Ellen Faye | Blog
Productivity Consulting and Leadership Coaching for business and nonprofits - get your most important work done. Collaborating with leaders and their teams to become more strategic, focused and productive. Leadership and Board Coaching, Strategic Planning Facilitation, Productivity Coaching and Consulting, Professional Speaker.
Productivity Coach, Productivity Consultant, Leadership Coach, Executive Coach, Business Consulting, personal productivity, time management, nonprofit, board coach, collaboration, strategic planning, facilitation, change management, leading productive teams, project planning, board development, volunteer engagement, association management, workplace productivity, executive director.
15537
page-template,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post,page-template-blog-large-image-whole-post-php,page,page-id-15537,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,footer_responsive_adv,qode-theme-ver-11.0,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.1.1,vc_responsive

Blog

 

The Value of Volunteering

Volunteering can be a tremendously valuable experience. This week I’m sharing with you the NAPO blog post I wrote for NAPO about my volunteer experience.  It’s a good update about everything I’ve been doing over the past couple of years.

The theme this month of NAPO’s blog is Personal Growth and Development. What an excellent opportunity to share how volunteering with NAPO enables me to grow and develop as a business professional, a leader, and a human being.

Having just completed my two year term as NAPO President, I can tell you that I worked very hard and dedicated a lot of time to the position, however, there is no doubt in my mind that I received so much more than I gave. And I can say the same thing about many of my NAPO volunteer leadership positions. Serving six years on my chapter board, serving twice as Conference Chair, and serving as a Board member were fulfilling and enabled me to become the person I am today.

It’s always easy to speak holistically, and that matters. But specifically I can tell you that because of NAPO and volunteering with NAPO the following skills have been honed:

  • Business Skills:
    • Technology – not sure I would have prioritized learning these for myself, but because of my many volunteer positions I now can and do regularly use Canva, Constant Contact, QuickBooks, PayPal, Doodle, Join.Me, Google Voice & Google Docs (thanks Kim!), GoTo Webinar, not to mention my high level understanding of search engine optimization, web design, and database packages.
    • Productivity – yes, productivity. It’s different dealing with a hundred people than 5 or 10. On a typical day as President I’d receive over 200 emails that needed to be managed. I had to develop new systems to handle the volume. Now my email and task management seminars are much more applicable to large teams.
    • Marketing – Google Ads, Facebook Ads, branding, design, messaging, and creating marketing plans.
    • Speaking – conferences, chapter visits, speaking to the media, leading meetings, speaking to a 600 person audience – all cake and totally fun!
  • Leadership Skills:
    How to:
    – engage volunteers
    – manage differing opinions to a win-win outcome
    – plan strategically
    – delegate effectively
  • The value of:
    – working to consensus
    – staying in integrity
    – leading from essence – which spring-boarded into a teaching tool and a book I should be writing soon:

  • Better Knowing of Self – the value of which is priceless:
    • Confidence to trust my instincts
    • Clarity that my ideas are visionary and not just fleeting thoughts
    • Finally understanding my purpose in the world is to be a leader

I know I will continue to grow and develop as I embark on future opportunities. It’s a part of who I am. And I will always be grateful to NAPO and all of our members for this opportunity to become my best self. I look forward to many further growth and development opportunities as I wind-down from this amazing experience. I assure you I’m not going far. I have another year on the NAPO Board as Immediate Past President. And after that, seriously, I can’t imagine life without some kind of volunteer involvement with NAPO.

Looking forward to working with you as a NAPO volunteer!

Blog submitted by Ellen Faye COC©,CPO©, GC

Strong leadership is critical for good productivity and good productivity is critical for strong leadership.  As most of you know, for the past two years I’ve served as volunteer President of the most fabulous 3500+ member, non-profit, education based national association ever (NAPO.net.) To say that I dedicated much of my free time to NAPO would be an understatement – but it was all incredibly gratifying and worthwhile. I grew and learned in ways that one could never imagine.

Most specifically I became very clear on how critical good leadership is to productivity and how critical good productivity is to leadership; this is the direction in which I plan to take my business next.  My term is ending soon and I had planned to resume blogging shortly thereafter.  But as luck would have it I was contacted by the Leadership Editor at CNBC and he published the article below yesterday. This is the perfect way to launch my next chapter with you.

http://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/05/try-these-3-productivity-hacks-to-have-a-more-successful-monday.html

and a nice quick video: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000616286

Looking forward to sharing my weekly tips with you regularly, and stay tuned for my updated website coming soon.

