Working Remotely as a Grant Writer
In this free training video, discover our top 10 strategies for working from home as a successful grant writer and being the best version of you possible.
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Here is the transcript created by magical unicorns:
Greetings I'm Meredith Noble. I'm going to be co-presenting here with Aurora, our designer. We teach people how to write winning grants. The reason I'm giving more intro for those of you that are actually students in this program is because, as you can tell, we actually have some other people on the line today. Essentially, this is usually a private webinar that we offer once a month, the last Wednesday of the month to students in the Learn Grant Writing program, but given the topic and given the times we felt like this would actually be a good one to kind of open up publicly, because I think it's something a lot of us are grappling with. Aurora and I are glad to have all of the extra new blood here. Feel free to jump in. If you've got comments or questions the group chat box also works really well for interacting.
How to work productively in uncertainty: Top ten tips Aurora and I have for working remotely. We've been doing this for a couple of years. I don't know if any of you actually have seen on your invoices that our company name is SenecaWorks, and I don't know if anyone's ever wondered, where the heck did that name come from? The idea behind the name was my favorite lake in the wind river range in Wyoming was Seneca Lake. And I also was thinking of Dreamworks, the movie production company, and how that at an early age made me think, wow, that's a very creative and innovative company. And then really at the base of it was Seneca, the stoic philosopher has this very interesting approach to thinking about managing our mindset. I wanted to share this one quote with you guys. I think a lot of us can find inspiration and groundedness in different forms, but I do really like kind of coming back to stoic philosophy. I think this one is particularly relevant right now.
"A Gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a person perfected without trials."
I think it's safe to say that our gems are getting rolled right now, in this experience. I just wanted to acknowledge this before we dive into just the nitty-gritty of specifics on tips, this is a hard time, but it's also this kind of really neat opportunity that we're all going to grow and become much more resilient and strong from.
Within uncertainty lies opportunity: Aurora was here working remotely with me, last week or the week before, here in Valdez, Alaska, and she'd never snowshoed. I was like, we're going to go and snowshoe up to the sauna so we can work up there and be creative. Look, she had a great attitude, even when she realized that you can't back up in snowshoes. They do not have a reverse. So that was kind of fun. What I wanted to get out with bringing this up, is that because we're in unprecedented times, we also get to do unprecedented things.
I've been spending a lot of time thinking about: What are the things that I want to start doing? I haven't had the time for, what should I continue doing that I already do? And what should I stop? Because it's just not reasonable to happen right now, Or it's not a priority? So stop trying to overstress ourselves with it. Are we putting our health first? And what kind of mini intentions can even be set right now? So that this day goes well, this week goes well, the month, right? Because that's something that we have control over.
Who wishes the magical unicorn pixie dust, could make COVID-19 go away, right? Like all of us. I think this is interesting. It's definitely like all of you are working from home. So Aurora is going to get started with how her setup looks like, and what she has learned about setting up a good workspace. The picture on the right is actually my first attempt at my home office. As you can see, it's in a closet. The reasoning behind this, for me, was that I wanted to have a space that was separate from my bedroom. And also it had the secondary benefit of me being able to close the doors, so my cat couldn't sit on the keyboard and wake up the computer at all hours. I have learned since then that furniture and good posture totally matters.
One of the most important things is having a nice chair. It's a great investment. You know, happy back and happy wrists boost your productivity like nobody's business. Speaking of wrists, another incredibly important thing, is the proper mousing technique. I actually Googled this because my wrists were hurting so badly. I was a big offender of the two fixtures that are X'ed. After correcting my mousing technique, my world has changed, and I am such a happier worker. Alright, back into to the list. I'd like to add to what I've done is I've learned to use both hands. Yeah, me too. It's kind of a fun mental challenge to try to be ambidextrous with your mouse in hand. My left hand is usually my drawing hand on the tablet. I one hundred percent agree. For me having a full keyboard has made a real big difference, cause even with my like kind of small lady hands being on a laptop especially is just kind of crunched. If you have access, it's awesome. Especially one with a 10 key.
I'm a very visual person. So having a whiteboard and a notebook are really handy and it also has that extra benefit of being able to imprint in your mind what you're writing about, so that's really nice. And then screen breaks. I know it seems like a no-brainer like everybody says this, but it's way easier said than done. For the amount of time that you spend away from your screen, you'll totally make up for it in productivity, in my experience. And then natural light and plants are just extra, but totally increased my happiness quota or quotient.
