Bottle Your Lightning.
By farrrrrrrr, the biggest question I seem to get as of late is, "How do you get so much done?" and the most frequent compliment I'm receiving is, "You are so FAST at getting things done!" If you're someone who wants to get more done, faster, then this one's for you, beautiful.
Fist, a disclaimer: You DO NOT have to have tons of energy, a huge team of people, and endless resources to get a lot done fast. I can attest to this because I don't have any of those things and I whip through to do lists and projects like I'm after a pot of gold at the end of the damn rainbow. I struggle with low energy reserves on most days and yet I have figured out the magic potion that works for me to reach my goals quickly without working 24/7.
Here's HOW I work:
+ I work from home because I have total control over the environment and it's not distracting to me.
+ I schedule no more than 3 client (or potential client) meetings in a day that are 1 hour each so that I always (EVERY.SINGLE.DAY) have open time in my schedule that is "unscheduled" to do whatever feels most pressing to me on that day.
+ I do photoshoots early in the morning or after 7pm because the light is best at those times AND because the rest of the day is not banging on my doorstep. In addition, because this one became a time suck for me, I hired an incredible team of photographers to step up if needed.
+ I work when I WANT to work. Sometimes this is from 7-11am. Sometimes this is from 6pm-12am. Sometimes it's two hours in the morning and 4 later in the day. I capitalize on the lightening striking and I ride that wave to shore. Too often we push off the lightning because "it's not time for work right now" and then we miss it. That energy is gone when we sit down and will it to come later on or the next day. Go with the flow of your energy rather than fighting it each step of the way. This is why rigid schedules don't work for me. I can't do the "Monday is this, Tuesday is this, Wednesday is this..." nonsense.
+ I recap my week with Tessa every Sunday, go through our client pipeline person by person, and plan for the week ahead with her over the phone. This touchpoint has been a game-changer for me. She takes notes, I do the talking and we get all of our ducks in a row. What didn't get done this week? What HAS to get done this coming week? Who needs more attention? Who needs less attention? How can we do this thing better? Where did we drop the ball? At the end of this conversation, I always feel refreshed, complete, and ready for what's next. Tessa then recaps the conversation to me in an e-mail with our tasks outlined.
By practicing these things, I have learned to "bottle my lightening" by paying attention to when I'm most electric and powerful and then using what I learn to schedule a work week that caters to that energy rather than one that works against it. This will look different for each of us. We all work differently and are most effective in wildly different circumstances. My recommendation is to journal your week next week and then sit down to look at any patterns you notice and how you could try structuring the following week differently so that you are happier and thus, more efficient.
If I'm not feeling inspired or connected to my work then I do one of two things:
1) I don't work. I tell myself, "This will pass. Give yourself the time you need." and I take the afternoon or the day off to take care of myself and my family. Maybe I'm more inspired to do laundry. Maybe hanging out with the dogs in the back yard is what I need to fill my tank. I used to think not wanting to work was a reason for panic. "UGGGGH!!! Where's my energy? I have so much to do!!!" Now I look at it as a sign that my brain and body need something else and I'm either ignoring that or I'm honoring that.
2) I find something that DOES inspire me to work. Maybe the stuff on my list is just not ready for me yet. Or I'm not ready for it. I try to think outside the box and ask myself, "What would be fun?" It may be powering through some ads on Canva. Or writing a slew of IG captions for Planoly. Maybe it's an impromptu photoshoot or calling up a mentor to chat. There's usually work that I want to do... it's just a matter of finding what it is and then shifting my focus. I give myself space for that now rather than pushing myself towards a list of things that are draining me.
Does the "draining" list of things every get done? YES! Every time! I wake up the next day... or I have lunch... or I drink a big glass of water... and suddenly, Bam, I am motivated to tackle things that previously felt insurmountable. I love getting things done and I love not having an endless 'to do' list.
Being a doer does not mean powering through every task, every day. It means aligning yourself with the work that lights you up and then re-calibrating as needed - day in and day out. Don't put yourself in a box.
This way you are always accomplishing something... it's just that "something" may be catching up with an old friend, finishing a book, or doodling with your apple pencil. This down time is JUST as important as your mad scientist moments where you whiz around checking off 'to do's' like the CEO you are. It clears our brains, gives us room for new ideas, and makes us feel at peace so we have the necessary reserves to forge ahead. As humans, we are innately driven to master our craft. We WANT to achieve and grow and create. We just don't want to do it exactly by the book every second of every day. We want autonomy to choose our work.
“We have three innate psychological needs—competence, autonomy, and relatedness. When those needs are satisfied, we’re motivated, productive, and happy.”
- Daniel Pink, Drive
If you want to learn more about when you're most electric and how to bottle that for a more efficient and productive work week, reach out! I can help you notice your patterns, what drains your energy, and what lights you up so you get more done without actually doing more work.