Question: How can you make email work for you?
Answer: Here’s are 4 things that can help you make email work for you:
- Schedule: Don’t check your email as it comes in. Instead, do your email a specified times during the day. For example, do email 15 minutes in the morning, 15 minutes before lunch, and 15 minutes at the end of the day.
- Response time: Don’t assume that you must respond to all email immediately or even within 60 minutes. Instead, set a deadline to respond to email, say within 48 hours. This will free you up and allow you to focus on important, non-urgent matters.
- Subject line: Don’t just write a topic. Instead, write a summary—write the thesis of the email. This helps your reader grasp your message.
- Format: Don’t assume using a readable font is sufficient. Instead, use bold and bullets to help your reader understand your message.
- The more email you send, the more email you get. So, if you want less email, send less email.
- When dealing with relational issues, talk to the person face-to-face or by phone. Use email as a last resort.
- Just because you have a concern or suggestion doesn’t mean you should share via email. Your recipients, like your colleagues at work, already have a lot to think about. Try emailing as few concerns or suggestions to a given person as possible—try 1 email per person per week. Better yet, go talk. If talking is too much of a hassle, don’t email—if it’s not worth your effort to talk, it’s not work his/her effort to read your email.
Looking for a way to address your challenges?
Try using the Rule of 3:
3 minutes: Take at least 3 minutes at the end of each day to plan the next day.
3 hours: Take 3 hours each week to work on 1 key project.
3 days: For the first 3 days after an extended vacation, focus on helping those you supervise to get going, not on getting yourself going.
3 weeks: For the first 3 weeks of school, focus on helping those you supervise to get going, not on getting yourself going. And for the first 3 weeks of 4th quarter, focus on planning for the next school year.
3 months: Use the first 3 months of a school year to initiate improvement plans—then take the rest of the school year to follow up.
3 years: If you’re a new principal, give yourself 3 years to establish yourself. You don’t have to get everything right in the first 2 years, but by year 3 year you do need to have established yourself.
Here are some of my thoughts:
- God is already at work. Join Him.
- Want results? Invest in yourself.
- Do right things, then do things right.
- “Be” what you want to “see.”
- There's usually a better way. You can find it.
- Defining your goal is the first step toward
- Want to improve? Target your strengths.
- It’s self-management, not time management.
- Make your program exemplary, sustainable, and
replicable. Target outputs and inputs.
- Change is about motivation. Motivation is about
getting support, encouragement, and accountability.
- Rocks, pebbles, sand, water. In that order.
- Plan backwards.
- Know the score.
- Flow, seep, evaporate, rain.
- Listen (respelled) = Silent
- It’s solvable, or it’s not. Either way, trust
- Focus. On your God-given mission.
- Work smart, not hard.
- Pursue defined excellence, not undefined
- Envision, coach, relate, collaborate.
- Arrange success.
- Eating chocolate with friends is better than
eating carrots alone.
- Lead by asking.
- What you pay attention to gets done—so pay
attention to your priorities.
- Use reflection to leverage results.
- Measuring motivates.
- Your organization uses common categories and
common line items.
- Individuals track expenditures.
- Individual data is compiled into the overall
- Your organization uses budget data to make decisions.
What if your organization “budgetized” its mission?
- What if your organization used a common
definition of mission achievement, complete with
- What if individuals tracked progress on goals?
- What if individual data was compiled so that it
showed progress on goals and, consequently, on the
- What if your organization used mission achievement data to make decisions?
- Who is Jesus?
- What’s the budget process?
- What’s a noun?
- What’s the room cleaning schedule?
- What’s the water cycle?
- Who is Jesus?
- What is sin?
- How can I be saved?
- What’s the name of your church?
- When are the worship services?
A mission statement is a powerful tool. Your mission statement is a powerful tool. To unleash its power, you need to:
- Know your mission statement word for word.
- Know what your mission statement means.
- Use your mission statement.
- Can you recite it word for word? Practice until
- Can you say smoothly? So that it sounds like it
does when you read it? Practice until you can.
- Can you say it in the same number of seconds it takes you to read it? Practice until you can.
- Can you tell me 5 things it means and 5 things
it doesn’t mean? Right now? If not, identify these
things. Practice sharing them until you can share
them in 30 seconds.
- Can you tell me an interesting story that illustrates your mission? Right now? If not, write down a story. Practice telling it until you can effectively tell it in 30 seconds.
- Do you routinely use your mission statement to
cast the vision and inspire others? If not, at the
next meeting you attend, use your mission statement
to remind everyone of the real purpose of the
- When developing a proposal, do you routinely
ask, “How will this help us accomplish our
mission?” If not, do this when developing your next
- When deciding whether or not to take on a task, do you routinely ask, “How effectively will this help us accomplish our mission?” If not, start when considering your next task.
Imagine you and everyone on your church staff, tentmaking staff, mission staff, or school staff reciting your mission statement, telling 30-second stories that illustrate your mission statement, and routinely using your mission statement to focus energy on achieving your mission. If this happened, how might it impact the achievement of your mission?
Work smart. Know your mission statement. Know what it means. Use it. Unleash its power. Today.
Christian Academy in Japan, a school for the children of evangelical missionaries in Japan, equips students to impact the world for Christ.
This means we emphasize:
- Equipping students to impact the world for
Christ, not equipping students for college and
career (although we do this)
- Students applying a biblical perspective to
course content they have mastered, not students
mastering course content
- Students using knowledge, not students having
- Using real-world and classroom assessments, not
using just classroom assessments
- Being student-centered, not teacher-centered
Our school’s mission statement is a useful tool. I use our school mission statement to define the purpose of my teaching, shape the assessments I use, screen changes to the content I teach, and determine the professional development I’ll pursue.