September 10, 2013

How to Overcome Income Procrastination

A New Way to Tweak Your To-Do List–that Will Leave You Seeing More Bank Deposits.

The last thing Rose wanted to do was procrastinate about developing income at the nonprofit where she was CEO. Yet, she found herself doing just that. At the end of too many days, she realized she had done too little to grow her income. In part, it was because income development requires a series of disciplined steps, each having little urgency.

Rose needed a system to keep income development front and center. Together we designed a simple process to prioritize the nonprofit’s income tasks.

You can use it too.

Before she left work each day, Rose already set her agenda for the next day, prioritizing the urgent over the important. Next to each task on her to-do list, she made two notations:

  • 1, 2, or 3 for urgent, with 1 being most urgent, and
  • A, B, or C for importance, with A being most important.

The most important step she added was to add a third notation:

  • $, ¢, 0 for income, with $ providing the most potential income long-term.

Now her daily task list looks like this:

  • Call Doris Donor 3, A, $
  • Complete staff evaluations 1, A, 0
  • Update webpage, 2, B, ¢

By evaluating for income and prioritizing it, Rose calls Ms. Donor first, even though staff evaluations are equally important and more urgent. By doing income growth tasks first, Rose grows more income and helps Rose reach her goal of hiring a COO to manage more of the tasks on her list.

Even better. Rose finds that many income development tasks take a few minutes and provide her peace of mind all day.

Evaluating your to-do list for long-term income potential allows you to quickly identify income-generating activities, create focus, and overcome your procrastination. Add a third notation to your time planning toolbox.

For more answers, explore Karen’s Nonprofit CEO Library.

And sign up for Karen’s CEO Solutions for answers delivered to your inbox.

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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