That actually segues very nicely into what my office space looks like. I used to work in a Conex shipping container and when it was really cold, this winter, we even had blankets over the doors. So there was zero light coming in and it was definitely a man cave of sorts. I was like, I gotta get out of here. I'm losing my mind. I need some natural light. So I moved into our guest tiny house, I took it over as an office. This is now where I work and it has lots and lots and lots of natural daylight, which is great. Sometimes so much, you can't see your screen, which is a good problem to have. I've worked from a lot of different places to get this all right, I'll say that one thing that's key is really being intentional about setting what that workspace is and where maybe it's in minimal passing zone of where your children might be.
Like, it's not them walking to the kitchen along that route. I really prioritize setting a routine for when I'm going to do my deep work. Try to close down email, which I'll talk about in a little bit and not open it until I've completed my first tasks. I put my phone away and on silent, it kind of helps that it doesn't actually even vibrate when it's on silent. It absolutely can't distract me and no notifications ever come onto my phone ever. If I want to look at it and see what's happened, I can, but otherwise it's not telling me to get my attention. When I'm really struggling to get into a state of focus, I have found that if I go to this one particular little routine, I will focus. And that for me, is lighting a candle, putting on some chapstick, putting on a specific playlist that has music that has no vocals, and then exiting out of all the things that are on my screen. Cause I don't know about anybody else, but all of a sudden mid day, you've got like 30 browsers up. Right. So if I can do those four things, I know that it's time to be into a deep state of work. Aurora, what do you have to say about this topic? This is Aurora's son and his groovy hair.
Yes. This is my 13 year old, Gabe. So the meal that we're eating in this picture is like a super fast prep: An instant pot stew with Pillsbury biscuits, just thrown on top and shoved in the oven. I would say that prep time was probably like 15 minutes, but I totally felt like Martha Stewart. Gabe has made a few meals for me, which has actually been a huge silver lining to being home together, which I would have never expected. He cooked me dumplings yesterday. One of the most important parts about working remotely is having scheduled eating times, for me, because it keeps me from overeating when I'm bored and under eating, when I'm like zoned into a project. Also, having a premade supply of chopped up veggies and stuff. It helps me immensely from just defaulting to cereal or something that isn't necessarily the best caloric intake that I can have.
That's a good advice. Eating healthy is key, which speaking of which, this meal on the right Aurora made for me when she was out here a couple weeks ago and we were working together. This is something I picked up from Brendan Bouchard who has the most annoying emails. That'll inundate your inbox. But what I have to say when I read his book the biggest takeaway I had from that book was that higher performers are high performers because they manage their transitions between activities. And I can be really bad about blurring those lines. For example, I maybe want to get on the spin bike to get some exercise and I'll be like, Oh, but I could also watch my online course that I've been meaning to take.
I'll bike while I watch that. And yeah, great. I killed two birds with one stone, but I also exit that workout time, pretty drained because I didn't actually give my brain a break in between tasks. Maybe I've finished task one and I'm going to go have lunch. I'm on my phone scrolling mindlessly. And when I look up, I realized like I am drained. So it's a way to kind of break the habit of not managing transitions. It's being very intentional about, okay, this is now my lunchtime. I'm going to go make lunch and really enjoy the meal and be thankful for the nutrients it's providing me. It sounds cheesy, but it's actually something I've been working on doing so that I am being very present in the things that I'm doing instead of trying to blur doing multiple things at once. Cause I find it's consistently a good way to get drained and your energy killed. Thinking about how you can manage your transitions between activities is something to think about.
Aurora says I'm a certified baller optimizing work-life balance, but this is totally not true. It's a work in progress. I don't know what percent of the days that are a perfectly executed day and lots of them are not, but I am finding as time goes on, as much as I don't like to have rhythm and schedule and rigidity, there is something to actually being really intentional about what you're doing so that you have the energy to go on. How about riding the wave here Aurora?
Right. For me I have a very mercurial productivity wave. There are some days that I want nothing more than to focus on a super in depth project and work it till completion. And then there's some days that I would just sit there and spin my wheels. That kind of piggybacks off of Meredith's concept of just be gentle with yourself. There are some things that I try to do to jumpstart that productivity: I keep a notebook and each new day gets a new page. It helps me feel like I'm having a fresh start. I date it, I put my top three to five tasks and then whatever notes or sketches I need for the day. The second, is just keeping a routine. That helps kickstart the brain to going, okay, it's work mode right now. But all that said, if it's not coming to you that day, or it's not coming to me, then that’s okay.
