Here’s the latest installment in our series on the “Day in the Life” of nonprofit communicators, where we ask you to describe your day in your own words.
Would YOU like to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.
By day, Althea Allen Dryden is a Marketing & Communications Associate for JustFaith Ministries, a national faith based social justice organization. By night Althea is a Super-Hero-in- training (aren’t we all). Her daily goal is to love the way she lives and live the way she loves–fiercely and fearlessly.
Here is a typical day:
Before 8:00 am: Typically, I’m still at home getting ready or dropping my son off at school…after checking my emails and maybe Facebook while still under the covers! We all do that, right?
8:00 am – 10:00 am: One of the best things about my organization is that we start each morning around 9:15 with a prayer/meditation circle where a staff member leads us in prayers, poems, readings or songs around a theme that resonates with them or what is going on in the world. It’s a meaningful ritual that keeps us grounded in our work and connected to each other.
Then it’s time to respond to emails and revisit the list of things to accomplish that day which I try to compile before I leave each day. I’m old school and use a white board for my list. Oh, and I also use actual file folders to keep all the paper plates spinning. Straight up retro, I am.
10:00 am – 12:00 pm: We are in the process of a major technological integration campaign so there are planning meetings and vendor meetings and lots of brainstorming on the possibilities which I find invigorating on one hand and excruciating on the other (This plug-in will do what? That will take how long? You need to download what?) Part of the fun and fear is that I’m new to the position, and really the field, so it can be overwhelming but in an amusement park kind of way. Eat all the sugary snacks. Ride all the rides. Throw up. Repeat.
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Another lovely ritual at my workplace is a community lunch time at one big table. My office is off the kitchen so I always know the time based on the rummaging sounds…coffee/tea at 9am, lunch at noon, coffee/tea at 2pm. I must confess, I’m not a big lunch eater so I often continue working while my colleagues gather right outside my door. I get the fascinating conversation without the calories!
We often have team meetings in the afternoons so depending on the day I’m either in meeting mode or using the afternoon to work on coordinating content for our newsletters, social media, website or editing program and promotion documents.
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: I try to catch up on reading and watching blogs, webinars, books and other tools of the trade. In other words, I turn on Pandora and try to be proactively productive as opposed to the reactive productivity that occurs when one responds to emails and avoids her well crafted To Do list.
I try to leave each day with a framework for the next; however, more often than not, I’m floating tasks day to day and adding new ones. Weekly accomplishments is the way to go I think so I only feel bad on Fridays and then only until happy hour.
I’m fortunate to have great colleagues so every day is filled with a bit of care and concern for people and the planet alongside a genuine love of laughter and revelry. It’s about 4:00pm everyday when I realize how quickly the time has passed and how much I look forward to coming back tomorrow.
After 4:00 pm: Closing time is 5:00pm and I head off to pick up my 4th grader from school for a night of care, concern, laughter and revelry and the amusement park that is 9-year-old boys! Unlike previous jobs, I really do leave this work at the door. Not because I don’t love it, but because I do. It gets my attention when I have it to give and that usually happens to be the 40 hours I’m paid for paying attention. Learning is daylong and lifelong and the ways I sustain my Self are just as important as responding to an email or reading up on content marketing strategies.
Want to be featured in this series? Tell us what you do in a typical day as a nonprofit communications pro.