Ever find yourself over-booked because you promised to help more than one person forcing you to be in multiple places at once? I know I have, and it can be a very stressful situation. Ever find yourself in the same situation working on association tasks where you have multiple projects to complete with very tight deadlines? Again, I have been there, too.

When working with an association’s Board of Directors, many ongoing tasks and projects need to be accomplished by a hard deadline. It allows the association to achieve the best outcomes and continue to succeed.

Fortunately, I have learned how to manage my time and utilize the resources available to ensure that nothing is left incomplete or forgotten. So, follow me as I share a few options to help you manage your tasks to meet association needs.


Firstly, take advantage of the tools you have at your fingertips. One of my favourite ones to use is the tasks tool in Outlook. I recently had a conversation with a friend who also uses Outlook but had no idea how to use this resource properly. To say that I was shocked is an understatement because I depend entirely on it to (dare I say it?) stay on task. It is where I itemize everything that I need to accomplish. Not only does this allow you to see all your to-dos in one place, but you can arrange them from least to most important – but more on how to prioritize later.

Assign each task with a due date to incorporate this into your workday. This will enable you to see what you need to work on as soon as you sit down for the day. You may see that you need to send an email to association members or prepare for a board meeting that afternoon. Whatever it is, you’ll easily be able to manage your time. When the task is done, remove it from the list. It is such a satisfying feeling to watch your list getting shorter. And when you are ready to leave for the day, make sure you take a quick peek to see what is due for tomorrow.

For more on creating to-do lists, visit my colleague’s blog: Creating To Do Lists that Keep Your Association Work on Track.


Secondly, do not hesitate to be open with board members about your ongoing projects. Communicating effectively will ensure everyone is on the same page when fulfilling deadlines. For example, while reviewing your task list, you see that board meeting minutes are due by the end of the day. You find yourself in the middle of completing them, but you have come to an important section that is missing key information. Rather than putting them off and risk not finishing on time, reach out to the board member who led the discussion for some clarification.

For more on how board meeting minutes, visit my colleague’s article: Association Meeting Minutes: The Dos and Don’ts

Another important fact to communicate is if you cannot meet the deadline – no matter how hard you’ve tried. Let the director you are working with know you will need a little more time to finish the project. If possible, let them know a day or more in advance and not moments before it is due. Good communication will ensure that everyone involved are aware of task progression and completion.


Thirdly, arrange your workload to work on the more urgent projects first. While some projects can wait, others may have a hard deadline. For instance, more than one board member can be working on a document that is a high-priority item. If this is the case, you must complete your portion on time to ensure the progress continues. So, insert these items at the top of your list with a firm due date.

Make sure not to overlook the less demanding items. Even though they are not as urgent doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a spot on your list. You can add the less demanding to your task list throughout the week. Make sure you complete the critical ones first, then save the others for the end of the day. We must complete all tasks to ensure work keeps moving forward.

Associations always have a lot of things on the go, with many things due around the same time. Therefore, it is imperative that your projects are completed on time to keep association affairs moving. So, the next time you feel over-booked, remember to itemize, communicate, and prioritize the many tasks you have on your list to keep the association thriving.