This summer, to self evaluate, I tracked every minute of my day for 2 weeks. It was extremely insightful.   I learned how I spend my days, what is the most productive part, and what was time wasting. I also had a eureka moment. It gave me an idea that could help my colleagues in their challenge to train the future of their organization.

Recently, I have been commenting to colleagues about how organizations are ill prepared to bring on new or additional staff. I have suggested that the non-profit world needs to emulate the corporate world in the way it trains staff members. Especially when it comes to the development staff. The challenge is that so many non-profits are stretched beyond capacity. To develop a training plan is days they cannot afford to give. How can I help the non-profits I work with prepare to train and grow? This is an elephant that cannot be easily managed. Thus here is my idea.

Here is a 4-step process that will help you to develop a training process, build value in your role with others, and develop a true plan for success.

  • Pick a date from the first 10 days in each month, and log every minute of your day. Perhaps it is on the 7th of each month. Throughout this day, log every activity from driving to eating to the important activities of your position. Every minute from when you wake to when you sleep. When done – put this somewhere you will see it for the next week.
  • 1 week later – review what you did and prioritize your activities using a 1-5 scale. 1 is time wasting activities, like chatting at the water cooler. 3 are necessary activities like driving to a meeting or eating. 5 are revenue generating or activities that move the organization forward.
  • Choose one of the “5” ranked priorities and over the next week, right out the details of that item. Include the purpose and what the goal you are accomplishing with this activity. Say the item is “Doing acknowledgements” . Write out all the details, the process, the time requirements, the importance of connecting with donors. Eventually, you will create a template that you can use each time.
  • Once you have written out this task, share it with someone. Have them give you feedback and see if you shared the value of this part of your role. See if they can execute the task.

This 4-step process is over a month, committing 1-2 hours each week (managing the elephant). If you do this each month, you will end up with a manual for your position in a year.

Another benefit is the ability to identify tasks that you can share or pass on to another position. You also have documentation to give to your board when you say you need help. Now you have a basis for training.

Another good reference video:


Succession Planning or Planning for Success (In 4-steps).
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