I recently flipped my schedule around in anticipation for Summer Break. I’m usually one of those people who likes to wind up to work by starting the day off and clearing out a bunch of small, easy to do tasks that make me feel like I’ve accomplished something. After all, success breeds success. So I do things like check email, post a few things on facebook, tweet a few things, and write a blog post if it’s my day for it. All things that should, in theory, take a few minutes each and net me with many successes before I reach the bottom of that first cup of coffee. Only, as we all know, email and facebook and twitter don’t quite work that way, do they?
So I looked at my work habits and wondered why I was giving my best “me” to email and facebook and twitter? All things that could be done at any time of day, or even on the go, via the smartphone. Why was I devoting desk time, and early-morning desk time, too–to these second-priority tasks?
I realized I was still operating on an assumption about myself that has evolved. Prior to kids, I worked a full-time job, so writing time came at night when the day was winding down. When my kids came along, writing time came at odd hours as well–nap times, that low period in the middle of the night when the Fussies are winding down, but you’re good and awake–and eleven-minute stretches (the length of the average TV cartoon episode).
Somewhere along the way my best working time has evolved. Mornings after the kids leave are quiet and I can think in long stretches without worrying why it’s so quiet and if anybody’s setting something on fire. So in essence, I asked myself why I was spending my Best Self time on second-rate tasks? It’s like a light bulb went on–I’d finally asked the Right Question. I set up an experiment for myself–for the next three weeks, the first thing I’m going to do after the kids leave is get my working writing done. No morning appointments, no morning clean-ups of the kitchen or laundry (because honestly, it ain’t going anywhere), and no morning sessions on email or facebook. Because I know where my Best Self needs to go, and it ain’t in facebook posts!
Have your work habits evolved? I bet they have, even if you haven’t noticed. When is your best work time now? Is it the same as it was five years ago? One? Six months ago? If your Best You time has changed, alter your work habits to catch that time and use it!
Writing is how I work from home. I write about quirky people finding their own crazy paths to happily ever after. My short contemporary romantic comedy, Forever Material, shows how a Dating Diva learned how to take her own lessons and figure out who’s Mr. Wrong and who’s Mr. Right.
She’s absolutely sure he’s not the marrying kind…
He’s absolutely sure she’s right…
But he’s still going to prove her wrong.