This week’s Click-it is dedicated to productivity. Yours.
Sometimes I like to find useful information that has nothing to do with nonprofit work, per se, but which has to do with being a human being working to be efficient and effective in our fast-paced world — all while balancing work and personal life. So I’ve collected a bunch of resources to help you work smarter, faster and better while also becoming less stressed, more relaxed, more focused and much more happy. Sounds like a good deal, right?
I know you think you have to run yourself into the ground to take care of the folks who rely on you for help. There’s so much to do and it’s all so important!
But to take care of the world you must take care of yourself first.
Why not send this entire post to everyone on your team; then ask them to come back to your next staff meeting with ONE thing they’re going to do differently as an individual and one OTHER thing they’d like to suggest doing differently as a team?
It could be fun – and a nice break from business as usual.
Ready? Let’s get started!
The Fast Company blog recently had an entire week devoted to productivity, with all sorts of awesome tips, research studies and food for thought. Here I’m sharing just a few articles I found particularly useful:
Click-It: 15 Habits That Will Totally Transform Your Productivity. I love this article by Stephanie Vozza! Don’t you often feel like you’re swamped, swamped, swamped – and don’t know how to get out from under? This suggests a slew of ways to make yourself more productive and less stressed. Pick just one, and give it a go! Then add on new ones every week or so. I’ll bet you find new energy, more time for fun and a renewed sense of purpose.
Click-it: The Secrets of Punctual People. This is a super quick read from Jessica Hullinger with three excellent tips. I’m going to start doing the last one. At least I’ll try!
Click-It: Productivity Secrets of Master Delegators. How often do you hear yourself saying “I need to learn to delegate more?” Look no further than this article if you want to master the tricky art of letting things go.
“Delegating only works if your employees can handle it. Part of it is letting them fail.”
While we’re on the subject of productivity, how about some tools that can help you to streamline your work?
Click-it: 9 Secretly Awesome Websites to Boost Productivity and Nonprofit Work Life by Kathryn Pauley on Nonprofit Hub includes links to a number of tools that will help you streamline your work to reclaim lost minutes and hours. By no means think you must use all of these tips; pick the ones that resonate with you. I like Printer Friendly and Down for everyone or just me. You?
“Studies show it takes an average of 11 minutes to get back on track after being distracted by the ding of an incoming email or text message. That accumulates on average to 2.1 hours per day spent trying to refocus.”
Click-it: 10 nonprofit productivity tools & apps to try in 2014. This Social Brite post by Caroline Avakian is chock full of more useful tools to help you work lean and mean. Voxer seems cool in lieu of pricer walkie-talkies for events and such.
Click-it: 5 Tips for Improving Daily Productivity at Your Nonprofit Organization. Ruled by your in-box? Is everything in there urgent? Even important? Check this article for some classy tips from Elizabeth Chung at the Classy Blog. For example, learn how using this one little chart can revolutionize the way you spend your time:
“Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being productive. The most productive people are the ones whose time and work align with their values. Knowing why you’ve adopted your mission will keep your motivation high.”
Click-It: Is Lunch a Waste of Time — or a Productivity Booster? Too many Americans don’t take lunch breaks. They don’t use all their vacation days. They don’t socialize with co-workers. And you know what they say about “all work and no play?” Are you becoming a dull boy or girl? Check out this article by Victor Luckerson on Time.co, to find out why it may be time to shake up your routines.
“Though skipping lunch seems like an efficient use of time, the midday break can be mentally rejuvenating and, in some ways, more productive than staying glued to your chair.”
Click-It: Frontline Interview Clifford Nass – What is Multitasking? How often do you see nonprofit job descriptions that include “good multitasker” in the job description? Well guess what? There’s now definitive research that it doesn’t work.
In general, human brains cannot do two things at once. If you think you’re an exception, you’re just fooling yourself. It turns out multitaskers are terrible at every aspect of multitasking, including ignoring irrelevant information; keeping information in their head nicely and neatly organized, and switching from one task to another. The research found another disturbing thing: “by multitasking all the time, we are actually changing our brains and making our brains worse at focusing on one thing.”
Maybe this is something you want to stop proudly inserting into your job descriptions?
“We have not yet found something that [multitaskers] are definitely better at than people who don’t multitask.”
Productivity and Self Care
Click-It: The ‘Busy’ Trap by Tim Kreider in the New York Times Opinion Pages is a thought provoking article about the positive value our culture places on “being busy.” Even though it’s not always that good for us. We even tend to feel anxious when all of our time isn’t completely filled up. Of course, that leaves very little time to think. Or plan. Or introspect.
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.”
This article suggests ways to still get your work done, but not have it consume your entire day and brain.
Try it, and let me know how it goes!
Speaking of Productivity…
7 Clairification Keys to Unlock Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Potential is designed to help you think holistically about your work, because doing things in silos isn’t productive. Which doors should you walk through? Until you have clarity on your direction it will be challenging to attain meaningful goals.
Let me help you “clairify” your (1) values, (2) stories, (3) branding opportunities, (4) social marketing, (5) support constituencies, (6) engagement objectives and (7) resources. Get ready to unlock your true fundraising potential. Step-by-step. Grab my newly expanded e-guide here. If it doesn’t reinvigorate the way you approach your work, I offer a full 30-day money- back guarantee — no questions asked. To your success!
Title image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net; Photos courtesy of CoSchedule Blog
Claire, thanks for all of these productivity and self care tips! I would love to add a few of my own.
Here are 5 productivity tips that will make you look like a fundraising rockstar!
Do you have too much to do? It might be because you need better boundaries around work. http://wildwomanfundraising.com/do-you-have-too-much-to-do/
Or maybe you are in a workaholic cycle right now?
Or maybe your organization is jumping from crisis to crisis. Does this sound familiar? http://wildwomanfundraising.com/incredible-crisis-again/
Or maybe you’re being asked to do too much. How can you tell? Read this post about SuperJobs. http://wildwomanfundraising.com/super-job-2/
I’d love to hear what you think!
Thanks for all these great productivity tips Mazarine. The more the merrier!