Yesterday I was putting together this slideshow and the PDF on Facebook. I had intentions of being done by four and it ended up being more like, 11:30 is what I signed off at because I really wanted something good for you guys. And I kept on thinking of new things, but I definitely needed to take a break for a while and clear my head and shake it off because it wasn't quite shaping up like how I had envisioned it when I started off.
Yeah, exactly. I think what was so powerful about that is that you didn't keep trying to muscle through it because you were clearly hitting a wall and you were frustrated. You took the right action of, "I'm going to go to the store with my son and we're taking a break and I'm going to get back to this when I can get back to this." And even though getting back to this was 7:00, 8:00, or 9:00 PM. At least when you got back to it, you were able to crank it out in two hours and feel very good about it. So that's something to acknowledge that, yes, as much as we'd love to have a schedule, if it's just not coming, it's not coming.
That's why I have weekly hour goals instead of daily goals, because there are some days that, you know, I've can have two hours of productivity and there's some hours, some days that I have like ten hours of productivity. Having that weekly goal and daily goal kind of helps me be a little bit more patient with myself and gives a little bit more leniency to when I actually feel really good about working.
And if you're me, you just do your work around the schedule. If it's a sunny day, I'm going to go play. Cloudy? I'm going to work. I'm loving the comments, by the way, that are coming in. This is totally cool. A lot of good suggestions. I just wanted to call out Sophia. Yeah. How draining it feels to feel constantly productive. And I'll tell you that the hardest part about transitioning from a normal office job to working for myself was that I felt this insane pressure to be at it at 9:00 AM and working all day till 5:00 PM. But then I realized, I actually work on the weekends because that's when I feel productive and I work late into the night often because I'm feeling good.
And I'm actually putting in lots and lots of time. It does not matter if I don't get started until three, one day, but I would feel so guilty. It's taken a long time to kind of overcome that weird, mental barrier we have where a workday has to be 8:00 to 5:00, Monday to Friday. Especially for those of you that have kids at home and you really have to be dynamic, try your best to not feel guilty about it because you're getting the work done. There's no need to work all the time. Will adding a comment about not eating and multitasking. Oh my gosh. So true. I'm a total stress eater and I have to work on that, Jennifer. Yeah. Call out to Jennifer real quick. So she has been working her butt off noting 128 hours last week.
She works for the Anchorage school district, making sure that the kids that are not coming to school anymore are still getting fed. Obviously, that means she's falling behind in the course, but she's working on stuff that really matters and it's very cool that you showed up today, Jen, because you have been working so hard. Tran, same. Yeah. Denise Love having you here. I love that Fran and Jennifer might tee up as a collaboration, a team to work on this.
Hey Meredith, can I say one thing? I got a call out from your community and Valdez yesterday about feeding. It was a question about why isn't the school district feeding kids that are not in the school district and is that okay? Cause it seems like you guys are, so I got some questions on that.
I don't know if they need donations or whatever the case may be, but I did talk with some of your city officials and say your school is running under the current guidance to just feed the school. And we are feeding the rest of the community, but we're doing it in poverty pockets. You don't have a poverty pocket officially, but we kind of gave them some guidance. And so, if there's anybody from your community doing child feeding that needs resources, I'm happy to talk to them.
That's cool. I think Maggie, you'd probably be the person since she has kids in school locally, that would have a good pulse on how to sync up Jennifer's expertise.
Jennifer, I'll go ahead and take down your contact information. I have been following that question from the few concerned, homeschool parents that think it's kind of unfair that we are only feeding district kids. From what I can tell, there's a couple of concerned parents, but their kids are not in need. It's just this question of need, but I'll definitely take your information down and pass that onto the people I know who are concerned with this.
Yeah. And just know that there might be some additional flexibility coming up this Friday that might change that we're kind of monitoring it. But I mean, it was somebody from your city who called me yesterday, but still, if it can't be covered by the school and there is a need, that might be a project for somebody.
Yeah. I know that was definitely an interesting question. Cause what are these kids doing? Cause they're homeschool students, right? What are they doing during the school day when we were all in school? I think this question's a little bigger than the disaster relief, but we'll definitely get you connected with the right people. Yeah.
