I like my current client, because I know what to do, when to do it, and with minimal interference in how to do it. It was not always so. My previous client was very complicated, stressful, and at points I loathed it.
I love the way Zen monks always look so peaceful and happy. So the article about Six Tools To Enjoy Your Job Like a Zen Monk over at the Positivity Blog caught my eye, and I was impressed. Even with my current client I can apply some of these ideas.
- Stay aware of yourself and your surroundings. If I am in a meeting daydreaming about something else, I will inevitably find myself either volunteered for something, or unable to answer questions because I haven’t been following the discussion. By staying aware of what I am programming, I am less likely to make mistakes that I need to fix later.
- Work at a Comfortable Pace. My clients want everything done yesterday, without specifications, and for free. I have accepted this as a reality. I filter everything they tell me and ask, “Is this really stopping them from doing business?” Chances are, the request is not that serious, so it can be prioritized and worked on in order. I have learned that if I treat things like emergencies when they are not, I make mistakes. Working at a comfortable pace ensures that I will focus properly and wrap up all the loose ends.
- Take a Few Moments to Transition to a New Task. For me this means that I sit and think about what I have just done, making notes as necessary to be able to pick it up again later; it also means that I sit and think about what I need to do next. Both of these prevent me from hurrying into the next task without having a plan of action.
- Do What is Necessary First. Yes, I want to read the latest technology blog, but I need to do that when I have empty time. By putting the most important task first, I am able to clear out large swaths of tasks quickly, and maintain my productivity levels.
- Develop Routines. There are certain things I must do, such as filing timesheets and writing status reports. By having these on a checklist, I am able to make sure I don’t forget to do these administrative tasks that are important to my client.
- Forget the Work Day and Enjoy Your Relaxation Time. This is the one biggest thing I love about being a consultant. I get to leave work at work. But I need to also apply this during my lunch break. I find that if I completely get away from the computer during lunch, I am much more productive in the afternoon, and happier at my work.
My current client is very enjoyable, but this will not last forever. It is important to practice these suggestions so that when I need to apply them, they are already habitual.
Photo by euart