Doesn’t it seem like the main reason we go to sleep is to give our email boxes time to refill? Overnight, they fill with advice and articles about time management.
Whether it’s Harvard Business Review or NonProfit Times or any of a myriad of consultants and software companies, tips and tricks show up by the bucketsful in our Outlook and LinkedIn feeds. A Google search on the term “time management tips” turns up approximately 535,000 hits! The sheer number of electrons spent on the topic tells us just how out of control we feel. As a self-professed control freak, I empathize.
But aren’t they false promises? We can’t manage time. Time just is. We all have the same amount of time.
What we can manage is our attention. What do we pay attention to? What do we consider important enough to do first? In strategic planning, of course, that means setting milestones and holding people accountable. It’s incredibly helpful in getting our board and staff to focus on goals.
But we still have to spend some time keeping up with new developments. Otherwise, we risk falling behind in our field.
- How do we know the latest best practice?
- What are thought leaders saying?
- Which blogs are most relevant to nonprofit governance?
- Which writers have the best insights on board <–> CEO partnership?
Sometimes it seems like just more stuff to worry about and take our attention away from our goals.
One way I gain control is to let others do it for me. I follow a few people whom I know have their fingers on the pulse of what’s important to me. I don’t have to follow all the blogs they follow, because they separate the wheat from the chaff and only repost what they think is relevant. Colleague Beth Kanter says that
“Content curators provide a customized, vetted selection of the best and most relevant resources on a very specific topic or theme.”
By relying on others, I know I miss a few good articles. But that loss is far outweighed by the time I gain by not scanning absolutely everything – not to mention the sanity I’ve kept by not trying to.
How do you find your curators? Ask your peers.
In fact, let’s ask each other – right now. Let’s crowdsource the best sources so we each don’t have to wade through everything to find the gems.
If you tell me the most important resources you use for keeping up in nonprofit board and management issues, I’ll compile a list and post it so you can see what your peers are following.
Here’s two to start:
- Harvard Business Review find me concepts in management
- LinkedIn groups let me several nonprofit writers at once
What should I add? Tell me what you follow and why. No one person can follow it all, so let’s learn from the ‘wisdom in the room.’