Work that works

I’m ridiculously full of beans today, I have so much energy that it’s simply over flowing. As I write this it’s 4pm and it’s the first time I have switched on my computer to do work work. My headphones are blasting 90’s classics that make me feel amazing and I’m shouting out the words in my not so melodious voice.

It’s no secret that I am a huge advocate for flexible working but part of that isn’t about the specific hours you work but more about the way to work to get the best out of yourself.

Part of my own business strategy and associated support needs is to work within my productive natural rhythms and when this is done well it is a game changer.

There are of course times when you have to work beyond those boundaries – busy season, product or service launches, life commitments etc. I have however, learned that 5 hours of work that is in line with my natural energy flow will be twice as productive (if not more so) than when I am working against it.

Ever find you suddenly get a mountain of ideas just before you’re about to settle down for the night? Or get into the swing of some essential admin just as you’re having to finish work for the day?

My philosophy is simple. You work best when the work fits with your energy levels and cycle.

When I’m working with my clients or indeed on my own business it’s something I vehemently suggest they protect. It’s flexible working with benefits.

Take today, I really wasn’t feeling it this morning, I felt un-rested and like I hadn’t fully woken up. I felt forgetful and irritable. Lucky, I had flexibility in the day so I didn’t sweat it and when I switched on at 4pm I had the energy and desire to crack on.

2 x blog posts, updated content plan, set up some new hardware and it’s only 4:49.

Earlier that would have taken me twice as long, I’d have dithered, second guessed myself and struggled to feel inspired.

Is there one thing you can do to work more with your natural flow? How about:

  1. Clear your diary for the first day of your next period (or actually if you’re like me the day before) and just be kind to yourself
  2. Can you change your start time one day a week and have a long shower or a slow breakfast?
  3. Swap late nights for early mornings (or vice versa) If you’re trying to do the ‘get up at 5am’ thing but you’re exhausted and it’s just not working have you thought about getting up at 7am but staying up later instead?
  4. Swapping a working day for a non working day
  5. Mix and matching all of the above

Things I do that work well for me:

Generally, I don’t start work until 10am. I do like getting up early and of course I have a family which means mornings can be a bit full on but I like my mornings for me. I don’ set my alarm, if I need the sleep I simply get up when my partner does, if I don’t then I’m awake at 5am – either way I’m listening to my body and it thanks me for it.

I try to work a little less the day before and first day of my period. I’m emotional, in pain and running a temperature and it’s not conducive to my best work, nor is it paying attention to my body.

If I am feeling too ‘peopled’ as my boyfriend calls it then I swap working on a Wednesday (which is my hump day and yes I’m cliche) and work on a Saturday morning when my son sleeps in and my boyfriend goes to play or watch football.

On days where I feel a bit hemmed in and stuck I take the laptop and sit in a coffee shop and work through my emails – if inspiration strikes great, if not then I’ve cleared some of my emails and that makes me feel productive.

So you’ve got your business goal in mind. You’ve mapped out your own ‘progress not perfection‘ plan and you’re starting to look at the strategy – why not think about how work that works would look for you and see how you can address that in your strategic plan? Let me know how it goes.

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