Yeah. I threw up a home delivery model that I'm pretty sure will get shot down in my district, but we'll see. We are doing home deliveries. I know our school buses are making food routes.
Yeah, we're doing that too, but this is a little bit more for the medically fragile or if people are already quarantining. We're getting requests from Girdwood, which is kind of a nested community where they might not have the need, but they are isolating really well. They're separated by a long highway so there might be some safety interest in setting something up for them as a demo project. I'm actually curious to get Providence or somebody to just give me $5,000 to try it over here. I think to any extent that you're keeping your community insolar and protecting the big medical facilities right now in COVID I think it would be quick and easy.
There are a lot of new grant fundings coming available right now, too. This is an interesting time to be paying attention to this. Well, if you have a chance maybe drop in your info so that we can connect you with Maggie. Okay.
Meredith you just said something I've been thinking about. You said there's new grant money coming online. I assumed that as a result of the COVID-19 that there could be more philanthropic money coming out. How would I find that?
Instrumentl is actually keeping a list going right now. Aurora maybe you'd have a chance to go find that. I posted it in the Facebook group.
Well, thanks for the suggestion. For anyone else, that's on the line, that's referencing it. We created a private Facebook group actually for students because our internal community group was not perfect. That's going to be a really cool resource and we'll keep posting stuff in there as we discover them. But I do know that Instrumentl is using their algorithms to every day go pull grants if there's anything new. And I don't think that list is crazy huge yet, but I also think that's because organizations need some time to actually set these things up and they are putting a process together with how you apply and how they deliver it. I suspect that we'll see a lot more coming soon. Nice Aurora, thanks. Aurora just dropped the link for it into the chat box.
Let's carry on to tip number six. If anybody's read my book, you know, that I'm really, really big on this one. I actually got this tip from reading, 'The One Thing' I don't know if anyone's read that before. Essentially the idea is the word priority means the most important thing. The word priorities doesn't actually really mean anything because you can't have many most important things. There can only be one. So every day I start out or the night before set my list of what are the three things that I want to accomplish on this day and the number one task I'm going to do before I look at my email before I do anything else. And oftentimes it may be the dreaded not super fun thing I want to do, but it's important and it's hard work because you can blow through a whole day just doing very light, shallow work.
My email is getting a little backed up right now, but it's because I'm prioritizing, the deep, important tasks. And then I'll take care of my loose ends on Thursday. Thank you Aurora. She just posted it, 'The One Thing' by Gary Keller and Jay Pappison. Basically what I'll do is write out my three things. Of course, sometimes you've got four or five, but if I get to four or five, those are bonus tasks. And I think to the point Sophia brought up earlier, like sometimes yes, you can get to four and five, but you're also like burning yourself out. If you're doing three serious tasks that actually matter, they're probably at least an hour, hour and a half each to do. And it's okay to just draw a line before you're completely trashed, right?
Do your three things and call it. And then I track my time associated with those tasks so that I know how I'm spending my time and because I do track it. I'll do task one. The hardest one that usually gets me to about 11:00 AM. It's usually about a two hour task. Check some email, go have a lunch break, get outside. And a lot of times I'll even go all afternoon, I might do it 12:00 to 3:00 or even longer. But then I'll crank out task two and three in like from about 4:00 to 7:00 PM or even 8:00 PM. It's just kinda how my schedule works. I'm taking a break in between each task and I am definitely doing like stretching and trying to be very active in between those things so that there is a mental differentiator between task one, two and three.
That's my biggest recommendation and just putting it down on a post-it the night before, every day. And a lot of times I'll actually plan out the whole week of what those tasks will look like. You've got a good vision for the most important activities to knock out that week, which if you're curious, I'm trying to actually finish my audio book and just cannot get into the radio station to finish recording like ten seconds of audio, which is killing me. In this structure, I've got a question. When do you actually open and answer emails? I'll do a quick look in the morning for anything that's like burning and pressing, but usually there's not anything that burning and pressing. I'll respond to some emails after task one, in that 11:30 to noon window. Then, I'll grab a couple more in the afternoon at like 2:30 or 3:00, because that's when I'm mentally pretty dull and not great at doing deep work. And otherwise I let my emails accumulate through the week until Thursday or Friday.
