebook once a day for social interaction after 5:00 PM. Then I wanted to spend half my time working on a project and half my time just thinking, reflecting, praying and planning.
So those were the 13 things I wanted to check off for the last 38 days, including today. I haven’t obviously finished today, but when I look at how I’ve done, counted up and crunched the numbers, I managed to hit about 90% of the things that I wanted to do each day.
Some of course are quite easy, like writing down your one thing, that kind of stuff, or the daily win from the day before. There are a couple areas where I found myself more hit and miss. The first was balancing working and thinking time. I found myself much more drawn to tasks now. Understandably we had a move in there and from one community to another, got set up in a new community where we’ve been before. I ended up having a lot of coffees, breakfasts and lunches with friends that we have here. We lived in this community for over two years in a transitional role, so there’s lots of people to reconnect with and that’s not bad stuff.
The other area is probably the more intense workouts, the TRX or hike. I didn’t really let me give myself a zero on the days where we were traveling and stuff where it was just tough to do. But even taking that into account, that was probably the weaker area where I didn’t work out quite as much as I would’ve liked to. I’ve been very happy with my eating lately. We’ve locked in some things there. I’m very happy really for the most part with everything else.
So it’s been good lesson and just addressing some things. There are some habits obviously that I’d started before nightmare mode that have become entrenched in this nightmare mode that I’m going to carry over into the new year. I might talk a little bit more in the new year about best new habits and things.
One other thing I should note about this nightmare mode during this time is one of my primary tasks was taking a training on audio book production and starting production of one of my books as an audio book. That’s been my primary task for the last couple of weeks. So for approaching half of this nightmare mode, it’s been the audio book work.
I’ve also done some consulting and I’ve been behind the camera at the church we’re attending here for a few Sundays. I’m preparing sermon for this week at that church, recorded an interview with somebody else and sent off another message. I’m actually preaching in three places this weekend for the first time ever. I’ve preached in two places in the past but this is my first three-peat and it’s three different messages. One is a live stream, one is a prerecorded sermon, and one is a prerecorded 30 minute interview. So that was all a part of it.
For me, I didn’t spend as much time as I like in the whole thinking and spiritually seeking as I wanted to, and there is just a bit more activity than I had hoped. Often the week between Christmas and New Years or slightly after New Years is when I do a lot of thinking and planning. I’ve got a lot of time in these next few days to do that extra thinking and seeking.
So this has just highlighted some things for me that I want to pay attention to. I want to figure out a good workout system when I can’t get out cross country skiing or hiking or canoeing. If we can do that, that’s what we do. It’s just a little harder to work out on the inside though. I like my TRX and I’ve got TRX app and the workouts are killer, and a pretty good sweat and sore muscles for a couple of days if you’re not careful, so I want to get that locked in.
I do want to make sure I’m doing the right amount of thinking time that I’m not just captivated by tasks and what they call BSOs or bright, shiny objects, like learning about audio book production. It’s been so interesting and starting to do that. For me the learning can take precedence and just squeeze out the actual thinking and reflecting time.
I want to carry over the eating lightly into the new year. Of course, it’s been a really good month plus of eating really quite healthily and going into year’s Eve, we just did our grocery run and picked some more junk food, a little more salty, a little bit more sugary, but not excessive. I want to be able to, even today on December 31st, say that I ate lightly despite all that. So it’s looking good that way.
As I tie up this year, I just want to say thanks to everyone who has listened to my podcast over the last couple of years or followed my blog. I’m looking forward to making some shifts in the new year. I’ll be sharing more about that and really focusing in on disciple-making, digital ministry and maintaining that focused, sustainable life of ministry regardless of what ministry looks like.
So whenever you’re reading this, I just want to encourage you to spend some time seeking direction, to seek the wisdom that is from above, and that creativity and direction that we just can’t generate in ourselves. I just pray God’s best for you moving forward.
So thanks again for following along. God bless and press on.