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New Media and the One-Person Non-Profit Shop Dilemma, Part 2

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OK, see, I get it! It's been a LONG time since my last entry. Why? I got busy, of course.

Let's tally up my excuses:
3 grants due November 15
1 grant due December 1
Totaled my car (oops)
Playing catch up in January
5 grants due in February (four done, one to go)

That's a pretty full list. Any of it sound familiar? We in the small shop have a lot to do, and of course we all still have family obligations as well. And yet, we KNOW perfectly well that we have to find the time to blog, to update our profile on Facebook, launch an email newsletter, and maybe even tweet.

So, now that we're well into the new year, let's make a resolution together: somehow, we are going to find the time to do this new media thing. Here are my thoughts on how those of us who are always trying to do a million things at once can manage. 

1. Set achievable goals. I started out thinking I would be able to blog weekly. You've seen how well that's worked for me! Instead, I am going to set a goal of monthly posts, with more frequent updates on Facebook. Instead of trying to find an hour a week, find ten minutes.

2. Schedule the time for new media, just as you would any other appointment or task. I'm starting to think that this stuff is as important, maybe more so, than some of the tasks that we've always considered essential. Yes, you still need to work on that grant, but maybe you don't need to do something else.

3. Pick what's going to work for you and your audiences. You don't have to do everything. If you're trying to decide where to start, I'd suggest a Facebook page for your nonprofit. It's free, and doesn't take much time to set up. Also, every page looks pretty much the same, so you don't have to worry about competing on design and "flash." Your board will be impressed, and you can decide where to do from there.

4. Do less with less. If you have scarce time and resources, you can't do more. You need to cut back. Sounds obvious, but somehow we've all fallen into this belief that somehow we can achieve more with the same resources. The U.S. government reports huge growth in corporate productivity in December 2009. That means that people in the workforce are being pushed about as hard as they can be. I'm sure you can relate. From the "non-essentials" list that you created from Part 1 of this post, pick one thing to drop. There's your 10 minutes to work on new media.

5. Find some part of new media that you enjoy, and make it a priority. This is one I have to remember myself! Somehow we always manage to find the time to do things that we enjoy, whether it's working with clients, talking with donors, checking our email, or watching TV. If you resent a task, you won't push to get it done.

I have some other thoughts, too, mostly having to do with mobile devices and the role that they will play in our work... but I'm saving that for next month. Really. I promise.

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