Recently, someone asked me how to maintain an “alternative” work style. Like everything, your work life has yin and yang aspects. Maybe you have an alternative work style that involves flex hours or shifting from work to non-work tasks throughout the day and night. You must attain balance to be happy and fulfilled; without balance, your creativity and productivity will suffer. With balance, a flexible style takes productivity and ingenuity to higher levels.
What works for some will not work for others. Some need that single-mindedness from 8 to 5 and then “turn the work switch off” when they step out of the workplace. Others, need little breaks mid-day for a jog, siesta, or to volunteer at a school. For some creative folks, the creativity ebbs and flows; you’ve got to access it when it’s flowing. So, how do you make alternative work styles work?
Alternative Work Styles Work When…
If you choose an alternative work style, there are a few principles to follow. Otherwise, you might as well call your work style “chaos.”
Get It Together
To accomplish tasks, create plans with time frames. Determine what you must accomplish in the professional and personal aspects of your life. Work space relates to mind space. Organize your work space to achieve mental clarity. Set-up your work space to reduce distractions. For some a window view stimulates problem solving. Others spend hours staring out the window idling away the time. Only you know what shiny items distract you!
Time Waits For No One
Your work style is not an excuse for making others wait while you grab that latte on the way. Be punctual for meetings and calls. Being late is disrespectful to others. It means that you don’t care about their time. They all think it’s great that you are a new mom and juggling ten million things. But hey, everyone is juggling ten million things… so get over it!
Get Inside Your Head
Creative thought is critical in any job. If you do not schedule time in your day for reflection, you will lose opportunities to ponder new, better ways to function. Read blogs, articles, and news during your thinking time. Record your thoughts and ideas on a regular basis so you can learn from your professional and personal experiences.
Be mindful and respect all of your priorities. Sometimes major events in two aspects of your life collide and you must choose. Only you can weigh the importance and assess the consequences of your choices. I am not advocating you pull a Ferris Bueller on the day you are scheduled to lead a major presentation. However, bugging out every so often to see your daughter’s soccer game is a good thing.
An alternative work style is the answer for so many. Balance is necessary for your personal productivity and growth. A balance of yin and yang leads to happiness and better health. Find a position and create a work style that is comfortable and that enables you to tend to all of your life’s priorities.
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