The next two weeks are rough. Either you are just counting down the days until you get off for the holidays or you are running around like you’re feet are on fire.

This post is for those of you NOT dealing with year-end communications right now – you just keep your head up. You got this!

For the rest of us who don’t want to start new projects before the new year or are just plain bored, here are my ideas for killing time at work that won’t look like you’re just wasting time or goofing off:

1. Complete These Two Exercises:

  1. Make a list of all of the things you do in a day (or week) at work – both big and small.
  2. Do a bran dump.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

I am ending 2021 by making sure I have completed everything I set out to do and starting 2022 off on the right foot by organizing my tasks, etc. (What you don’t have to tell them is these exercises also help you prevent burnout, manage expectations, combat imposter syndrome, and realize your worth. See the links above for more info.)

2. Take Our 2022 Communications Trends Survey. 

Every year in January we release the Annual Nonprofit Communications Trends Report, and it’s always filled with great data and insights on what’s REALLY going on in our field. All of that starts with YOU completing the Annual Trends Survey. It should only take about 10 minutes or so.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

The report that comes out of this survey can help guide us into creating strategies and workflows that can help us save money, increase engagement and have a very successful 2022.

3. Visit a Co-Worker in Another Department

Be sure to have a prop of some sort like a file or report and station yourself so that you can see anyone approaching.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

Wave the prop around and use words like “synergy” and “cohesion” or “silos” and you should be fine.

4. Browse a Library

We have both a Free Membership Library and one for our All-Access Pass Holders. Take some time to browse through the resources there and download anything you find interesting. Or you can check out my weekly Mixed Links round-ups or use Google to find other helpful resources.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

Professional development is very important to me. Then quote the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance: “Nonprofit professional development increases organizational efficiency. Greater efficiency creates a greater impact per resource spent toward your mission, leading to overall growth.” 

5. Audit Your Software

Go through your “marketing stack” and make sure you are using all the software you are paying for or if you are using it to its full potential.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

I am just making sure we are using everything we are paying for. Got to keep that overhead down, ya know!

6. Listen to a Podcast

Here are the best podcasts for nonprofit professionals according to Player FM.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

See “Browse a Library” above.

7. Search Stock Photo Sites

There is a ton of entertainment value here as there are some really really weird stock photos out there.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

[Have PowerPoint open or whatever presentation software you use] I am looking for the most engaging images for our next check-in with the board. 

Bonus Pro Tip!

If you would rather watch YouTube videos or TikToks, here’s how to quickly switch between browser windows and tabs so you don’t get caught (this is actually just helpful even if you aren’t trying to hide something from your boss):

  • Use Alt+Tab on PCs to switch from one window to another window. On Macs, use command+tab to switch between open applications.
  • Use Ctrl+Tab on PCs to switch between tabs within the same window. On Macs, use control+tab to switch between tabs in the same window.

What to tell your boss if you get caught:

Just show them that cute puppy video you were looking at and I’m sure they’ll understand.

Published On: December 20, 2021|Categories: #NPCommLife|

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