I think we can agree that we are all very different from one another, right? That we see things differently (literally AND figuratively), talk differently, think differently, feel differently. And thus also: work differently. What gets one person out of bed in the morning, might not be a motivation for the next person at all. And while working on a tight schedule may get some people going, there’s also a group that gets stressed out by the mere thought of it.
The older I get, the more I realize there’s hundreds of things I must unlearn. My brain is wired in a way that labels certain ways of working as ‘good’ and others (my way of working, actually) as ‘bad’. This is ONLY based on what I see around me. On expectations and rules that others created.
The fact is, that these expectations often don’t feel good to me. And that those rules only seem to work against me.
There’s a 9-to-5 because someone invented it, and there’s rules for working that have helped a lot of people but have the opposite effect on some. So, the question that I’ve been asking myself for the past months whenever thoughts like ‘shouldn’t I be doing X differently?’ came up, is: ‘do I (feel like) I have to do things differently because I’m used to hearing it from my surroundings? Seeing it in society?’. Followed directly by the question: ‘what does this mean for my situation right now?’. Often the answer to the first question is a clear yes. And often the answer to the second question is something along the way of ‘this means I can try different ways of working and see what fits me best’. More often than not, this doesn’t only give me more joy, but it also makes me more productive.
Of course, not everyone can always be this flexible. It depends on what work you do and what company you work for. Not everyone is having the same amount of freedom to work exactly the way they seem fitting. But I think if you’re not working in a way that works FOR you, it’s maybe time to look at ways to make (small) changes. Even if your boss requires you to be at work from 9-5 every day. Maybe you can start a bit later, do certain tasks more in the morning or switch up tasks more often if you feel like you’re quickly losing your concentration. The working system is not designed for everyone, and I think that’s important to keep in mind.
Some may feel best when they work regular times, while others prefer working more flexible. Some can work for hours on end, while others need a little break every half an hour. Some love going to office every day, while others dream of a digital nomad life.
You are not anyone else and they are not you. Don’t compare the way you work with how others do things. If you want to start working at 11 or love working in the evening (and your job allows you to): do it. Probably that way, you will both enjoy it more AND be able to do more in less hours. Better than staring zoned-out at your screen for hours, right?