In this issue….
- PACE-LAB CONFERENCE IN LOUISVILLE JUST ONE MONTH AWAY
- SURVEY YIELDS DEMOGRAPHIC SHAPSHOT OF BRIGADA FAMILY
- IF YOU NEED TO DO A SURVEY
- WEB-WATCH: SEE THE CITIES OF THE WORLD BY NIGHT
- HEARTLAND MISSIONSFEST (50 WORKSHOPS, 100 AGENCIES)
- GET READY TO RUMBLE – TRAVEL PREPARATION HELPS
- MORE ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION
- FEBRUARY IS “PRAY FOR THE FULANI MONTH”
- FROM THE “NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK” DEPARTMENT: BAHASA FILMS?
- AN INTENSIVE COURSE ON CHRISTIAN COMICS AND CARTOONING
- SATURATION CHURCH PLANTING: THREE DAY SEMINAR
- EASY-ENGLISH EVANGELISTIC MATERIAL BY EMAIL
- UREACH.COM SET TO START CHARGING
- COLUMBIA LAUNCHES NEW DELIVERY SYSTEM
- ESCAPE BIG EMAIL ATTACHMENTS FOREVER
- THE BACKPAGE: ESCAPING THE RAT RACE
- CLOSING STUFF
PACE-LAB CONFERENCE IN LOUISVILLE JUST ONE MONTH AWAY
SURVEY YIELDS DEMOGRAPHIC SHAPSHOT OF BRIGADA FAMILY
- 1/3 of us subscribed to Brigada because of an email from a friend. So… would you send a note to a friend today to ask him/her to subscribe to Brigada?
- 1/4 of us have been a part of the family for 4 years or more. Whoa. How in the world have you put up with these weekly emails for all that time???
- 41% said they read 100% of each issue! Another 38% average reading at least 3/4 of each edition. All of which goes to show… we’d better find some good stuff to say or someone’s going to be very bored.
- 90% said the typical edition is “the right length”! yahoooooo!
- 83% preferred to keep our mailings “weekly”.
- Well over half said that they gleaned something that “made a positive difference” in their ministries at least once a month. Yikes… what can we say this week???
- Two-thirds of us have purchased something “technology-related” as a result of seeing it in Brigada Today. (Now if we only had an advertising department that could use that statistic! Just kidding.)
- 75% said they had referred someone else to Brigada. Yahooo! No wonder we don’t need an advertising department!
- Some 2/3 of us have never visited the eGroups website. So much for their advertising theories!
- and now…. [drum roll please ], the statistic that I was most eager to hear, where do we live? Here’s the breakdown:
- 59% in USA or Canada
- 13% Asia & the Middle East
- 12% Western/Central Europe
- 9% Africa
- 4% Latin America
- 2% Australia/Oceania
- 1% Eastern Eur./Russia.
I think what surprised me most was the low numbers in Latin America. (Que lastima!) But I was also pretty shocked that there were just as many Asians involved as there were Europeans!
- 1/3 of us are field missionaries and 1/5 are other agency people. A ton of us are lay people, just caring about missions! Yessssss!
- 94% of us speak English as our first language.
- 3/4 of us are male. But … hey… 1/4 are female! That’s a better result than I see in many other missions venues!
- but get this — 1/4 of us are between the ages of 50 and 59! Who says there’s a technology generation gap!
But I guess the feature I enjoyed most was the freeform commentary… all the verbatim responses and “get it off your chest” kinds of things. There were tons of people … I mean scads… who said they regretted that many items seemed designed for a USA audience. (Okay.. so no more editions dedicated to Internet Banking or payment. Sorry about that! ) And many people encouraged briefer items. Oops!! I’m outa here!
IF YOU NEED TO DO A SURVEY
WEB-WATCH: SEE THE CITIES OF THE WORLD BY NIGHT
HEARTLAND MISSIONSFEST (50 WORKSHOPS, 100 AGENCIES)
GET READY TO RUMBLE – TRAVEL PREPARATION HELPS
MORE ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION
FEBRUARY IS “PRAY FOR THE FULANI MONTH”
FROM THE “NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK” DEPARTMENT: BAHASA FILMS?
