Say NO to what is not essential, so that you can say YES to the work that matters most. Prioritization is not about getting more things done, it is about getting the RIGHT things done. Learn strategies and frameworks to help you better prioritize in this episode.
Andrea Stevenson | Solutions Engineer, Foundant Technologies
Drea is a dynamic and analytical professional with 15+ years of experience in operations management and marketing/communications across a variety of industries. She has held just about every position one can hold in the nonprofit world including Executive Director. She is a natural leader with a proven history of driving revenue, executing successful projects, and strengthening positioning by navigating the intersection between business strategy development, integrated marketing, and operations.
Drea’s Strategy Screen:
- Does this align with our mission and support our strategic plan?
- Must leverage our mission advantage
- Does this communicate our vision?
- Must engage our key stakeholders
- Is this accessible/ inclusive?
- Must support people in reaching their full potential beyond meeting their basic needs
- Impact must be measureable (both qualitatively and quantitatively)
- Must be financialy sustainable through earned or contributed revenue
- Strategic consideration of the allocation of our resources must be determined before a program is added.
- Saying no
- Making time for self-care and letting your mind wander
- Compass: Connect with other members of the philanthropic community at Community.foundant.com
- Webinars: register here
- Social: Follow Foundant Technologies on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Instagram
- Website: Foundant.com
- Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous prioritization framework: https://todoist.com/productivity-methods/eisenhower-matrix
- Tangible tactics for prioritizing your work: https://www.lifehack.org/858070/how-to-prioritize
Drea Stevenson 00:00:00:01
You cannot do everything well. You can do some things well. So you really have to be selective on what is a good fit for your organization or your personal life. I've learned to say no.
Rachel Myers 00:00:15:19
Hello, everyone, and thanks for joining us for this episode of Connected Philanthropy. My name is Rachel Myers. I'm guest hosting this podcast today. As we take a closer look at how we can use prioritization to help us all manage the many tasks and requests and emails and meeting invitations and projects that we are juggling. And especially as we start the new Year, I am realizing maybe some of you are experiencing what I just decided to call the circle back effect, where all the meetings you had in December, everyone ended the meeting by saying, Hey, let's circle back after the New Year.
Rachel Myers 00:01:06:21
Great. Yes, let's do it. Circling back, circling back. All those circling backs are creating a whirlpool of demands for our time and attention. So it seems like a good time to think about how prioritization can help us. And today we are very fortunate to have a special guest joining us to dig into how we can use prioritization to work smarter, not harder.
Rachel Myers 00:01:34:15
So Andrea Stevenson, who is a let me get this right, Andrea, you're a solutions engineer? No, what are you?
Drea Stevenson 00:01:43:07
Yes, Isnt that the coolest title in the world? I think it's the coolest title ever.
Rachel Myers 00:01:48:24
It really is. And it's kind of perfect for today, isn't it?
Drea Stevenson 00:01:52:17
It's perfect for actually every person I know, because every person is solutions, engineering their life and trying to balance and so I always say I'm a solutions engineer and I just kind of giggle and I'm like, And you are as well. Let I meet somebody. And they're like, you know, catch them off guard.
Rachel Myers 00:02:12:13
I love that. Let's be solution engineers together today. This is great because the truth is, friends, if you're too busy to think and sort of get control of your tasks, you're just too busy, period. And we want to help you. We want all of us to have that time space and energy to focus in on what is most important.
Rachel Myers 00:02:36:28
So let's hear a little bit more about Andrea's story before we get started. So, Andrea, would you share just a little bit about your work history and how you landed in the seat you're sitting in now?
Drea Stevenson 00:02:48:01
I will. I similar to you, I've been on the board, I've been in e d, I've been in events, sponsorships, you know, gosh, everything I think every nonprofit person who has been in it for a while has a just abundance of titles. So I'm an abundance title. Chief Baby, you know, Bottle washer as well. But my background is actually I'm a communications major from school.
