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biz ladiesLife & Business

Biz Ladies: Discover How You Work Best

by Stephanie

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Are you a morning person, or a night owl? Are you most creative when you’re alone, or do you come up with your best ideas when you’re in the middle of a team brainstorming session? We’re all wired differently, and the benefit of being a biz lady is that you have the option of structuring your work day to fit around what needs to get done (and when). This is particularly great for introverts (see more from their Biz Ladies post on building your business as an introvert), who know that being around people can often leave them depleted – not ideal if you’ve got to be “on” after a two-hour client meeting!

Claire and Allie from Charge Up, a guide to building a business and managing your energy with your introversion superpowers, are both entrepreneurs and they’re sharing a three-step process for identifying how you work best, and then working that way! – Stephanie

Read more after the jump…

Step 1:

Start off by thinking about what gives you energy, and what leaves you flat. Noting what exhausts you and celebrating high energy levels can help identify key trigger points in your daily life. Journaling is great for this, but try to put your thoughts on paper at the end of your work day, not just before you go to sleep, which might leave you buzzing!

If you’re not too sure where to start, here are a couple of questions to think about:

  • Describe 3 activities you undertook today that left you feeling recharged and energized.
  • Describe 3 activities you undertook today that left you feeling depleted, flat and like you need to retreat.
  • List 3 things you can do tomorrow to bring more of the list that fills you up into your day.
  • List 3 things you can do tomorrow to bring less of the list that depletes you into your day.

Prioritize the list above – what’s the number 1 thing you can do tomorrow to feel more energized?

Step 2:

Once you’ve answered the questions above, you’ll start to see some pretty clear patterns emerge. Try to look for:

  • What times of day do you do your most creative or brain-taxing work?
  • When do you feel like your energy is waning?
  • What sorts of activities fill you with lots of energy and which ones leave you feeling flat?
  • Who fills you with lots of energy, and who leaves you dry? This could just be clients, or it could be other relationships. What’s common about the people who fill you up?

Step 3:

By now, you should have a pretty clear idea of what fills you up and what sucks your energy. It’s time to turn this information into a plan!

Get out your calendar and block out your most productive or creative times. Don’t book any meetings during these times, or let yourself be sidetracked with admin work. Make that chunk of time reoccurring.

Use a weekly planner (or download one from Charge Up here!) to plot out your priorities. Make sure you include anything from a self-care perspective that will help you maintain your energy – pull from the journal exercise you completed above.

Don’t allow meetings to be booked all day, every day. Allie tries to avoid deadlines that hit on a Monday and, instead, meets with clients and potential clients so they feel taken care of before the week is suddenly over.

Don’t be tied to others’ expectations of how you “should” work. If you work well late at night, because that’s when the phones and emails are quiet, then you should totally work that way!

Sometimes, you just have to do things that tend to suck your energy, so make sure you schedule positive activities on either side. If you’re an introvert, and you have to go into a big brainstorming session with a bunch of colleagues, schedule time afterwards for tasks that will let you regroup. Even just scheduling some time to digest after the brainstorming session, and formulate your responses, could be enough, or you could skip out early for a yoga class.

Block out some time at the end of the day to plan the following day, to make sure you’re balancing your energy.

How do you manage your energy to get the most out of your work day? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Comments

  • Having a plan (I use my trusty daily planner for that), fueling my body (a well balanced meal, snacks in between and refilling up my BKR bottle constantly) and music (I listen to a variety of music; jazz, soul and hip hop being my favorites) playing in the background really helps me get my day/time maximized. Also, it’s very important to remember to take breaks! If you’re constantly working your brain out, you might leave it fried and exhausted of energy/inspiration!

  • This post is really helpful. Thank you for breaking down some steps in maximizing efficiency and being able to retain creativity and time for oneself. Taking some time out of my day to be alone always helps me to gather my thoughts.

  • This is a great post! I love planning out my day ahead of time with specific objectives. I’m so much more productive when I approach the day with a goal-oriented list. Thanks Biz Ladies!

  • Great advice! I just discovered Grid Diary – an app where you can add questions to evaluate your day. I just added the questions above and I’m interested to discover the results. Thank you!!!

  • These are awesome tips for a more structured approach to my day! I found that it makes more sense for me to work early in the morning as I’m usually a zombie late at night. However, when working on project teams I find that some of my colleagues work around the clock or sometimes in the middle of the night. I like to set expectations prior to the start of a project or team meeting in order to mitigate the risk of communication challenges and the perception that I’m not being a team player. Also, setting time limits of meetings and brainstorming sessions is also a plus as it sets parameters for the team as a whole.

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