Tip 42: Staying Healthy While Doing Good

02 May 2017 6:00 AM | Heather Kaye (Administrator)

We can all get off track and lapse into unhealthy habits, especially if we are dedicated to our mission. “Operating under the strain of insufficient resources and motivated by a strong sense of moral urgency, they can find it difficult to limit their work hours, take breaks, and tune out their emails while at home.” says Rebecca Koenig.

I think what happens with nonprofits in particular, we are empowered by a mission, we are passionate about the work we do, and we don’t want to do anything less than our very best.
Tara Collins, Rupco
Director of Communications and Resource Development

8 Tips for Staying Healthy While Doing Good
These tips are simple, but powerful. Read each one and honestly assess yourself. Make a commitment to implement changes for your health and happiness.
  1. Be Realistic Keep your work in perspective. Remember that you cannot do it all, all the time. Don't let yourself lapse into becoming a martyr.
  2. Strive for Balance We all work extra hours on occasion. Make it an exception, not the rule. Discuss comp time for situations where extra effort is required, and make sure you take it. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for burnout.
  3. Organize and Prioritize Plan and prioritize your responsibilities at the beginning of each day, week, and month. Be proactive not reactive. Know the most important task for the day and start with it versus answering emails. Keep your three most important monthly tasks in movement everyday.
  4. ‘Not Right Now’ If you have a pressing issue, learn to say ‘not right now’ when the next request crosses your desk. Be specific and reschedule the deadline for a later time and/or day. For tight deadlines that require concentration, put a do not disturbsign on your door.
  5. Reduce Distractions Reduce distractions to improve your productivity during the workday and decrease the need to work extra hours. If possible, set aside one day a week with no meetings, so you can focus on work and get a lot done.
  6. Set a Good Example As a leader, you can create the open environment for others to share when they are becoming overwhelmed. Work as a team to adress unique stresses. By managing your stress well, you lead by example.
  7. Take Breaks Know your limits and when to recharge. A break for lunch or a walk can help refocus your mind for greater productivity.
  8. Remember the Mission Never forget the larger calling of your organization. It's the people we help, and during stressful days, it can be easy to forget the good we do in the world.
You know taking time to relax or do other things is important, but it’s hard when you have so many things you want to get done and don’t want to let anyone down.”
Maggie Siemer, Girls on the Run
Operations Director
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