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Break The Time Box

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Guest post by by Cass Mullane, Accountability Coach, Right-Brain Business Plan® Licensed Facilitator, Prosper Creatively, LLC

Don’t you just love getting up in the morning? You pop out of bed, hop in the shower and zip into work because you love arriving bright and early. You sit down and start tackling the tasks of the day and by the time everyone else is rolling in, you’ve already gotten in a couple of hours of good, solid work.

Wait a minute…

Don’t you just hate it when that alarm goes off and you have to get up in the morning? You drag yourself out of bed, stumble to the shower and haul yourself to work, sucking down the coffee just to keep your eyes open. You sit down, look at the stack of work to be done and lay your head on the desk wishing for a few hours more sleep.

As business owners, we all have to deal with getting up and going to work. And we all have models of behavior that are ingrained in us that relate to work. For example, some of you of you come from environments with a time-clock and you punch in on time and leave on time. Others come from a corporate environment a where there are set hours for arrival and departure and you know the minimum work day is generally 8-9 hours.

So, what happens when you decide to head out on your own? How do you set your work hours?

Here are a couple of things to consider when thinking about your work hours:

  1. When do your clients and customers expect you to be available to them
  2. When do you want to be available to your clients and customers
  3. When do you need to spend time working on your business
  4. What are your body’s natural rhythms in terms of when you are most productive and when you need to be doing something else.

I have a client who found herself struggling to get into her office by 9:00 am each day and who would berate herself about not being able to arrive on time and how unprofessional she was. She was also causing herself some discomfort at home as she was unable to enjoy morning chats with her spouse because she was in such a rush to get to the office. In addition, she was forcing herself to work through the last two hours of her day and beating herself up for not getting much done those last two hours. She did not understand why she was having such frustration with what she “knew” was the “right” way to work. After all, she had done it as a corporate professional for many years. Plus, she had read that super successful people always arrived at the office early and stayed late.

When we looked at her self-imposed requirement to be at the office at 9:00 am and not to go home until 6:00 pm, we discovered a few things:

  1. She was not “required” to be at the office at all; much of her work could be done at other places like home, coffee shops or even outside in the parks.
  2. She was not “required” to be at the office at the crack of 9:00, especially since the building itself did not open to the public until 10:00.
  3. She was not “required” to stay until 6:00 every day, especially since the building closed to the public at 5:00
  4. Her body was telling her in no uncertain terms that late afternoons were her least productive time so forcing herself to stay with the expectation of being productive was not such a bright idea.
  5. Her soul was telling her that she needed to change something or she’d go nuts.

So we decided to break the time box that she had encased herself in.

As the CEO of her business she realized that she had the flexibility to set her own schedule to match her body’s natural rhythms with the needs of her business, her customers and clients and her family.

So, are you encased in a self-imposed time box? Are there adjustments that you can make that would allow you a better flow with your business needs and your personal needs?

Is it time to break the time box?

Cass Mullane is an artist with an MBA. Cass’ calm, comfortable approach consistently yields positive results for clients. Her business and personal coaching practice, www.ProsperCreatively.com, specializes in delivering solid left brain business skills to right brainers and creatives in a fun, visual way. She’s a best selling author, textile and mixed media artist and creator of the Cool Stuff Jar™ coaching program. You can also visit Cass on Facebook!

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