What’s your work animal?

I’m a cat.

I mean, my work animal is a cat.

I admire everything about cats.

(Okay, most things.)

I like the way they have crazy bursts of energy and chill out the rest of the day.

I like the fact that they’re self-sufficient, and they wash themselves.

Neat and tidy!

I think cats have the right idea…

See a nice patch of sunlight?

Why not lie down and have a snooze in it?

Don’t want to be around people any more?

Just walk off, with your tail swooshing proudly.

Found a comfy spot… maybe a warm pile of freshly laundered clothes?

Ahhh… perfect!

That definitely makes for a good sleeping spot ;)

(People who have cats will be nodding their heads at this point.

People who don’t like cats are shaking their fists: “Sneaky bastards! That’s why I hate them!” :)

And this is how I operate in life — like a cat…

I have giant bursts of energy, where I want to get all the things done! See all the things! Be amazing and focused and active!

And then I have moments of total, sloth-like laziness.

(Or should I say cat-like laziness.)

I sit on the grass and do nothing.

I look out the window and watch the world go by.

I have lie ins, and I skip workouts sometimes.

Not all the time — but some of the time.

I need time to chill out.

I am not one of those always-on-the-go, 100 miles an hour, “done 20 tasks before 6am” kind of people.

In the past, I used to beat myself up about this.

I’d berate myself with things like:

“You should be more active!”

“You should do more!”

“You should be making the most of every minute of every day!”

And now…

I don’t use the word “should” any more, so those comments have less sway with me now.

But it’s funny how easy it is to look at other people and think we should be like them… when they’re not us!

They are them… and you are you

And that is okay.

In terms of animals, I see the ultra-achievers as Jack Russell puppies.

Rushing around, jumping on pieces of fluff, and chasing their own tails.

Blurs of movement and fur.

Now they’re over here! … Now they’re over there!

Now they’re running behind the sofa!

But wait — there is nothing wrong with this.

Just like there’s nothing wrong with being a cat.

Because we’re all different.

We all have different personalities and ways of working.

Ways of being.

And sometimes the Jack Russell puppies are just louder than the rest of us:

“I climbed a mountain before most people got up this morning!”

“I re-grouted the bathroom tiles while teaching myself German and doing a virtual spin class!”

“I just can’t sit down — I have to be on the go all the time… doing and achieving and succeeding!”

We hear about them more, so we think this is how we should be.

That we should strive for this.

But I realized recently: I am not this person.

I need time out.

It took me a while to figure this out.

To accept this about myself.

That I’m not a “go-go-go” person.

That I get things done… but at my own pace.

That rest and relaxation are just as important as being productive.

So the next time you read or hear about someone more productive, or active, or “successful” than you…

Know that it’s okay to have your own style.

It doesn’t mean you can’t be those things: active… productive… successful…

But listening to your heart and doing what’s right for you is totally fine.

The world is full of different people (or animals).

And we’re all important.

We need the Jack Russell puppies.

We need the cats.

We need the strong shire horses who get things done in the background, without asking for credit or applause.

So go easy on yourself if you’re not a rush-around, “done all the tasks on my list” kind of person.

Because do you know what the cat does while the Jack Russell puppy runs around in circles trying to catch his own tail?

He stretches out one leg, flicks an ear, shifts contentedly to find a comfy spot, and snuggles down on the blanket for another snooze…

Gaining energy for his next jaunt about the town ;)

Now over to you…

What’s your work animal?

What style suits you best?

Are you living that style right now… or are you beating yourself up for not being more like someone else?

Let me know — I’d love to hear.

And now I’m off to lick my paws, go for a stroll, and maybe have a snooze on the couch, ready for some more active work later…

Claire O’Connor is an accountability coach for people who struggle to get things done. Through her program, blog, and newsletter, she’s here to help you move beyond overwhelm and start moving forward — while making it feel easy and stress-free. When she’s not coaching, she enjoys whiskey-bacon donuts and the occasional half-marathon. Get ready to start making progress at The Five Percent.

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Accountability coach for people starting on their life goals or side hustles. Providing encouragement and inspiration.

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Claire O'Connor

Claire O'Connor

Accountability coach for people starting on their life goals or side hustles. Providing encouragement and inspiration.

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