On that day is when I'll take care of all of my loose ends and when I'll actually get back to everybody. What I have found is that a lot of things just go away and you don't actually have to respond to them at all anyway. Or, it really can wait, it can wait 24 to 36 hours, 48 hours. It's fine. And that seems to work really well for me. I'll get my email down to inbox zero, or almost like maybe three or four emails are left. Amy has a good tip. She likes to use boomerang because, Oh my gosh, I've been wanting to know how to do this. You can pause your inbox and it reduces the compulsion to go to inbox zero to feel like I'm doing something that's so true. Amy, just to clarify, so what it does is it sends your emails in a batch. It's holding them until you say, okay, I want to look at my emails at 11 and then it'll deliver them.
Yeah, that's cool. That's a great tip. I'm definitely looking into it because I've wanted to always know how, Even if you have to go into your email to grab something, if you see a new email, it's just so stinking distracting. That's a really cool tip and I would love a link to getting that, or if it's like a pro plugin or something, definitely want to use it. Cool. All right. Aurora hit us up with some mental health tips.
This is near and dear to my heart. It's an amazing percentage of the population who deal with these types of feelings or complicated feelings. And it's not something that we talk a ton about. I just want to first say if you're feeling any of these things, it's totally normal and there's a ton of other people who are going through it too.
If you want to talk about it, chances are, you're going to help normalize it for someone else to make your mom proud and take your vitamins and supplements, especially for us Alaskans your vitamin D. And if you have some daily prescriptions that you take, I know that getting into the doctor's offices is super tough right now, because they're just overwhelmed and super cautious. If you call up your doctor and you ask for a 90 day prescription, instead of a 30 day prescription chances are, they're going to be super willing to do that. You have less of a overwhelm and also minimizes your trips to the store, the pharmacy that you get your prescriptions at. Another important thing for me is good mental hygiene. Giving yourself time to clean out your thoughts completely.
I know Meredith and I are both huge advocates for journaling to help process some of the more difficult emotions. I'm going to say take some time to meditate, but meditation comes in so many forms. Like maybe it's this picture here,maintaining your plants gives me a huge sense of calm,taking a walk where you're just checking out the signs of spring that are happening. Anything that you're not intaking information reading or scrolling the internet is a way that you can make some space in your brain. That's what I've got from mental health.
Good advice. And I like their point that meditation is not what we feel. It's supposed to be like 15 minutes of complete brain blank time. It can just be something else active. That's getting you out of your normal routine. You want to take this next one too about peace and quiet. I feel like they segue nicely together.
Yes. I can speak to this personally as well as someone who has had a kid go through all of the stages up to 13 so far peace and quiet is hard to come by when you're sharing a living space with other humans. But you know what? It's also necessary, especially if you identify as more of an introverted person who needs a lot of recovery time. What I found is being able to communicate whether it's to your spouse or even your kids, I know it's harder the younger they are, but you explain that you need the quiet time or the concentration time and it's okay to shut your door. It's okay to turn on a screen, to entertain people and you don't have to feel the parent guilt because that is a necessity to have some uninterrupted time.
Another thing that worked for me when Gabe was really young is either becoming an early morning person or a late night person. When Gabe was two, I was still in college and I totally pulled some all-nighters at the university with him, in his car seat, underneath the desk while I was banging out projects. I also had to force myself to become a morning person when I had a nine to five job. You can work during the day and at night, you have your parent role. The only time I could find to do my grownup stuff was between like 5:00 AM and 7:00 AM.
It's tough. I want to say in solidarity that time is totally crucial. You don't need to feel guilt for that. It's just like an extra layer of stress. Yeah. It's a great point.
And that it's flexible. Maybe it's early mornings for a couple of years and it changes as your kids get older. Oh, we have a really good one here. This is a technique that Aurora suggests
Parents have this trick in your back pocket. Who's building that thing tomorrow, right? Yes. Good stuff. Okay. It's so good. Jacqueline just added a good point. We're all being reminded that structure really does help us make process progress and setting up routines does lower stress. It's true. It's like we know these things, but actually putting them into practice is the harder part. I don't have it here right now, but I had this thing called the point system. Essentially I was trying to build good habits and I feel like I was beating myself up every day for not being as healthy as I should be. I wrote out all these habits and every morning I would take a dry erase marker and mark, the ones that I had done for the previous day and I would chart it.