Drea Stevenson 00:03:21:06
Had no idea I would be in the nonprofit sector for some reason. I just keep getting called back to that sector. I started out of school at a nonprofit in Vail, Colorado. Health and wellness for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Loved it. Did the events and development work there, then went into communications and marketing. So I also have that deadline urgency about my life that I always feel better.
Rachel Myers 00:03:50:18
I feel that. Big time.
Drea Stevenson 00:03:53:28
And then I became the CEO of our YMCA here in Montana and are in Bozeman. And I have sat in the seat of being a in debt nonprofit. How are we going to figure out, you know, how the system works to actually building a facility, capital campaign, Two of them here for our YMCA. And, you know, 2020 was a lot we'd be remiss if we didn't say 2020 was a tough year for everybody.
Rachel Myers 00:04:29:29
Drea Stevenson 00:04:30:29
Very challenging for nonprofits. We were trying to figure out how to keep the the lights on and, you know, keep everybody going. So took a break, stepped away from nonprofit land for about nine months, recaptured my love of puppies and flowers and life and all of the things that we always put on hold because we're so passionate about the work we're doing.
Drea Stevenson 00:04:56:08
And so you put those things on hold. So and then found out that found it in my backyard, was working on this fantastic software which I just fell in love with because I needed it. I needed what they were working on. And so I, you know, kind of said, I think I can do this job. Maybe I could help you, maybe I could help nonprofit is really where I wanted to go because the challenges I felt as an executive director and managing an organization and, you know, being transparent and providing reports to the board and keeping our staff going and blah, blah, blah, all of those things, you know, we can have we can have
Drea Stevenson 00:05:38:25
tools that help us do that. And so I'm excited to be part of this and this I'm a solutions engineer, which means I work with a variety of nonprofits around the country, understanding where their pain points are with software, seeing if what our nonprofit core software is a fit for them. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's not. Let's be very honest about the challenges and, you know, try to help them navigate that and move into a place that really speaks to what we're talking about today.
Drea Stevenson 00:06:13:05
Prioritization, you know, and software can be an asset to help you gain a little bit more time in your day.
Rachel Myers 00:06:21:10
It really can, Yes. And it can also, like many tools, take a lot of time and energy away right? It can it can be both sides of that coin. But you're absolutely right. The pandemic was it it was sort of it amplified a lot of the challenges that so many of us in the nonprofit and philanthropic sector have dealt with for years, which is trying to do more with less all the time, just pushing it because we love our work, we love our communities, we love our missions.
Rachel Myers 00:06:56:12
We want to see impact. It's very, very seductive to just add, add, add and never take away. And here's the big secret that I've learned about prioritization and I know we're on the same page. Andrea. Prioritization isn't about arranging your product, your projects and your priorities. It's about saying no. It's about taking things off your list. And we're going to dive into that a little bit more.
Rachel Myers 00:07:24:11
But first, Andrea, I'd love to hear sort of what from your perspective, like what are your biggest challenges when it comes to keeping those important projects and priorities front and center at the top of your list?
Drea Stevenson 00:07:38:02
I think and I think everybody listening will probably relate to saying no and being confident in saying no and saying no for the right reasons. Every nonprofit professional that I know is we work hard to improve lives, make people happy, help kids read, you know, save animals, whatever it is that we're doing. But there also comes a time where you have to step back and say, that's not a fit.
Drea Stevenson 00:08:11:00
That's we cannot do that. Well, can we? Do I remember when I was sitting in the ED role at the Y and programs and ideas are thrown at you every day. You know, you should do this. You should do that. You know, we could do this and you just can't you cannot do everything well. You can do some things well.
Drea Stevenson 00:08:33:17
So you really have to be selective on what is a good fit for your organization or your personal life. How does this feel to me? Am I going to be joyful in doing this? Am I not going to be joyful? And boy, when I'm not joyful, everybody probably knows. And that's not a good place to be.
Rachel Myers 00:08:51:28
We all pay the price, right?
Drea Stevenson 00:08:54:13
So I really do. I am guided and I think I have shared this with my many colleagues. I've learned to say no. And there is Steve Jobs, of course, gave this amazing speech at Stanford and one of his guiding principles. I mean, he's kind of a he was a busy guy. Right. And he said this very important thing that resonated with me.
