A fundraiser’s best secret weapon

I’ve gotta tell you… I don’t want to brag, but I’ve been firing on all four cylinders lately. I’ve been thinking more clearly, focusing for longer periods of time, tackling a lot on my to do list, organizing my finances, completing things right away that I would normally put off… the list goes on!

Why? Mostly because I’ve been eating healthy and I’m exercising more regularly.

Don’t groan – please! This blog hasn’t changed from fundraising to fitness/food/lifestyle. I’m only mentioning this because I feel great right now.

And feeling great makes me work happier, harder, and smarter. It makes bumps in the road easier to roll with. It helps me keep up with my fast-paced workplace. It helps me get rid of the less important items on my to do list much more quickly, so I can focus on donor journeys and integrated fundraising campaigns and all the big and exciting projects that need my full and complete attention… and time.

But it’s not just about healthy eating and exercise – though that’s important and makes a big impact. It’s about the armour you put on yourself every morning (if this sounds familiar, I’ve touched on it before).

What do you do for yourself every day that prepares you for the insanity of fundraising? Do you wake up early so you can have a quiet coffee by yourself and some moments of peace? Do you meditate? Do you start your day a bit later to avoid traffic (and your tendency for road rage)? Do you exercise? Do you go for a walk? Do you spend time with your kids? Your pet? Your significant other? Yourself?

Whatever it is. Whatever takes a little bit of time but makes an enormous impact on your happiness and productivity. That’s your armour. 

Tell me what your armour is in the comments! And try to put it on every day. It makes things so much better!

~~

Written by Maeve Strathy

20150326_Strathy_Maeve_02
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for eleven years.
Click here to learn more about Maeve.

Connect with Maeve via:
Twitter | LinkedIn | Email

The 2-Minute Rule

This is a game changer, folks!

The 2-Minute Rule. 

I learned about this one from the one and only Rachel Hunnybun (yes, that is her real name), who I presented with last week at Toronto’s #AFPCongress.

We presented a session called “How to Make Waves Without Drowning”, which was about stress and burnout, how to combat both through productivity and self-care, and how to make changes when you need to through critical conversations and decision-making.

In the productivity section, Rachel talked about the 2-minute rule, which is:

If the task will take 2 minutes or less to complete, don’t even put it on your to do list. Do it now.

Let me backtrack. I am not good at estimating how long something will take me. I usually over-estimate; it’s why I can be incredibly and unnecessarily early for meetings.

It’s also why I can procrastinate. I think something is going to take an hour or more to do, and I don’t have an hour to do it at the moment I’m thinking of doing it, so I don’t do it… and then I continue to not do it until I get in hot water.

As a result, I’m working on working smarter and faster, and the 2-minute rule has become a tool (in just the past week) that is helping me do this.

As I build my daily/weekly/master to do list, I think hard about how long each item might take before I write it down, and if it meets the 2-minute rule, I just do it!

Short-term results? I only have four emails in my work inbox right now.

My inbox is typically a reflection of my short-term / urgent to do items, so four emails = @fundraisermaeve is a productive woman.

Try it out yourself! And let me know your results!

~~

Written by Maeve Strathy

20150326_Strathy_Maeve_02
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for eleven years.
Click here to learn more about Maeve.

Connect with Maeve via:
Twitter | LinkedIn | Email