Aaah, the beginning of the year, this blessed period when we sincerely believe that this time, everything will change for the best, and when we establish lists that look like United Nations resolutions… Resolutions that will disappear as quickly as bubbles of champagne. So this year, we are such nice people that we offer you a list of the ones you should really put into practice. And remember, we are not infallible, you are allowed to stumble, and the most important thing is to implement little changes, step by step!
So here are the most important resolutions you must implement in your non-profit this year:
- Thou shall learn to breathe deeply
Are you a war surgeon? If the answer is no, learn to keep a sense of proportion… Of course, a deadline is usually not negotiable, and files are piling up on your desk, but do you really have to finish today your flyer distribution strategy? Really really??
- Thou shall enjoy delegating
Is tidying the dusty archives necessarily the best use of your time? What about spell checking of documents produced by a member of your team? There might be someone around you who could at least partly take care of these tasks. But remember the golden rule: delegate (also, and mostly) interesting tasks. Yes, we know, it’s hard (ask our interns).
-Thou shall reduce multitasking
Are you able to answer an important e-mail while fighting with headquarters on the phone and finalizing a super important document? Great. But if you are like the greater part of human beings, doing several things at the same time is an infinite source of disasters (remember when you sent an internal and highly sensitive document to your donor, or even better, to your entire mailing-list? Are you really feeling like renewing this performance? )
- Thou shall enjoy your breaks
During your breaks, the rule is to relax. No matter if you decide to chill on a desert island, visit your family or go on an adventure trip in yet unexplored territory… The idea is to enjoy, switch off your phone and programme an automatic response to your e-mails. This way, you will also learn that you are not unreplaceable, which is a valuable humbling experience.
- Thou shall implement solidarity at home
Is the image of humanitarian worked linked in your mind to exotic territories, tropical heat and 4WD flip-flops? If you want to start a career in this sector (or if you are constantly requested advice), or if you are enjoying a few months’ break back home, give coherence to your commitment: needs exist at our door, and possibilities for voluntary work are endless
- Thou shall plan important tasks
If your latest website update was made in 1997, (or if you have a « news » page where you haven’t published anything for over six months, we saw you!), this aspect of your communication strategy is ready to move to your priority list. You can then play around with your lists of urgent and/or important tasks, which is not the same, and plan your day or week accordingly. Ticking tasks off gives a great sense of accomplishment, and you can also add stuff not directly related to work, such as baking a cake for a colleague’s birthday, just for the joy of getting work done!
- Thou shall take a step back
And our most important piece of advice: Remember why you chose to do this work. Remember the little things you managed to change. Try to have a global view, and to keep little daily disasters in perspective. We are no super humans, and we tackle complex issues, that sometimes go far beyond us. So do your part little hummingbird, with all your talent and your energy, accept that you won’t be able to change everything, and be proud when you look back.
What about you, what are your good work resolutions for this year?