Drea Stevenson 00:09:25:08
And it says, you know, say no to a thousand things. And it Jobs was proud of what Apple had chosen to do, but probably more proud of what they didn't do. And so when he came back in 1970 and 1997, he took a company with 350 products, you could say products slash programs. You, however, want to say that and reduce them to ten.
Drea Stevenson 00:09:57:11
Now, can you imagine sitting in a board meeting I can't imagine going to your board and saying, Hey, we're going to we're going to take 25 programs and we're going to we're going to go to five. And your board's probably looking across the table at you like or have you lost your marbles, lady, what is wrong with you?
Drea Stevenson 00:10:19:08
But there's a reason you say no. What's your cost analysis on that program? Have you studied it? Are you really making money on that program or what is it costing you? And I think nonprofits do this a lot with galas is a perfect example. You know, we have a gala. Let's have a gala will make $100,000. While the gala really cost you X, did we make $100,000?
Drea Stevenson 00:10:49:00
Can we say no to the gala? Can we brainstorm something that is better for us? Or think of a different path to raise better money, stronger money, more friends, more donors with less work?
Rachel Myers 00:11:02:20
I love that. Yeah, for sure. And it reminds me of sort of a trend or an approach that I have been hearing from a lot of my clients and other friends and colleagues in the nonprofit field. And it's about events like you're saying, like the true costs of events because it's not just the money, as you well know, Andrea, but the time and energy that the whole staff ends up contributing to that event.
Rachel Myers 00:11:32:19
What's the opportunity cost of that time? What else could they have been doing? Or another sort of related but slightly different look at it is how could we shift or rethink or reimagine this event so that it's more mission aligned? And I know that that was something that I worked on at some of the organizations that I worked at or LED, and also some of the clients that I'm working with.
Rachel Myers 00:11:59:18
I guess this is a neat event. The community loves it and yet does it really tie to them? Could we re-imagine it so that it ties more closely to your mission? Getting back to what you said, creating, it's almost like leveraging it to, you know, deepen relationships and draw more people into the cause as donors, not just as party goers, you know, So you want to do all your yesses and all your notes with great intention.
Drea Stevenson 00:12:26:15
Yeah. And I often think of the staff we we had about 160 staff members during our crazy time in the summer. And I often thought about when we were saying yes or no to programs or fundraisers or, you know, whatever it might be that people were approaching us with. Does my staff I mean, we could say yes to a thousand things, but what does that do to my team?
Drea Stevenson 00:12:54:14
You know, Are they I can tell you after gala we had a gala. It did very well. We did a cost analysis on it and it was it was worth it for us. But afterwards I called it the event Hangover, and we didn't drink a thing because the team was so present. We were so tired. It probably took us a good 2 to 3 weeks.
Drea Stevenson 00:13:18:22
And the problem, you know, after the event, the problem with the 2 to 3 weeks is the thank you had to go out. We had to start looking at the people who came to the event, you know, are we cultivating them?
Rachel Myers 00:13:29:06
How are we engage in them?
Drea Stevenson 00:13:30:15
You know, it's just.
Rachel Myers 00:13:31:15
Tasks never end , the n ever ending cycle.
Drea Stevenson 00:13:34:27
And and you keep thinking you're going to get a breath in your breath. And, you know, that's and the other thing that I have really been, I guess researching and examining is getting your breath. And my team used to laugh at me because, you know, a being a hamster on a wheel is is not very enjoyable.
Drea Stevenson 00:13:56:06
But my ideas would come to me in the shower in the morning and I actually had a whiteboard and there has been some research that's been very interesting that giving yourself the freedom to turn off your ever going hamster mind and not really think about the problem at hand. The solution was coming to me in the showers in the morning and I'd walk into the office and I'm like, I got it.
Drea Stevenson 00:14:26:21
And I would have a picture of my little, you know, piece of paper all drawn out. They're like, How do you do that? And I'm like, I took a shower.
