A flexible schedule – sounds easy, right? When you work on your own hours, as opposed to a fixed hourly schedule, a certain number of daily work difficulties are kept to a minimum.
However, what you may not initially realize is that with greater flexibility comes a higher likelyhood of distraction and an even greater need for self-discipline. You must remember to set and meet your own deadlines and to hold yourself accountable, since no one else will.
In a flexible work environment, how do you achieve this self-autonomy?
1. Develop and maintain a daily routine
Humans are naturally creatures of habit – we like regular, easily-recognizable patterns. Familiarity is comforting and allows you set a daily rhythm. For example, if the first thing you do every morning is to check and respond to all of your e-mails, you can make it your morning goal to finish doing that – and possibly more – before lunch.
2. A workday is still a workday
In the morning, get out of bed and get ready for your day as you would any other. If you usually shower before you go to work, make sure to continue to do so. By ensuring you are dressed for the office or your typical workspace, you let your brain know that your work day has begun. Studies show that being properly dressed for your day can make all the difference, as it enhances your cognitive processing.
3. Communicate frequently with your boss, employees, and co-workers
As expected, when you work on a flexible schedule, you see your boss, employees, and co-workers infrequently, but rest assured that your physical presence shouldn’t affect your work productivity.
To compensate for the lack of in-person discussion with others, you should maintain regular communication with your boss, co-workers, and employees. Phone calls, e-mails, or texts with regular updates will help immensely to keep everyone on the same page.