I believe grant professionals don’t dawdle. We’re always working with deadlines, but we’re not the pros that put off the work until its due date. Procrastination is not a word that we write or practice.
Part of what makes us grant pros is that we know all the layers of information it takes to submit successful applications. We are confident. We have no fear of failure that might cause a less experienced grants person to waiver before a deadline.
As the grant calendar rolls forward through open opportunities, many distracting factors can come into play. We remained focused. An organized grants calendar, a beautiful grid of balanced time management can implode when deadlines change. If a grant opening is postponed due to departmental delay or legislative deadlocks, it might seem as you’ve bought some time to dilly dally, but it’s not the case. When one planned deadline advances, it often converges with the next deadline.
The applications we submit as grant pros are dense with information. And they’re competitive. They need to be top notch. It’s not work to put-off. Whether working with clients or department members, everyone is busy, and it takes time for the grant pros to gather all the required inputs for applications. As our work is collaborative, we start early and submit early whenever possible.
If we were to meander our way to submission day, our reputations would stall. We work forward with focus. When a time slot does open in our schedule, we have side notes in our calendar triggering us about our goals without deadlines: read journal articles, write blog posts, write the next chapter in our book, participate in a webinars for professional development, brighten our social media posts, outline a class to present or prepare for the next several grant openings.
Grant application openings are so vast in number that even the most researched, planned calendar needs flexibility for openings that arise quickly. The less we pros lollygag, the more prepared we are for the unexpected and the more flexibility we’ll have to embrace endless opportunities. We never know what or when an inquiry or assignment will come in person, on the phone or online. We do know it’s best to be prepared for fruitful, ongoing progress. The unknown in the wide web of grant possibilities is part of the excitement in our work.
If any of you have a rough story of what happened when you did dally with a deadline in the past or about your best practices to stay focused and limber, please share your story with us here or drop us an email.