AN INTENSIVE COURSE ON CHRISTIAN COMICS AND CARTOONING
SATURATION CHURCH PLANTING: THREE DAY SEMINAR
EASY-ENGLISH EVANGELISTIC MATERIAL BY EMAIL
UREACH.COM SET TO START CHARGING
COLUMBIA LAUNCHES NEW DELIVERY SYSTEM
ESCAPE BIG EMAIL ATTACHMENTS FOREVER
- If you use the excellent Eudora emailer, in Options/Attachments, select ‘put attachments in body of message’, and in ‘checking mail’ select a small maximum file size to skip. (The Pegasus email program offers a similar facility). Reset it after, if you wish to receive normal-sized attachments.
- Download the little free utility Email Remover (for Win95+). This allows you to view emails waiting for you, and delete any you wish to from the server without downloading them at all. It can be set up for multiple email accounts: http://www.snip.net/help/eremove.htm
- Use the procedure described in a recent Brigada Today to download POP3 email into a Hotmail account. Ensure that it is set up not to leave email on the server. Then delete selected emails via the Hotmail webpage.
(Thanks to Tony email@example.com from the UK for these tips! And yes… it is a hassle, Tony!)
THE BACKPAGE: ESCAPING THE RAT RACE
So what can missionary-types do in times like these? Visit your local Dick’s Sporting-goods store and try out all the stopwatches? Nice try. Here’s a more practical alternative. First, go through the list and find any and all items that are so urgent and so important that you simply positively have to finish them before anything else. Rank those as a “1”. Maybe some of them can be delegated to someone else (like, if you’re fortunate enough to have a secretary). Some of them might be so big that you have to break them down into smaller, bite-sized steps. If so, break them out if you must.
Don’t be so quick to rank an item high just because it’s urgent. Stephen Covey (author of 7 Habits books) does a good job of helping us see the difference between what’s urgent and what’s important. My doctoral dissertation isn’t urgent, but it’s probably important. (So why am I sitting here writing a Brigada Today BackPage editorial when I could be writing a dissertation? Probably because the dissertation looks so big that it’s no fun to tackle. By contrast, I can whip out a Brigada Today in just a few hours or so. So … here’s a memo to myself: Work the important things in as well as the seemingly urgent.
Next, start assigning a rank to the other items on the list. I used to try ranking things from 1 to a hundred… but I’ve come to believe it’s almost counterproductive to do that. (By the time you finish the list, the day is done!) Use 1 to 10 or whatever is manageable for you.
Once you’re done, change the order of the items to reflect the new look and feel of a managed task list. Now, look at the first item on the list and get started. When you finish it, celebrate (but only for a moment), then take off on the next item and so on.
Now here’s the key to escaping a hectic day. Here’s what I tell our mission’s Personnel Director when he’s feeling the pressure of a whole page full of items: Just do one at a time. That’s the secret to survival in a hurry-up world. “One line at a time.” Avoid seeing the list as a big stack of things. Just see it as one line (the next one) and tackle it ’til it’s finished.
Now a final word about “biggie” items. For example, during the past 2 or 3 weeks, I’ve been working with my boys to build a soccer practice area in our basement. It’s not huge, but it was a big challenge for me – over 26 feet long, just over 13 feet wide, complete with “dasherboards” (like an ice skating rink), goals, real indoor turf, … the works. I set a goal to have it finished before I left for this trip to Asia and just about everything on the to do list had to wait. Now maybe that’s good, in a sense. Singleminded determination and enthusasism are good things. But along the way, I’ve had to review my “family” to do list each evening to see what, if any, smaller items were slipping. Some nights I had to take time away for helping the kids with a homework question, helping Penny hang a curtain in the bedroom, or spending time with a family we might have invited over for a meal. I guess what I’m saying is that we can’t let this “one line at a time” thing keep us from eyeing the rest of the list on a daily basis, to make sure we don’t let a really important item fall through the cracks. Like… I didn’t finish grooming the dog before I left (poor pitiful- looking thing! ). But now that I’ve left, I’ve got to let go of it. I can’t let it keep bugging me. I’ve got to let go. Release it.
Okay… so there you have it. Magical stuff . . . stuff that’ll help you hang in there over the long haul. “One line at a time!”
And be careful… it’s a jungle out there.
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