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Easy Time Management Tips for Staff and Volunteers

What do all nonprofit employees have in common?

The answer: Stress and burnout.

Nonprofit employees experience high levels of stress and even burnout due to the huge workload that normally comes with a nonprofit job. They come to work in the morning because they love their jobs, but by the end of the day they are very exhausted and don't have the stamina to be productive.

According to a recent post "Get Organized", time management is key. The article offers six easy tips that promise to make you more productive. 

Want it

Taking time to figure out how to juggle it all can be tough. If you had time to spare, you wouldn't need to think about how to manage it in the first place. But getting your life in order is worth the trouble, says Dr. Estela Lopez, Vice Chancellor of the Connecticut State University System. "The balancing act is a skill you will use all your life - in college, when you have a family, and in your career."

Prioritize

You really can't do everything, and you shouldn't feel like you have to. Never shortchange your studies. Beyond that, pick the things you truly care about. Start by limiting yourself to one volunteer opportunity a week, for instance, or whatever is comfortable for you. Feel free to try new things, but don't say yes to every opportunity that comes your way.

Have a System

You'll be amazed how much time is gained when you don't have to search for your stuff, or when you know exactly what your plans are ahead of time," explains author Jessie Morgenstern-Colon. Organize everything you'll need for the day, from your work shoes to your briefcase, the night before. Morgenstern-Colon also suggests having - and sticking to!-- a color-coded schedule for every day of the week.

Just Do it

Sometimes you get nervous about all the things you have to get done, and end up spending two hours checking your email instead of working. Then you stress about how now you reallydon't have time to finish anything, which leaves you feeling anxious and drained. It takes will power to stop this cycle, but doing so will make your days go a lot better. Don't spend time and energy stressing over how you have no time---just do what needs to get done.

Take Care of Yourself

You yawn during meetings. Your mind wanders at your desk. Your eyes glaze as soon as you get home from work. Chances are you're not taking good care of your body. That Diet Coke and Milky Way bar may give you a momentary boast, but they'll actually make you feel worse in the long run. Those late night sessions so you can catch up on work also take their toll.

Maybe you're thinking, "I already don't have enough time to do what I want and need to do, and you want me to take more time to eat and sleep?" But the fact is you would feel sharper and more energetic - in other words, be able to do more stuff in the same amount of time---if you just gave your body what it needs.

Parting Words: Make it a habit!

Sticking to a schedule can be tough at first, but it’s worth the trouble. After about three weeks of doing something steadily, it will become second nature.

Thanks to Suite101 for these helpful tips!

 

 

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Published Thursday, 22 February 2007 at 3:10 PM

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