How to stay focused in uncertain times
An interview with one of our members Ana Zdravkova
Even under quarantine, Networking Premium’s team continued to work hard and come up with new ideas about optimizing the offices for our members. And because our work is what drives us forward in life, we decided to start a 3 part blog series to help you get back to the office after a chaotic break and kick-start your work routine.
For the first part, we introduce you to Ana Zdravkova, founder of Grantive Company - a brand for the development and management of public funding projects.
Q: Hello, Anna! Can you tell us more about how did you start the company and what is your role in it?
A: Hi! Thank you for inviting me! Actually, this business came as a really unexpected sequence of what I was studying at university, which was public administration. At first, I was working as a PR in a few different magazines, then at a television group, and honestly, I thought that this was my thing and I will continue to do it forever, but at some point, life turned into a different direction. I started working as a freelancer for a website that needed a PR. The owners there had another business that was concentrated on projects. At some point, I found myself interested in the projects they were doing. After a couple of years, I felt ready to start doing something creative on my own. While I was in preparation to launch the company, I saw a photo of one of the offices at Networking and immediately knew that this was my place to work from.
Q: How did the changes under quarantine disturb your work?
A: For me, as a specialist, it was really hard to connect with clients, when it was not safe to meet with them. Our business needs meetings that are face to face, so we can connect with the clients better and discuss their projects. It was definitely a challenge to stay focused when going from social to online meetings. And personally, I had to quickly get into a new routine and reorganize my time under the new current circumstances.
Q: How do you stay focused, when everything around you feels uncertain?
A: I have to say, it was hard. Especially, because I am someone who is interested in a lot of things and when I am at home I can easily get distracted with my other activities. What I did was to continue with my routine, no matter that I am not at the office. Wake up, drink coffee, prepare for the day, and get to work. Something that I found really helpful was to see my whole day as a little section for 1 hour each. And for every new hour, I would sit at my computer and for 15 minutes I will give extreme focus to the work that I am doing, which then turns into 30, 45, or even 60 minutes of no phone and no distractions. Then I will take a little break and do it all over again. For me, it’s all about getting in the flow.
Q: How do you feel now, when things started to normalize and you are back to the office? What are some positives that you took from this quarantine experience?
A: The feeling of everything coming back to its normal state is almost euphoric as if life is colorful again. Both for me and my colleges, Networking feels like home and I can feel this family spirit everywhere in this place. While the pandemic was at its peak, I realized that we are not at all grateful for the freedom that we have and the effortless connections that we have with others every day. We take it for granted. Being social, being able to experience life with others, and forming relationships is what I see as a gift now after the pandemic is slowly calming down. We definitely live in the best times possible.