How to manage your community during busy times

While managing a community is surely rewarding, many community leaders find themselves worn out.
Are you juggling between the tasks? Finding yourself out of breath at the end of the day?
Well, running a community clearly takes a lot of time and effort, but it doesn’t mean that you have to be overloaded.

Let’s have a look at some tips.

Manging a community during busy times
Once you figure out what consumes your time, it will be easier to find a solution | Photo: Kampus Production

Identify what consumes your time

Sometimes we feel very busy but we don’t dedicate time to understand what consumes our time. Is this because of troublesome management? Unorganized work or tasks? Lack of team members?
If you’re overwhelmed with the tasks, you should first identify the problem.

Take a blank page (or a digital one) and write down all your challenges. It’ll help you see the big picture from another perspective. Once you figure out where the black hole is that sucks up all your time, it will be easier to tackle it and find a solution.

Get more organized

Create a work plan and a content strategy in advance, and work according to your plan. Make changes only when necessary or go back to your community’s strategy when you feel that things have been going off the road.

Here are some content strategy tips:

  • Prepare a list of relevant topics.
  • Dedicate time in your calendar for content searching, writing, and editing.
  • Embed holidays and international days in your content strategy. Here’s a resource you can use.
  • If you are using threads in your strategy, you can prepare a list of call-to-action questions related to the topics, for example: What was the most dangerous place you’ve been to? (for a traveling community), or What are your best tips for onboarding remote employers? (if it’s a professional community for managers).

Another workflow that you can generate in advance is your community’s events. Create with your team events’ checklists, templates, and other resources so you won’t have to do everything all over again each time.

An event’s checklist might include tasks such as: Set a date, find a location, define the event content, create marketing resources, send invitations, and so on. You might want to use collaborative work management platforms to view all the tasks. More on that below.

Manage your team effectively and expand it

Just because your community is running 24/7, it doesn’t mean that YOU have to.

Do you have a team? If yes, is your team working efficiently? Does everyone know what they are supposed to do? Does your team have regular meetings?

Make sure that areas of responsibility are clear to all team members — and that your meetings are ending with protocols and action items.
During busy times, you can delegate tasks when needed.
If the volume of tasks has significantly changed and you’ve done everything you could to work more efficiently, it’s time to grow the team. Hire or recruit new team members to help the community grow without disrupting your team or wearing them.

By the way, your team members don’t necessarily have to be paid ones.
Are there community members that post and comment regularly, show up to events and are passionate about the community? You might consider giving them roles. It’s a common practice to engage community members. It’s also a great way to let them know that they are a crucial part of the community.

And the last important thing: Is your team running through a busy period? For example, your community birthday’s celebration or other major project you’re working on? Get prepared in advance. Boost everyone’s motivation with a sense of team spirit and make sure everyone feels it. Once the busy period is over, don’t forget to celebrate your team’s achievements and highlight their hard work throughout the community.

Create automations

Use tools such as Integromat, Zapier, Calendly, and others to automate your workflow and save precious time.
For example, through Integromat and Zapier you can automatically upload a post to your social media channels.
Calendly helps you schedule meetings without the back-and-forth emails and time zones calculations.

Collaborative tools such as Trello, Monday, and Asana can help you with your workflows. You can view and manage your tasks, assign them to team members, and connect them to other apps, such as your calendar. You can even create automated rules to save precious time.

Take care of yourself

When I work with community leaders, I always say that we can’t lead if we don’t take care of ourselves first.
Whether you run a community full-time or as a hobby, make space for resting and reflecting. Enjoy the role of being a community leader.

It’s also ok to take a break or some time off, and you don’t need any excuse. Celebrating a holiday? Have a personal emergency or going on a vacation? Communicate to your members how things will work out while you and your team are off to avoid misunderstandings. You don’t have to explain EVERYTHING, but communicating what’s going on can help overcome conflicts and frustrations.

How to make decisions in your community?

Read what we can learn from open-source communities

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What helps you run the community at busy times? How do you make your workflow more efficient? Please share in the comments.

Interested in getting advice or brainstorming solutions together? Let’s talk.

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