15 Life Hacks for Church Communicators

15 Life Hacks for Church Communicators

October 14, 2019 by

What are some of the hacks or secrets you use to make things work or save your sanity or just make work easier? Sometimes it’s something simple, but it can make a profound difference. We asked a group of church communicators to share their best life hacks. Here’s what we got.

Life Hacks:

  1. Meal prepping:
    • Makes getting out the door in the mornings for work that much quicker. When I prep my meals for the next day, or even the whole week, I save myself tons of time in the morning. (Meghan Howard, pastor at Fairborn UMC)
    • I’ve never been a big foodie, so I have no problem eating the same thing several times a week. I know a lot of people who say they could never do this. But it’s saved me so much time, money and thinking. Every weekend, I plan and make all my breakfasts and lunches for the week. Those times of day are usually when it feels like time is running short, so it helps to have food I can grab without having to make something or run out and get food. (Sheri Felipe, graphic designer at Christ Fellowship Church)
  2. Grocery delivery: I get my groceries delivered and I’m not ashamed. (Charla Wilkerson, director of communication and administration at Fairfax Circle Church)
  3. Planning is key: My husband I map out our schedule every week so we can keep track of our events, work, and the kids schedule. (Meghan Howard, pastor at Fairborn UMC)
  4. Use templates: Part of my job is graphic designer. I don’t feel the need to have every piece of art designed personally by me. I have no problem using templates from CMG or Sunday Social  They save me a lot of time when it comes to graphics and social media. (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  5. If the task is small, do it now: Similar to the emails, if someone is requesting a small change for something, I go ahead and do it right then. People are amazed at my “efficiency” but in reality, it’s because I don’t like things hanging over me. (Jonathan Carone, creative director at Carone Designs)
  6. Never say “yes” to something on the spot: I have a line that I tell people when they make an ask of me—“Let me check my workload calendar and check with my supervisor and get back to you in the next day or two.” It slows things down and lets me think and pray if I need to be involved in whatever the ask is. (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  7. Answer your emails right away: If I can answer an email right away, I do it. I’d rather spend two minutes getting something done than having an extra item on my to-do list. (Jonathan Carone, creative director at Carone Designs)
  8. Everything goes on the calendar: This is the first year that we have required our staff to give us their yearly calendar along with their budget. They were already budgeting for that event so why not put it on the calendar? Then our executive team went through each event and discussed whether or not the event fit our vision and mission. It took about two meetings for our executive team to do that. We cut several events to leave room to breath! From there I’ve created our 2019-2020 Communications Calendar. (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  9. Move projects from email to task manager: Maybe I’m weird, but when I have a bunch of emails, it stresses me out. So if someone emails me asking me to do something and I can’t do it right then, I put the task in my Evernote to-do list (or whatever you’re using) and respond to the person to let them know I’ve got it on my schedule. They appreciate the response and I don’t have the email notification looming. (Jonathan Carone, creative director at Carone Designs)
  10. No email on phone:
    • Because I’m involved in multiple organizations (job at church, freelance clients, and multiple volunteer responsibilities), I get a lot of emails. For a long time I had them all coming to my phone. Then I started to realize it was affecting my ability to be present in what I was doing at the moment. I would be at church and get an email from a freelance client that I couldn’t take care of until evening, but I would think about it the rest of the day. I realized this wasn’t a healthy thing, so I turned off all email to my phone and I check it intentionally now, when I actually have the time to think and respond. (Sheri Felipe, graphic designer at Christ Fellowship Church)
    • Best thing I did in a long time was stop email from pushing to my phone. I pick a couple times per day to go check my mail and respond. Carey Nieuwhof has some great thoughts on this too. Empty inbox everyday…or at least by the end of the week. Read the email once and respond, don’t let it linger. (Darren Lee, communications director at River Valley Church)
  11. Unrollme: Get unrollme. It filters your email and rolls it up into one email with all the links and sends it to you according to the day and time you want. I’ve discovered I was on too many email lists, blog emails, and Twitter notifications! With unrollme, I can scan 30 to 40 emails at one time and if a post jumps out at me, I’ll click on it and read it. It’s cut my email box in half! (Sandy Hughes, pastor of communications at Central Peninsula Church)
  12. Do not disturb: I set my Messages app on my computer to Do Not Disturb between 10 a.m. and 4 pm. Texts still come through, but I don’t get a notification throughout the day. (Jonathan Carone, creative director at Carone Designs)
  13. No TV: About 10 years ago I got rid of my TV and cable when I moved and never got a new one. It was unintentional at first, but then I realized how much more time it felt like I had because I wasn’t just turning on the TV and vegging. I think they say the average person watches four hours of TV a day. That seems crazy to me now, but I’m sure that was what I did when I had one. If I watch anything now, it’s very intentional. I have to sit at my computer and make a conscious choice to spend an hour watching something. So I watch better things in less time. (Sheri Felipe, graphic designer at Christ Fellowship Church)
  14. Double monitor: This maybe “nah, duh,” but a double monitor is a must for me. Nothing worse than copying and pasting large chunks of text or making text edits on just a 13-inch laptop. (Laura Jewell, freelance designer and retail shop owner at Buck & Bette)
  15. Pay now: Anticipation is a powerful drug, and it turns out it has a big impact on our enjoyment. Whenever you can pay for something now and enjoy it later, it’s going to make you happier. Paying for something is going to make you cringe, no matter when you do it, so get it over with. Then if you have to wait to enjoy it, you don’t remember the sticker shock when you finally get to enjoying it. It’s like hacking your expectations. (Kevin D. Hendricks, freelance writer at Monkey Outta Nowhere)

More:

Need more ways to make your life simpler? We focused on life hacks this month for Courageous Storytellers. Check out all the resources and consider joining.

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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