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Business Makeover Library
Make Over Your Work Style
Do you ever stop to consider how your work style affects your business results? From the moment we show up at school, we learn linear, logical ways of working. Before that we were infinitely creative and playful.
Recent research on Generation Y's work preferences shows they look for spaces that are engaging, creative and more like home. I am clearly a confused and somewhat different GenXer because I have always worked in those ways! And this has been the source of much of my creative thrival at work.
Would you be willing to look at how you actually work? And would you be willing to experiment with different ways of working for the next month? Here are four ways to play with your work style that could make a huge difference between having creative thrival or being stuck in productive survival.
Week 1 | Your Work Space
I work everywhere. In the garden. At the beach. In my office. At my business partner's house. In different rooms of my house. In our healing studio. At the library. On mountaintops and in café's.
I literally wake up, consider what I'm going to do for the day, who I need to see… and then I get a sense of which workspaces would be the most productive and generative for me. I also rearrange my workspaces to create different energies.
When I'm writing, I need total silence and peace. When I'm developing ideas, I need colour, books, art materials and big clear spaces. When I'm coaching, I need a sense of infinite space, inspiration and possibility…
Would you be willing to get creative with your workspaces? Experiment with what works? Clear out the clutter? Try out a few different spaces for different tasks? It truly will change how you look at your work!
Week 2 | Your Work Priorities
The traditional way of getting things done is to have a big to-do list of everything you should do, must do and have to do. And then you try and squash a million hours of work into the 40 or so hours of work time for the week by prioritising, procrastinating or otherwise getting paranoid about what you haven't done yet. It's definitely not the most fun way to work!
I spent years trying to create a 'routine' because that's what all the guru's said you had to have to be productive.
Not anymore! Every single day is totally different now and that's the way I like it! I scan every project that is in my universe each morning and I get a sense of which projects require my attention today. Which projects are going to move forward the fastest if I work on them. Which projects will be ease and fun and joy. And I start there… and I keep working until the energy changes.
The moment I feel like it is all getting too hard, or there is a sense of heaviness or slowness, I stop.
Go play. And then do another scan… working on the next yummy thing that would benefit from a blast of my energy. I get way more done than the average person on any day. AND I have a lot of fun with my work.
So for this week, look at your work from a flexible, spontaneous perspective. Go with the flow of where you can make the greatest difference the fastest. And only work on something while it feels good. See if being really present in the moment for at least part of your workday makes a difference!
Week 3 | Your Work Projects
How many projects and ideas do you have sitting there waiting for you to find time? This week is all about the spring clean. Have a good look at each project. Are you truly ever going to do it or has its time been and gone? Is this project really going to deliver what you expect, or is it time to reinvent it as something greater? What if you had a big farewell party for all of the projects that are not going to come to fruition in the next six months. Put them in a box (or the bin!!) and let them hibernate for a while.
If you inject lots of space, energy and creativity into the 3 – 5 projects that can make the greatest difference to your business and get them moving forward quickly, you will totally change the energy in your business.
I create from a sense of unlimited space, rather than a sense of time limits. So when I create space for a project to move forward, rather than trying to find time to do it, elements inevitably start to shift with very little effort on my part.
Week 4 | Your Work Style
How often are you frustrated by how you have things set up? Maybe your email isn't seamless between your phone, laptop and computer. Maybe you spend too much time sitting and you'd like more movement in your day. Maybe you feel like you can't escape the social media treadmill?
Write a list of the top 5 things you are currently tolerating about your work or work environment. And then explore at least 5 creative ways of solving or changing each issue… and keep playing until you find an approach that is fun and creates the outcomes you are looking for.
For example: If you are stuck at your desk for too many hours a day you could:
- Set up a stand-up workstation.
- Get a fitball to sit on so you are working your core muscles.
- Take a 20 minute walk twice a day.
- Hold meetings in other locations so you can get out and about.
- Add delight to your office environment – a client of mine grows fresh herbs on her desk so she can make cocktails on Friday's!
What if all of your work could feel like play? Even when you are under the pump? These four workstyle makeovers are a great place to start creating work as play as your everyday reality!