Make Work a Purpose, Not Just a Place
The future of work lies in redefining it as doing something that makes a difference each day. Work is a purpose, not a place. Work is about productively applying your talent. Work is about making your life, and the lives of other people, stronger as a product of your efforts. But getting to this point starts by moving beyond the pull of a paycheck.
Ask What the World Needs
If you fail to do meaningful work that makes a difference today, the day is gone forever. You can try to make up for it tomorrow, but most likely you won’t. Before you know it, several days will have gone by, then a few years. A decade later, you may look back and realize that you missed the opportunity to contribute to the growth of another person, pursue a new interest, or launch a new product. But the opportunity to do something you love will always be there, as long as you start today.
Focus for 45, Break for 15
While the ideal ratios will vary by profession and occupation, there is a great deal of support for the general notion of working in intense bursts paired with a period of time to recharge. If it is practical for you, try working in highly focused bursts of about 45 minutes, and then take a 15-minute break. Adjust up or down from there to determine what ratio allows you to remain fully charged throughout the workday. Even carving out 5 or 10 minutes for a break should help.
Make Every Interaction Count
People greatly underestimate how everyday interactions influence their daily experience. Everyone you communicate with on a daily or weekly basis, whether you consider them friends or even know their name, influences your well-being. This also means that you have the ability to add a positive charge to every conversation throughout your day.
Put Experiences First
When you are considering purchasing a material item, ask yourself how it will benefit another person or your relationships. If you can clearly see how the money you are about to spend will increase the well-being of people around you, it is a sound investment. However, if a purchase will give you a quick thrill right away but won’t have any lasting impact for you or for others, skip it. Your relationships will be stronger as you put less emphasis and value on material possessions.
Put Your Own Health First
When things go wrong in any one of these three areas — eating, moving, or sleeping — it throws everything else off course. A poor night of sleep leads to skipping a workout, lousy food choices, and so on. The good news is, doing just one of these things well can lead to an upward spiral in the other two areas.
Respond with Resiliency
Making yourself smile, even if it is fake and forced, may help you get through simple stressors. The next time you’re stuck in traffic or experiencing some other type of stress, you might try to hold your face in a smile for a moment. Not only will it help you grin and bear it psychologically, but it might actually help your heart health as well.