13 Paths to Productivity & Satisfaction—Nonprofit Staff & Consultants

Keep-fire-burningWelcome to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival round-up on The Work Behind the Work—the methods and tools you use to stay focused, productive and happy on the job (or the barriers that keep you from getting there). Alas, most of us can’t count on a sunny afternoon at the pool to recoup.

I’m thrilled to share with you this sampling from the powerful posts submitted by you and your nonprofit peers. The thought, focus and care with which contributors shaped their shared guidance is awe inspiring, and I so appreciate it (and them/you). Here are the most relevant submissions:

1) When things are hectic and your To-Do list is long, its easy to get overwhelmed and unproductive. Avoid these three common pitfalls that lead to burnout, cautions Megan Keane, membership director at NTEN.

2) Working in a small (ok, tiny) development shop, means that Carrie Packard, development director at The Delores Project, deals with an endless To-Do list married with constantly-changing priorities. She relies on these tools to make it through the day, week, and year (with her sanity intact).

3) I count on fundraiser Pamela Grow to breakthrough where no one has ever gone before, and boy does she do it right in this passionate and personal post on the tools and techniques that paved her professional (and personal) journey

Hollywood, this one’s for you!

4) Asana-ing yet? Leili Khalessi, marketing and communications manager for RedRover and committed yogini shows you the benefits and how-tos of Asana, her preferred To-Do-list/project management tool.

5) OMG-so-great tips on taking control of your own time and calendar, from nonprofit marketing guru Kivi Leroux Miller.

6)You don’t have to work 100+ hours/week to be a great nonprofit leader,” says Natasha Golinsky, consultant to nonprofit start-ups. And she shows you how in this game-changing post.

7) Haven’t you been dying to know how to Get Everything (Necessary) Done and Move Yourself (and Your Nonprofit) to the Next Level? I have, and am ever grateful to fundraiser Kathie Kramer Ryan for sharing her guidance on work habits, getting more done with less effort and applying these techniques to your work in/with nonprofit orgs.

8) Here’s what you gain from pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, says Mark Dessauer,  director of communications at the Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina Foundation. And get this—Mark ran a race in the middle of the night to prove it. That’s above and beyond, Mark, but it makes a fantastic story!

9) Dive into this top-ten list of productivity tools shared by communications strategist Caroline Avakian and you’re likely to discover great ones you’ve never heard of. I learned about Voxer for walkie-talkie style texts and voice messages but better, and graphic design tool Canva.

10) Radical isn’t usually my middle name but I’m feeling that way now, with my all-out plans for rejuvenation—a two-month sabbatical. I’d love to hear your thoughts, advice, don’ts.

11) Crowdsourcing is one of the best productivity methods I know (if you do it right, reaching out to the right folks with a clear, specific request for insight or action), and that’s just how communications consultant Marlene Oliveira developed this roundup post of methods, tips and tools that smart folks in the field use to boost productivity.

Her colleagues recommend everything from using Trello and Evernote, to taking frequent breaks and ending each work day in a specific way.

12) Movement is one of the methods Beth Kanter credits for her satisfaction and productivity, and she explains the whys and hows of movement as productivity boon here. Even better, Beth’s literally put this method into motion in recent weeks, with her ambitious walking program.

13) And finally, social media expert Julia Campbell shares four tools and techniques for increasing productivity. Love her advice on fire fighting, which is something I bet you never thought you’d learn about here but works (tried it out today).

What can you add?
Please
share your methods and tools for keeping the fire burning.

Next Up…
Be sure to read the call for submissions for May’s carnival, hosted by Erik Anderson about the sector going to the dogs (and that’s not what you think it means).

P.SGet nonprofit marketing tools, templates, case studies & tips delivered right to your in-box! Register here for the Getting Attention blog & e-news.

P.P.S. Register here to get updates on the monthly Nonprofit Blog Carnival in your inbox. To learn more, check out What Is the Nonprofit Blog Carnival? and the Carnival Archives

Nancy Schwartz on April 29, 2014 in Professional Development | 14 comments
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  • http://www.ArroyoFundraising.com Kathie Kramer Ryan

    Thrilled to be included in this stellar line-up! Thanks, Nancy, for pulling us all together.

  • http://GettingAttention.org Nancy Schwartz

    Kathie, thank YOU for sharing such useful guidance. Personally, eager to have as much good influence as possible!

  • Julia C. Campbell

    I am so happy to be included! I can’t wait to read all the posts! Thanks!

  • http://sheenatabraham.wordpress.com Sheena

    What a treasure trove of insights and resources. Thanks! My biggest challenge is productivity and focus when there are 100 different things I can be doing. These are great tools for that challenge.

  • http://GettingAttention.org Nancy Schwartz

    Julia, thanks for your contribution. I really learned a few things from you and so appreciate that!

  • http://GettingAttention.org Nancy Schwartz

    Anything to add, Sheena?

  • http://www.sahilparikh.com/ Sahil Parikh

    Super list. We use Brightpod.com to control the chaos of managing the endless list of tasks, conversations and deadlines. Oh, not to mention content planning. Thanks Nancy.

  • http://GettingAttention.org Nancy Schwartz

    Thanks for the add, Sahil. Any other method or tool recos?

  • http://www.sahilparikh.com/ Sahil Parikh

    The pomodoro technique is pretty common. A few other tools that we use are Hipchat, RememberTheMilk (personal tasks) and Evernote :)

  • http://GettingAttention.org Nancy Schwartz

    Ah yes, I remember RememberTheMilk. Evernote is a favorite of mine, at least for noting stuff although I don’t pull from it as much as I could/should.

    Have that pomodoro timer on my desk as well–another method I need to work into my days more often! Thanks.

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  • Albert pinto

    Great writeup Nancy. Much appreciated! I want to add a multipurpose tool called Proofhub. It offers time tracking, gantt chart, proofing, to-do’s, milestones, group chat etc. Have a look at http://www.proofhub.com

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