Photo courtesy of Flickr user Mario in arte Akeu (http://www.flickr.com/photos/akeu/)

Managing Your Best Nonprofit Marketing Resource: Time

Every afternoon as I walk to the kitchen in our office to make a cup of coffee, I think about how quickly time has gone by.

It’s already 3:15 p.m., and there is so much more to get done.Time has run out on me. Our clients echo the same sentiment in emails:

“Something else popped up. Can I get my feedback on those Facebook images tomorrow?”

“Our server crashed today so I am busy getting our email back up. Can we postpone our meeting until Friday?”

“I don’t know what happened, but its 5:00 and I still have 15 unread emails I need to get to before I leave. Catch up tomorrow?”

As an nonprofit digital advertising agency, time is a precious resource, so we are pretty protective of it. We’ve found a few tools along the way that have helped us gain better insights into how we spend our time. This isn’t Six Sigma black belt material, rather just some cool life-hacks we discovered to make the most of every day. As a nonprofit employee, you are probably in the same boat. Check out these three simple tips to get your day back and enjoy that afternoon coffee without the anxiety of looking at the clock.

Step 1: Create a game plan

What is on your plate? Facebook? Twitter? Email? Google Analytics? Be realistic about how long it takes to effectively handle these tasks. Take into account how much total time you have to complete everything – 10 hours? 15 hours? Based on that, set aside time for each task. Having a strong grasp of how to utilize various platforms efficiently can play a big role in saving time. Check out our 10 tips for an effective nonprofit content strategy.

Step 2: Stick to game plan

We are big believers in technology being a force for good. We use two web-based apps to help us stick to our game plan.

1. RescueTime.com This tool runs in the background and lets you know your productivity based on web activity. It also has a great feature called “Get Focused” that will block distracting sites like funnyordie.com for a certain period of time.

2. Toggl.com  This is a time-tracking software that is simple to use. It can be downloaded to your desktop, smartphone and tablet. It can also run in your browser. It has a one-click timer function and gives you the ability to edit any entry if you forget to turn off the timer. But here’s the best part: The company offers a nonprofit discount!

Step 3: Reevaluate game plan

You found out you are an efficient and effective time management machine, but it still didn’t help you find 10 more hours in your week to get another handful of emails out or to better segment your messaging. Maybe it’s time to re-allocate some staff hours? Tell your boss you want to put in some overtime? Or go with our favorite solution: Hire Media Cause to be your new nonprofit marketing resource. Not only can we give you more time, but we can make you a mean cup of joe.