There is a lot being written and discussed around the topic of flexible working hours, using various places or different ways of interacting with your colleagues. Many of the ideas about the flexibility of the employees to modify the times and places where they work – which are totally valuable. We are different and we need tailored approaches to succeed.
But this is just not entirely possible in some companies. The number of people involved, the dependency on other functions, the complexity of the systems used etc do not match this idea of pure flexibility.
So what happens when employees still want to allocate time to bring added value? When one is willing to take things above and beyond?
From my experience, there is one thing that works when there is a need for working on something that would go above and beyond your daily tasks and bring added value – take it outside the working hours.
1. No (unwanted) distractions – Incapacity to multitask is definitely perceived as a minus these days. You need to be able to switch on and off from one task to another to be sure you respond promptly to the changes in the fast paced environment nowadays. Needless to say this is not productive. And despite trying to apply the advice of only checking my e-mail a couple of times a day, this just does not work for me. I feel like I am missing out on something. So if I am not good at ignoring the interruptions, I found out that if there actually aren’t any I am able to focus and get valuable work done.
2. Long periods of uninterrupted time – In today’s open offices and diaries blocked by meetings, it is highly unlikely to find long periods of uninterrupted time. Whilst this is also needed in usual task solving, it is absolutely a must for bringing extra. Only in this way you can allow your thoughts to flow, ideas to get generated, plans to be put in place. And this is what will ultimately make you succeed.
3. Distinguishable from daily routine tasks – As for many jobs, the one of a marketeer involves different kinds of work and various ways of working. There are those which need the involvement of other functions such as: problem solving of daily tasks, moving project further, brainstorming on ideas etc. But there are also those which need introspection such as building plans, understanding the problems, getting to the root case of issues. For the latter, a different approach is needed. And since they require more introspection, I found it beneficial to separate them from the daily tasks.
Even if there will always be the question on the impact on long hours on work-life balance, I believe that if you want to bring more to the table, manage to exceed the requirements and prove that you are great (and not just good), you will have to find the time. And not only the time, but also the dedication and the passion to compromise on some things sometimes. It is about the willingness and discipline and it is in your hands if you want to go above and beyond. This is just one of the many ways in which you can achieve greatness.