Juggling Sheep
Welcome to Juggling Sheep, Jay Perry's blog about time management and personal productivity for pastors. Learn to balance work, life, family, and personal spirituality.

Share your best practices, tips and tricks, processes, sermon planning ideas, and resources. Feel free to email me: jaylperry[at]gmail[dot]com.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

GTD Video - David Allen

I found this great GTD video of David Allen linked from ToDoOrElse.com. If you're still a GTD agnostic, watch the video.

Personal Vision Workbook - 10. Accountability

The following is from my Personal Vision Workbook. Read the introduction and legal stuff.


God never intended us to be loners. We need others to pray for us, encourage us, challenge us, and keep us honest. That’s why Jesus sent out the disciples two-by-two. That’s why Paul had Silas and Moses had Aaron.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” - Proverbs 27:17

While Proverbs 27:17 isn’t true about Superbowl parties, it is true about accountability relationships. When we ask someone to keep us accountable, God uses that relationship to make us better than we could ever become by ourselves.

New Year’s resolutions are 10 times more likely to fail if you haven’t asked someone to keep you accountable.

Note: Christian accountability relationships should be male-male and female-female.

Ask God to lead you to the right accountability partner.

Brainstorm at least 3 people you know who can keep a secret:


Choose one and ask if they are willing to keep you accountable.

Give them a copy of your access areas [link], obedience areas [link], and your concrete action steps [link].

Meet for about an hour at least once per month for accountability.

I would love to know how God has used this vision process in your life. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you've discovered.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Debut of My GTD Portable Inbox (ok, it's just a manila envelope)

My Portable GTD InboxI just got back from a business trip. And this is my inbox!

The GTD paradigm has changed my life. But until this week, it all fell apart when I went on trips.

I have gone on at least 5 business trips and 5 personal trips since starting GTD in May of 2006. And every time I got back from a trip, I would have to find all of my receipts (pockets, wallet, backpack, car?), my notes, business cards, ideas, to-dos, etc. and kind of start GTD-ing all over again from scratch (well, not quite scratch).

Before going on this trip, I commandeered David Allen's own personal Travel Checklist (and changed it around to meet my needs and possessions, of course). On the list of items to pack, David had his in-tray. I chuckled a little at first, thinking about packing my black plastic stackable in-tray.

But it made sense. The reason GTD had always fallen apart on trips was that I had no good on-the-fly collection system. So I got a manila envelope, wrote "INBOX" on it in big letters, and put it in my briefcase. I also put in a pad of paper for brain-dumping.

The results were very satisfying. And there was no glitch in my system this time. And everything was in one place. And I got things done. Ahh.

Personal Vision Workbook - 8. Personal Calling Statement

The following is from my Personal Vision Workbook. Read the introduction and legal stuff.


What is God calling you to accomplish for His glory?
As we’ve already noted, God has a plan for your future.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart.” - Jeremiah 1:5

Sometimes, this calling will unfold slowly, as it did for Nehemiah. Other times, the calling will suddenly knock you off your horse, as it did for the Apostle Paul. It might be a miraculous calling, or just a gut feeling about what God wants you to do.

Schedule at least an hour of uninterrupted time for this section.

Prayerfully look back over your past [link] , your mentors [link], your identity [link], and values [link]. A picture should be starting to emerge about God’s vision for your future. On a separate sheet of paper, write down everything that may be a clue to your calling.

How has God used you in the past?

What events or people inspired you to give your best to God?

What calling did you have that you pushed away?

Write a rough-draft Calling Statement:
I believe God is calling me to…

Test the calling:
Can you see it? Is it bigger than you? Would you do it even if you didn’t get paid? Will it make a difference for God’s Kingdom? How is it different than what you’re already doing?

Write a rough-draft Calling Statement on Personal Vision Statement.pdf

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Personal Vision Workbook - 7. Core Values

The following is from my Personal Vision Workbook. Read the introduction and legal stuff.


Our personal values determine what we do and how we do it. Personal values are essentially priorities statements. They are 4-8 things that repeatedly show up in your life. If someone were to follow you around for a week, they would be able to say 4-8 things about what you value most in life. One of King David’s values statements says:
“The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver or gold.” - Psalm 119:72

David was saying that if it came down to a choice between obeying God or getting rich, it was a slam-dunk decision.

It’s often easy to say we value certain things, even when there’s no evidence that it’s a real priority in our behavior. What values do you consistently exhibit in your life?

Complete the following sentences:

My character traits that I value the most are…

It really bugs me when others aren’t…

Some of my core convictions about people and relationships are…

Here's a sample list of some possible core values:
Justice, Honesty, Service, Family, Being Real, Teamwork, Worship, Hard Work, Friendships, Pioneering, Leadership, Simplicity, Humor, Music, Respect, Helping the Poor, Obedience, Excellence, Mentoring, Details, The Big Picture, Practicality, Evangelism, Prayer, Listening, Healing, etc.

Choose 4-8 values and write them on the Personal Vision Statement.pdf

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

GTD Lent and Lost

Houdini has lost his GTD book! And he doesn't know where to find it.

He want's to know if you have it...

I don't have it.

After reading and implementing Getting Things Done, I was so excited that I had to tell all my friends. I was about to lend my copy to a close friend...

"No!!!" Cried my wife, "You will need it. You will wish you had it. It is a reference book."

So I ended up buying the book for my friends instead of lending it out.

Incedentally, I got the book because my wife liked hers so much she had to buy me one.

