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.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Fully Present - Fatherhood

One of the greatest gifts we can give to anyone is the gift of being "fully present."

You know the "fully present" person. He makes you feel like talking to you is the single-most important thing he could be doing right now. She makes you feel like everything you say is interesting. You feel heard. You feel valued. You feel... loved?

You know the other people, too. You're talking and they're glancing around. You're asking for input, and they make you repeat the question. They're looking at their watch, waiting for the next thing. Or they're nodding their heads, waiting for you to be quiet so they can make their point.

All too often, I'm one of the other people - I'm the one looking around, checking my watch, nodding my head, waiting for you to leave. I'm task-oriented, not people-oriented. And I've used that as an excuse long enough.

Last summer, we had a guy come over and give us a bid on sodding our front yard. I was the one at home taking care of my son. And the guy asks, "you got the babysitting duty today, huh?" I said, "yeah, I get to hang out with him in the afternoons."

The more I thought about what he had asked, the more rankled I got. I really should have blasted him: "I'm not babysitting. I'm fathering. I'm being a dad. I'm doing the single-most important thing I could be doing right now - spending meaningful time with my son. It's my singular focus to pass on my beliefs and values to the next generation, to help my son grow up into a mature, responsible, productive, godly man!"

But I didn't say any of those things. I only thought them later...

But over the last few months, I have come to realize that I have not been as "fully present" as I would like to be for my son. I have not been so fully engaged in the "single-most important thing I should be doing right now."

Too often, I'm content to plunk him down in front of the TV to watch Praise Baby! or Muzzy auf Deutsch (hey, they're inspirational and educational, right?). Or I'll spend an afternoon surfing the web (or writing this blog), hoping he doesn't bother me too much or require a great deal of my attention. He comes over to play, and I catch myself shrugging him off...

But I want to be "fully present." I don't want to be the (physically present) absentee father. I don't want to be another parenting statistic. So I've resolved to blog only when he's napping. I've decided to keep a @Play list of ideas for meaningful things we could do together.

How do you intentionally make yourself "fully present" for your kids?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GTD - Ubiquitous Capture (doh!)

Merriam Webster's definition for ubiquitous:
Main Entry: ubiq·ui·tous
Pronunciation: yĆ¼-'bi-kw&-t&s
Function: adjective
: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered : WIDESPREAD ubiquitous fashion>

Right. So up till now, I've been using the term "Ubiquitous Capture" to talk about the initial major collection (including the mindsweep) that dumps everything into my inbox for the first time. In other words, I've been using it incorrectly.

Thanks to Ben (of bathgates|dot|net) for clarifying my error. He writes:

I think 'anonymous' is right about ubiquitous. Allen's intent is that you always have the ability to capture information into your trusted system - everywhere - whether that's using HipsterPDA, a 'real' PDA, the back of your hand etc. If it doesn't go straight into your trusted system then, it at least gets captured. What you're talking about is a mindsweep.

Doh! To be fair, "Ubiquitous Capture" isn't even an official GTD term. David Allen only uses the term "ubiquitous" once in the book (on page 166). And only one article (by Robert Peake) on the davidco.com website uses the term "ubiquitous." Thus, the term "ubiquitous capture" must be an invention of the vast GTD blogging community.

Unfortunately, I cannot blame the blogging community for my mistake. The overwhelming evidence is abundantly clear:"Ubiquitous Capture" means having a voice recorder with me in my car, bathtub crayons in my shower, a pad of paper by my bed, and my PDA with me at all times. Sorry for leading anyone astray.