Who are you really?

January 11, 2011

Hi, I’m Annie. Now, who are you?

Hey, I'm Annie. Now, who are you?

This month, I’m approaching my one-year anniversary of fleeing the corporate world and launching into 100% self-employment (HO.LY.BUCKETS.). As the date gets closer and closer I find myself reflecting more and more on what I’ve learned the past 12 months. The #1 thought that repeatedly keeps rising to the surface – how much I’ve learned about myself.

The obvious nature of self-employment is that you only report to yourself. You don’t have a boss, you don’t have a manager, you don’t have co-workers. No one’s telling you what to do, how to do it, or even when to do it. Because of that, you’re able to define for yourself the what, the how, and the when.

Throughout the past year I have learned that I most enjoy reading in the mornings, right after breakfast.
I have learned that I hit a productive streak around 10am.
I have learned that I hit an unproductive streak around 2pm.

I’m not actually hungry for lunch at noon, but more like 1:30 to 2pm.
I don’t naturally want to go to bed at 10pm and get up at 6, I go to bed at midnight and rise at 7:30 or 8.
Hands down my most productive work occurs in the evenings, anytime after 8pm.

I communicate best around 1pm.
I write my best around 10am and 10pm.
I dream and visualize best early in the morning.

I am a classic jeans and t-shirt type of gal. Collared shirts? Sweaters and slacks? Never touch ’em.

All of that? It’s who I am. It’s who I am really. Without the influence of limits.

In the corporate world, I arrived when I was told to arrive (Ha! Well, most of the time…), went to meetings when I was asked to go to meetings, left when I was allowed to leave, ate when I was allowed to eat. In following someone else’s schedule, I never really got to know myself.

You could say I never did because I never had the opportunity to.

However, you could also say that I never got to know myself and the way I work and live best because it never occurred to me to pay attention.

When do YOU work best?
When do YOU work not-your-best?
How do YOU learn the most?
When does it work best for YOU to eat? Sleep? Work? Read? Relax?

Pretty powerful food for thought here. Whether you’re in a position to decide and act upon every area of your life at the moment or not, I encourage you to at least give it consideration.

Get to know yourself. The past year (almost!) has allowed me to do that without assumptions or restrictions or rules or standards to follow. You might not be in a situation where you can act this way every day all day, but see if you can find a moment in your schedule to incorporate unlimiting periods of time into your day, week, or even month.

If you take away all of your limitations, what will you find out about you? You really?

What do you think – if someone else currently dictates your schedule, does it mesh with your personal schedule? When you work best, when you want to relax/eat, etc? Do you ever reflect on that? Do you think any of it even makes a difference?

P.S. It is currently 9:37pm. Maybe I should wait until 10pm before I hit Publish? :)

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