I first met Jody at the Arkansas Women Bloggers Conference in 2011 and was utterly impressed with how composed and motivated she was. This is a woman who is the executive driector of a busy nonprofit organization, has a family, attends church regularly, in engaged in her community, and manages to get to the gym at some ungodly hour every day. When I saw her email interview come in I was overwhelmed with the sheer awsomness of her system - so detailed, so organized.
Jody, what To Do system are you using now? Online, paper, mix? Because I always have my email open on my desktop, I’m using the TASK list in Microsoft Outlook. I also put project deadlines on my Outlook calendar and schedule time leading up to those deadlines to complete the projects.
Wow, that is completely impressive. What really works for you to get stuff done? Blocking off time on my calendar to dedicate to certain important tasks. For example, scheduling a half day to “work on 2013 budget” or “complete grant report.”
Do you keep multiple lists? What kinds? No, unless you count the grocery shopping list.
Can you explain what that is and how you made the switch to digital? For a long time I would sit down at my desk first thing everyone morning and jot down all the items that had been racing through my head all day. Then, as the day went on, I’d find myself adding other notes to my To-Do list, which not only cluttered it up but it also filled the page. Out of necessity, I’d have to turn to a clean page and, it’s true what they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.”
Now, I keep my To-Do list in my TASK list in Microsoft Outlook, and I can still have that sheet of paper at my side to jot notes, etc.
What do you struggle with to get it all done? Distractions (email) and interruptions (phone calls from board members, text messages from my kids, staff questions). I’m also prone to follow the occasional shiny object.
Your system is amazing how do you reward yourself when you cross things off your list? Going home at the end of the day without a million things running through my head is its own reward but the truth is, I rarely do! When I complete a BIG, BIG project – like a significant grant or grant report – I’ll go home early and sit on my deck.
Have you been successful at getting family or coworkers to adopt your to do strategy? I assign tasks to my staff and use the Outlook calendar to indicate deadlines for them as well. I don’t know if they “adopted” it for themselves for other projects, but they do utilize it for those things that I assign!
Because life is full of silly moments, what is one of the strangest, funniest, odd things that have been on your to do list in the past? When I worked as the Director of Development in another nonprofit, we utilized shared Outlook Calendars. One of the most important deadlines I had was to have my Depo-Provera shot every three months. My male boss told me (with a beet red face, I might add) that it embarrassed him when he saw that appointment pop up every few months. I told him he could either deal with the occasional embarrassment, or he could expect that I’d be taking significant maternity leave within the next year. He opted to deal with his own embarrassment.
More about Jody: Jody Dilday (@jdilday) has spent her career raising awareness and support for nonprofit organizations. Currently she serves as the executive director of the Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas (@SPSFNWA), where she leads a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to achieve the mission, vision and strategic goals of the organization.
Jody was introduced to blogging while on assignment with the public affairs team assigned to the Houston Astrodome during the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina. She returned home and started a “mommy blog” – purely as a hobby and virtual scrapbook. In 2008 she decided to integrate blogging into her organization’s overall communications plan.
Jody is a founding member of Womenade of Northwest Arkansas, and a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She serves on the board of directors of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, and is a past president of Northside Fayetteville Rotary Club. In 2010 Jody was included in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40.” But she is most proud of her role as WIFE to Mark Dilday and MOM to Gracie, Ethan and Genna.