Personalizing productivity for business

Confessions of a workaholic, controlling, type A boss lady: I have a hard time taking a break.  And while I am extremely productive and proud of what I have accomplished, I have times where I feel stuck because everything I have to be doing right now is getting jumbled, delayed, and generally lacking motivation.  You know, that mindset that allows productivity and creativity (that you know is in here somewhere) flow out onto your content writing, product planning, or whatever it is you do.  My instinct is to work harder, longer, and push through it with lackluster results and fatigue.  But, by God, I got it done.


Mondays are my day off.  And by that, as I am typing this now on a Monday, I mean the day that I do not schedule appointments.  I get Cay ready for school and drop her off before going into a quiet office for a couple hours on email and work, then pick her up and spend the afternoon hanging at the house, maybe probably some cleaning, laundry, and food prep for the rest of the week.  Basically, Mondays are my Sundays, Tuesdays are my Monday, and the rest of the week is a juggling act of events, meetings, kid, and trying to force time and mindset to create.

Even on this day “off”, I have felt the need to get myself “ready” and go into the office to sit at my desk to check off my list.  My “fuck it bucket” seems to be overflowing as a side effect of my coming of age into my career and letting go of other’s expectations projected onto me, but last week I didn’t.

Last week, I took a little longer in the shower and didn’t put myself together more than some leggings and a shirt for kid drop off (those schools who are threatening a parent dress code can shove it) and went back home.  I made a fancy french press coffee with nutella, cinnamon, sweetened condensed milk concoction (this deserves a name) and cheese toast, lit candles, and created a space to do a little catch up.  It was glorious.  And work got done. Better yet, my head cleared a little, I took a few deeper breaths (why is just breathing so complicated?), and the rest of the week I felt a little better equipped to handle the challenges.

So today, another Monday, a longer shower, kid drop off, back home for fancy coffee and chicken rolls (Publix fried chicken on Hawaiian rolls with honey= amazing and you’re welcome), picked up the house a little and created my nook, opened windows, candle and incense burning, Erika Badu radio on Pandora and I am now getting through some planning and content that I have been pushing off or feeling too cluttered to accomplish in the office.  I created space- physical and mentally- for myself to be.


I think it was a TED Talk about productivity, but the comment that stuck with me was about where you are the most creative.  If you think about your great epiphanies, moments of perfect flow, million dollar ideas, they probably came to you while driving, in the shower, at the coffee shop, walking through a gallery or in other words, not sitting at your desk.  Now obviously, work needs to be done and most of the time I need to be in my office, but there has to be something to the shift from cubicles and traditional box offices to spaces with reading nooks, coffee bars, yoga or meditation rooms and quality design that includes plants and great views.  It has taken 6 years of #renovatingtherialto and I am finally putting effort into my own office that includes a work space, a creative space, and a lounging area.  Sometimes just sitting in a different spot that at my desk helps shift my mentality enough to be more productive.

I have rarely had a traditional 9-5 but rather worked in professional sports and teaching (with a very short stint in a sales office) where work overflowed into home and personal time and I thrived as a workaholic, with small sacrifices to my creative soul. I got out of jobs where other people set my hours, only to force stricter expectations on myself and have missed out on some of the joy of being my own boss.  “I did not give up the 9-5 grind only to work 24/7.” -Entrepreneurs everywhere

I am turning a page as 8-Count Productions turned 8 this Summer and the Rialto project is 6 years in, where business is less of a struggle and grind but more of a strategic planning phase where I can add in some more flexibility.  With a child attending school part-time and a second on the way, my schedule has shifted and I am re-evaluating my office hours, appointment hours, and event needs, and for the first time, taking into consideration where and when I am more productive.  Sometimes, that is at home.  In sweatpants.  With my fancy coffee and a cat crawling over my laptop.  Sometimes, that is sitting in the art gallery with natural light flowing in.  At times, it will also require me to step away from work on a Tuesday for some self-care and push all my to-do’s till Wednesday.


And now, I give myself permission to do that.  I am my own boss.  And she agrees with a personalized productivity plan.

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