Ellen

timers

Time management is such a funny phrase.  We all banter it about like we understand it, but really what does it mean?  My definition of Time Management is getting done what you have to do so there is time to do what you want to do. There is such a wealth of information and tools to help manage your time – but as with everything I espouse IF IT’S NOT EASY, IT’S TOO HARD.

What works?  Here are some simple strategies you can implement starting now:

  • Set meetings with start and end times:  When setting appointments, meetings and networking don’t just set a start time SET AN END TIME.  If I’ve budgeted an hour for a coffee meeting and the person I’m meeting budgets two than one of us is going to be disappointed.  When setting meetings make it clear: “I’ve got us down from 1 pm to 2 pm”
  • Stay in control of interruptions: You don’t have to answer the phone when it rings – but if it is someone you want to talk to there are techniques that you can use that will keep you from getting off course.  State up front how much time you have (or want to invest): “I’ve got 20 minutes” 
  • Give your work a time budget.  Just like you know how much money you’ll spend for an item ($18 entrée – okay …$38 entrée – too much) think about how much time is reasonable to spend on a specific task (1 hour ok…3 hours too much).  If I have deemed a project to be worth one hours’ worth of time not only will I set a timer for an hour to cue me to stop, but I’ll set another for 45 minutes, so I know when I have 15 minutes left.  Always ask yourself “how much time is this task worth?”

When determining your time commitment keep in mind Pareto’s Principal (the 80/20 guy I talk about all the time.) You will accomplish 80% of your work in 20% of the time.  That means if you meet someone for coffee/lunch/networking you’ll have held the most important parts of the conversation in the first hour, anything additional contributes minimally.

Getting Things Done

Most people rely on their internal compass to get their important tasks done. But what happens when that internal compass doesn’t motivate you ENOUGH for you to get started?

Sometimes deadlines or bosses exert enough external pressure to complete the task, but other times even that isn’t enough. Add to this, that the more time passes, the worse the incomplete tasks make you feel, and the task becomes even more daunting.

How can you get those daunting tasks done?

Understanding which tasks are hard for you to complete and which aren’t is a good first step.  When planning your daily work break your tasks into two columns “hard to complete” and “fun, easy or not so hard.”

  1. Start with an easy task to stimulate your brain. Take advantage of the “pleasure seeking” chemicals and as soon as you finish the easy/fun task move to one of the “harder to complete tasks.” The hardest part of getting these tasks done is getting started, so alternate the hard tasks with the easy/fun tasks and take advantage of the “high” you get from the easy/fun tasks.
  2. Don’t go it alone – Meet a friend at Panera or at the Library and work on your “hard” project alone – together. (Officially, this is called body-doubling.)
  3. Break the “hard” project down into small little parts. Commit to doing the first two parts.  You may find once started you’ll happily complete the task.
  4. Chose a “Zen” environment – sometimes clearing space and removing distractions is very helpful as is playing soothing music or changing locations. Weather permitting try working outside.
  5. Think about how good it will feel to not have the pressure of the project weighing on your mind. Consider that it feels worse to not do it than it feels to do it.

Improving Life Balance

Why does LIFE BALANCE seem to be so elusive? Because it’s imaginary.  No one is ever in equal balance.  An admired colleague Krista Clive Smith once described it more like a symphony where different parts are louder than others at different times, but when listening to it as a whole it is harmonic and beautiful.

What would be possible if you gave yourself permission to live in harmony and not strive for perfect balance all the time?

I divide my “life pie” into 4 parts; business, family, service and self-care.  No day, week or month is ever the same.  If I lived in balance, my pie would look like this:finding life balance

Not only is this unrealistic, imagine how boring life would be if every day and every week were the same.  More realistically my life looks like this:Finding Life BalanceOne may say I’m never in balance, but that’s okay.  Collectively my pies makes sense.  By accepting that my life pie isn’t always going to look the same I find peace and harmony.  Understanding this makes me feel grounded, happy and successful.  How do you think a shift of perspective about life balance would effect you?

Making Change Stick

I recently attended a workshop with Alan Weiss, The Million Dollar Consultant. He discussed how to successfully change habits.  He stated that if you change one thing at a time you have a 92% chance of success.  If you change two things at once your chance of success declines to 53%.

What does that mean for your productivity?  It means take it one step at a time. Take the time to integrate each change before adding something new.  Don’t rush.  Be kind to yourself.

Instead of changing your calendar, your task system, your schedule, and your paper systems all at once, change one thing at a time.  Integrate it, be comfortable with it, get it right.  Only when it has become a part of your routine should you make another change. It’s a slow process, but better slow and steady than back where you started.