A normal working week lasts 40 hours. But when there is both passion for the result and responsibility involved some people tend to spend more than 80 hours per week, working on the project or completing important tasks. Non-profit organizations feel extremely responsible for their actions and initiatives because they directly affect the quality of lives other people have. So there is no wonder that time-management habits they have sooner or later lead to real burnout.
The trick of good time management though is not about how to work more but how to work better, getting better results in less time. Instead of burning out. Better campaigns, more donors, and happy & active supporters surround NPO teams with healthy time-management habits. Now let’s learn how to get those habits.
How much should a well-performing NPO team work?
The time-management experts recommend planning a working week for not more than 35 hours. Something unexpected & extra happens all the time. So plan it as well. Especially when it comes to managing the time of an NPO leader – their efficiency directly affects the success of the whole nonprofit.
How to avoid burnout when leading an NPO team?
Now let’s take a closer look at the best time-managing techniques that have proven their efficiency when used for organization & planning work in non-profit organizations, web design and development agencies, creative bureaus, business ventures, etc.
Each side of life should have its limits. This way you will be able to keep your life balanced and avoid burnout. Your team should also know when and where to discuss working matters to learn how to pay attention to other important ones after.
Do not try to do everything at once and don’t let your team do it too. The initial enthusiasm of your supporters is never enough to run multiple activities 24/7. Pay more attention to prioritizing tasks and distributing them with deep consideration of the time resources you have, and help your team members follow those priorities.
Whatever schedule you use should include regular breaks. Moreover, people should know that if they feel too tired or the working process gets too intense they always have a right to make a break. Nonprofit activities need creativity and the creative process cannot be either scheduled nor switched on/off on the demand. If you have a very intense working period then try to alternate intense sessions with more relaxed ones to let people take a breath & not get too tired.
You might think that being an NPO and having no business goals you may skip that part of measuring the performance of your activities. But having decided on KPIs for at least promo activities it will be easier to make the required results more precise and clear. And when people know what they are striving for they get there faster and with more energy left for future activities.
The more you automate the processes in your organization the more time you will have left for really important matters. Start with choosing (or creating your own) task management tool to track tasks easier. Your team will see clearly set processes and easier navigate through tasks they need to complete.
The more time you spend on proper planning the easier it will be to complete necessary tasks and get the results you need with no rush, no burnout, and no difficulties. Your NPO mission, you, and your team are worth it!