A few weeks ago I took some vacation time with my family and for the first time in a very long time, I did not work at all during my 7 days out of the office. Okay, I did answer one email, but that was it!
I will say that during my 7 days away from the office, I enjoyed the company of those around me and didn’t find myself worrying about things going on in the office that I really couldn’t do anything about anyway. However, leading up to my time off, I did work a few extra hours the week prior and came back to 500+ emails, a pile of mail on my desk and a “revolving” office door the first couple of days. It wasn’t until Monday afternoon that I found myself thinking, “is going on vacation really worth it?” I was 300 emails into the prior week’s questions, inquiries, requests and FYIs. With fatigue beginning to set in, I kept thinking it would have been much easier to have stayed home and come to work. I know I am not alone in my feelings, it can be overwhelming to take time off but in the end it well worth it.
If I would have stayed home I would have missed seeing my son jumping in the pool and going under for the first time all by himself. I would not have had that pedicure, finished a book by the pool, or talked with my dad while we stood together in the middle of the bay, fishing poles in hand. I also found myself looking forward to returning to the office Monday morning, even though I knew I would have a mountain of emails and people lined up at my door.
I encourage everyone to take some time off. We all can take our jobs too seriously at times, but I have some shocking news for you… are you sitting down? The world will move on without you. Some people will miss you more than others, but life will go on. It is important to spend that time with those who matter most in your life and take some time for yourself.
Joe Robinson, author of Work to Live: The Guide to Getting a Life and founder of the Work to Live movement get’s it and is working hard to change the tide of our overworked culture. According to the movement’s Web site (www.worktolive.info), American’s put in two to three times more months in total hours on the job each year than Europeans and two and a half weeks more than the Japanese. An Expedia.com survey stated that 63% of Americans work more than 40 hours per week and hand back more than $21 billion in unused vacation days each year.
Not taking vacation time leads to a series of health hazards, including higher stress, burnout, sleeplessness, heart disease and more. Working too much can also negatively affect your relationships with family and friends. From a business perspective, there are also benefits to giving employees time off, such as increased productivity, boost creativity, and increased morale. According to the Austin Business Journal, “…for every dollar of vacation benefit provided to employees, there is a $3 return on the benefit investment in the form of improved employee productivity and morale.”
So what I am trying to say is that taking time off is important! Whether you visit the Caribbean, take a road trip to the neighboring town or just stay home; schedule some time off to unplug from work and plug into life!
Erin Teter, SPHR
Sr. Human Resource Business Partner
Sage Business Solutions
(photo courtesy of Stacy Dyer)
Almost everything almost ever body almost ever tells you is almost always, always wrong—
or so said my business professor at the University of Maryland. I think he had a point. Before
accepting advice, whether personal or professional, it’s important to run it through the filter
of your unique circumstances, experience and goals.
It’s a sentiment shared recently by Richard Dietz, founder of Nonprofit R+D. Rich kicked off
our webcast: Improving Donor Engagement Online with the caveat that you should carefully consider the advice of any consultant who doesn’t know your organization inside and out.
I think of this when I see all the articles out there from social media experts. I worry that
it may overwhelm some nonprofits and prevent them from tapping into the potential of social media to engage donors, share their stories and raise funds online.
While there are sophisticated things you can do with social media, it’s really just another
tool in your toolbox. So I encourage those of you who aren’t yet leveraging it to get started today—by either listening or jumping in with a simple monitoring and participation plan.
Lurk before you leap
If you’re not yet comfortable diving into the social media world (and let’s face it you’d probably
be out there already if you were), start out by listening. Listen to what people are saying about
your organization—or if you don’t have a big enough presence to be on the radar, listen to what people are saying about others with similar missions that you admire. It’s easy to set up a Google Alert and get news about any organization delivered right to your inbox.
Start with a simple social media plan
Many people I talk to are nervous about using social media without a firm strategy in place.
It’s a missed opportunity—with social media so new, you can create a simple monitoring and
participation plan and wing it. You don’t have to be an expert. Once you’ve seen how it can
benefit your organization, you can firm up your strategy and get buy in from internal management. When’s the last time that was possible? Ever try to tell your boss you’re going to wing it with your fundraising strategy?
Social media is not going away and most of you are out there using social networks in your personal lives. Why not dedicate even ten minutes a day to using social media at your nonprofit?
How about you—are you having trouble taking the plunge? Share your experiences.
Senior Marketing Manager
For those of you that know me, you are probably pretty shocked to see me here. I am myself, and I am not sure if I really have anything to share with all of you that is going to add value to what you do every day.
But, I was asked to write because we really want to show all of you how committed to your success we are as a business. So, I thought what's the big deal? I can figure out something to share. Here goes!
Al's sales tip #1:
Set objectives- Whether you are a nonprofit or a for profit you must set objectives. They help define your team, set expectations, and are the basis for personal achievement and production. Trust me, this sounds simple, but I know setting strong leading objectives can be a real challenge. You must really evaluate where you are and where you are heading. If any of you have come up with good tips for objective setting, I would love to hear them.
And, as we move through the year, I plan to share more tips with you and hear how your organizations achieving your goals.
VP of Sales