I have been learning a lot about myself and my working style lately. A lot of my previous positions have involved non-traditional working hours and several work projects that had to be completed on my own time, and now that I have a more structured schedule, I’ve had to adjust the way that I work accordingly. One of the things that I’ve found to work best is keeping a journal that I use to brainstorm, create lists, and outline my thoughts and ideas throughout the day. This journal has given me something tangible that I can see that helps me stay on track with exactly what I need to do each day in order to complete my projects, and it helps to keep all of my ideas in one place rather than being scattered in a million different documents. I’ve been asked to blog-both about my study abroad experience earlier this summer and about the fellowship-quite frequently lately, and I have been reminded through those experiences about how much writing helps me to reflect, to be most productive, and to come up with some of my best ideas.
Though what I like to call “work journaling” probably wouldn’t work for everyone, it is extremely effective for me, and I think it is particularly conducive to the kind of work that occurs in non-profit organizations. This is a sector where there is a constant need for creative ideas, tons of projects happening at once, and endless to-do lists. Writing things down throughout the day allows me to maintain the perfect balance between staying super organized and on track, and also letting my creativity flow.
Finally, I want to take a moment to point out again how awesome the people are that support this organization. There is a couple with a golden retriever therapy dog that comes in every Thursday and sits in the lobby and talks with the kids as they pet the dog. The lobby is right outside my office, and it brightens my day every week to see the faces of those kids light up as they forget for a moment all of the things that they’re going through and enjoy the company of a sweet furry friend. It warms my heart to see all of the big and small gestures from so many members of the community that care about these kids and their families and will go to great lengths to comfort complete strangers and let them know that they are loved.