The Right Way

There’s a lot that can be said about how to do things the ‘right way’.

So much to say, it seems, that pretty much every blog I have read this month has been how to change your work ethic to be more like theirs so you can be a better worker. As if every person with a keyboard and a blog space has all the answers in the world. As if they know best.

As if they know the Right Way.

Now, don’t get my words confused. There’s a lot to learn from the experience and stories of others and I am a great believer in taking the time to listen in a world that constantly encourages the entitlement to be heard.

But there is only so much second-hand knowledge can teach you and eventually you’ll have to find out for yourself: how do you work best?

I personally work well under pressure – with no imminent deadline I can fall into complacency and feel like I take time for granted. Three weeks to complete a brief? That’s ages away!

Next thing I know the deadline is upon me and the several series of Vikings now under my belt are helping nothing towards my productivity.

My resolution to this was to set myself short term goals and deadlines – these tasks gave me a sense of accomplishment as I crossed off each minor success from my list.

Like a puppy that needs validation my own little pats on the back keep me motivated and engaged.

This will not work for a lot of people – some people crumble under pressure so don’t need to force more upon themselves. Others might consider this ethic self-serving and gratuitous. If the rumours are to be believed about myself being a fabled Millennial, they might consider this part of my generation’s need for every success to be rewarded. Participation trophies, Likes for acknowledgement, followers for self-confidence…

 Validate me, damn it!

But this isn’t a new thing, far from it.

“The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise.”

Socrates, Circa 399BC

That’s right. Dusty old scholars have been reprimanding the youth for their frivolous lifestyles for centuries and this all comes back to my earliest point:

There is no right way, not capitalised or trademarked.

Someone will always look at your methods and disagree. They might think you’re uptight or too laid back, they might think you take things too seriously or not seriously enough. We can bend over backwards trying to fit into the mould and systematic work ethics that we are told are right.

Or we can take the time to study ourselves, work with ourselves, for ourselves.

It’s why it is so important to find a workplace that accommodates all styles of working behaviours and caters for neurodiversity.

As long as you get the job done, and do it well the route to the destination doesn’t matter.

So find your own way.

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