One of the reasons we experience overwhelm is that we have not established a rhythm for our work. That rhythm is determined by what we love to do best, how skilled we are at doing it, and our choice of what to do.
What do you love to do best?
What you love to do best is hidden within what you choose to do most. I could say I love to write but hidden within that is my need/burning desire to use writing to figure out things that interest me. That’s my bottom line. That’s my driving force – figuring out things that excite me. Look deeply at what you love to do and find the defining motivation.
What do you need to learn?
Often our work rhythm is thrown off by the need to figure out something we don’t know how to do. We have to take time to learn something new. It’s important to identify that the need to learn something is the reason your rhythm has been thrown off. When you learn the new skill, or understand the new concept, you can work more efficiently and with less concentration. Look at your work rhythm. What do you need to learn that would make things move forward more smoothly?
What is the criteria for your choices?
Look at decisions as experiments. You are just trying on something to see how it feels or looks. Like choosing several pieces of clothing on a rack and trying them on. Sometimes you buy something, sometimes you don’t. However, with each garment you try on, you learn what you did and did not like about it. That is progress. That is using decisions to experiment.
What is the measuring stick for your choices?
My measuring stick for establishing my work rhythm comes from three qualities I want to focus on in my life and business: Connection, Impact, Unfolding. Connection is vital for me on a personal level. My tribes are on line – the Deeper Song Community and several online course communities. Impact is a powerful measuring stick. Of the choices before me, which one can make the most impact? Another way to use impact as a measuring tool is to ask what could make the most impact in the shortest time. Finally unfolding, something I have been consciously working on for several years. As I establish my work rhythm allowing the insights to unfold is a major choice. What measuring stick are you using to guide your choices?
How to “fix” you work rhythm
- Create steps that lead to completion. It is very satisfying to come to the end of a day and acknowledged the things you completed. Honor yourself for the small steps you have taken. Maybe even have a “What I accomplished today” list.
- Buckle down and learn what is holding you up. I need to get better/faster at editing a podcast. I need to become better at recording from an outline rather than a script. I need to practice. That’s all I need to do – practice. I need to schedule practice time into my work rhythm.
- Make choices that keep you balanced. I am comfortable with a commitment for two blog posts and one newsletter a week. Now I want to add a podcast. How often do I want to produce a new one? What does that mean in terms of editing and recording time? On what days do I schedule all those steps? When my skill level increased through practice, I easily positioned this new podcasting element into may work rhythm. I felt more balanced and in control. There was learning involved, but mostly it is about continuing to add skills through practice.
- The One Day at a Time method. I have a focus for each day of the week: Monday-Writing, Tuesday-Courses, Wednesday-Podcasts, Thursday-Webinars, Friday-Technical. Weekends are Loose Ends and Study and whatever I get excited to create. This method of assigning a target for each day prevents overwhelm and keeps me focused. Each week I experience progress in every one of these areas. When an idea for a podcast comes up, I simply put the idea in the Podcast section for Wednesday. I do not allow myself to be pulled off target, I simply put the idea on the assigned day where I can work with the idea within my chosen work rhythm.
- Don’t spend all your time planning. Watch out for the times you simply shuffle your ideas around. Pick three steps a day and do them. At the end of your day look at where you are, see what has emerged and choose three steps to accomplish the next day.
When inspiration strikes
Because I use my writing to figure things out, my writing is often spontaneous and urgent. It can’t be put off. A new draft needs to be captured. In the passion of the moment, it doesn’t take long to let the ideas bubble out so I know that I have captured them. However, if possible, I simply note my idea in the notes for the day I will address it and stick with my schedule.
Find your work rhythm
Watch how you work. Look for the disruptions. Look for the solid period of total concentration. What surrounded that? What time of day was that? How motivated were you, how passionate about what you wanted to do? Schedule you most important work there.
Write down your discoveries and establish the rhythm of work that suits you best.
To Sing a Deeper Song Consider:
Unleash the Power of Completion (Course)