Does this sound familiar?
You get to the office at 8:00am feeling inspired. You have a to-do list a mile long but that’s OK. It’s early in morning and you are ready to rock n’ roll. You are powering through your work and then around 10:00am you start to feel a little distracted. You really want to go out for a walk or move or do something other than what you are working on. You try to ignore the urge and re-focus. But the pull is strong. So you eat something or you check Facebook; anything but doing your work. Finally you get back on track. You re-engage with the work and start crossing things off your list.
Feeling productive, you keep moving through your tasks when you realize it 12:00pm. Lunch time! Everyone else is taking a break so you do too even though you really aren’t that hungry. Instead of really taking a break you go back to your desk and troll through Facebook or the Huffington Post while aimlessly stuffing your not-really-that-hungry self.
After 30 minutes it’s back to work! But now you are not really focused at all. In fact, the rest of the afternoon you are fighting the almost constant urge to do anything but your work. You look around and everyone else seems to be on task so you get mad at yourself for not being able to work like everyone else. What’s wrong with you? You better get back to work or everyone else is going to think you’re a slacker. The afternoon rolls on and at 3:00pm you are cruising the kitchen looking for a snack even though you feel bloated for eating your lunch so fast. You continue to beat yourself up until 5:00 all the while not getting much done or what you do get done is pretty crappy. You pack up your computer and go home just to repeat the scenario the next day. And the next. And the next
Now consider this scenario…
You wake up early and follow your morning ritual, connecting with yourself, moving your body, setting your intention for the day. You feel ready to tackle the day so you open your inbox and promptly take care of the dozen or so emails that require your immediate attention. You are focused and ready to work. After about an hour of taking care of some administrative work you get ready to go into the office.
You arrive knowing that your email has been addressed, for now, so no need to open the inbox. With a clear mind you begin your most pressing project, inspired to complete the task. About mid-morning you listen to your body and decide to go for a 30 minute walk. You head down to the cafe and enjoy a cup of tea while just sitting and thinking. You return to the office refreshed and ready to get back to work.
You spend the next couple of hours working on one of your projects that requires a little creative thinking and daydreaming. It’s OK that you are taking the time to think and wonder because you spent the morning banging out your most urgent to-dos. You feel the ease of just relaxing into your more creative side.
After about two hours you realize you’re getting a little hungry. You step away from your desk for lunch. You might find a quiet spot in the office or you might take your lunch to the park. You give yourself about 30 minutes to enjoy your meal uninterrupted followed by a short walk before returning to the office. This helps your digestive system kick into gear so you don’t feel bloated later in the day.
Once back at your desk you take some time to review what you’ve done, looking at what you have left on your list. You engage in some deep conversation with your colleagues, recognizing your natural tendency to want to chat in the afternoon. You check your email one last time and follow up with any issues still lingering from the morning. Around 3:00pm you feel your energy start to lag. Instead of fighting through it you pack up your things and head home. You decide to go out for a run or a walk to re-energize yourself. You take out your project list, make adjustments to your to do list and prepare for the following day. You are are so motivated you end up working until 6:00pm and finish the day reading an article you been meaning to get to this week.
So what’s the difference between scenario number one and scenario number two?
In the second one you are following your own rhythm, your own ideal patterns, your own Feminine Work Flow. When you embrace your Feminine Work Flow you harness the power of the masculine energy (action, focus, honor, structure, drive) along with the power of the feminine energy (pleasure, play, vision, beauty, joy, ease, devotion) We all have these aspects to ourselves whether we are men or women. The key is learning to embrace all parts of ourselves.
Harnessing the power of your own personal workflow is the key to unlocking your full productive potential. If you know you are more naturally productive at 7:00am, ask your boss if you can start work earlier. Feel more juiced at 3:00pm? Maybe you can start later in the morning and work until 6:00 or 7:00? Even if you can’t change your scheduled hours you can incorporate some of these ideas into your day. Get up and move when you feel your attention decline. Drink a glass of water or go for a walk when your energy starts to wane. Stare out the window and daydream if you need a little inspiration. Feeling distracted? Put your headphones on, close your eyes, and listen to your favorite song. You are not the same as the person in the next cubicle so honor your own style and embrace your own flow.
With the help of my coach I have been able to discover my feminine work flow and it has been a game changer for me. Instead of fighting against my own rhythms I have embraced my natural energetic flow. I get more done, enjoy myself more, and find more pleasure in my work. Does it work all the time? No. Do I have to sometimes push past what my natural flow is and power through when the job needs to be done? Yes. But I have discovered the more I honor myself, take care of myself, and listen to myself the happier I am!