What does your work day look like? Do you design it? Or does it happen to you?
This also relates to the concept of work-life integration that I started to talk about last week – and will be the topic of many many more posts.
There are many pros to working for ourselves, including getting to decide how and where and when we work. This is a HUGE pro for me, as it allows me to also add things into my schedule that are important to me, like philanthropy and being able to be involved in organizations like the San Diego Women’s Foundation (I’ve been a member for going on 13 years now, and am starting my 11th year on the board). And it also allows me to structure my day as best for my own natural cycles.
But this can also be a con, as it means that we don’t have structured hours or tasks – and sometimes not even a structured place. And we definitely don’t have structure as determined by someone else. It’s all up to us.
So how do you deal with that for yourself? I talked last week about taking time off. Naturally, when I worked in an office environment, with work days and non-work days, that was much easier. Now, with working for myself, and being involved in the wedding industry making it even less clear what are work days and non-work days, that’s tougher. But what about the hours of the day themselves? How do you structure your day?
I’ve started to put days into two categories – days with full control and days with partial or little control. What do I mean? There are days in my week when I am working from home all day, with no obligations other than which I add on for myself. On those days, I can completely determine what time I wake up, when and what I eat, what time I start work, end work, any breaks along the way, and what I’m working on. Then there are days in my week when I only control part of the day, be it because I have weddings at a specific time, or coaching clients at a specific time, or meetings or events at a specific time. And I have to admit that I’m more flexible than I probably should be – if a client or potential client wants to meet on a certain day, I always try to make it work, even if it hurts my efficiency. On these kinds of days, I often can’t control those things I mentioned above, and have to make efficiency happen when I can – sometimes that means a couple of hours at a Starbucks between appointments, or sometimes it means doing more at night when I get home.
So, each week I take a look at my calendar to see how many of each kind of days I have to work with, and then start to plan what can get done during each, since different projects or tasks can be done during each. I’ll talk more soon about intentionally using time blocks on your days. And we’ll definitely talk about figuring out when and how you are more efficient. In the meantime, what does your week look like? And are you thoughtful about it?