Composing a Life in the Digital Age
Have you ever heard the saying, “There is not enough time in the day”? A few years ago, I would have been the first to say how I could just never find time to do my many tasks, both personal and professional. Waking up, getting the family ready for their day, commuting, eight hours in the office, after-school activities, laundry, cooking, et cetera, et cetera. The list seemed endless, and hardly ever was any “me time” factored into my daily schedule. One of the few times I had to myself was in the morning getting dressed for work, since I used my commute time to return phone calls. Even weekends were full of activities, chores, and more work.
In 2013, I started exploring work-from-home opportunities. Being employed at the time, I wasn’t desperate, so I had time to look around. Most work-from-home opportunities were scams, and the few legitimate roles were freelance and didn’t offer the stability I needed to support myself and my family. It wasn’t until 2014 that I came across an ad by Crossover. That opportunity changed my life!
One of the most attractive benefits Crossover offers is the flexibility to set my own schedule. I believe in working hard. But at the same time, I wanted time to be able to play hard, so I left my stressful but secure job to pursue a Crossover opportunity as a global IT recruiter.
To be frank, when I first started working from home, I stuck with what I knew. I had no idea how to work any way other aside from sitting down for four hours, taking a lunch break, and then working for another four hours. If I didn’t get something done during those hours, I just put in more time as needed. Initially, as the primary benefit, I was overjoyed to get back the hours I usually spent commuting, and without a doubt, I knew I had made the right decision. The only drawback? It was easy to spend that newfound time working instead of using that time for myself.
By utilizing WorkSmart to study how I allocated my time, I found that there were portions of my workday where I was logged in for work and completing tasks, yet not being as productive as I thought I was.
Here’s what I found: Approximately an hour after my lunchtime, my ability to schedule tasks was limited. However, during evening hours, due to time zones and talent availability, the number of tasks I could schedule within a similar timeframe drastically increased. With a little reorganization and planning, I stopped working the habitual, rigid workday schedule ingrained in my system, and I embraced the freedom and flexibility. I made the best game plan for the day.
Having found I had free time during the day, I choose to spend it in unplanned ways. If I wanted, I could take a walk or a nap, lounge with a good book, or surprise the kids for lunch. It was all up to me! The realization that I could be truly flexible in scheduling my work hours allowed me to focus on maximizing this experience. My productivity has been consistently high ever since.
By not having to commute, I found I had about 13 extra hours a week to tackle my never-ending to-do list. After a little trial and error, rescheduling my daily activities, and other minor adjustments, I started to find time for activities I enjoy and find relaxing, while keeping the to-do list well under control. Over the last two years, in addition to finding time for my favorite pastime of reading, I have started sewing, painting, and baking again. I get the opportunity to exercise a few times a week and enjoy occasional naps. With tools such as Calendly and WorkSmart, I am able to schedule my time to work during hours of peak efficiency and use down time for other activities.
As a talent advocate, it is extremely important that I continuously engage with Crossover talent, so I often work late nights followed by early morning or weekends. While in the past, the thought of such a schedule would scare me off, I have now been able to fully embrace my odd work hours. I am a highly productive member of my team. My non-traditional schedule gives me the freedom to embrace life, enjoy time with my family, and excel in a thriving workplace, among countless other benefits I now enjoy. Crossover and our partner companies will continue to reinvent the workplace allowing individuals like myself to pursue hobbies and other interests while working in a challenging field.