Welcome to the second half of our earlier article on how to intentionally improve your work day. Since beginning my own business, I’ve become increasingly fascinated with learning how to improve my day with proven techniques. This blog post is for anyone seeking proven, practical advice for kick-starting your inner optimist to get things done.
For over twenty years I worked for successful mega-corporations around the world. In that time, I could always rely on my co-workers to rally my spirits. My corporate digs were always highly social, abuzz with weekend stories of hikes, gaming, booze, movies… and more booze. Despite the propensity for “meeting overload,” working with large teams made it a lot easier to get out of first gear in the morning. Put simply: I wasn’t doing it alone.
Since jumping out of the nest and starting Ansell Creative Group in 2014, I’ve had to develop an entirely new way to generate my own positive flow without a 200-person team around me. Humans are inherently social creatures and when starting your own ‘thing’, dealing with that inner voice can be a huge challenge. Onwards!
Distractions: Please Kill them
I believe that when we sleep, we get to our best-rested state once we allow ourselves to pass through each progressive phase of sleep. No interruptions required.
Similarly for work, I tend to produce higher quality ideas when allowed the time to focus deeply on a problem. Even if I’m distracted by a friendly SMS beep, such interruptions act like paper cuts. Like silent assassins, these cuts will quietly build through the day. Ultimately, they massacre the ability to inject AAA thinking into the task at hand. There is no such thing as multitasking, there is just doing one job well or doing two jobs poorly.
I feel the most enriched at work when I complete big, important tasks for clients on time.
To get to this state of inner happiness faster each day, help yourself by switching all apps to silent mode. Turn off your notifications on all of your mobile and desktop apps [including email]. Assign specific times to get caught up on your terms, not Barry’s from the I.T department.
Focus is the superhighway to feeling great each day. Electronic distractions are nothing but speed bumps – so take a different route starting today.
Meet & talk often with people who make you happy
This one seems incredibly obvious, though it’s amazing how quickly it can be forgotten.
When looking back at the jobs I’ve loved, the common thread has always been an association with empathetic, like-minded teammates who I loved being around. They let me be me. Whether you are starting up a new business on your own or shifting roles in a giant multi-national, remember to make time to see the people that make you smile.
I believe the effectiveness of this technique is related to how we solve problems. Our sub-conscious is incredibly powerful at working on complex issues, even whilst we sleep.
By allowing ourselves to look away from a problem, we give our sub-conscious permission to go full turbo. I’ve found that making time to catch up with great friends regularly is the fastest way to engage my sub-conscious super computer.
Laughing and relaxing is thus my version of looking away, which in turns sparks new ideas that concentrated, monitor-staring can never do.
Hopefully these insights can bring you the same type of instant uplift as they’ve brought to me – good luck out there.
Thanks for reading and feel free to share thoughts, comments and questions on our ACG facebook page!
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