After six hours of working in front of a computer, the only thing that really makes me feel better is a run.
Yesterday I knew I needed a break but didn’t have much time, so I laced up my running shoes anyway and ran as hard as I could for 15 minutes. Talk about cathartic.
While it wasn’t that long of a run, it was exactly what I needed: a quick jolt to my mind, and something to get my heart rate up. After a glass of water and a quick shower, I was back working like I had just started the day.
I’ve learned to listen to my body (and wife) to make the most of my time and energy levels. In fact, it’s the one reason I’m able to get up in the early morning and start my day excited.
I’ve worked both as a freelance consultant and with a company with layers of management, and I’ve been able to “be my own boss” in both places. It’s not that hard.
So many workers experience letdown when their bosses don’t manage them well, but I’d bet that the problem lies in our ability to make it clear how we work best.
Think about this: who best knows your workflow?
- When are you productive/not productive?
- What aspect of your day really motivates you?
- What projects excite you most?
- What physical environment is your best for working?
By answering these questions you can start to build a framework that optimizes how you work.
For example, I’ve found that I do my best thinking in the early morning hours, so that’s when I tackle the most intensive tasks of the day. I do more administrative (thoughtless) tasks in the afternoon, when my mind is aching for a siesta.
This works perfectly for me, and my bosses don’t try to micromanage my workflow. As long as I’m working hard and getting stuff done, they don’t care. They get it.
In fact, most management I’ve worked with are pretty accommodating to weird workflows if that’s when you’re most productive.
But the key here is you have to tell them. It’s impossible for a boss to know these things. The best person to manage your work is you.
You’re the only one capable of knowing exactly what you need to stay motivated and happy. You are your best boss.
The key is figuring out for yourself what you need to work your best, and letting everyone else know.
Image credit: Profound Whatever
Glen Stansberry writes at LifeDev, a blog that helps people make their ideas happen. You can follow him on Twitter here.