June 5, 2014

The Lull in the Storm: How to Use It Well

It’s like waking up from a coma. It’s the morning after a major deadline—perhaps the gala, a grant, or the board or the director’s retreat. An eerie quiet fills your head and your office. The sunlight catches the dust as it falls on to the piles of paper and stacked work on your deck.

Despite your exhaustion, you feel lighter, better, good. After you relax, you tidy up your desk, send out thank you notes, and inventory what needs doing. You’re ready for what’s next.

How can you use your lulls to advance your top priorities?

1. Return to your inventory. Star the three most important projects.

2. Identify which of the three is the most ripe to move forward.

3. Invest 90 minutes of blissful focus on it. Take a break that involves some physical movement, then, if its ripe, tackle the second project. If not, continue with the first for another 90 minutes.

Most people think good time management is about organizing hectic time. It is, but great time management is about managing the lulls and the peaks.

What tips do you have to manage those post-deadline lulls?



Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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