Thursday, July 28, 2011

Oodles of Time Management Tips: July Nonprofit Blog Carnival Round-Up

I bet the Aztecs didn't have time management issues!
A big thanks to everyone who contributed a post to this month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival.  Below is a selection of folks' answers to this month's topic:  Time Management Tips. I've highlighted one tip from each post. 

5 Tips to Simplify Your Schedule by Ariana Pritchett of the Simply Living Coaching Blog

"'No.' is a complete sentence: You do not need to follow up with a laundry list of excuses, saying a gracious no can suffice. Actually I’ve found that in most cases people would rather you say no and then change your mind to yes then the other way around."

10 Time Management Tips for Nonprofit Communicators by Gayle Thorsen of IMPACTMAX

"Monday morning me-time. (Beg your ED not to schedule staff meetings on Monday mornings; Tuesday mornings are more productive. You’re all back into the swing of things and new questions will have arisen.)"

Are You It? by Sandy Rees of Get Fully Funded

"[P]lay to your strengths. Do only those things that you are really good at and get help with the rest. I know, I can hear you saying that you can’t afford to hire anyone. That’s alright. Recruit a volunteer or get an intern to help you" 

Effective Time Management for Nonprofit Managers by Joe Garecht of  The Fundraising Authority 

"Cut Back on E-Mail, Voicemail, and Social Media. As part of your job, you will be required to send and receive e-mails and answer voicemails, and you may need to be on social networking sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. The single largest time drain for any office worker today is switching from projects to e-mail, voicemail, and social media every 30 minutes to 'check in' and 'stay on top of what’s going on.' 

Every Day as a Social Changemaker: the Need for Space by Emily Lu of Medicine for Change

"Space is a hard-won resource in a busy schedule, but I consider that self-centered, me-based time to be fundamental to the inspiration essential to doing good work."

How Smart Benefit Auction Organizers Get More Done Before 9 AM Than the Army Does All Day by Sherry Truhlar of  Red Apple Auctions

"Timedriver – online appointment scheduling tool. Assume Caterer Cathy wants to talk with you. Send Cathy your unique Weblink (generated from Timedriver) and she’ll see the days/hours you’re available. She has visual access to the times you’ve pegged as 'available.'" 

How's Your Work/Task Balance? by Adrian Allen of No Donor Left Behind 

"Get away from your desk: Find a place to work that is not your desk, and keep that location secret if possible. More than just getting away from your usual distractions, people can’t ask you questions or interrupt you if they don’t know where you are." 

Juggling Priorities at Small Staff Organizations by Lori Halley of Wild Apricot

"Take the time to change your behavior. Apparently, it takes 21 days of repetitive activity for your brain to accept new behavior as a habit. So once you identify some time management rituals that work for you, give them a try for a few weeks to see if you can make it work or if it makes a difference."

Overwhelmed? Join the Club by Chapin on Nonprofit Chapin

"Use Outlook tasks. Emily Baime taught me how to use tasks back in the day, and my work life has been transformed. So many people still use a pad of paper, or worse, post its. Outlook tasks allows you to set deadlines for each task, mark priorities, and keep track of progress. Every week I update it according to priority (Monday of that week is high priority, Friday is projects on the backburner, etc.).

Playing with Time: How to Create a Time Budget by me

"If I think of my time budget like a financial budget, I only have so much time I can 'spend,' and a lot of things I want to 'buy,' so I have to spend wisely.  Some of my time has to go to regular 'expenses,' some of my time is an 'investment' that will pay off later, and some of it is just for fun.  Like any budget, I'll have to make adjustments as I go along. Unplanned time expenses will come up, as will time windfalls."

Save Time and Energy When Turning Interviews Into Content by Joanne Fritz on the Nonprofit Charitable Orgs blog.

"Ask for the interview well in advance. Unless you're covering a breaking news story, you likely have the luxury of letting the interviewee know in plenty of time that you'd like to interview them. Most people are more comfortable if they have a few days to think about what they might say to you. I like to set up interviews at least a week out if possible. I email the person and provide information about who I am, and why I'd like to do the interview."

Three Ways to Keep Your Sanity When It Comes to Social Media by Katya Andresen of Katya's Nonprofit Marketing Blog

"Pass out the slingshots. I was on a panel with Joe Trippi last night, and he talked about empowering your champions to spread your message and do your work. He said it’s like handing out slingshots to an army of Davids. You don’t have to carry the burden of conversation alone like some Goliath social media guru. That doesn’t work well anyway. The more your supporters take over your engagement, the more effective your message—and the saner your life." 

Time Management Nonprofit Style on Xico Arte y Cultura

"Be Proactive, Not Reactive: Just because a deadline is a week away doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t already be working on it. Start early, use downtime to work on the projects that are usually not a priority, and have some idea of what is coming up in the near future. This allows for calm and careful planning instead of screaming panic." 

Time Management Tips I've Implemented This Year by Kivi Leroux Miller of Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog.

"Thinking Six Months Ahead. Planning our webinar programming six months ahead, instead of three, has saved me a bunch of time, because I’m not scrabbling as much. We still publish the schedule only three months at a time in case we do want to make adjustments, but behind the scenes, we have the programming sketched out through December."


For more time management tips, be sure to read the contributors' full posts. Kivi Leroux Miller of Kivi's Nonprofit Communications Blog will host the August Nonprofit Blog Carnival.  She's looking for posts with Kooky, Quirky, and Off-Beat Ideas.

Flickr Photo of Aztec Calendar at the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City uploaded by Michael McCarty.

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  1. What a great list! Aren't we all pressed for time these days - especially in understaffed and under-resourced nonprofits. Pick any two of these tips and you'll have tons less stress and extra time in your schedule!

  2. Thanks for sharing the post on Twitter, Amy!

  3. A vital part of all organizations involves the theory of time management . Time management can be explained in many ways, but always involves prioritizing the way time is used. It often includes principles, plans and skills, and always aims at getting the most value out of the time you have.

  4. Nicely Explained! To support appointment booking software demands I would also like to share that according to Finances online reports, $360 million is the estimated value of the global appointment scheduling software market in 2024. Constantly, appointment booking softwares' demand is growing rapidly and helping to make true business change.


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