"What?!!" You ask. "Your wife bought you a book she owned? Couldn't she just lend you the book?"

No!!! It's a reference book. If she had lent it to me, then she wouldn't have it when she needed it.

Bottom line: Don't lend your GTD to anyone.

Personal Vision Workbook - 6. Identity Statement

The following is from my Personal Vision Workbook. Read the introduction and legal stuff.


Who are you really? In the grand scheme of things, who did God design you to be? As we go into the Identity Statement, remember: this is about being, not doing. This isn’t about what God wants you to do. It’s about who you are as a Christian human being.

Start off by looking up the following verses, and writing out what they tell you about who you are in Christ. Any other verses come to mind?
John 15:1-11

John 15:15

1 John 3:1-2

1 Peter 2:9

2 Corinthians 5:20

Ephesians 2:10

Romans 6:15-18

Why do you exist?

Apart from what you do, what gives life its deepest meaning?

Complete these sentences:
I exist as…

I am a…

Write down this rough-draft Identity Statement on the Personal Vision Statement.pdf

Monday, January 29, 2007

Personal Vision Workbook - 5. God at Work through Others

The following is from my Personal Vision Workbook. Read the introduction and legal stuff.


The Bible is chockfull of mentor relationships:
Moses mentored Joshua (Deuteronomy 34:9)
Elijah mentored Elisha (1 Kings 19:19)
Mordecai mentored Esther (Esther 2:7)
Jesus mentored the disciples (John 1)
Barnabas mentored Paul (Acts 9:27)
Paul mentored Timothy (1 Timothy 4:11-16)

God has also brought special people into your life to shape your thoughts, beliefs, and actions. They might be anyone – parents, teachers, co-workers, pastors, friends, neighbors – anyone who invested in your life, inspired you, or influenced who you have become.

List people who have significantly impacted you and what they contributed to your life.

What qualities did you see in these people that God wants you to

Is there someone you could mentor?

Sunday, January 28, 2007

PVW - Free Mind Mapping Software

A great way to do do exercise #4 (God at Work in My Past) in the Personal Vision Workbook is to create a Mind Map.

You can use a mind mapping program to brainstorm every major experience, transition, disappointment, loss, accomplishment, spiritual milestone, etc. that you've ever experienced.

You can then drag the different nodes around so that they're chronological. Save that as your "life history."

Then, you can color-code all the negative things you've ever gone through. Save that one as "negative experiences."

Then, you can drag the nodes around into groups and arrange them in different ways - spiritual experiences, life skills, bad habits, breakthroughs, sinful nature, relationships, etc. And then save that mind map as "life themes."

I understand there are a lot of mind mapping programs out there. I have just recently started using Free Mind, which is an open-source, free download. I found it pretty easy to start using (tab for a new child node, double return for a new sibling node). You can use mind mapping for all sorts of things - taking notes at meetings, brainstorming, planning a speech or presentation, sermon series planning, outlining Bible studies, designing website navigation, creating flowcharts, etc.

Personal Vision Workbook - 4. God at Work in My Past

The following is from my Personal Vision Workbook. Read the introduction and legal stuff.


Every one of us has been on a spiritual journey bringing us to the point where we are now. God has been at work shaping our characters, interests, and skills – getting us ready for His vision for us.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” - Ephesians 2:10

God had prepared Moses long in advance of the Exodus. Being threatened as a baby, being brought up in Pharaoh’s court, being exiled, becoming a shepherd on Mt. Sinai – everything was meant to prepare Moses for his specific vision.

Spend 20 minutes brainstorming (on a separate sheet of paper) any and every significant life experience you’ve ever had. Write them down quickly as they come into your mind. Write down good experiences and bad ones. You should have 75-100 experiences when you are done.

Now go through your list and put your life experiences in chronological order on a different piece of paper.

Take a highlighter and mark all of the negative life experiences.

Do you see any patterns or recurring themes?

What spiritual strength have you gathered from the negative experiences?

Which experiences gave you a sense of peace or knowledge of being in the center of God’s will?

The Perfect GTD App - My Top 5 List

Here are the top 5 features I would want in a Perfect GTD App (this assumes, of course, that the app already does all the GTD basics):
1. Cross-Platform Conformity - I would want it to run on my PC (office), Macs (home), the Internet (anywhere), my Palm Pilot or Pocket PC (without an internet connection), and have printout options for my Moleskine. I would want the interface to be completely consistent between the platforms and have the platforms fully sync-able.

2. Teams Capability - I want to be able to place things in my team-members' inboxes and allow them to put things in mine. I might want to be able to share my project list or someday/maybe list with them. GTD as a team can be very powerful.

3. Project/Task Reconciliation - I want to be able to see my Project and Task Lists side-by-side (as it is now, I have to print out my projects to reconcile with my tasks during my weekly review). It would be really cool if a Project entry turned red if there were no Task assigned to it. It would also be cool if you could hover or right-click on an entry and see what else (task, project, file, date, etc.) was associated with it.

4. Wizard Functionality - I would like wizards to lead the user through the initial capture and set-up process, to teach the user workflow, and to lead the user through a weekly review process. These wizards could be user-customizable (for the weekly review, for instance).

5. High-Level Enabling - I don't want the Perfect GTD App to be just about the runway-level things. This is similar to the wizard functionality. I would love to have modules for visioneering, for long- and short-term goal setting, for strategic planning, for big-picture thinking, for accountability (see #2) and for work-and-life balance.

That's my top 5 list for the Perfect GTD App. Let me know when you write one.