When I started my own company, I started to pay attention to my own “Work Rhythm” and when I was most engaged and productive. To be honest, I knew it wasn’t ever the 9-5 schedule. I simply had no choice but to try to fit into that traditional schedule.
Now, I use my experience to help women professionals and business owners to tune into their own “work rhythm” and that of their employees.
I’m going to break this down into two categories:
- I started paying attention to when I was most engaged and productive. I’m an early morning person, so detailed or creative thinking takes place usually in my early hours.
- I stopped apologizing for not being available when it was my time to get my best work done. I simply blocked the time as “unavailable” and didn’t take meetings unless they were absolutely necessary.
- I stopped taking hour-long meetings. This led to such backlash, but I stuck to my goal! I began by shaving off time in 15-minute increments – beginning with 45-minute meetings and then going to 30 minutes. With a plan and/or an agenda – I can get it done!
- I trained others how to interact with me and I learned how to interact with them. I need a summary and bullets – not the entire history of how we got here. I communicated that to those I met with most frequently and they mastered the technique of the quicker, more effective meeting as well.
- I took time for self-care. When I felt overwhelmed with something difficult, I tried to get up and move around to clear my head. This helped me get back to the task at hand and approach it with new energy and a clearer mind – and that’s when the solutions came!
FOR YOUR TEAM:
- Make your expectations and deadlines clear by communicating upfront. Don’t leave others guessing about what you want.
- Set “core hours” when everyone should be available for group collaboration but leave the rest to your team members.
- Hold them accountable for production, results, and outcomes. Make it less about their visibility and more about their work product and results.
- Recognize that this type of environment can allow those who are introverted to work with less pressure, but they can feel further disengaged. Conversely, it can leave your extroverts feeling a bit isolated and with fewer opportunities for recognition and feedback. You need to strike a balance by creating opportunities for interaction and collaboration.
What will you do to create a positive “work rhythm” for yourself and your team? I’d love to hear what you have done and how it’s working! If you are just beginning this process, let me know where you will start… I’d love to hear all about it!