On Small Business Saturday, I shared a post on Facebook about the three core areas of writing I pursue. One reader questioned how in the world I get it all done. I mentioned I’m very scheduled and stick to my work day plans.
It really is that simple.
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Workflow: Fast or Fruitful?
Fast forward to this morning. I was reading a few chapters of In Pursuit of Slow by Jackie Jarvis. She questions how we’ve settled on our current pace of life (busy and hectic or mindful and calm) and discusses the typical work qualities instilled in us from traditional employers.
“I know people who have retired from corporate life and who have decided to work for themselves. They almost all found it extremely difficult to let go of the corporate rules they spent most of their working lives following,” Jarvis writes.
She goes on to say, “You see them doing the hours, writing endless reports, sticking to self-created deadlines, controlling themselves and others as if the boss is still watching over them. They are afraid to let go of a structure in case they can no longer function properly. The rules provide a wall of safety around them.”
Wow. This idea makes me feel conflicted.
The Teeter Totter of Balance
I readily attribute my routine and structured way of tackling work tasks with my productivity and success. After all, if some of this approach is what makes businesses grow and thrive, why wouldn’t we emulate some of their strategies?
But, I am 100 percent a cheerleader for healthy work-life balance and integration. I’m incredibly thankful and appreciative for the opportunity to be self-employed and make a living working in words. I schedule yoga classes and computer screen breaks with intention in my work day to bolster my mental and physical well-being.
Often, I work when I’m inspired (like now, on a Saturday morning), rather than when I’m scheduled. Why? Because I want and need to express my ideas at the time they are percolating. It’s part of my creative process.
My career isn’t 9-to-5.
For my friends with flex schedules, or who own their own businesses, how do you schedule your days? Do you stick to a traditional schedule once dictated to you by an employer (perhaps lunch at noon and personal time after 5pm) or do you listen to your body and mind and allow your daily living and work tasks to flow together and balance themselves out? I’d love to hear about your ideas about scheduling in the comments below or on this Facebook post. ~Angela
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