I’m writing this post three days into Spring in North America. I love the equinoxes and solstices because they mark the passage of time in very clear and natural ways. These natural cycles or rhythms are essential to all life.

Yet when we look at the nonprofit organizations we work for, we often treat them and ourselves as employees like machines, rather than living organisms.

I’m not trying to be philosophical. This is actually really important to the creativity and effectiveness of your communications team and to preventing burnout.

The Seasons of Nonprofit Work

One of our three suggestions for more peaceful time management at work is to seek out and then embrace the cycles or seasons of your nonprofit’s work and rest time. This is part of our larger CALM not BUSY framework for nonprofit communications pros.

Healthy growth demands rest. When does the work ebb and flow in your nonprofit? Where are the dormancy or recovery periods? If there are none at all, that’s a problem!

I’m not talking about times when your organization shuts down entirely, although those vacation days are great, too!

But what I mean is when does your organization stop to take stock of what’s been going on? When do you reflect? When does everyone get a chance to catch up with nothing new thrown at them?

Or do you only focus on the busy seasons, like end-of-year fundraising season, or whatever programmatic crunch times everyone dreads?

You also need to discuss how seasons for one part of the organization often precede or follow seasons for other parts. That’s especially true for nonprofit communicators who are busiest before everyone else as they do all of the marketing and communications for the programmatic work, events, etc., to come. 

Using our Big Picture Communications Timeline is a great way for organizations to start identifying the seasonality of their work, especially through a communications lens.

Know Your Own Rhythms, Too

What about you personally? How can you better pace your work at different times of day, days of the week, weeks of the month, and months of the year?

Look at the hours and days on your calendar. Are you giving yourself time throughout the week to process, think, and reflect?

If you’d like some help thinking through this from an organizational perspective, here are a few articles you might enjoy:

Movements and leaders have seasons – it’s important to know which one you are in

Seasonal nonprofit burnout disorder: You may be entitled to compensation

Tips for seasonal nonprofits to maximize the off-season  (Even if you aren’t a seasonal organization technically, it might help to pretend you are!)

The post Knowing the Seasons of Your Nonprofit’s Work appeared first on Nonprofit Marketing Guide (NPMG).