Work with More Ease by Knowing Your Rhythms
Have you noticed that your work tends to have “seasons”? Or different energies at different times of the year? Have you noticed the same is true for your days? I’ve been thinking about this a lot as we close out Q4 and try to finish 2021 strong. Let’s explore how you can do your best work.
Fall is the season where my business looks inside itself. It’s a time for strategy, recommitment, and introspection. It’s the season where I begin to prepare for the coming year. Outside, it’s also the most beautiful. It’s the season I feel most contemplative and also when I feel the most gratitude. As the leaves change, I reflect on the year that has passed.
Winter, on the other hand, is the busy season in my work. My clients are all working on their fresh starts, their strategies for the new year. Winter is my time to show up and serve my clients to the best of my ability. This works perfectly because I’m less distracted by nature in the winter and prefer to observe its beauty from inside with a hot cup of tea. Thankfully I have a desk with a view!
Spring is all about taking care of the details I might have let slide during the busy season. It’s also about getting my systems in place to prepare for the summer. In nature it’s time to plant the garden and start sowing seeds, literally.
And then we come to summer…in Canada this is the season we wait for. Summer is filled with adventure for me — camping, swimming, exploring — so I tend to work a lot less. I focus on serving my clients and enjoying life. This is the time when I hope my hard work the rest of the year has paid off. It’s also an exhausting season, so the fall is a welcome relief, back to introspection and refocusing.
What would your seasons look like if you outlined them like this? How can you honour them more intentionally?
The same intentionality can be followed for your daily cycles. It’s your job as an entrepreneur to understand the rhythms of your body and when you do your best work. You get to set your schedule, and it’s your responsibility to schedule things when they make the most sense.
It can be tricky to follow them perfectly, but that’s okay. If you can follow them often, you’ll see huge improvements in your productivity and happiness.
For me, the early mornings are family time. I’m not stressing about work, I’m just enjoying a nice hot breakfast and playing with my daughter while I can.
After she’s dropped off at Forest Preschool, after my dog gets his walk, then it’s time to focus. I’ve learned I write much quicker in the mornings, and it’s a less painful process. If I’m doing anything creative it absolutely must be in the mornings or not at all.
Lunch gives me a well-deserved break. If I’m having an especially good day, I might even take a short knitting break to refocus for the afternoon. This is usually the time my partner and I catch up, share a hot lunch, and enjoy some social time.
Afternoons are very client-focused. Often I do about 3–4 hours of calls, intermixed with checking email, meetings, and whatever else needs to be done.
When 4 or 5pm comes around, I’m spent. My work day is over and my focus is back on family. Making dinner, walking the dog, playing, sometimes some cleaning. Always some reading, and prioritizing getting to bed on time.
Is my day like this every day? Absolutely not. Sometimes I have calls in the morning. Sometimes I have appointments. Sometimes I take the day off! Many days I skip my creative time and go on a big hike with a friend. This is just a reference guide for me. If I know I have something creative to do, I make sure I do it in the morning. I try to schedule calls in the afternoon when I can because I find them energizing.
What could your days look like if you planned them according to your energy? What would be possible for you? What would be easier? What might you enjoy more?
I share this framework with you so you can start working in flow with your energy instead of against it. So you can enjoy your day more because you’re working as your best self whenever possible. You may even find (like I did) that things you thought you didn’t like doing, you actually DO like when you do them at the right time of day or year.
Your daily and quarterly rhythm will likely be completely different than mine. And that’s amazing! It’s all about discovering what works for you.
Almost all of my clients struggle with time management, and getting to know their rhythms is where we always start. We often play with the circumstances they may need to accomplish different tasks, as well. For example, do you work better in 30 minute sprints, or 2 hour chunks? Do you work better when you’re working with others, or quietly alone? If you’d like some help figuring out your own work rhythms, let’s chat. You can book a call here.