Rachel Myers 00:14:34:22
Right? That's wild. But you are far from the only person I've heard talk about those moments of inspiration happening in the shower or on a walk.
Drea Stevenson 00:14:45:08
So on, you know, as we talk about prioritization, that's not something you prioritize. Well, I hope taking a shower is something you prioritize. But I didn't prior to, as you know, coming up with solutions to my issues. But when we look at our days that are so jam packed with taking care of people, are we taking that time to let our mind stop for a minute?
Drea Stevenson 00:15:09:08
Because I actually think we can be more productive if we take that walk or take your shower or however it is that you just turn off for a minute. You come back to your work fresh, you come back with maybe some new ideas, maybe not, but you've thought about something in a different way. It's just it's amazing how scheduling that time off will help you be more productive during your day.
Rachel Myers 00:15:38:07
That makes me think, thinking the number of times maybe you've had this experience where you're it's the end of the day, you're still working on trying to complete that report or that grant application, that letter, whatever it is. You have the project up and it is it is like knocking your head against a wall. You just can't quite get the right tone or the right send off or the right call to action.
Rachel Myers 00:16:03:10
And finally you leave it. You come back fresh the next morning and it's done in 10 minutes.
Drea Stevenson 00:16:11:02
Time out. And you spent you spent 45 minutes trying to write one sentence for that darn grant with the character limit. I know that. Yeah, it is amazing how it just even a drive time. That was one thing during COVID that I really missed. It sounds crazy and I didn't have a long commute, but that drive time to and from work allowed me That was a turn off time for me as well, where I was listening to, you know, Santana on the radio or something.
Drea Stevenson 00:16:38:27
And I walk into the office. But boy, COVID took that away. Color. You had no drive time. There was you were just on Zoom back to back to back. That's not healthy. That's not good. And when we I did learn a giant lesson. I did not do self-care during COVID. I did, like.
Rachel Myers 00:16:59:01
Many other people like and many, many people. It wasn't just you. But yes.
Drea Stevenson 00:17:03:17
An app by two in the but it really does because you don't perform well. You're not a good leader for your team. You're not a good family member. Your dog doesn't even like you some days and you know, that's not cool.
Rachel Myers 00:17:18:22
So but that's a sign, that's a red flag. You need to pay attention to that one.
Drea Stevenson 00:17:23:26
Yeah. I even had treats in my hand, You know, I don't want this. Eat this. I'm telling you, eat this. So I really have become that. It's just important in my life to have that decompress. And I really would urge anyone to have. I know you're busy. I know. I get it. Just take 5 minutes. Just step outside and bring some air.
Drea Stevenson 00:17:49:11
Talk to your mom for 5 minutes, You know, talk to your dog for 5 minutes. But that helps me reprise our times, my day. Sometimes it helps solve problems quicker so I can move on to the next item. So that helped me start my day. The other thing I have been working on more and more lately is not checking that darn email.
Rachel Myers 00:18:12:07
Ooh, email. Let's get into it. Talk about a priority shaker, Upper man.
Drea Stevenson 00:18:20:25
You know what? I. I read an article the other day is fairly recent and it just said why I need to get up, take my shower. My priorities are set this is what I must accomplish today. Then you go into the office and your emails blowing up and now all my priorities are scrambled. That's not fair. And now we, you and I have kind of laughed a little bit because I had to set some guardrails up and when I was in my head role, the team kind of knew that nothing I would always ask them.
Drea Stevenson 00:19:03:10
They were like walking to my door. I'm sure everybody can relate to this. And they'd say, Oh my gosh, you wouldn't believe what just happened. We've got a blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is. And I'm like, Wait a minute. Is anybody bleeding? Are they in the hospital? Are the police involved? You know, are do we have the aid out?
Drea Stevenson 00:19:21:28
I mean, those are emergencies, right? The other things. Okay, let me finish. Let me get to a point where I can finish what I was doing and I promise we'll get to that or emergency. And most of the time, Rachel, as you know, when you went back to that emergency, it really wasn't quite as urgent as the emotion felt at that moment.
