Lost in the Junk

Don’t get lost in the junk of everyday work and fail to get the important work done. I find it tremendously easy to get stuck in the mindset where I have to finish every project no matter what the size. It is often surprising how hard it can be as a Major Gifts Officer to get out of the office. It is easy to stop the prospecting process and stop finding new donors and stick only with cultivating those you already have. But that can destroy your pipeline of new opportunities.

I prioritize my work with direct donor engagement as number one. If we are not creating and sustaining relationships with donors, then we are not serving our purpose as fundraisers. I will sometimes bump creating & sustaining relationships if I getting ready for a solicitation and I need to prepare something to make it successful. I rank solicitation meetings with donors as the very most important to schedule.

I found my first couple weeks on the job I had a dozen pamphlets to read, staff to meet, and orientation classes to attend. If you are not new to the job it is easy to get wrapped up in organizational committee meetings, answering the front desk phone line, budgeting, and much more. It has been helpful to prioritize my work so that projects that involve donors are put to the front of the line.

How do you manage all of the junk that gets in the way of work? A lot of it is important and can’t be completely abandoned, but it can be reprioritized. How do you prioritize?


One Response to Lost in the Junk

  1. Amy Katuska says:

    I try to put my tasks into four “boxes”:
    Box #1) Urgent and Important
    Box #2) Urgent and not important
    Box #3) Not urgent and important
    Box #4) Not urgent and not important
    Sometimes I literally draw out two columns (one for “important” and one for “not important”) and two rows (“urgent” and “not urgent”) and fill in the boxes that are created. Visualizing what I have to do and how many of the things I have to do fall into each category really helps me.

    My two problems with this method, though, are that sometimes I make things more important than they really are, so they end up in boxes #1 or #3 instead of #2 or #4, and that I’m never sure whether to complete tasks from box #2 or #3 first.

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