When it comes to productivity you will find an endless supply of hints and tips online. Many of which are very valuable. The most important question though?

What works for you?

If you run your own business then you have the freedom to work in a way that makes you the most productive. All you have to do is take away any value judgements you ascribe to certain things.

What do I mean by that?

You may have heard that super productive people get up early and work for two hours before their kids are awake. Maybe some people do, and good luck to them. They have found what works for them. But if you are a night owl, or if your most creative time is after lunch, getting up at 5am is not going to magically make you productive. It is going to make you tired and grumpy.

There is nothing wrong with working in your PJs. There is nothing wrong with only being productive in the afternoons. There is nothing wrong with writing social media posts whilst out for a walk. All that matters is what helps you to get the job done.

Before you start the next and latest fad for productivity, ask yourself these questions:

When am I at my most creative?
When do I feel the least motivated?
Where do I feel the most comfortable?
Which working environment makes me feel the most happy?

If the answer to number 3 is “in bed”, well, that’s where I am whilst writing this blog post, so I practice what I preach! I am being far more productive sat here under the duvet than I would be at my office desk right now.

Once you have the answer to those questions, that should give you some indications of where and when you need to be working in order to get the most done.

Of course there are constraints on that, especially during lockdown, but at least you can now see your optimum. The next step is getting creative so that you can achieve that optimum as often as possible, even when the kids are at home, you are sharing an office with your partner of whatever the constraints may be.

The person who will benefit from you being at your most produtive is you. You are not answerable to anyone who tells you to “just work in the evenings” or “go for a morning run”. If those things work for you, great! If they don’t, you are not a productivity failure, you just need a different plan.

Write the [your name here] Plan for Productivity. That is the only plan that matters.

Helen Calvert
Coach and Director of Clear Day
February 2021