Rachel Myers 00:19:44:28
Exactly. It was happening right then. So it felt urgent, but really, it didn't need your attention right that minute. And I was talking about email and juggling those sort of unpredictable demands on your time. It reminds me of a great quote I heard in a training a few years ago where the woman giving the the training said email is a container for other people's priorities.
Rachel Myers 00:20:11:19
And ever since I heard email framed up in that way, it changed the way I think about it. So here's one tip that I was exposed to recently that has really changed how I work. And and that tip is very, very straightforward. It's don't start your day with email, start your day by looking at your to do list, your task list, whether that's on paper or using technology.
Rachel Myers 00:20:40:13
And look at your calendar. Of course, you're going to have to look at your email. We know that. But start with what you have already identified. Like you were saying before, your priorities and your what you need to do for your day. And then when the time is right, open up that email and you know, fit that in where appropriate.
Rachel Myers 00:21:02:17
So I'm curious how that lands with you.
Drea Stevenson 00:21:04:29
Well, we actually in my past role, we developed what we call the strategy screen. And, you know, it sounds kind of funky, but boy, did it help you really start to, I don't know, understand what was critical or important and you could develop one for your profession. You could also develop one for your personal. I let me just read a little bit of the strategy screen, and this all comes directly from my nonprofit work.
Drea Stevenson 00:21:41:18
So prior to let's say you came to me with a great idea for, you know, kids Clay throwing whatever it might be, I would ask these questions, Does it align with our mission and support our strategic plan revitalization strategies? I don't know if that one does or not. Let me do a little more research. Must leverage our mission advantage.
Drea Stevenson 00:22:07:23
What is our advantage in what we're serving? Well, in my particular role, I had some you know, we were very youth oriented. Well, might be does children's clay throwing. And I'm not talking about sporting clays. I'm talking about, you know, the kind you put on the wheel and turn. How does that communicate our vision? I don't know if that really communicates our vision or not.
Drea Stevenson 00:22:37:13
Here was a real key. Must engage our key stakeholders, the staff, the volunteers, the members, the partners to support our mission and help us meet our critical community needs. Well, we often forget about our stakeholders when we're developing programs or, you know, fundraisers or whatever. Is it accessible, inclusive, must support people in reaching their full potential beyond basic needs.
Drea Stevenson 00:23:07:11
Impact must be measurable, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Must. Okay. Here's a here's one. It killed a lot of ideas. Must be financially sustainable through earned or contributed revenue. Whoa.
Rachel Myers 00:23:24:02
Yes. I mean, that just makes sense. Right. And see how it could be a great idea. It could meet the mission. It could be meet all your other criteria. But if financially it doesn't make sense.
Drea Stevenson 00:23:37:06
How are you going to support this for the next? You can write a couple of grants, you know, great support. So for this year, what's the long term? Am I going to be writing grants for the next 50 years of my life to support the children's clay throwing program? That doesn't really seem like it is a good program to to undertake.
Drea Stevenson 00:23:57:07
And my last one, this was speaking to our people. Strategic consideration of the allocation of our resources must be determined before a program is added. So do I have the team? Do I have the staff? Am I willing to roll up my sleeves and do clay throwing? But the strategy screen is a little bit. It's a helpful tool in helping you say no and you create your strategy screen before you've got a program in front of you because that's not the right time to create it because you're now looking at it with a different lens.
Drea Stevenson 00:24:32:27
But if you can create your strategy screen and like I said, it could be a personal one. You know, it does this for an example of a bullet point. Does my yes here. But you know, help me feel better about my community or giving back. Does this cost me money? What's my time value in this? There are just different strategies that you can develop that help you weed out.
Drea Stevenson 00:25:03:23
And I think that's what we're really talking about. You need to weed out what is not valuable and important in your professional life and your personal life. I don't I'm not saying dish everything. I'm just saying I want to do things that I'm really present for.
Rachel Myers 00:25:21:17
Yes. With intention. Yeah.
Drea Stevenson 00:25:23:27
Not just. Yeah, there, you know.
