Surviving the Current Deluge of RFPs


It’s that time of year again—we’re approaching the end of the US Government fiscal year, and agencies are releasing the RFP floodgates to secure their funding and drive next year’s budget. And as a result, many of us in the proposal world are barely keeping our heads above water. For those of you who feel like you’re on the verge of drowning, I want to offer you some words of encouragement.

I took a look back at my Facebook feed, and ever since I entered the field, this has always been an unbearable time of year. But even though the challenge seems utterly insurmountable—I look back, and for thirteen years, I have gotten through it. And that gives me confidence that I’ll get through it again this year—and if you’re feeling doubtful as well—I’m sending you confidence that you’ll get through it too.

But I also wanted to send out a friendly reminder to all of you out there to take care of yourselves! I know it’s hard when we’re working crazy long hours, but please eat healthy, get enough rest, take breaks, go on walks, and make time for self-care. And if something is not a 100% priority, let it slip. Though it killed me, I had to let this blog slip for four weeks. However, the added brainpower that it would have taken—on top of all the hours I was putting in for work—just wouldn’t have been worth it in the end.     

Please take my plea for you to take care of yourselves to heart. I have two colleagues with whom I’m working fairly closely right now, and both of them have come down with pretty severe illnesses during this crazy time. When this happens, it’s our bodies telling us to slow down and forcing us to do so. And on top of feeling like garbage—the deadlines don’t go away—and it just compounds the stress on our bodies and becomes extra miserable.

It’s not just my colleagues that have succumbed to this proposal flu. Two weeks ago, I also personally didn’t follow this self-care advice, and I was unrested, rushing, and slipped down the stairs, and hit my head really hard. It was not ideal at all with all the imminent deadlines, but it did force me to slow down. And it made me take a step back and take a few things off my plate. And that’s OK. Sometimes we need to do that.

So take a deep breath and know you’re going to get through this. Feed your body with healthy foods, stay hydrated, take some vitamins—do what you need to do to fuel your body right. Make sure to take breaks, get some exercise, and do your best to get enough sleep at night. After a long, busy day, meditation or deep breathing can really help to switch your brain to sleep mode. Remember—none of this is worth it in the end if you sacrifice your health or your sanity. Cheers!



Written by Ashley Kayes, CP APMP

Senior Proposal Consultant, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI)



  1. So true. We keep putting our health at stake for work and most of the times, it's not worth it.


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