How to Effectively Follow-up After Meetings from a Non-Profit ED?

How to Effectively Follow-up After Meetings from an Ultra-Busy Non-Profit ED Penned by Lauren Carson, Executive Director of Black Girls Smile Inc.

Lauren Carson, an Atlanta native and University of Virginia alumnus, is the Executive Director and Founder of Black Girls Smile Inc. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting positive mental health education, resources, and support. Through her work with Black Girls Smile Inc. and as a Mental Health Advocate and Speaker, Lauren has been featured at SXSW, Clinton. We will discuss how to effectively follow up after meetings here.

Global Initiative University, American Psychiatric Association, Refinery 29, Redbook, and HERS Magazine made Young Nonprofit Professional Network 30 under 30. Lauren continues to lend her voice and platform to mental health awareness and empowerment, especially minority communities, women, and girls.

Some days I have between 6-7 meetings! In the midst of trying to tackle emails, checking on projects, and following up with internal staff members and external stakeholders, it’s tough to stay on top of all my tasks, especially the tasks that come out of calls and meetings. 

How to Effectively Follow-up After Meetings?

Here are a few tips I have implemented to help me stay on top of action items from meetings and not drop balls: 

  • I keep a meeting tracking spreadsheet pinned on my Browser that I can easily access during and after meetings. In this tracking document, I have only a few fields, but this process helps me keep track of my calls and action items. (Columns include Date of Call, Person(s) on Call, Organization/Company, Action Items). 

  • I also have created time in my schedule to address these actions as meetings with myself, so I can focus uninterrupted on completing action items outstanding specifically from meetings to ensure I am following up promptly. 

  • I email meeting follow-up that is quite easy to complete or low-hanging fruit within 48 hours of the meeting to ensure I stay on track, engaged, and active with whomever I met with. I also let them know that it may take me up to 2 weeks to complete the more intense or heavier-life/time-intense action items. 

  • I mentioned above “low-hanging fruit,” at the end of each day, I quickly go through my action items I need to address from the days’ meetings and mark each in two categories, “lift” meaning how much effort or energy needs to go into the task (I rate “Low,” “Medium” High” being the more time-intensive), and “priority” meaning how important is the task (“Low,” “Medium,” and “High” being imperative to tackle). I try to tackle the Low-Lift, High-Priority as quickly as possible and carve out time in my schedule to complete. Then Medium-Lift, High-Priority, and so forth focusing on matching up the tasks that I can fit in blocks of available time, importance, and time needed to complete. 

  • Give myself grace! There are ONLY 24 hours in a day, and to be honest, many days my work requires more than 24 hours, so this means I have to be ok with leaving items to the next day or next available time block. 

As someone that is “extremely busy,” it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed and as if tasks or contacts are not getting the time they need or deserve. These are a few ways that I stay on task, specifically with follow-up and action items I need to tackle from the many meetings I have daily. I encourage others to figure out the best way to organize their tasks and priorities that work for them personally.

Also read How I Became Senior Business Transformation Strategist at Nextech AR Solutions

How to Effectively Follow-up After Meetings from a Non-Profit ED?

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