I would chart the points right over a 30 day period. And so I didn't care if I went out with my girlfriends and drank and ate too much and tanked, you know, really low point day. What I cared about is that trendline increasing over time. Am I practicing better habits? Am I being healthier? That's something I'm thinking about reinstalling right now, so that we actually are being good about procedure and I'll share my checklist if you guys want to actually see that later. Alo Moves. That's awesome. She's offering yoga classes via the Anchorage Watching YouTube and she's so good. So that's a great suggestion. Sweet.
Tip number nine ties to a lot of what I was talking about earlier, where I'm a huge advocate for a loose ends day, essentially you're batching all of those micro little tasks, those email responses, all of those things that are not deep work, they're important, but they're not going to take us an hour and a half to do each right.
I have a running list going where I park those things. That on Thursday or a Friday, I can knock out taking care of them. A lot of times that's actually just a physical list that's being built, but I'll also, if it's not going to be a loose end, I take care of that week. It might be something I take care of in a month or two, but I do still value it. I'll put it on our Trello board. I don't know how many people have used Trello before, but this is the one that Aurora and I use and others that work with us. We have like our resources tab for links, to all these things that we regularly use. Aurora has a row and I have a row in the week, others on the team do as well. We move those tasks to complete when they're done. And it's a nice place to just park really random stuff that you don't want to lose because you might not take care of them this week. Another thing to I recommend is sometimes you realize when you wait a whole week that not actually everything needs done that you thought needs done. Especially right now, I think it's important to figure out what can not be done. And it's still fine.
Aurora, do you want to talk about resources? Yes. Resources are the last thing. Obviously you all used zoom because you're here now, but Google Hangouts is another one that I've seen or Skype. They all have very similar tools. And Trello, you just saw the screenshot. It’s really great for project management or task management for teams, because it's a really flexible system. You can set it up a lot of different ways, even if, if you're a solo person, you can use it for different tasks that you're working on. Meredith mentioned ALO moves for yoga. Obviously there's a lot of yoga teachers who are moving to an online model. Just google them and see what they're up to. Supporting them by Venmo or something like that is a great way to keep them alive while they're keeping us alive. Slack, we love Slack. It doesn’t blow up your phone and also you can share files. One thing that's not on this list also from working at home is a website called We Transfer, which is a really good pre resource for sending big files that are too big for your email. I actually have all of these links and then a few bonus ones aggregated here.
Awesome. Thanks. And the Slack one, I can't emphasize enough, how useful I find that we actually use that to communicate just here as a family of sorts so that we don't have to be on our phones because that represents other distractions. Even if I'm being told dinner is ready, I will get a Slack message about it. It's a really nice way for Aurora and I, as we don't work together in the same office only all the time, but maybe four or five days a month. It's how we have daily communication and regular and very human interaction. We highly recommended, because you can use it for free.
And I just added this as a bonus. Here are my favorite Spotify playlist for deep work. I think having good music can be really key to getting you in the right mindset. We'll actually send this out and I'm going to add a couple more to it, but these are all the playlist that I really like and go to when I need some new tunes to get into the vibe. My favorite for sure is tropical house instrumental, but I've pretty much completely abused it and can't listen to it as much anymore because I just listened to it way too often. All of these are good ones, so you bet everyone's saying, please send, we will make it pretty and we'll post it on the Facebook page. Tasha loves Unsplash, girl me too. That is the best resource. That wraps up our top ten tips that we wanted to share with you. We're curious, what else you guys are doing that you were finding helpful that could be shared with the broader group. Feel free to either drop that in the chat box or just unmute yourself and add some tips here so we can aggregate them for others or any, any questions you have while you have the resource of almost 40 people who can shine.
As Jennifer just said, EDM focus. Because she's running emergency operations. I can get you a bunch more other EDM playlists that are good. So stay tuned. I'll send you some more on the pump Pomodoro technique. Sophia, could you actually speak to this one? I forget the specifics of how it works. It's like setting a 20 minute timer, right? Yeah. This is one that I don't use all the time because sometimes I get into allowing myself to be distracted, but when I really need to sit down, I'm trying to do a big paper or something, essentially it is 20 minutes of work. And then, I wanna say a two minute break, you can kind of change it to whatever works for you. Take a two to five minute break and then you repeat that for about two hours.
