Friday, June 8, 2012
A day in the life - BelieveJay
So, I don't know at the moment where everyone's at, but I thought perhaps I'd let everyone know where things stand with me. I thought it may be a good idea to quickly put into perspective how a day in June goes for a school fundraising professional - a peek behind the curtain so to speak.
I've been enjoying getting two kids off to school as the school year winds down. I head into the office where I try to put things into perspective for a while. While driving, I've been doing a lot of thinking, this time is valuable to me. Instead of feeling frantic to get going, I'm not feeling rushed. This patience is helping everyone feel good about their mornings.
I try not to start my day with the email inbox, but it's hard. Some days I know where I'm at, other times, I delve into the emails. My goal is to have 4 things to accomplish for the day. Usually, because of distractions, I get one or two knocked down.
My daily tasks can include anything from writing a series of blog posts to designing an entirely new offering. Today, in particular, I left my notebook and projects at home so it's just me and my computer. Because I produce a lot of content about fundraising in different formats, I'm doing a bit of reading as well.
We have music playing, but today, I've got that turned down in my office. I'm listening to a podcast. What I've noticed is I can only really concentrate on one thing at a time so, it's paused most of the time so I can do my work. I end up forgetting about it and work in silence :)
I'm trying not to eat too much so I'll have something small or even work through lunch. I do like to get out to restaurants, but that's pretty infrequent these days.
Chances are, there's some sort of pressing issue that comes my way. I work through things and wrap everything up. These days, I know there is no such thing as being done. I just get to satisfied that I did enough and head out. After all, the Fall fundraising season is just around the bend so there's plenty to do.
As summer approaches, I am getting out a lot more. Both boys are in baseball so we're usually off to a practice or a game of some sort. I'm valuing my time with the boys more and more and although I'm usually thinking about business in some capacity, I put that aside and focus my attention on them. We're also planning a lot of swimming and that's just now possible outside here in Colorado. We'll be heading to the pool just for a bit of fun or we'll get a walk in. Something outside is our goal for the summer.
There are two (or wait, three) extremes in the evening:
Fired up, ready to work all night.
So tired I check out.
Although this is somewhat of a simplified version, I have many nights where I work very late. If I am not at a computer, I'm thinking furiously about things. This usually means I can't sleep well. From there, I may have a night of I just gotta sleep and sleep now. Infrequently, I feel like getting my mind off things and watch a bunch of Netflix streaming stuff (mostly Discovery, A&E type stuff).
Well, that's how it goes this time of year.
I'm doing a lot of reading and absorbing what I see around me these days and I'm formulating my plan for getting through the Fall fundraising season.
Very few people experience almost all their year end up in one short moment, but fundraising folks do.
As a company, we'll do most of our business in less than 8 weeks. That's a lot to prepare for. I'm very concerned about the customer experience of our business, but I also know that I am only one person, incapable of making that experience perfect for everyone. So, I question systems and rules because I want people to have a seamless experience - free of anything that brings up negative emotions.
There's so much to do but balance is critical. I know very well the unhealthy lifestyle that comes with me working too hard. I'm not ready for it yet. Fall will come.