Pssst, hey you, yes you, want to know a little secret? It takes a lot of hard work to get somewhere in this industry.
To experience success in anything, you usually have to take the path of most resistance. Often, you’ll get so focused on your goals that you develop tunnel vision. You become consumed with reaching these goals that everything you do has to be related somehow to that, right? Wrong.
I’ve learned, during my 19 years in this industry that ambition can ironically become the main thing that can sabotage your chance for success. It’s a lesson I hope can help others.
If you’re feeling physically or mentally burned out, you have to ask yourself, is my career ambition taking over my life?
Some may not understand self-sabotage nor even recognize that they are doing it. I had meditated on this subject for some time and decided to share some ways that have helped me from the act of sabotage.
Enough With Multitasking
I’m a work-in-progress when it comes to realizing that multitasking is not my friend, it’s a myth. I knew this was a serious problem when one day I looked up and realized that I had Slack, a notebook, my laptop, and mobile all in front of me, and I was trying to do something different on each of them. It wasn’t very productive, and I ended up with a bunch of partially finished conversations, projects, and not one thing completed.
No matter how you want to explain that it’s part of our job, or how skilled you think you are at dividing your attention, you are more effective when you focus. As humans, we are not in tune when individuals are distracted and NOT present. I challenge you not to jump ahead or try to do it all at once to save time. As you put this into play, you’ll feel more accomplished, and build solid momentum as you go onto the next task, if you complete just one assignment at a time.
Meditate for a Sound Mind, a Sound Sleep – There Is an App for That!
Have you heard about sleep-deprived super-successful people? Don’t believe it and why would anyone want to be proud of that? I have had insomnia, and yes, I am NOT medically trained to prescribe medical advice. However, I have a wife who is always looking to help both of our quality of life, and I love her for it! The is a FREE app called “Insight Timer” that is the most extensive library of free guided meditations on our planet.
Our industry has these crazy sayings “work hard, play hard,” I may be old, but, it’s getting old hearing that. We all want to perform well, but how would you accomplish your goals if you aren’t taking care of your health? We all can admit that function on little sleep and working through the night is overrated. No matter how late you stay up, if you aren’t productively knocking things off your to-do list, it doesn’t matter.
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And if you’re waking up tired every morning, you will end up cranky and frustrated, and unproductive. Your mind and your body need time to rest and recover, to wake up refreshed. It’s not just OK to get that eight hours; it’s necessary to be at your peak, personally and professionally. So, go on, check out the app, give yourself, your soul and those around you the real you. I challenge you to try it for a week. Try to give your mind and body some self-care and see what happens.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other People
It used to be that every time I was on LinkedIn or Instagram, I would see someone who just got a promotion or traveled to a beautiful, exotic place. I would catch myself subconsciously comparing myself to them. Asking myself why, why them and not me, I have the qualifications and, in most cases, I had mentor those who are not way ahead than where I am. After many years of self-reflection, I realize that comparing yourself to others’ achievements is that there is never a win. There will always be someone one step ahead of you. When I left Seattle back in 2013, which was a time of change, I committed only to compare myself to the best version of ME. Could you do the same?
Remember to Make Time for Others
You’ve found your passion, and you’re eager to get to work to make it a reality, I get it. You’re enthusiastic and motivated that you’ve forgotten you need to spend quality time with the significant people in your life. Like any relationship, it takes work, contact, and communication for it to be successful. So, make some time.
You can’t discuss all of the progress you’re making in your career with your computer. You don’t want to suddenly realize the only person you’ve had a real conversation with lately is some crazy A.I., named ADAM or Eve (to be diverse). I’ve been told many times by my family that I need to take a break, have fun and shutdown. While I haven’t mastered that, what I have learned is that I don’t have to figure everything out immediately. Tomorrow is always a new day.
In your quest to achieve career domination, remember work is just one part of your life. Whatever you are working on can wait for a minute or even an hour or two. Don’t be afraid to turn your brain off and stop self-sabotaging your career.