Panyee FC

A great short film launched by the TMB (Thai Military Bank) to give vision to a new marketing campaign called “Make THE Difference” to inspire people to start thinking differently.

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When to Draw a Line in the Sand?

“When you don’t know what you believe, everything becomes an argument. Everything is debatable. But when you stand for something, decisions are obvious.”

Jason Fried 1

The quote above I read for the first time a few months back, but it has been something I have been learning for a few years now. I have this said in my different ways before growing up. A lot of times it was in regard to my faith as a believer in Jesus. Actually most of the time it was regarding my faith. And it was great advice and in many situations it’s because of my core beliefs that I went against the grain with many decisions in my life. The thing is I don’t believe it should stop at your religious beliefs. This statement should spill over into many aspects of your life. And that at times is very difficult.

The area I struggle with the most is not my faith decisions, yet I am daily tempted and struggle at times. The hardest for me is in the creative/art core convictions in regards to work and freelance. Each artist (not just a painter, designer, director; but producers, media directors, service programmers) have their own personal convictions. Their own core values they do their best to adhere to in their art form. Not to be simplistic, but the Bible helps determine quite a bit of your personal convictions due to it’s very nature of being God’s Word. But each artist in essences writes his own “bible” for his core convictions regarding his art form. Now there plenty of guidelines out there such as: rule of thirds, color theory, composition, audio levels, exposure. But all of these can be broken at any point if done well.

Where the most difficult part comes in is when you are creating for others. Their timelines may not allow for your personal value in excellence to be reached. Their script may be well below par. This is where the current post runs out of steam. I have just began thinking about this dilemma and I am not ready to make any publicly documented opinions :). But I can tell you I will do my best where I am and the task at hand. I have made sacrifices and they turned out ok. I have created things I personally am not proud of and would not put in my personal portfolio, but the piece did it’s job in context.

So before you go and stop making art for your church or client, think about why you are there. Think how you can create the “product” they are wanting without sacrificing your personal values. This may mean more work or tweaking the idea. But be sure you are helping the church or client reach their goal and not trying to just add something great to your portfolio.

Notes:

  1. Excerpt From: Jason Fried and David Hansson. “Rework.” iBooks. https://itun.es/us/4Lfgz.l
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Why I Toggl My Time

I started using Toggl to track time at work a year ago, but it only would last for a week or so. That was until last month when I gave it another try, but this time around I simplified the process. I then added our entire production & media department (10 staff members) to Toggl. But before I get into how I/we use it, I want to share quickly why tracking your time may be one of the best things you can do for yourself and your staff.

There are three major factors why I started tracking my time. They are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Data
  3. Accountability

1. Awareness

Before I started tracking I only knew what time I came into work and what time the clock read when I left the office. This gives me no awareness to look back on a day and see on what and how I spent my time. I had assumptions on how much time I spent in my email inbox or in the hallway chatting. I always said updating the website with the latest sermon did not take long, but how was I to really know. I knew I took time during the day to check social networks, but it couldn’t be more than 10 minutes right?

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Since I began tracking at the end of February I was able to run a report for the entire month of March. I found some interesting things that I will share after April ends and I can compare the two months. For now I spend a minute or two at the end of the day looking at where my efforts went. This awareness gives me the opportunity to keep my self in check.

2. Data

This is something that we don’t have as a team just yet, but by the end of May we will. All organizations/churches track some type of data. It may be their profit margin, online sales or Sunday attendance. They track the numbers because they are helpful when making upcoming decisions. The same goes for a media or production department in a church. There are always videos to produce, logos to be designed, rehearsals to be prepped or a “small” event to be organized. All of these things take time and usually we are very good at underestimating the amount of time and resources a project/event takes. Our hope is that soon we will have data from all these different projects to use as a gauge to assist us in setting true timelines instead of shooting from the hip. The data will also give us great raw data on how to approach the need for future hires.

3. Accountability

Having the entire team on Toggl together has already improved our workflow and work ethic for most. After just 2 or 3 weeks the entire team makes jokes about whether something is “Toggl worthy”. And I believe that is a great thing! I know for a fact the amount of time spent on sideways energy has decreased. We have also had less lengthy “creative’ discussions, also known as watching a new movie trailer and talking about it at lengths. This in my opinion has it’s place in our type of creative environment, but it can be abused.

The team has done a great job in helping each other with the new time tracking and I can’t wait to share in Part 3 the results we are seeing and the data we have compiled. Next up will be Part 2 of “Why I Toggl My Time” where I will show how I technically use Toggl and how we have integrated it with our Basecamp Next account.