15 Feb

In order to be successful, nonprofit leaders need to be productive. Productivity is the key to getting things done and meeting goals. Nonprofit leaders can increase their productivity by using various techniques and tools. For example, they can use time management techniques to organize their time and work more efficiently. They can use tools such as productivity apps and online calendars to help them stay on track. Additionally, they can use strategies such as 90-Day goal setting or the Eisenhower Matrix to create productivity efficiency. By learning to be productive and focused, nonprofit leaders can achieve more and have a greater positive impact on their organizations and in their communities.

1. Planning and Prioritizing

Creating a plan and prioritizing your work are essential to being productive. Start by identifying the most important tasks you need to accomplish and then figure out what order they should be done in. This will help you stay focused and ensure that you are working on the most important things first. 

2. Time Management

Time management is critical for nonprofit leaders. You need to be able to juggle many different tasks and deadlines simultaneously. You also need to be intentional with your time and use it wisely. This means setting time limits for tasks and avoiding distractions as much as possible. 

3. Delegation

As a nonprofit leader, it is important to be able to delegate tasks in order to increase your productivity and focus on the areas that as the leader can bring the greatest value to the organization. This can be difficult for you, as some leaders feel like they need to do everything themselves and can't trust others to do it as well as they can. However, if you delegate tasks to others, you can focus on the bigger picture and achieve more to move the mission forward.

4. Communication

Clear and effective communication among nonprofit staff is critical for a well-functioning organization. However, this can be difficult when everyone is busy. Here are a few tips to help improve communication:

  • Make sure everyone is aware of what is happening and what is expected of them.
  • Use a consistent method of communication, such as email, messaging app, or a collaboration tool with a chat feature such as Slack (apply here to get Slack in your nonprofit for free).
  • Avoid sending multiple messages at once - it can be overwhelming and confusing.
  • Reply to messages promptly, especially if they are urgent.
  • Be concise and clear in your communications.
  • Avoid using jargon or abbreviations that people may not be familiar with.

5. Motivation

It can be difficult to stay motivated when working in the nonprofit sector. The hours are long, the pay is often low, and the work is often thankless. However, there are a few things you can do to help keep yourself motivated and productive.

First, make sure that you are passionate about the work you are doing. If you are not excited about the mission of your organization, it will be difficult to stay motivated. Find a cause that you believe in and focus on making a difference in the world. In my office, I have a framed poster that says, "Remember why you did this. Find a way. Don't give up." It hangs on the wall just above my desk and when I am having a particularly difficult day, I look at it and remember why I started my nonprofit as the motivator to keep pushing forward.

Second, set goals and deadlines for yourself and strive to meet them. Having tangible goals to work towards will help keep you motivated and focused.

Finally, find a support network of other nonprofit leaders who can help to keep you inspired, encouraged, and accountable. The Nonprofit Circle is a great place to build this community of like-minded leaders who are going through a journey similar to yours. Click HERE to sign up on the waiting list and be the first to know when we soft launch our program.

6. Handling Stress

As a nonprofit leader, it is important to be able to handle stress in a healthy way. Ways to handle stress can vary from person to person, but here are a few general tips:

-Try to get regular exercise. This can help to release endorphins and help you feel better.

-Make time for yourself. This can be anything from taking a relaxing bath to reading your favorite book.

-Talk to someone. Talking about what is stressing you out can help to relieve some of the tension.

-Practice relaxation techniques. Yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can all help to calm and focus the mind.

-Eliminate unnecessary stressors from your life. This may not be

8. Setting Goals

Setting goals is an important part of any productivity system. But it’s especially important for nonprofit leaders, who often have a lot on their plate. When you set goals, make sure they are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

For example, your goal might be to increase fundraising by 25% in the next six months. That’s specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. But it’s not time-bound, so you’ll need to add a deadline to it. Your goal might be to increase fundraising by 25% in the next three months.

Make sure your goals are challenging but also achievable. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure by creating unrealistic goals. Also, consider breaking goals down into 90-day intervals. This allows you to condense annual goals down into smaller bite-sized chunks so that you are not trying to tackle the entire thing at once.

9. Taking a Break

No matter how much time you spend working, you need to take regular breaks to stay focused and productive. Step away from your work for a few minutes every hour to go for a walk, stretch, eat lunch, or just get some fresh air. This will help you recharge and come back to your work with fresh eyes.

10. Implement Systems and Automation

This can be game-changing for the small nonprofit leader who is just getting started and is balancing many things on their own. Write down the processes that you follow for everything. Record videos and create repeatable steps where possible. Use technology to help you automate as many processes as possible and delegate the remaining processes to human support, using your recorded videos and steps as the guides for training and getting the work done without you.

In summary, remember that your productivity is important to the success of the organization. When you are the leader of a nonprofit organization, your ability to focus and get things done can make a big difference in the number of lives impacted. 

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