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…
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?
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?
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!