Understanding Your Working Style

Today was a pretty weird day – I woke up to head to the office and when I checked my email to see what I had on for the day I’d noticed a bunch of people talking about working from home.  It’s not unusual for people in my team to work remotely if they don’t have any meetings on and we’re encouraged to try and do one day a week from home.

This was different, everyone kept alluding to “turning back and heading home” or “there’s no way over the Bridge”.

I live in on the Lower North Shore of Sydney, so I have to take the Harbour Bridge into the city every day to go to the office.  If you’ve never been to Sydney, the Harbour Bridge is a highlight and in general, Sydney Harbour is pretty spectacular with the Bridge overlooking the Opera House and the skyscrapers.

Let me just say, there are far worse commutes in the world and because I live so close, a normal run in via Uber is about 12-15 minutes.

Unfortunately, someone decided at 4:30am that it would be a good idea to climb up the Bridge and sit over top of the traffic.

Ok, I shouldn’t make light of this situation, it would appear that the guy in question is known to police and has some mental health issues, but still, it’s pretty poor form on that fella’s part.

Anyway, it lasted until 10:30am when he agreed to come down.

Traffic in my area was blocked back a couple kilometres with people trying to get onto the onramp into the city.  It literally was backed up for nearly three suburbs and that’s just one onramp.

So the idea of getting on public transport and waiting for a couple hours was stupid and not going to fly with me which made it a work from home day for me.

The problem is, I wasn’t mentally prepared to work from home.  My son Zac was under the weather and home from school, my wife obviously runs our online businesses from home, so we were all here today.

And I’d just had six days off, today was supposed to be my first day back in the office, so I wasn’t really in the swing of working to start with.

It was a hard day from a work perspective because I had no rhythm and wasn’t in the zone.

That’s my working style, I do things in huge bursts of activities and then the rest of the time I putter around doing bits and pieces.  I found myself today calling people and trying to have conversations about projects or clients but every time I did I just wasn’t into it.

I couldn’t get into any sort of flow.

Then late in the afternoon after I’d hung up my spurs for my regular job for the day, I started working on some ads for my book on Amazon.

At this point, I got into a state of flow.  I spent the whole day struggling and then after most of the day was done, it all started to happen.  I even decided to record a video about how I run my ads on Amazon and upload it to the Facebook Group – you can watch the video here.

I could get frustrated about this but I know that’s how I am – I work in bunches and while I can write these posts every day, the more serious creative work is something that I need to get in the zone for to put a dent in it.

Part of me would like to figure out how to be “more professional” and just do videos every single day and produce that kind of content on demand, but it’s just not my style.  The only thing I can do is try to gear myself up for “the push”, clear my schedule and just go with it when it happens.

It’s funny, people that I know who seem to be able to productively chip away at work in small bite-sized pieces every day all say that they “envy” my ability to sit down for 12 hours and crush through a bunch of work in one sitting.  Conversely, I tell them it would be great to be able to be like them and consistently do two hours a day for a week and get the same result.

There’s no right answer here beyond the fact that if you understand your own working style, you can accommodate it.  You can set yourself up for success by working to your strengths and your natural work rhythm.

The trick, of course, is to be self-aware enough to know how you best work and not seeing what you want to see.

But that’s a topic for another post.

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