Today’s professional environment, whether entrepreneurial or not, requires a different energy than it did 50 years ago. We spend the better part of our days in front of screens, answering emails, texts, spending time on the Internet; we have become intertwined with this technology and it’s impossible to escape it, especially in the professional world. Because of this, we are essentially always at others’ beck and call. Whether we like it or not, we are always “working” because of it.
Having a good work ethic and good time-management skills will surely help you manage this complicated technological world of business, however there are some other steps you can take, basic tasks you can do on a daily basis, that can help you succeed in this fast-paced world. Many of these steps you may find obvious or redundant, but they are necessary if you want to lead a successful, healthy life in whatever field you may be in.
Task #1: Eat breakfast
This is a hard one for a lot of people – eating a good meal at 6 in the morning can sometimes be difficult due to lack of appetite, and more often than not, a lack of time. We understand that getting yourself ready in the morning, and possibly getting your kids ready as well, is a feat in and of itself, however we cannot stress enough the importance of eating a proper, healthy meal in the morning! Eating a nutritious breakfast will assure that you are not only feeding your body, but feeding your brain as well; the long work days can be taxing, but a good breakfast in the morning can help get you through. If you know mornings are difficult for you, try preparing something at night for the next morning to save some time, like a smoothie you can take on the go, or these great breakfast pancakes.
Task #2: Turn off your devices at night
It has become the norm to be consistently checking our phones and computers right up until we hit the pillow for a good nights rest. This has serious effects on our brains, eyes, and our sleep quality. Looking at screens not only affects sleepiness and alertness the next day, but also suppresses melatonin levels. Sleeping gives our body and our minds the time it needs to rest, rejuvenate and recuperate, and without enough of it (including the quality of sleep), we cannot do our jobs to the best of our abilities. Check out this article for more information on the effects of looking at screens before sleep.
Task #3: Take sufficient breaks during the workday
Sometimes our workdays end up being 12 or 15 hours long. It’s wonderful that you are so busy and take your job as seriously as you do, however it is imperative that you take enough breaks during the day to stretch, breathe some fresh air and give your eyes a break from the computer screen. The world will not stop during your breaks: taking five minutes to give your mind and body a rest will actually serve to do wonders for the quality of the work you’re producing. The importance of this is increased if you work at a desk – stretch those legs!
Task #4: Allow time for yourself every day, despite your workload
This can be related to the idea of taking breaks throughout the day. Needless to say your job is extremely important and hopefully a passion of yours, but your health and your mind are also important. It’s essential not to lose sight of who you are in the midst of the chaos: take time every day for yourself, whether it’s taking a bath, playing a board game with the family or reading a favorite book.
Task #5: Help others as much as you can
It is true that in the corporate world, often it feels like an “every-man-for-themselves” atmosphere, however it is important to not only think about your tasks and how to accomplish them, but to be aware of your surroundings and your colleagues. Offer a helping hand whenever you can to those whom you work with; not only will you feel good about yourself, but it is a great way to enhance your executive presence in the office.
Many of these “tasks” may seem redundant or silly, however taken collectively, they can add energy, joy and motivation to your professional (and personal) life and career. It is hard to lose track of these small things in our crazy world, but taking a step back sometimes can do wonders, and can help you to see the forest for the trees.