I confess, I wrote this blog on a Sunday. Not because I am overworked and don’t have time during the week, but because I regularly trade a weekday (or two) for a Saturday or Sunday, depending on my other commitments. Knowing that it’s quiet in my office then, without phone calls, emails and other interruptions, is not only real bliss, but substantially increases my productivity levels!
I turned the 5-day work week upside down many years ago in response to my husband’s erratic work schedule as an airline pilot. Both as a business owner and a mum of three children (now grown up), I’ve never looked back.
Work-wise, weekends are a great time to reflect on the previous week and to plan the next week, catch up on invoices, clear out the email inbox, do general admin and write articles and blogs, such as this one.
Who says you have to work Monday to Friday anyway? You may want to because of childcare and other routines but to be fair, I don’t know many successful women freelancers or micro business owners able to run their business like a job! Self employment places very different demands on you, well beyond the perceived need to be present at your desk 9 to 5.
So as long as you have adequate childcare and rest days and times for yourself, and your office is ‘manned’ when it needs to be, then who cares?
With all the clever technology we have at our disposal these days, you could be anywhere when taking calls or responding to email. Why not engage an answering service or virtual assistant to cover you when out of the office on, say a Wednesday, whilst spending a well-deserved day at a spa?
If you work office hours, Monday to Friday and your current productivity levels are high, then by all means continue to do what works for you.
However, if your current work regime makes you both unproductive and prone to distractions, then why not reflect upon the hours and the way you work- maybe your current routine isn’t working?
A friend of mine, a successful self employed business woman, now works mornings only, so she can have time for her personal projects as well as quality time with the children after school. Mind you in her case, mornings mean an early start at 6am.
If that’s your best time of day, then why not use it to work? Other business mums I know work 5 or 6 work hours during their children’s school hours and then some more, once they’ve gone to bed. My own concentration levels are highest between 10am and 2pm as well as in the evenings. Allowing myself the flexibility to work when I’m at my best, helps me to be not only much more motivated, but far more productive. On days when I try to push through low and naturally less productive periods, my pace can be noticeably slower, increasing the risk of procrastination and ineffective multitasking.
So have a think – if you are not as productive as you would like to be, then stop working how everyone else is working for the sake of it, and think outside the box. Making up your own rules to suit you, your business and your family, may have measurable positive results ….and will be worth it in the end.
Ute Wieczorek-King is an experienced trainer, mentor and business coach who specialises in helping busy women be more efficient, productive and profitable in business. Author of the e-book “How to Write a Simple 12 Month Plan”, Ute also runs Success Network and the Inner Circle Business Clubs which provide peer-to-peer business mentoring and support. For more information please visit Success Network: http://www.successnetwork.org.uk