I’ve been thinking a lot lately about “working smart.” Nonprofits are characterized (to my mind at least) with limited budgets, staff who believe in what they’re doing, both in a relatively non-confrontational atmosphere. This is a combination that attracted me, but one of its down sides is that workload does not always remain under control.
Let me be clear: I love my job. This is why I’m thinking about what I can do to manage my “40” hours per week in a sustainable way.
I vaguely remember hearing about a framework for thinking about the relationships in your life in terms of basic math functions. Who subtracts? Who adds? Who multiplies? This morning while sipping my tea, I wondered about work. What about my job subtracts productivity? Adds it? Multiplies it? And to take it to another level, are there any actions I can perform that cause exponential returns?
This kind of jargon brings to mind the concept of investment. Thinking about it this way, I’m seeing things a little differently, and I think more clearly. Timesheets feel like a time-drain while I’m going through them and emailing about errors or concerns, but they are actually an investment in the end of the year. Since the end of the year is characterized by an intense spike in things to do, timesheet vigilance throughout the year is indeed a sound investment.
Seeing my job as a series of time investments makes everything I need to do have renewed purpose, and further inspires me to be incredible sure it all gets done. It also makes me really want to be there, and as more than a burnt-out zombie; I want to be fully present.