Blog Archives

Magic Monday: Be Yourself

Artwork by Dallas Clayton. Find his work at http://dallasclayton.com/

Artwork by Dallas Clayton. Find his work at http://dallasclayton.com/

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

When I first started in development, I was a bit cowed when dealing with people of means. I always made enough to get by, but for some reason I thought that affluent people were otherworldly, that I somehow couldn’t communicate with them the same way that I could with those that I considered to be my peers. Even when I became more used to it, I still felt like I had to be a chameleon and change my personality to accommodate those to whom I was communicating.

Some sandwiches and a bag of chips changed my outlook on things. I was hosting the first meeting of our planning study task force for our capital campaign, and I had mentioned that lunch would be available. I bought a variety of sandwiches, chips and soda and waited for our guests to arrive. As they showed up in their suits and wool coats, stockings and heels, they began to mingle and get settled.

About halfway through the meeting, while I advanced slides for one of our other presenters, I looked around the room and noticed that everyone was eating sandwiches and chips. This shouldn’t have been a surprise, but I had convinced myself that these otherwordly beings would somehow have transformed their sandwiches and chips into something tidier, or that fancy silverware would have come out of their coat pockets. But there they were, with paper plates and napkins, drinking soda from cans, and I made an important realization: they were just like me in some ways.

I know I have mentioned Asking Matters previously (check them out; I love their site and their ideas). Co-founder Andrea Kihlstedt has written a great article on how to be yourself as a fundraiser. Let me know what you think. If you have any stories about your own donor a-ha! moments, I’d love to hear those, too! 

Magic Monday: Routine Maintenance

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your time to startmind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

“Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” -Gustav Flaubert

Who has two thumbs and is so not a morning person? That would be me. I am even worse in the wintertime; I think one of my parents must have been a grizzly bear. Most people, however, think that I am generally pretty well put together and pretty “with it” at work. Routines are the secret to my success, both in development and in life.

There was a time when I thought routines would mess with my creativity. Artistic, imaginative people don’t need routines, I told myself. Routines are for stuffy corporate types with nannies and personal assistants. I am super, and amazing, and should have no problem being über competent. Then, surprise surprise, real life happened. Let’s just say I’ve seen the light and hope to never stray again.

I would assert that the first and most important routine you can put in place is an evening routine, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a night owl. Though it sounds counter-intuitive, a good evening routine helps take the pressure off your mornings, so that you can arrive at work on time, relaxed, and ready to be a superhero for your organization.

Read on to Start Your Own Routine…

Magic Monday: Your To-Do List

“Magic Monday” posts help you start the week off right. Monday is a great day to review and regroup; if you set your mind to it, you can make this your best week yet. Thank gosh it’s Monday!

This week’s feature is a great little video from Epipheo Television. It gives us tips from productivity guru David Allen on “How to Hack Your To-Do List.”

While this video is not specifically about development, if you’re like me, the to-do lists that you use to manage your many projects at the office can sometimes get a little convoluted, losing their punch at best and derailing you for days at worst.

If the information in the video makes sense to you, you may want to check out Allen’s productivity classics: Getting Things Done, and it’s “sequel” of sorts, Making it All Work. The philosophy and methods that he describes in Getting Things Done have resonated so much with people that it has started a veritable wildfire of devotee blogs and articles. (Allen’s company, the David Allen Co., can be found here.)

What did you think of the video? Do you have to-do tips that help you stay sane? Any horror stories about out-of-control to-do lists? Feel free to share them here.