I posted an Instagram story lately discussing how I was working at 8/9/10pm on a Friday evening, alongside a poll asking if you’d log on and crack on with work if you were feeling motivated or inspired.
A few years ago, probably even last year, you wouldn’t have caught me working outside of my ‘set’ hours for love nor money. But now I do things differently and life has become so much easier.
Speaking as a woman, our bodies and their strengths change throughout the month. Thanks to our hormones we’ll have time where we’re naturally better at organising, where we want to hibernate in our beds, where we’re more creative, where we can focus easier. We’re even physically stronger depending on our hormones on any particular day. I’m not going to go into the science of it because it’s a bit beyond me, but it’s just a fact that we’re not as ‘constant’ as our male counterparts.
However I think just as humans in general, productivity, creativity, motivation, even the ability to type comes and goes periodically. We’ve all had days where we just cannot, days where for some reason our fingers can’t type, our brain can’t work. The weather, a late night, overwhelm, our personal lives – there are so many things which impact how we feel about our ability to get stuck into certain tasks.
For both of the above reasons, in 2022 I started to work more intuitively and as well as my to-do list, I listen to my body and my brain and if it’s telling me to work – I work.
We’ve all had those strokes of genius (almost always when it’s least convenient), and not acted on them instantly, only to forget the idea altogether when we could really use a bought of creativity. I’m not suggesting you whip out your phone on the motorway or jump out of the shower instantly. But I do find that by tuning into how I’m feeling, those ideas pour out of me more when I need them and I know to at least write something down to jog my memory at a later date. People have received all manner of weird texts and voice notes from me when I desperately need to get something out of my brain quickly.
It’s important to note that working intuitively is not about throwing away a to-do list and refusing to do anything you don’t particularly fancy. I still have stuff that needs to be done on certain days, there are still jobs within my business that I’d rather not do – but have to because that’s life. But I make that life so much easier by picking up on my body & mind’s cues that I’ve got ideas to get out.
Take last Friday evening, yeah I worked until 10.30pm, but Monday…. I worked seamlessly and effortlessly for 3 hours and I was done. I got more written down, and it was of a far higher quality, in those 2 hours on a Friday evening than I would have all day when I wasn’t feeling it. Then I knew I was heading into Monday in a great position, and my whole week felt infinitely more in flow.
It’s also perhaps important to note that this ‘work’ was done whilst I was in bed (yeah I go to bed incredibly early, and what?!), watching TV and ‘working’ from my phone with not a pen and paper nor MacBook in sight, so it didn’t really feel like work. If I wasn’t feeling it, I wouldn’t have done it. But yes, if Monday rolled around then I would have ‘forced’ myself because we don’t live in a world where we never have to do anything we don’t want to. And also, I do like my job, it’s never a total chore. I just ‘feel it’ more at certain times over others – that’s natural.
Working intuitively perhaps means different things to different people, but to me it means scribbling away ideas, captions, inspiration and the like when it hits me. It means if I’m full of energy and I know it’s bursting out of me, then I won’t refuse to work just because it’s outside of my ‘set’ working hours (which, as small business owners, we dictate ourselves anyway so…).
As I said at the beginning, it’s not even just about creativity, though I do find that the most prominent feeling to come and go. Organisation is something that doesn’t always come naturally to me, but as I said before, my hormones will drive me to want to get organised at least once in a calendar month. That’s when I go through my accounts, I check insights & analytics, I do the things that any other day I’d sigh at and loathe. But because I listen to my body when it wants to get everything in order and let myself smash through it, it doesn’t seem like a bothersome task and it gets done for more effortlessly.
What I’m saying is, man or woman, human or beast, we will not feel super motivated, inspired, creative and any other emotion necessary to smash out some work, all of the time. But if we lean into those feelings when they do strike – life becomes far more free flowing, tasks feel easier, things take less time and in generally – it’s a lovely way to live.
I’d honestly love to know if you work intuitively, what that means for you, how you manage it and ensure you still get things done. Find me on instagram to continue this conversation!