Nonprofit leaders and staff are definitely familiar with full days and busy schedules. Mastering the art of productivity is often difficult with seemingly countless tasks and requests piling up constantly. In order to ensure productivity and block out negativity, nonprofit workers should consider the following:
Always have a to-do list
Nonprofit MarCommunity interviewed a number of professionals in the nonprofit sector to find out what tools and tricks they used to stay on task during the day. One suggestion was creating a to-do list. Things can get hectic fairly quickly in a nonprofit office; keep a to-do list handy at all times to add tasks throughout the day that may be forgotten later on. Then, as evening approaches, review the list to see what needs to be tackled tomorrow. Starting a day with an organized list of what needs to be done instills a greater sense of motivation than trying to recall any unfinished tasks. Classy, a blog that focuses on nonprofit marketing, also recommended prioritizing the items on a to-do list. This helps organize the day and indicates which should probably be handled first.
Get rid of distractions
This is probably one of the hardest things to do since nonprofits rely heavily on social media, networking, and personal interactions to build their donor base. However, it’s essential to find some system that will seal distractions out and let the workflow. For some people, this means taking a day to work at home, away from office noise, unplanned visitors, and other interruptions. For others, it may simply mean setting aside several hours and placing a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on an office door. Co-workers should respect this privacy; do not be afraid of making it known that no interruptions are allowed during this time.
Pay attention to the internal clock
Some professionals find they are most productive early in the morning when their minds are clear and well-rested. Others take a few hours to ramp up to fully operational mode. A nonprofit staff that performs best in the morning should plan the trickiest or most time-consuming tasks then. Everyone is different, so be as flexible as possible if a team member has a different preference. If a disagreement arises, take a look at the deadline and put the mission first.
If every employee working at a charity had a different approach to processes crucial to healthy operations, things would get chaotic pretty quickly. Clients may become confused about communications, which could lead to frustrations on both ends. With standard practices and policies in place, nonprofits can function more efficiently. It also helps new employees during the training process; they can rely on anyone in the office for assistance, rather than wasting time guessing which approach is best.
Take breaks often
Every hour or so, it’s important to get up and walk around or stretch. Say hello to a co-worker or go get some coffee. This seemingly tiny action can have a big impact on productivity. Workers who never take breaks can burn out faster and become more tired at the end of the day. Plus, brains require relaxation every now and then.
Nonprofits need an effective system in place that helps them measure their progress in a variety of departments. A donation management software platform can help gather data, establish goals and track improvements over time. Without a reliable method of monitoring outcomes, there’s no way an organization can continue to benefit its community.
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