As a nonprofit professional, I am often pulled in every direction.  My calendar is booked with meeting after meeting.  My desk is consumed with piles of projects.  My brain is overflowing with ideas and dreams.

Am I supposed to juggle it all?  No, I don’t think so.

Here are some strategies that I use to make my work responsibilities more manageable:

  1. Say no, when possible. I recognize that often we are working with supervisors to whom we cannot say no.  However, sometimes we can say no, and we should say no.
  2. Ask clarifying questions.  Question the scope of the project.  Ask who else should and could be involved.  Inquire about its level of priority and any timelines.  Identify which person will have final approval.
  3. Involve others. Sometimes organizations employ individuals who often are ignored.  Consider including them in a project.  Ask if they are willing to contribute their expertise.
  4. Document your time. Your colleagues may not understand the extent of time needed for a particular project.  Track how much of your time you have invested in your different responsibilities.  These records can be helpful in prioritizing projects.
  5. Plan for efficiency and effectiveness. Instead of racing to meet a deadline, take a step back and breath.  Is there a more efficient way to manage the processes?  Is there a more effective method to achieving the goal?  Manage your projects intelligently!

What do you do to make your nonprofit professional life more manageable?  Please leave a comment, so others can benefit from your suggestion!