As an EVS volunteer you will often like to arrange something. Start an event, do a project, make a happening, start a movement or organisation. You want to change something that challenges you or someone else around you. You have frustrations, wonders, energy, ideas and visions – so don’t let it wreck here! Lets take it from thought to action.
Get your ideas out
Your first step to take action is to speak out loud about your passion, vision, challenge or idea. If you are thinking about it, there is a great chance that someone else agrees with you, has the same interest or idea.
So don’t keep your ideas for yourself. Go out and share your half-baked ideas with others, get feedback, inputs and support.
It will be much more fun and manageable to create your project, arrange the event or something else if you find a group of people to share the responsibility with. Try to open the idea up to other people, and share the ownership of the idea with the group. Try not to be stubborn or unflexible when it comes to the project. Listen to the group and create a safe environment with a flat structure. It will motivate your co-volunteers to have a say in the matter.
Draw the bigger picture
To kickstart your project and to create a common understanding and idea-community in your group, it can be useful to create a project plan together to have a overview of the project. It can make the project more simple, manageable and will keep you on the right path.
It can conduce to the common communication about the project, it is good for kickstarting the project, to manage the different tasks and for keeping the bigger overview for all bodies involved in the project process.
I have therefor, with inspiration from different courses I’ve attended and own experience in planning, created this simple visual template. You can read more about the concept here and learn how to use the template.
Celebrate your failures
Now it’s more or less about feeling one’s way. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or even to fail in your project. It is not a defeat but a experience to bring with you. You will experience that the mistakes will teach you a lot about making projects and that it will open new doors and new possibilities. Use the experience to improve your idea. It will sharpen and improve your project – You have to fail before it gets succesfull.
SSS – Small secure successes
Remember to celebrate it when you achieve something according to your project – big or small. When you are in the process you will often be striving towards something better, never satisfied with where you are. Striving is good, but never being satisfied is bad.
Write down all the small tasks or success criteria you have for your project so it’s easy to rick off the task when it’s done. It motivates the people involved that the stuff they are doing are successful and pays off.
It should be fun to do volunteer work, so remember to celebrate, take breaks, buy champagne and give big hugs when you achieve your SSS – small secure successes.
Good luck with your next project!
Project-making course (DFUNK)