Do you ever get to the end of the day and feel like you did a zillion things, but you didn't actually accomplish anything?
Do you feel like you never, ever have enough time?
You are not alone!
Over the past month, we've heard this from fundraisers across the country during our 3 Solutions to Burnout webinars.
Never enough time was one of the biggest challenges for fundraisers across the board.
Why is your time disappearing into the dark void of The Upside Down?:
- Meetings (too many!)
- Requests from deans & faculty
- Travel (planning, executing, following up)
- Analysis Paralysis (all that time you spend sorting & researching who you should reach out to)
- Humans (colleagues who stop by your office, bosses who want to have more meetings or staff you manage)
What can you do to take back your time?
Here's a tip to help you take control of your time.
Reclaim Your Time Tip #1:
- Do a time log. I know this doesn't sound exciting. In fact, it sounds like one more thing to do, but stick with me! It can be tough to know where your time is going. As humans, we're bad predictors of how long things actually take. So, logging anything that takes up to half-an-hour can help you truly see where your time is being spent on what.
- How to start your time log: Start an excel doc, grab a calendar or just have a piece of paper on your desk. Every work day for the next two weeks, write down anything that takes you thirty minutes or more. Anything - checking & responding to email, meetings, setting appointments, that project your boss is overly excited about, writing a proposal or just chatting in the kitchen while you're waiting for the coffee to brew.
- Inventory your time. After two weeks, highlight and add up the time you spent on:
- Donors - meeting them, reaching out to them, following up with them, writing proposals to them or traveling to meet them.
- Management (if you're a manager)
- Everything else
*Big huge reminder!* You raise money. To raise money, you need spend MOST of your time with donors.
- Where could you make changes? If you're spending less time with donors and more time on everything else, how can you make small changes? Could you:
- Check your email twice a day instead of having notifications on?
- Make a sacred standing meeting on your calendar just for emailing, calling and following up with donors?
- Make a policy to only attend dean/faculty/staff meetings where fundraising will be discussed? (I know this is a tough one, but remind your dean or ED of your biggest value: raising money! He/she should want you out meeting with donors.)
Start your time log today!
Even if you log just a few days, you'll have a great start toward taking back control of your own time.
Stay tuned for more Reclaim Your Time Tips and get out there, raise more money & change the world!