Thanks to Nathan Tanner for his excellent ideas on how to boost your success at work by tapping into all those amazing, highly productive moments you’ve had – especially when you’re feeling a little frustrated or down. So, how about:
- Keeping a “gratitude journal” – write down one thing you’re grateful for every day – and if you don’t like writing, find an app that will help you to do it. There’s been research that suggests that people who are more optimistic and happy have fewer visits to the doctor, and fewer absences from work.
- Reduce your context switching – jumping about between many, unrelated tasks. This is the blight of the high preference extravert like me … I can oh too easily be distracted by … anything! But it seems that it can take several minutes to get back to the task you were working on before you were distracted – imagine the impact of that on your working day.
- If/When-Then planning – borrowed from Robert Cialdini’s excellent Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade the if/when-then concept encourages you to pick a cue, then pick a desirable action that you can link to it, eg If/when it gets to lunchtime, I move away from my desk to eat. This is, apparently, a good one for helping you to achieve long-term goals.
- Exercise – ouch (not my favourite thing) – but it doesn’t have to include an expensive gym membership, or a couple of hours of your time every day. How about taking a walk around the grounds of your building? And here’s one I heard the other day from an osteopath – when brushing your teeth, stand in the Yoga “Chair” position (Utkatasana) to strengthen your leg muscles (great advice as we get older) – hands/arms, obviously in normal teeth-brushing position!
- A shutdown ritual – do something that marks the end of your working day – make a list, tidy your desk … anything that serves as a signal that you’ve finished your work for the day.
Oh, and one other thing . . .
- Define success – work out what it means to you; what are your own standards of excellence, and your values? What matters most? Mr Tanner suggests that working that out will mean you’re well on the way to working out what’s most important to you, and to achieving the success you hope for.