Episode 54: How to work more flexibly, without the stress
Whether your priorities or interests have changed, or COVID restrictions have forced flexible working upon you there are a number of steps you can take to make the most of working flexibly
In this week’s episode, Rachel and Dr Surina Chibber share what they have learnt from years of flexible working to help you:
Ditch the guilt.
Discover your true north in your decision making.
Give yourself a break and thrive in this way of working.
Surina is a portfolio GP and co-founder of My Locum Manager which specifically helps GPs manage the tasks that come with flexible working more easily. She likes to ask ’how do you equip a workforce to work in a way that they love, and make career choices that are sustainable for the profession as a whole?’
There are a lot of reasons people choose to explore flexible working, from embarking on parenthood to career diversification. Surina reminds us that flexible working can be great, but will increase stress as a result if you’re not well prepared.
Working across a number of roles may require you to take on additional tasks such as marketing, tax returns, administration or professional training. When your working week starts to overwhelm you, it can be really useful to write a ‘to-be’ list instead of a ‘to-do’ list to check that what you’re doing corresponds with your life desires and values.
As professionals we are commonly over-committing ourselves, often making time for things we don’t want to do, but have to do. And be careful of those ‘ought to-do’s’. These are the creeping comparisons we make with others, such as routinely staying late, that sabotage our time and value planning.
Surina reminds us to be in the moment instead of focusing on “I’ll be happy when…”
Sometimes your time spent doing what you love creates a return on investment that you didn’t expect. Remember, the journey is the reward.
By looking at what it is you want to achieve from flexible working, you can plan your time and resources to work towards this successfully and happily. One of the best things both Rachel and Surina advocate is getting a coach or mentor (or several!) to learn from and guide you to success.
Their top tips are:
- Understand what you enjoy.
- Set boundaries over what is your work time and what your working week looks like.
- Surround yourself with people who are doing different things in their space, learn from them.
- Get the help that you need and pay for it if necessary!
- Ditch the guilt.
- Do fewer things but better.
Our Stop, Start, Continue checklist can offer you some great personal insights to help you define what you’re enjoying right now and where to start when looking at how to find more of that in your life.