Imagine shadowing a successful CEO for a day and learning his or her secrets. What would you discover that you could use in your own business? When I began working in the software industry I and had much to learn, I spent hours digesting the best information I could find in articles, blogs, links and webinars.
CEOs and entrepreneurs of all stripes share their secrets about how they produce work that is much admired. Over the years, I have learned how to work in a manner that is personally satisfying and often praised. I've achieved a way of working attuned to my own endeavours but everyone has a unique approach to work.
A holiday weekend away from work is an opportune time to reflect on the way you work. Begin by looking at aspects of your job that diminish your energy and creative spark. As you investigate further, the thrill at finding a better way to do things is innately motivating.
Structure - in the physical sense (a schedule and work space) and the intangible sense (creativity and motivation) provides the discipline to do your best work.
A daily routine, a congenial work space, and the tools and routines that fuel one's creativity and motivation are the keys to a successful workday.
Central to any creative workday is structure. If you want to dance with your muse, hey, you have to know where you put your dancing shoes. This was the hardest part for me. Reading Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit, helped.
According to Tharp, you can't be creative if you work without structure. Daily routines are essential. I always start the day by watching an International news channel. At 7:30 a.m., my computer chimes and I'm open for business. At the top of my calendar is a list of the things I must do today. I also decide what pleasure to give myself when I complete the list. A part of me will mutiny if I don't give work and fun equal measure.
I complete a five-hour work session, break for lunch then come back to tidy up loose ends before closing up for the day. Three or four times a week, I go to my local gym. My body rebels from long hours in front of a computer. The Sport Club membership is an integral part of my weekly routine.
The Work Space
My office space is open, filled with natural light, uncluttered and divided into zones. I plan projects at the desk by a large window. The city skyline sparkles outside the window and clouds scuttle across a blue sky. Somehow the view helps when I'm strategizing a way to manage a tricky project.
It's impossible to ignore the inner voice who reminded me I've been hard at work since 7:30 a.m. and is about to take my head off. If I push myself, the work is usually crappy. Recharging my creative battery enters the schedule.
This is serious business and requires a bit of experimenting. Creative time-outs, a concept I picked up from Artist's Way at Work, requires you to engage with someone's creative output. You have to observe how you respond to various media to find what refuels your own creativity. I listen to audiobooks. If the author sweeps me away to a totally different world, so much the better.
Lately, the word work has a positive ring to it. I owe it to finding a way to work that suits my lifestyle and supports my daily creative effort. Leave comments about what works for you.