If you read the Grant Writer’s Blog last week, you know that grant professionals don’t dawdle. Procrastination is not a method that we practice. As a follow-up to talking about not procrastinating, I wanted to share 3 action points that can help you as a grant professional focus at work.
We all have multiple responsibilities, yet multi-tasking might not be the answer. We can’t check email, participate in a conference call and write a grant narrative at the same time. We can divide our tasks and block our time, getting one thing after another done. How we go about it though, differs as individuals.
Here is a summary my style of focusing and provide tools that might lead to a method that best suits you to further improve your focus at work.
Strategy is the first step to success.
My overall strategy is to review and refresh my business/marketing plan each year. From that I whittle down activities and incoming work projects to a planner/calendar that provides for a daily schedule, a short-term goal list and a long-term goal list. This tells me what I need to finish now and how to fill my time productively with longer-term goals when I finish today’s list.
Implementing your strategy is the second step to success.
My biz plan and calendar are great tools, but I have to narrow my focus even further to work efficiently through the hours of each day. I reduce the tendency to multi-task and approach each responsibility individually. To focus for blocks of time, I turn off notifications except for one. I set my phone alarm (with a soft, pleasing tone!). When I begin working, my focus can be so intense that I lose track of time. To reduce my anxiety that I’ll miss an appointment or a conference call because I dove deep into a project, I use my alarm. Then I can fully devote myself to the task at hand. It’s amazing how much I can accomplish and how fast time passes when I’ve freed my slate to focus. I’m always surprised when my alarm chimes.
Third: Reward your success!
The work of a grant professional is difficult and fatiguing. It’s important that we recharge our energy in order to plow through each week’s workload. So between blocks of work time, I reward myself with small pleasures: pour one more cup of coffee, brew a tasty tea, stretch or take a (very) brief walk. At day’s end, I often go for a long walk, meet friends to catch-up and laugh, or relax by cooking a fresh meal.
Action: For one week schedule lil’ 5 minutes rewards into your daily work calendar. If that works for you, do it the next week and so forth.
If we professionals have a strategy, implement it and reward it, we can focus at work and meet our deadlines and goals!
What methods have you found that work best for your individual style and embrace success? Share them with us in the comments section below, drop us an email or via social media.