Hats. Many hats.

If you are a church communicator you know the feeling.

I know the feeling. It used to be me. You could say that my job title was, “wearer of many hats.” Until something happened that made my hats tumble.

I want to help you avoid the great hat collapse by learning how process can free you of your work load.

But first, story.

The trouble with wearing so many hats is that so many little things rely on you. If you haven’t yet, you will have the realization that nothing can get done if you are away, sick, or in my case, if you have a baby…

My first daughter was born 4 weeks early. I was not ready nor prepared. I left my computer running to go to a routine doctors appointment when she told me I had to pack my stuff and go to the hospital.

“Sure,” I said, “How about next Tuesday?”

My doctor was adamant: “No, you didn’t understand me. You are going right now.”

So, I left to give birth to my first child and no one else knew what had to be done, much less how to do it.

It was messy, but I learned a few things:

Lesson #1: Document your processes. Remove them from your brain. Outline what you do and how you do it.

Lesson #2: Delegate. And trust it will get done correctly. Empower people to do what you do. Teach. Nothing perfects what you do better than having to teach it to someone.

Lesson #3: Your time is reduced significantly once you have a kid. I mean, SIGNIFICANTLY!

The key is in your process.

If you start down this road, you might be asking yourself these questions:

  • Should I get to a lot of detail or just outline it in broad strokes?
  • Should I list all the tools I use or is it obvious for everybody else?
  • Should I create templates that can be used and reused or is it a waste of time?

The answer is to make it user-friendly, and the truth is you need to be broad and detailed. What’s obvious for you will not be obvious for someone else, and templates help streamline documents. The goal is to get your process to a point where you can hand it to someone else to follow your steps.

Call it, confident delegation.

The next step is to define your buckets. Buckets are collection points for everything needed for a particular project. For example, a connection card design bucket includes:

  • Design Assets
  • Content
  • Design
  • Quality and Assurance
  • Printing

I bet you didn’t think there were so many buckets just for one simple task, did you?

The next time you design a piece to be printed, pay attention to everything you do, and every step you take.

So under the “Design Assets” bucket you can add the assets you reach for during the process:

  • Logos (church, ministry, sponsors, other churches, etc.)
  • Style Guides
  • Printer Contact Info
  • Printer Requirements
  • Printer Template

So now, your process includes collecting these assets before starting.

Define your major buckets and what goes in them, pay attention to your steps, and repeat.

Once I learned to identify the big buckets that each type of project required, I was able to outline the tasks that pertained to that bucket. It takes some time, but it is worth the time it will save you in the end.

Now I am able to see my process from beginning to end and it makes sense to everyone else.

Streamline, baby!

The beauty of it all? Having a user-friendly process = confident delegation = more time for you!

You may still be wearing a few hats by the end, and that’s OK. The likelihood of having them tumble is much lower, and now you can actually relax (for real) on your next vacation.