Break it Down: Getting Past Your Resistance to Hanging-Over-Your-Head Nonprofit Marketing Work

Break it Down Getting Past Your Resistance to Hanging-Over-Your-Head Nonprofit Marketing WorkIt’s so hard to get past avoiding those big projects that are hard to find the time and focus for, or just plain hard. Unfortunately though, most times these are just the initiatives with the potential to give a real lift to your nonprofit marketing; like  marketing planning, tracking and analyzing results, and reaching out via new channels and to new audiences.

So how do you motivate yourself to step into those key projects?  I recommend you break it down into what’s more manageable. Here are three concrete ways to break down your nonprofit marketing to-dos so you accomplish them in a timely and effective manner:

1) Break the work down into manageable components.
For example, work on crafting a (series of) 90-day nonprofit marketing plans (case study here), instead of trying to craft a three-year plan. You’ll get practiced as in most marketing work, the same approach holds no matter the term). In this instance, you may even find that shorter-term planning enables your org to be most responsive to the continual evolution of the environment in which it works.

2) Break down the work into manageable chunks of time, aka "timeblocking." Whenever I’m having a hard time diving into a project, my husband reminds me to timeblock. And it works, so I do…taking a one-to-two hour chunk of time each to get started on what’s been so hard to get into. Tiptoeing my way into hard-to-start projects works every time, the latest example being the writing of my 73 pp. Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Report (due out in September). In most cases, I’m immersed enough to really fly after three to five "chunks" of work.

3) Break it down by relevance, diving in when ideas are fresh in your mind. Another strategy to getting things done is featured in today’s Psychotactics E-news. Marketing expert Sean D’Souza advises readers how to write an article (or web copy or campaign plan, or…) in 33 minutes or less.He says do it while the content is fresh in your mind; perhaps even during a key interview or meeting when you’re discussing that very topic. That might be your conversation with your org’s board chair about your marketing goals for the year to come, or your meeting with your colleagues about the upcoming benefit.

I like Sean’s reasoning, although it flies in the face of everything we’re told these days about the detriments of multi-tasking. But the essence is…conquer what you’ve been avoiding when ideas are fresh. Makes sense. I’m going to try it.

Any strategies to add? Please share them by clicking the Comments link below.

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Nancy Schwartz on July 23, 2008 in Nonprofit Communications, Planning and Evaluation, Professional Development | 0 comments
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