The following are my socialist organizing resolutions for 2020 ~
Keep your commitments to the cause Do the things you said you’d do. Every time you tell a comrade, “I’ll take care of that,” write it down. Update your to-do list as you complete your tasks. At the end of every meeting, review action steps so everyone is clear on who’s doing what. Follow through on your action steps (preferably before someone has to remind you).
When you cannot keep your commitments, communicate All of your organizing must fit around full-time work, raising a child, and writing. You will drop balls. And that’s okay, as long as you tell your comrades what’s up. Don’t just let a thing go and hope no one notices, or assume the task wasn’t really necessary. If you need to go away for a bit, say so. “I am too depressed and overwhelmed to deal with this right now,” is as good a reason as any. Have the courage to clearly express your boundaries.
Check your messages proactively Between texts, Messenger, Group Me, Slack, and Twitter DMs, you cannot keep up with all your messages via notifications. When you work half a retail shift without your phone, then see 30 notifications at lunch, there’s no way you’re gonna absorb all that info in one sitting. So just treat the messaging apps like email – set aside time every day to check them all. You don’t need to respond to everything, but you do need to identify and deal with time-sensitive stuff that cannot wait.
Use the messaging apps sparingly and with intention Remember that all organizers are inundated with messages and not everyone is online all day. When a new project idea comes up in a group thread, ask the comrades to meet and discuss as soon as possible. Meetings are for fleshing out details, apps are for checking in between meetings. When you’re about to send a message, ask yourself, “Is this a group message or a direct message?” Tend toward DM-ing as much as possible. Avoid open-ended asks (“Can someone print flyers for the event?”) in favor of direct asks (“Hey Karl, can you print flyers for the event?”).
Remember that any amount of organizing is work, not a hobby No matter what role you play or how much time you commit, you are contributing to a widespread, grassroots project to completely change our economy and society. You are not a passive observer but rather a member of the worker-led movement to win a better world. None of us can do this work alone, but we also cannot assume the work will be done for us. Take your contributions seriously, learn constantly, push yourself past what feels comfortable, and teach others what you know. Keep building. Know that the work continues while you step away, but also that your help is always needed.