Just get it done

Hate is a very strong way to describe how I feel, but when it comes to documentation…  there is no other word that comes to mind…  It is excrutiatingly painful to compose a single concise document that accurately conveys your message.

Compiling the necessary information to assemble a report, or an assessment is something that I love to do.  There are some that shudder at the thoughts of starting a day with back to back meetings, but I feel fully engaged in the process, when my day starts full of meetings.  Maybe it’s cause I like to talk to people, share ideas and problem solve, or maybe there is something wrong with me.

When all is said and done though, the report, presentation, or email still must be delivered.  For me it is the longest and most mind numbing part of any assignment.  I almost always procrastinate and end up rushing the documentation in the end.  

As a leader it tends to be the easiest part of the job to delegate, but is definitley not the approach I want to take with my team…  As I sit here and type this(instead of working on the assessment I have to deliver), a few thoughts come to mind on those tasks we all hate to do.

1.  Take a break.
This might sound like more procrastination, but intentionally prepare to tackle the task at hand.  Take a few moments to clear your head, grab a snack, or refill that coffee.  Get away from your desk, and the blank document staring you in the face.
2. Ask for help
If there’s a task facing you that you are  cringing at tackling, find someone that does a good job at it.  Not everyone will have the time to drop everything and lend you a hand, but some just may offer enough inspiration to motivate you to start.
3. Make it a challenge
One trick that I’ve used in the past with some success, is to only ‘reward’ myself once the task reaches a specific milestone.  For example:  Only taking a break once first draft of the document is done.  
I find that it helps to also remind myself often, that if I do this now, I won’t have to think about it again(until next time at least)
4. Just do it
You’ve procrastinated long enough.  It’s time to just get to it.  The clothes will not fold themselves, the dishes will not magically clean themselves, that document will not write itself, etc…  
Often the hardest part of any task is just getting started. 

So, those are just a few tricks that I use to help me get through difficult tasks.  It’s not an exhaustive list by any means.

I would love to hear what’s worked for you, so feel free to leave a comment below.

Now, I gotta get back to the task at hand.

Till next time.


Goodbyes suck

We’ve had a while to prepare for this day to come, but it still is not a very easy thing to do. This week my brother in law, his wife and our two beautiful nieces are moving half way across the country to pastor at a church in Sarnia Ontario. 

It is an amazing adventure for their family, but leaves a big hole in our lives here. I assume the feeling is mutual. Either that or they’ve just been playing it up to ensure they have help to pack. We’ve had some great times with them, and will miss the fun.

It’s a big decision to leave your extended family and venture out on your own, but with today’s technology, they’re never really that far away, and although it seems far away it is still within driving distance and is a great place to vacation.

For this amazing family I have some parting advice:

1. Never forget where you came from:

This is an opportunity to start fresh, take chances and be bold, but always remember to learn from your past successes and failures.  

It can be easy to want to shut out the pain and hurt, but often there is a valuable lesson in it.  

2.  Share your life

As you start your new lives, find some friends to bring into  your inner circle.  People that you can trust, and have a good time with.  You know…  People like us… 🙂

Be intentional about who you align yourselves with, and don’t rush into deep relationships.  Find people that will encourage you, challenge you and be supportive.

3. Grow deeps roots

This is tough advice to give.  The selfish part of me wants you to be miserable and unahppy, and run back home, but it’s important for you to commit and dig in…  

It may be difficult to do so early on, and the temptation will be there to pull up and move home when things get difficult.  God has called you to where you’re going, so trust that he’s called you there for a purpose.  It’s worth committing to.

4.  Call home(often)

There are those of us here that love and support you, but will miss you dearly.  Don’t forget about us.

I’m sure that you’ve been getting a ton of advice over the last few weeks, so this may just be adding more to the pile.  Take it all in, throw away what isn’t practical or applicable to you, and hold on to the gems.

We love you and wish you well on this new adventure.

The Importance of Friendships

Have you ever felt isolated or alone in life?  I have.  Even while surrounded with friends, family and coworkers, there have been moments when I have felt completely alone.  

It’s incredibly important for each of us to have those alone times and be ok with being by ourselves, but I want to talk about the importance of having healthy relationships with others.  
There are libraries full of books on marriage relationships, parent/child relationships, dating relationships, boss/employee relationships, etc., but there are far fewer resources on the importance of just general friendships.

Our society has diminished the importance of having meaningful face to face interactions with people, and instead substituted it for virtual ‘friendships’.  We have created this false pretense that we have to have it all together, all the time… I can’t live up to that image, and I’m certain no one can.  So to continue the charade we sacrifice the honesty required to develop meaningful relationships.

Over the last few years, I’ve been blessed with men in my life that encourage me, challenge me, and that I can be real and honest with.  As I walk the road of faith, I’m learning more and more, that it is not just about my relationship with God, but my relationship with Him and His creation…  That’s you… That’s the people that I don’t get along with…  That’s the people that I disagree with… That’s the people that don’t like me…

The core of what I believe in regards to God is that we were created to be in intimate relationship with our Creator.  As a result of the fall of Adam and Eve, we have all been born into a world in which we are no longer naturally a part of that relationship.  Most importantly, I believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross as payment for our sin and rose to life again so that we can once again enter into that right relationship with our Creator.

We are still flawed.  We still stumble and mess up.  Some days a lot, but we have been invited back into community with God none-the-less.

If you find yourself in a position of loneliness today, I encourage you to reach out to someone, and start developing meaningful relationships.  It can be scary, but it is so worth putting yourself out there.

What are you doing to connect with the people around you?  I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject…

Till next time.