Rachel Myers 00:25:26:12
Emotion. I think I think that's so true. And I think the other thing that comes to my mind when I think about the strategy screen, just maybe one easy one for your own personal eval individually is like, is this a line? Is this in alignment with my core values? You know, does this resonate with me on every level?
Rachel Myers 00:25:48:28
And I and I think the other thing for me is, I mean, this is, you know, does this take time away from something else I really need to commit to? Those are the those are the two that I sort of keep at the top of my list. But I'd love to think more about doing an individual. Look at your screen.
Drea Stevenson 00:26:08:22
I'll give you this sample. Yeah, please. And I know with all of your experience that you get asked this a lot. I had someone asked me if I would become part of a committee of, you know, fundraising committee. Would I consider really, you know, sharing and giving my energy to that. And I had to pause for a minute, is a good friend of mine.
Drea Stevenson 00:26:34:03
Oh, man, it sucks, right? Don't put me in this position. This is so uncomfortable because I am not attracted to that mission whatsoever. I love that you are. And so there she was, sitting next to me in the car. We work out together every day. That's the other thing. Exercise helps you put priorities and stress advocate of that.
Drea Stevenson 00:26:57:20
There we are sitting in a car and she's asking me so nicely. We've all been in this position, you know, Would you would you consider you're a great fundraiser? Okay. If I do that, this is your strategy screen. If I do that at that, now takes away from a project that I'm really passionate about that I'm working on right now.
Drea Stevenson 00:27:19:10
I don't have unlimited time and my time is actually valuable. You know, if I had to put an hourly rate on my time and I had to pay some, you know, what would I be paid? Well, I might be paid this or that, but my time is valuable and I really am passionate about this other project. I'm sorry.
Drea Stevenson 00:27:39:16
I don't know how I can fit it all in. You know, I'm glad to share ideas with you, but I cannot come to your monthly meetings. I can't make that commitment to you. It's. I don't know any other way to say it sucks to say no.
Rachel Myers 00:27:53:10
Sometimes it isn't easy to say no. And we all I think a lot of us in the philanthropic and nonprofit sector, we are natural. Yes. Sayers like we want to make things work. And that's that's the culture. That's our mindset. And that's beautiful in some ways, except the reality of that, unfortunately, is time is valuable and time is finite.
Rachel Myers 00:28:19:25
There are literally only so many hours in the day and you cannot create more hours. So you have to make the choices, the trade offs to say yes or no for the hours that you have, knowing that this is it, there are no more hours to be had and you have to sleep and you have to do these other things.
Rachel Myers 00:28:41:15
So I think that's a that's a really great and important point I wanted to share to resources that I have found a lot of inspiration from with the folks who are listening. One of one of them is a book called Essentialism by Greg McEwan. It'll be in the show notes, but it's all about this idea of being absolutely intentional with the trade offs, what you say yes to, what you pass on, how to say no.
Rachel Myers 00:29:09:18
He has a whole chapter just getting back to what you were just saying of how to say no with grace, because it's not as easy as it sounds. I fully understand that. And then the other book that I read last year, it's called 4000 Weeks by Oliver Berkman, and it 4000 weeks is about the number of weeks you have if you lived to 80 years old.
Rachel Myers 00:29:34:13
So that's the premise of the book. And he also really digs into this idea that life is about tradeoffs and choices, because, again, there's only 4000 weeks and what do you want that time to be filled with? And what what's going to be most meaningful to you, to your organization, to your community and to your life, you know, to your own legacy?
Rachel Myers 00:30:00:16
So I just wanted to share those a couple of of resources. So anything else you want to leave the the folks who are listening with today?
Drea Stevenson 00:30:11:08
Andre Yeah, they're just a couple things because you had asked me like, how do you how did you make the most use of your time? And these are these are my trade secrets. So, you know.
Rachel Myers 00:30:24:18
I'm taking notes. So right.
Drea Stevenson 00:30:28:19
You don't have to pick up every phone call. And my team really helped me. I know if you are two person team or one person team, you can use the old voicemail. But I got a zillion calls a day from people with great ideas they want to share or they want to tell me something. And my team knew I'm really going to let it out of the bag now.
