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Our Favorite Productivity Hacks of 2022

Ahhh… the promise of a bright, shiny new year is right around the corner. While I’m not big on formal resolutions, I do like to step back and think about how I can live out my values more authentically and use my limited time more judiciously. I often reflect on Mary Oliver’s ubiquitous question: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

To help you start 2023 strong, I asked my amazing AltruNext teammates to share tips and tools that make their lives run more smoothly and help them have the impact they want to have in the world.

  1. Connect with and identify your “why”. We do this with clients all the time. Connecting with your why is the jet fuel to supercharge your contributions. Check out this worksheet to put it in to practice.

  2. Build on what’s working well. Lean on this principle as much as possible – for decision-making, for new initiatives, for change management. Anything that involves change can start from a place of positivity.

  3. Prioritize wisely. Use a time management tool, such as this one, for decision-making around how to spend your time.

  4. Use a scheduling tool. Avoid the back and forth of getting on someone’s calendar and just send them a link to find a time that works for you and them. We use Calendly and even the free version has plenty of functionality for basic scheduling.

  5. Collaborate in the cloud. Share task lists with team members or family with a cloud-based Kanban board. We like Trello and Asana for both work and personal tasks. With the ease of mobile access, there’s no excuse for not telling your partner or roommate that you ate the last scoop of ice cream or used the last roll of toilet paper.

  6. Put pen to paper. Sometimes it’s still just easier, faster, better, to write down those top goals for the day. The kinesthetic reinforcement of writing keeps those items top of mind. Some of our team members leverage a simple Bullet Journal system.

  7. Weekly standups. Keep a remote team connected and responsive to changing needs with a weekly (short) meeting. We find a quick weekly meeting can create a sense of belonging and foster greater connection amongst team members.

  8. Walk the walk. Follow Trust-based Philanthropy Project’s principles and engage in equity work to make the sector work for everyone. Acknowledge the work of others and compensate them appropriately.

  9. Checklists! We leverage simple in-house checklist templates for repeatable processes and have observed appreciable differences in improved outcomes because of it.

  10. Be in community. Look for formal and informal networks of support and accountability: AFP, GPA, CCF, etc. We consider you part of the AltruNext community and hope you’ll reach out when you feel alone!

Bonus Tip for 2023. Elsa said it best: Let it go. As nonprofit professionals, we care deeply about our work, the state of the world, and how we can create change. But, sometimes, we need to set it down and rest. Please give yourself a holiday gift and sink into these words by Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Do More photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash.


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