This post is mostly for the Projectors who work from home or in a single person office. Have you ever noticed that when there are no people around with a defined sacral center you tend to be less productive? That’s not entirely a bad thing as you may suspect, if you have released the mainstream view that working longer and harder is better and have accepted that you are not designed to work consistently. But just because you don’t have consistency in your work energy doesn’t mean that you can’t be productive.
I have been struggling with productivity and energy issues for most of the summer. Part of that is because I needed to rest more than I really knew. And part of my own productivity issues had to do with the universal issues that all people who work from home probably have. The bottom line is that it is time to exercise my innate ability (as a non-sacral being) to be wise about managing the energy to work. We usually think that Projectors use this gift of managing, guiding and directing for the benefit of others, but at least in my 3/5 profile experience, I have to experiment with it myself before I can share what I learned with others.
So in my 3/5 style, here is what I found doesn’t work about working from home or working entirely alone…
There is less structure when an outside routine is not imposed upon you. This can be a blessing for Projectors in some respects, because when you need to take a break or a nap you can. And no one is there to judge you.
There are distractions to draw you away from your primary focus. I live in a neighborhood of retirees and in a house with a cat and a dog. So my summer work days were filled with phone calls from neighbors who want to give me vegetables from their garden or who are just checking on me because they hadn’t seen me emerge from the house in days. (And I admit it. There were some stretches when I got caught so caught up in running around in circles that I didn’t know when to turn off the computer and go outside.) It’s endearing to know that people care. But my compulsion to respect, honor and graciously accept the generosity of my elders interrupted my focus (what little there was at times) on a regular basis. Couple that with a dog who protects me with her sudden loud barks at random walkers passing by, and a needy, cuddly cat who demands attention, and it’s a wonder that anything got done.
The coffee pot and refrigerator are too accessible. What do you do when you start on a project that seems overwhelming? I found myself taking breaks every 10 minutes for a cup of coffee or a snack. And inevitably a snack would turn into tidying up the kitchen or running the vacuum or remembering that I had laundry downstairs that needed to be folded.
It’s too easy to put things off. When you have so much freedom in your day that one hour runs into the next it’s tempting to hop from thing to thing with the idea that you can come back to the challenging stuff later. Sometimes coming back takes a long time.
You enjoy your life less. At least that was my experience. Work tasks overflowed into downtime. The things I put off had to be done some time, so why not at 9:00 at night when I was planning to put my feet up and relax… or when I could have been outside enjoying the sunshine?
One thing I didn’t fully realize when I planned on a summer without much distraction from my defined sacral family members, was that I needed to manage my workflow with more awareness and wisdom.
Up until this summer there had always been a structure of people coming and going at regular times which I could use as a guide for how to structure my days. There was sacral energy in the house that I had taken for granted. And while I had to guard against the exhaustion of amplifying all of that energy, I still had it, along with the presence of others to help me order my days.
So here’s what I’m trying now to bring more structure, focus and productivity into my work life. I’m experimenting with taking my laptop to the public library for a few hours a day. In fact I’m writing this from a well lit table designed for laptops which is near a bright cheery window. This is the second day I have done this. And while I know that this won’t be a 5 day a week, 9-5 routine, what I have been able to get done in a day and a few hours has been way more prolific and powerful than a week of working from home this summer.
This is why I feel this new approach might work…
I can work in a spurt. Projectors are really great at working in spurts. The library is a perfect venue for spurt working as far as I can tell. It’s not too comfortable, but comfortable enough. I can’t just get up and get a cup of coffee or make myself a sandwich whenever I want. I have to plan my time and be very focused at it.
I have incentive to take regular breaks. Because the library doesn’t allow refreshments… and I even have to pack up my laptop to go to the bathroom, I’m forced to take breaks between spurts of work. And when I take a break I really have to leave…. go outside … go somewhere else.
There is ample sacral energy. As I write this there are 5 people sitting around me. My guess is that the good majority of them are Generator types. So I can sit here for a short period of time and amplify all the work-force energy I need to complete my tasks. Then I can leave and discharge it.
So that’s my current experiment with productivity. A simple post like this, which might have taken me 2 or 3 hours to write, is now complete is little over an hour!
I have awesome things in the works for you and my business. My work is not really work when I manage the energy of it in a way that keeps me engaged rather than distracted. I love it and it feeds me. And when I am productive it produces amazing fruit for you as well. Do you feel the same way about your work? What do you do to manage the energy dips, exhaustion and distractions which can keep you from the full love of what you are here to do?