For most of us, the working day isn't working for us. From what I hear from many of my educator friends, the school day isn't working for students, either (I'm guessing many people don't do their best work at 7:30 AM, like we ask teenagers to do; seriously - whose idea is/was that?). Because of tradition and convention, it seems like many of us are spending our creative hours not creating and our productive hours not being productive. And this is a shame. If you have job that demands creating, then you need to do the hard work of figuring out when you're at your creative best and then protect that time fiercely. If there are certain times when you're in "the zone," then block off that amount of time and work on your biggest problems.
In fact, go read this by Sarah Peck. Right now. She shares how she works and why the 9-to-5 doesn't suit her. Rest assured, she's putting in her 40 hours (or more), but those hours don't fit nicely within our normal mindset of when someone should be at "work."
Or, check out this post on the 37 Signals blog about how a remote worker in Spain was able to get more done because of the time difference. You don't need to move to Madrid or Paris to get the same effect, but the idea has to make you wonder.
Remember, the goal of our work - especially as entrepreneurs or business owners or leaders - isn't to work a schedule. It's to create. To take risks, innovate, or be bold. It's about forward motion, as Matt Cheuvront emphasizes here. If we're stuck in work or life, it may be because we need to shake up our schedule.
Some jobs don't make this easy. Based upon who our boss is or where we work (like in regimented shifts), this may not be feasible. Yet.
The world of work is changing and I think you'd be surprised about how flexible a place may be. With a little finesse and a compelling case of numbers, you may get to come in and stay an hour later. If you worked for me and could show that a shifted schedule makes you a better worker (meaning I get more value out of you), then I'm all ears.
Many companies are understanding this in terms of location and are seeing the benefits of letting people work from home (or the coffee shop or the beach or Spain). It's only a matter of time before we see the same with time.
What do you think?
Do you work an unconventional schedule in order to get more done? What does that look like? And did you have to sell anyone above you on it?