Last updated on August 28th, 2020 at 11:19 am
Modern life is hectic. Juggling your career, family, being healthy and relationships can seem like a never-ending balancing act. A game that only becomes more complex with age. That’s all before you have found the time to drag Henry out of his dusty hover tomb, or called to fix that unexpected boiler breakdown! Worry and stress can have detrimental effects on our health. As a person who naturally leans towards a pessimistic perspective, I need to search outside myself to inspire a more optimistic viewpoint. Armed with these tips, will you speak with a permanent smile and cheery unicorn laugh? No. (I’m not even sure what a unicorn laugh would sound like!) But I do reach for these ideas when I need to refocus after dealing with life’s challenges.
Tip #1 Catch opportunities to learn
When you practice and put effort into something, you will make mistakes. That’s okay, it means you are learning! As the author of A-level Mindset said, “once the error is made, grab it. Mistakes are information. Don’t ignore them.” Taking notice of your errors is the first step to growing.
Reframing these ‘mistakes’ into ‘learning opportunities’ can help you to be more receptive to critical feedback. Even if this new name might sound cheesy to a cynical mind! Studies show that teaching in this way can lead to impressive gains in learning when combined with other methods. As we all know from the Harry Potter series, a name can hold power.
During my time as a teacher, I came across ‘The Iceberg of Success” poster in another teachers classroom. It left an impact on me and I have remembered it to this day. “Comparison is the thief of joy” according to Theodore Roosevelt, yet we take one look at a stranger’s carefully curated social media feed and our self-belief can be shattered. Or we can see our friend who is successful in their career and we feel a pang of guilt, knowing how many setbacks we have gone through. I think that this iceberg analogy sends a positive and essential message about success. It should be seen not just by the young impressionable eyes of college students, but anyone who needs reminding that success is hard and it takes time to get there! Persisting with a goal, ‘failing’ along the way, sacrificing something to get to where you want to be. Staying dedicated to your dream through the long working long hours and being disciplined with your time. Most successful people have to go through this journey to make it. Draw strength from this message and keep going!
Tip #2 Go with the flow
What you put your effort into should align with your vision. You should believe in it wholeheartedly. Work shouldn’t feel like a long-term struggle. Writing gets me in a state of flow. Hours can pass by and I don’t notice because I am so absorbed in what I’m doing. Can writing also be difficult? Yes. But I know the buzz of publishing my work will be worth any momentary blips in motivation. I know that writing aligns with my values. I know that when I spend time practising writing, I am doing something worthwhile with my time. Find something to practice that you are naturally excited about. This will help you to maintain a positive attitude to your work.
Tip #3 Keep yourself organised
Personally, I prefer to organise myself using easy strategies that I can sort out in minutes. Otherwise, I find myself planning so much that I’m wasting valuable productivity time. Elaborate journals be gone! My advice? Use whatever strategy that helps you to keep organised. I opt for a simple to-do list. I plan tasks day by day on the Google Notes App. When I’ve completed a task, I tick it off. Satisfying and paper-free. Make sure that you prioritise your important tasks accordingly. I like to start my day off with something simple before I wake up for something more challenging. Organising my day makes me accountable for my work and hobbies. I can’t stand letting myself down by seeing an incomplete to-do list! This goes a long way to keeping me on task and productive, which only empowers me and boosts my mood for the rest of the day.
Tip #4 Do not be too hard on yourself
As a person who is a perfectionist by nature, this piece of advice can be tough to follow. But I if you are trying your best, then this is all you can ever do. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day. Switch off from work every so often (if an ex-teacher can do this, then so can you!) Give yourself time and space to relax. As the brilliant quote from Stacey Swift‘s artwork says “Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year. ” -Anonymous.
I hope that these tips will help you to have a more happy and productive day. What ideas do you use to find a bit of resilience when you are losing faith? Let me know in the comments section below.
Do you need more tips on how to be productive? Take a look at my FREE cheat sheet.
Beth is forever curious about what makes people tick. She is a master’s degree graduate and former psychology teacher (AKA a proud behaviour nerd!). Autism awareness is a cause close to her heart – check out her fundraiser. Beth becomes her happiest self when she’s helping people like you to enhance your life.