Here is a report of where I spent my time and how well I progressed towards reaching my goals last month.
My 2020 Goals
95% / Double the number of members of The Religion Teacher (December 2017 to present) (+1%)
254,549/1,000,000 words for kids (A part of my #1millionwordsforkids goal) (+18,102 words)
37/260 1-Hour Writing Sessions (Goal removed)
500/500 Resources (Videos/Worksheets) for Members of The Religion Teacher (Goal complete!)
10/75 books read (+5 books)
22/73 Books: Read the entire Bible from beginning to end. (+1 books read)
26/100 30-minute workouts (+13 workouts)
How I Spent My Time in February 2020
I track every minute of time I spend working on projects using an app called Toggl (here is why). Here is a list of the top ten projects I spent the most time on last month:
- 18:18 – Bible Breaks Bible Stories for Kids
- 16:13 – The Religion Teacher Email & Customer Service
- 13:08 – Weekly Review
- 11:43 – The Religion Teacher’s Bible Biography Worksheets
- 11:55 – Speaking (Los Angeles Religious Education Congress)
- 7:15 – Daily Review
- 3:48 – Morning Preview
- 3:33 – Accounting & Taxes
- 2:56 – Formative Fiction Newsletter
- 2:37 – The Religion Teacher’s Confirmation Webinar
Total Time: 119:19
February 2020 Highlights & Lessons Learned
A New Writing Project: Bible Breaks
I spent a lot of time working on a new writing project last month. I started writing easy-to-read Bible stories for families and religious educators to share with kids last month.
The idea is to write short, 3-5 minute stories from the Bible and offer them in collections based on various topics. I’m calling them “Bible Breaks” because I think they will give families and religious educators the opportunity to take a break during the day with a quick story and discussion based on the Bible. I’ve tried this with my daughters at dinner and the discussions have been great!
I also started a weekly email newsletter to feature these stories. I’m calling it “God’s Word Wednesday.”
I focused a lot of my time on Bible stories for Lent like this Ash Wednesday story:
You may notice I deleted my “1-hour writing sessions” goal. It was a helpful goal in January, but as I got busier in February I realized that setting aside a full one-hour block of time is unrealistic when I am a work-at-home dad.
I wrote To Heal, Proclaim, and Teach in 15-20 minute increments during lunch breaks. I should be able to say the same about the books I write this year.
I did learn a lesson with this goal experiment in the last two months. I realized I was ONLY writing in 15-20 minute sprints and writing a lot less than I could have if I had pushed through and wrote more than one section or chapter at a time.
I also realized I can push through and keep writing well even when I get tired.
So, I’m sticking with my 1,000,000 words for kids goal but removing the time-based goal for now to see how writing goes in the months ahead.
Bible Biography Worksheets
This really has been the year of the Bible for me! I spent a lot of time writing short biographies of key Old Testament figures last month. These biography worksheets were added to The Religion Teacher membership website and they got me past last year’s goal of 500 downloadable worksheets and videos. This was a huge milestone and now I can set some new goals for the year.
Los Angeles Religious Education Congress
After a very busy fall, the only speaking event I have scheduled in the Spring was the workshop at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress. This is the biggest Catholic event of the year and it was a pleasure to be able to speak there once more. I gave a workshop on sacramental preparation (Eucharist and Confirmation) and it went well.
I spent my time on the long flights to and from California well. Since this event has been a regular part of my schedule each year, I frequently use it to plan for the year ahead and get a lot of thinking and writing completed. This is why I spent so much time on the “Weekly Review.” Technically, I was planning ahead making an annual review.