Career Coach Tiffany Dyba knows a thing or two about what it takes to do great work. Not only does she boast an impressive corporate background, having recruited top talent to powerhouse companies like Burberry and Tiffany & Co., but she’s also spent the last year as a business owner and solo-preneur, working to help badass women achieve badass dreams. When it comes to achieving success, she says that knowing yourself and how you work best is the name of the game. “Just being productive doesn’t fulfill me,” she says. “I need to be comfortable in my environment and stick to a schedule that gives me the time and freedom to take care of myself and feel excited about what I’m doing,” she explains.
Ready to uncover some valuable intel about yourself and take your output and happiness to the next level? Tiffany gave us four tips that’ll help you uncover your personal work style.
Tip #1: Make notes about the type of work you prioritize
“Making lists is a great way to reveal what’s most important to you about your work, which will help you understand how to prioritize your day,” Tiffany explains. “For example, do you prefer to tackle creative tasks first but leave admin-based work for later? If so, this might suggest that you’re more right-brained and will do well in a work environment that allows you to flex your creative muscle.” She says that this info could guide you to a fun co-working space or cool coffee shop. “In any instance, understanding which type of work you prioritize and enjoy will also be helpful for helping you know how you learn best and how you retain info, so start with the basics and take notes,” she advises.
Tip #2: Experiment with your routine
Tiffany, who launched her business after years of recruiting for companies such as Burberry and Tiffany & Co., admits that it can take some time to figure out what your best routine might be. “When I first started working for myself, I was a hot mess,” she says. “I was all over the place, trying to figure out what to do with my newfound freedom. I didn’t know if I should work out in the morning or at night or when to start work.”
A few months in, she tells us that now she feels like there isn’t any single right way to design your day. “Spend some time experimenting on what works for you,” she advises. “Maybe choose three days during the week to the gym right when you wake up, and then on the other two weekdays you could start work a bit earlier to finish earlier. You might find that if you meditate every day without fail in the morning, you’ll start your day with peace are structure. For me, there are actually very few consistent things about my routine—but that suits my personality. Now I know I need to change things up often to keep myself excited.”
Tip #3: Try working in different environments
Where you work can have a big impact on how productive you are and Tiffany agrees that nailing your environment is one of the most helpful things you can do when you’re trying to figure out your best working style. “I was nervous about this one when I started my business; I’m such an extrovert and love to be around people (or so I thought). However, I discovered that while I’m social, I get so much more done by myself. I like to work from home with my music blasting but sometimes get cabin fever and head to a coffee shop.”
Still working to figure this one out for you? Try giving yourself a set amount of time to experiment with different spaces. “Maybe start your week at home, and try a coffee shop or co-working space on other days,” Tiffany suggests. “If the weather is nice, maybe find a park bench with your laptop and head outside. In any instance, pay attention to where you feel most productive, but also happiest and most content.”
Tip #4: Consider changing your current work hours
Circadian rhythms, or your internal clock, may mean you do your best work at certain times during the day. Understanding yours and having a pulse on when you feel most energetic could be a massive help in setting up a schedule that’ll suit your working style. “I’ve known for awhile that I hate waking up early, but I actually do my best work in the morning. I know myself well enough to know that I become more distracted and less productive as the day goes by,” Tiffany shares. “So I personally start my day as early as possible.”
Do you notice you spend your morning scrolling through social sites or chatting online but feel ready to dive in after lunch? Tiffany says these sorts of observations are exactly what you should use to make adjustments. “If this sounds like you, why not try starting your day a little bit later and give yourself the morning to ease into the day?” Sounds good to us.
Need more solo-preneur tips? Try our 5 ways to be way more productive when you work from home and 6 smart ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance.