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Mission: A Tool for Finding Balance

Lately I've been thinking a lot about work-life balance. It's an ongoing challenge, made even more difficult by smartphones. (Exponent Philanthropy recently wrote a great post about this.)

For me, I know that when I feel out of balance, I just need to step back and look at the big picture. I ask myself: What is most important overall?

This usually leads me to realize two things:

1. If I don't stay up late in order to finish ONE MORE EMAIL, the world will not come to a crashing halt.

2. If I am not taking care of myself, then I cannot very well help other people. This includes eating well, sleeping well, and spending time with family and friends.

I believe the same exercise is useful for nonprofit organizations.

It is easy to get out of balance with so many meetings, priorities, funders' wishes, shiny new technologies, social media, etc. competing for your time and attention.

Take a step back and look at the big picture. Ask yourself: What is most important overall?

Now check out your organization's mission statement. What does it say?

I bet you answered the same to both questions.

So, look at how you're spending your time, energy and money. It is moving your organization closer to accomplishing its mission?

Photo credit: prefect on Flickr