productivity, small business

Know Yourself: Discovering Your Ideal Work Environment

So here’s a bit of news for you: I am one of Arts Fairfax’s Artists in Residence for the 2018/2019 school year.

What does this mean?

Well, I will be teaching/torturing kids at a Fairfax County Public School sometime soon, I know a lot more about the Virginia Standards of Learning than previously, and I have a head full to bursting with new acronyms and jargon that I am still struggling to understand.

I spent last week in a conference room with some pretty smart humans learning about effective teaching methods and how to live without sunlight and exercise. It was all very informative and incredibly inspiring, but boy am I happy that I won’t have to repeat the experience anytime soon. Why? I learned a lot about myself last week. A LOT. I learned there is a solid reason behind why I have my own business. I learned that I should be thankful for my job being what it is. Most importantly, I learned what it is exactly that I need from my surroundings and schedule, to be productive and content in my career.

Here are some things that I definitely need to thrive professionally:

1. Physical work

I have to actually make something with my hands. I need to move my body around and create something tangible almost every day. Last week, sitting in a chair all day every day  left me drained, grouchy, and twitching uncomfortably with excess energy at the end of each day. Making is how I think. If I don’t make, I get stuck in a rut.

2. Solitude

I am what is known as an introverted extrovert….or is it an extroverted introvert? Nevermind, the point is that despite enjoying the company of people, I need to spend a block of time working alone every day. It’s the only way I can  focus on pressing matters, and it recharges me on many levels . Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I’m a very self motivated person. The flip side of this is that, I also cannot work with zero human contact. I need to be around people, just not all the time.

3.Calling the Shots

Let’s face it, I may have a little problem with authority. I like to have a lot of influence on what I do, how I do it, and when I do it. I love learning from others, and welcome advice, but one of the wonderful things about being my own boss is that, I have a degree of flexibility and choice where projects are concerned. This suits me very well. I am a woman who generally has a lot of projects on the go at the same time. I flip between these projects, and they often cross pollinate leading to some wonderful work opportunities. I think a lot of creative people work in this non linear way.

So think about this, what makes you tick at work? What can help you work at your best? Sometimes just recognising these things can be a starting point to a happier work life.

 

 

About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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