I try to write my blog every two weeks, when I started it I wrote every week for about two years. For the most part I keep that commitment, which is basically to myself. Sometimes I could write for hours, other times I am stumped for content, and motivation.
Today, and yesterday I’m just feeling a little lack luster, a little more hum drum and a little less inspired. Maybe it’s the weather, which is not particularly warm for the end of summer, or maybe it is because the sun has been hiding for days. Whatever it is I could easily, and nicely, nestle down in front of the television or with my book and laze the day away, maybe even the week? Heck, how about the month? I realize this is all unrealistic as I have a business to run and a family to tend to, along with my cat that has laryngitis, yes you read that right, laryngitis – and of course I have me. And I can be a handful.
I know that I am not alone in this feeling or thinking. I know that most experience a complete lack of motivation for their work or other responsibilities at some point(s). And I know it will pass. But for today, and yesterday, and perhaps tomorrow, I am battling the knowing comfort of my big chair with revising quotes, chasing leads, developing collateral and yes, blogging. Even my morning run had my brain thinking, ‘ugh, do I have to do this’, ‘how far do I really need to go’, ‘maybe I can just sleep in’, or ‘who will know if I bail?’ The answer to most of those questions is no – you don’t have to do any of it, you don’t have to participate, you don’t have to want to, you don’t have to answer to anyone, you don’t have to you don’t have to, you don’t have to.
For me, that is like eating cake for breakfast, which is one of the good parts of being an adult, you get to choose to eat cake for breakfast if you want. Now, you may hide to eat the cake if your husband or children or guests are within view, but the choice is really all yours. And I love the choice. The choice excites me.
I met a friend for coffee yesterday who is at a crossroad in their career. I iterated that one of my driving forces to work for myself was the control over my own schedule. Or at least the perception of control over my own schedule because clients and contractors often dictate parts of my schedule, but that even feels okay most of the time.
So all of this got me to thinking, what is it about controlling my own work schedule that is so appealing? Why was that such a high priority for me when deciding to leave my full time job?
Because I want to be an adult.
That’s it, that’s my answer. I want to be in charge of me and having control over my own schedule allows me to be in charge of that part of me, or at least feel like I am. It is my advantage during these humdrum days because I can choose my next task or adventure or napping location. I. Can. Choose. And that is golden to me. I recognize that most work places cannot allow that kind of unscheduled schedule and still serve customers. So, what can you do to fend off good employees leaving?
As I have pointed out one of my currencies, or the thing that I place a lot of value on is control over my schedule. But not everyone will have the same currency. So as an employer/manager/leader, you need to find out, figure out what your team members currency really is because whatever they place value on is where you will have leverage and influence. Whatever they value – is your opportunity. What does their ‘adulting’ look like?
It is up to you – will you use it for good, for their good? Or will it be the catalyst to have them leave?