At my new job at the California Center for Rural Policy we do a lot of work with collaborating partners on a variety of interesting topics. We are working with a local non-profit agency to submit a large and very complex grant proposal, and we’re relying on our partner to deliver a large amount of work with multiple documents.
When I called to ask how our point person was doing on meeting our hard deadline two days away, she responded by saying that she wasn’t going to make it, and thought it was a soft deadline that she could push back by a week.
I let her know that no, in fact we really needed to have the documents the day we agreed to so that we didn’t create a stressful situation for our analyst who helps prepare grants for submission. She then started listing off all of the reasons she couldn’t spend time on the grant that day: she was answering phones, greeting clients that came through the door, and had to pick her daughter up by 1:00.
I stepped back into my OrderWithin persona at that point, and let her know the importance of creating protected time for herself to work on projects that require mental heavy lifting and a lot of organization. I told her I would be happy to talk with her boss (who is a friend) to help clear her plate that day if needed so that she could give her complete attention to the grant submission. At that point she asked if she could call me back in a few minutes.