Now, as strangely as it sounds, this video has transformed to a ministry rule for me. One that I have begun applying everywhere I can.
So, here it is: The Sweet Brown Rule: Ain’t Nobody Got Time fo Dat
I know what you’re thinking – “Stephen, what are you talking about?”
Here’s the breakdown: People are busy. They have work to do, bills to pay, kids to get to ball games, the house needs cleaning, and they haven’t had a real day of rest in a while. Now, we can argue all day on whether or not this is a healthy or sustainable lifestyle, but the facts remain the same. People are busy.
We’re all busy.
So, let’s be mindful on how we use each other’s time.
“But, what I do is so important. People should take time to do what I am asking them to do.” I know, I know. And if you’re a pastor like me, you really, really, really feel that people should slow down and listen to and do what you have to say. But the reality is that they don’t. They simply don’t have the time.
What’s the solution?
Yes, we should be coaching people to be less and less busy, to take time to do and enjoy the few best things and not waste all their time on the many good things. But in the meantime, we need to make our part of their life as easy, quick, and uncomplicated as possible.
Yes, people may be over-committed in a thousand ways, but we need to ensure that we are not wasting their time.
Here’s how I apply this rule:
- Keep meetings short. Ain’t nobody got time fo long meetings. The ideal meeting is fifteen minutes long. Yep, fifteen minutes. Thirty is acceptable. An hour is a lifetime. Make this happen by keeping what you say exactly what needs to be said – email the rest.
- Keep meetings necessary. Ain’t nobody got time fo dumb meetings. Don’t call people in for a meeting for what an email can communicate. If meetings are kept rare, people will keep them special.
- Keep emails simple. Ain’t nobody got time fo complicated emails. It’s better to send three short emails than one extremely long email. Also, use paragraphs, bullets, and summaries. Your recipients thank you in advance.
- Keep blog posts short. Ain’t nobody got time fo comprehensive treatises. Get to the point and stop. Leave people wanting more, not bailing on you halfway through. The rule of thumb is five hundred words max.
- Keep what you ask people to do realistic. Ain’t nobody got time fo overwhelming tasks. Make it as simple as possible. Take away all the barriers to what you are asking people to do. When you do, you’ll be surprised at how many people will begin actually doing what you ask of them.
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