Drea Stevenson 00:30:56:08
They knew how to screen in the calls for me, so if somebody asked for Andrea, I was not available and they would say it goes to voicemail. If somebody would say, Andrea is Andrea, they're they're like, I'm not sure she's here. Let me pick in her office. They'd peek in and they'd say, Hey, Rachel's on the phone. I'm like, I can't talk to her right now.
Drea Stevenson 00:31:20:11
Voicemail If somebody called and asked for Drea, which is what most people know me by, they put the call through.
Rachel Myers 00:31:30:29
Okay, So I love that it was my little free trip. I was so.
Drea Stevenson 00:31:34:19
Smart. I'm all about screening. That was one that my team helped me. And if you don't have a team, if you're a single person shop, you don't have to pick up every call. I swear it goes back. Are you in the hospital? Are bleeding? Is are the police involved? Am I coming to jail? You know what? Those are the emergencies.
Drea Stevenson 00:31:54:13
The rest are not. Let it go to voicemail. You can get back to it. The other thing that I really started practicing at the end is the never ending meeting. This that takes up all of this time. I really began goal setting for my meetings. What is the goal of my meeting? I have 45 minutes to accomplish that goal.
Drea Stevenson 00:32:15:17
If I don't accomplish that goal within 45 minutes, because sometimes that's just not possible. I need to, in that meeting, promptly walk away, take my shower, come back and see if I've solved the issue, or that we can move on to a different topic. But going having meetings which I'm sure we're all like, You should come to this or you should be a part of this group or whatever.
Drea Stevenson 00:32:39:20
What's the goal? Why? Why do you want me there? What do you want me to contribute? What do you think I will receive from that? Those are just really I know they sound like very blunt questions, but they help you manage the never ending meeting suck time, right? The the meeting hall. So those are some you know, as I thought about this podcast, I'm like, what?
Drea Stevenson 00:33:02:27
What would I do differently? How would I manage my time to be more productive? That would definitely be it. And we talked about the email. It doesn't need to be checked, so it gives you a little bit more control of your day. You feel better when you're in control of your day, you're better productive person, so it's okay, but it let it go to voicemail.
Drea Stevenson 00:33:25:10
Don't check the email. It's okay.
Rachel Myers 00:33:28:05
Right. I think that's part of it is a mindset, right? Like kind of letting giving yourself some grace so that you can have some space I think is definitely part of it. And I also wanted to mention meetings are another passion area for me and we are going to have a podcast all about planning and facilitating, engaging and effective meetings.
Rachel Myers 00:33:55:01
That's coming up soon. So I can't wait to dig into that. But you're absolutely right. Number one tip of around meetings and making them work and serve everyone who's there is. Make sure you are clear on the purpose and the product. Why are we meeting and what are we going to come with? What are the objectives? What are the deliverables?
Rachel Myers 00:34:16:18
So that's a little teaser tip for a future podcast. But Drea, I really want thank you.
Drea Stevenson 00:34:24:07
I'll see you tonight. So you've made the phone screen. I'm going to get that call now.
Rachel Myers 00:34:28:28
I don't want to I want to make sure you're picking up my calls. So I am going to lead with Drea now. I'm really, really glad you were able to come and join this conversation. I your experiences, especially as an executive director, are just so valuable. And I love your reflection and how you've, you know, sort of looked back with like, hmm, here's some things I did that worked and here's some things I wish I'd done.
Drea Stevenson 00:34:56:10
I did a lot of that. I often say, Let me tell you about the mistakes so you don't make it. You'll make a wholeness set and I can learn from you, but you don't need to make the same stuff again. I've never done that.
Rachel Myers 00:35:08:25
So speaking of learning from each other, we would love to hear how you all tackle your priorities and stay focused on what's most important. So we have a conversation going over on campus. Please share out love too. I'm I am a lifelong learner and I'm always looking for that next piece of inspiration from a friend, colleague, or even a stranger to help me stay on track.
Rachel Myers 00:35:33:23
So please share your learnings over there. We'll put our resources on the on the show notes. And thanks again for joining us for.