20 minutes on no distractions, you don't get up to get a snack. You don't check your phone and then you get that five minute moment of relief say, Oh my gosh, what is happening on Facebook? I've got to know. And so then you do that for about two hours and then you get a 20 minute break and that's where you'd say, okay, I'm going to get a snack or walk around. But it's just a really good way of, if you're like me sitting down and saying, okay, I'm going to work for the next hour. Might be really unrealistic based on having to check text messages or something. But I know that I can sit down for 20 minutes. It's just kind of a nice way. If you have trouble really hitting your stride it's a more manageable way to say, okay, I'm going to force myself to do only work because I know that I'm going to get that a little bit of relief in, you know, 20 minutes.
Nice. I will do that actually when I'm grant writing too, and you're in the thick of not wanting to write your narrative that night, you're like I can do 20 minutes of focus, Fran, just posted a good link tomato timer. I'm guessing that actually sets the timer and alarms you, or it tells you. That's what Sophia uses. There you go. Cool. Lots of good resources. I have to check that out. Do you have an idea for proper posture? Let's hear it. Yeah, no matter which chair I tried at my house, I couldn't find the right one. That was the right height for my desk. In addition to that, I found myself cheating. If I have arms on my chair, I will lean and slouch. I just had to switch to a ball and it works great. Nice, awesome. Yeah. I actually stand probably 70% of the day too. I just got really cheaply off of Amazon a standing desk, which I don't know if that's considered an essential product to be shipped right now, but it was, it's really helpful because I can actually bring it up and stand most of the day and then bring it down if I just need to sit. Something else for people to consider that could be having problems with their chair, and then their posture. I ended up realizing that I actually needed to boost my screens up. I know I have my laptop sitting on like three big books cause I don't type on That. I just use it as a screen and then My monitor, I can move up and down. If you're having problems, maybe try adjusting your screens. Instead of your chair and see if that helps.
That's a good point bringing your head up. You've got that 90 degree angle and we're not angling down or up. Right? Definitely. Steve's got an adjustable keyboard holder that goes up and down. That's really awesome because I'm struggling with that too, where the keyboard heightened the screen height, and trying to get that quite right. Katie just shared a presentation on how to effectively manage nonprofits from home, which is totally cool. I'm going to check all those out. We'll aggregate these lists, send it out. Yeah, Steve, I really do like this one having two to three chairs. Drafting chair, regular office chair, and a table. It goes up and down. I agree. Having multiple positions is really helpful. Sometimes I sit, sometimes you're standing, sometimes I'm on a couch. Multiple positions do help. Jamie had her husband cut a board to put onto the treadmill so you can walk while working, wait, where are you? I want to see it. There it is. Okay. If you guys look at your video, you can see you unmute yourself if you want and it'll bring you up.
He just cut this board. It's removable. It actually goes across my bathtub for a glass of wine, and I worked in my bathtub. Sometimes I put it in the bathtub, my laptop right there. That is next level. We have a special board called the bathtub board. So it's got a little thing here to hold it onto the treadmill. This way it doesn't move. And I only walk it like when I'm not doing anything super intense and I can. I type, I study, and I write papers on the treadmill. I's my favorite little life hack. This is awesome.
Plus the bathtub one I didn't know, learn something everyday crew. It's a real thing. Fran has it too, is that you just have to be really careful. The last thing you want is for it to slip and your laptop fall. Instead of putting it across the tub, we put it from the toilet to the edge. I'm like, I would need the safety protocols in there. If it can go wrong, I will drop it in the water. Laura is using a saddle chair at work, bringing it home during closure. Yeah. Those seem really awesome. Because they don't actually have a backrest. Right. It's a great idea. Well, chair and Jennifer just got a donation of 144 pallets of bananas, which is absolutely insane. Some of those activities. Oh my gosh.
That's awesome. What a random thing to have in Alaska of all places too. That's awesome. Anybody else have any other tips or questions or things that they want to share with the group at large? Well, nice. I guess everybody, we want some banana pops to be sent out. Okay. No, it's all good. Sweet. thank you guys for hanging out, learning something new. We'd love to see, even if you want to share pictures of your workspace and how you're making it work on our Facebook group. So others can get inspiration. That would be cool. I'm very proud of everyone for making things work when you have not otherwise had to work from home, we'll aggregate this list of things that people suggested and especially get out the Spotify playlist so that you can get some new jams for being productive. And for those of you who are not enrolled students and learn grant writing there's also an event on The Learn Grant Writing Facebook page that you can post your workspace from and we can all see. Tasha deep house relax is one of my all time favorites.
Well right on everybody. Hope you're doing well and we'll catch you later.