Just Enough, Just in Time

We have more data than we could realistically organize, tag, filter, or view. The shift from the Information Age to the Connection Age is at hand, where our networks have proliferated to the point where we suffer from a glut of input delivered at an ever-increasing pace.

We are now forced to choose which pieces of the data we want to view. From financial giving data to weekend attendance reporting to small group and volunteer involvement data, and on through the endless emails on our mobile devices about our kid’s recitals, PTA meetings, Amazon specials, and the obscene amount of pure email spam, each of us must choose how much input we are willing to actually use.

So, how do you choose? And how are you communicating those choices?

We’ve likely all been taught the Eisenhower Matrix (a.k.a. the Priority Matrix) below. We know that things which are truly urgent are few, but things that are important are in  volume, but we often still act like others need to respond to our stuff as urgent. This kind of e-bullying eschews our real priorities and makes our priorities someone else’s emergencies.


As a guy who deals with communications as a large part of my job, I see more than a few “urgent” emails subject lines. Sometimes, others use the more subtle approach of urgent synonyms within their emails (“I have a pressing need” or “this is a high-priority project” or “we need to get to this ASAP”).

When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority.

To quote Bob Newhart: “Stop it!”

We’re all busy…and that’s part of the problem. Are you using a prioritization tool to organize your projects and your time? It’s a constant tension, but a battle that must be waged if we’re all going to achieve our objectives – together.

In the local church, we often forget that the very people we’re trying to engage are already being engaged and assaulted with information and data from their work, their kids’ schools, their sports programs, and even friends and family. When communications go out from the church, they must leave with the mantra “just enough, just in time.”

  • Have we shared just enough information using the Inverted Pyramid method to ensure our targeted audience can quickly determine the relevance and importance of our communication?
  • Have we shared just enough of the value (what’s in it for them, not about us) to pique their interest?
  • Have we sent it early enough – just in time – so that they can add it to their calendar?
  • Have we sent it just in time to hyper-targeted Personas (specific groupings to ensure laser-focus)?

Or – are we sending more, unfiltered, noisy stuff that is quickly associated with the lowly rung of unsolicited flyers and spam email?

People will not have fewer inputs or less information, no matter how diligently one unsubscribes from mailing, email, and phone lists; so how do we manage the influx so that we can look at just enough, just in time?

Are you part of the problem of making too many things urgent? How are you managing how you – and your church – communicate?



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