SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 24 July 2020Soft Skills: Why They are Harder Than You Think and How You Can Acquire Them
The holiday season is dying down and you’re getting back into the swing of being at work or school. For some, it could feel like just yesterday that you remember finishing off on the year-end reports or staying up until 3AM studying for your last final. Being (and staying) motivated and productive can be tough. Here are 25 tips that’ll help you get through it.
Set specific goals and write them down.
Compare yourself to yourself. Not to others. Don’t compare what you’ve done or haven’t done to what others have accomplished. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and go through different paths to get to where they are today. Focus on your goals. Focus on the results you want to achieve. Focus on what you can improve. Focus on you and strive to be a more productive you.
Pick meaningful goals. If you don’t think your goal is meaningful, you’ll be less engaged and your progress will significantly diminish. You might even stop before you get the chance to really get started.
Start simple. Set smaller goals in the beginning. After you’ve reached some of them, you’ll have more motivation and drive to achieve even more challenging ones down the line.
Get a good night’s sleep. Seriously. It’ll rejuvenate you and prepare you for a fresh new day.
Take positive action to get positive results from positive thinking.
Get (and stay) organized. If your desk or your whole office is a mess, it’s about time to get organized. Once you have that out of the way, you’ll be able to handle whatever else that might get thrown your way.
Acknowledge and share your progress. This doesn’t mean you have to post every goal you’ve accomplished onto social media. Share things you’ve achieved in your career with those that you love. Make sure that you’re acknowledging your achievements and progress in some way. Ones that go unnoticed are often goals that get lost along the way.
Eat some chocolate. It increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that promotes calm, and phenylethylamine, one that promotes stimulation, while increasing levels of dopamine that elevate your heart rate and therefore significantly increases motivation.
Dress for the position that you want. Not for the position that you have.
Know your peak hours. Mine are usually some time between 7AM - 12PM and 7PM - 10PM. Practice being more self-aware so that you can use that time more efficiently.
Look at more things that are green. Studies have shown that certain colors make us think or feel certain things (known as Color Psychology). Green is the strongest color of motivation. It refreshes us, provides us with a boost of motivation, and even sparks creativity.
“Don’t let yesterday take too much of today.” - Will Rogers
Welcome any challenges that might come your way.
Make your bed every morning. That small accomplishment will help you accomplish bigger tasks throughout the day.
Switch things up. Change your daily, often monotonous, routines for something new. Go out with some coworkers after work or attend that fitness class you’ve been dying to try. Break up the every day and stay excited.
“We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” - Maya Angelou
Limit your time watching T.V or on social media. This might seem daunting, but in today’s digital age, things like social media has practically taken over our lives. A recent study has shown that the average millennial spends 140 hours a year on social media at work. Yup, at work. Next time you’re itching to check Instagram at work, opt for stopping by the break room instead. Take those few minutes and actually interact with some of your coworkers.
Remember to have fun. Trust me, you won’t be motivated to do productive things if you’re not interested in them. Maintain your workplace happiness by doing something fun and focusing on the things you enjoy.
Be calm and open-minded. This attitude will make it easier for you to grasp new opportunities, conceive new ideas, focus on goals that matter, and see things from a different point of view.
Plan ahead and set reminders. Even if you’ve planned out meetings and already have a set routine, things can easily be forgotten. Use to-do lists and reminders to help you stay focused and on task. You’ll get things done quicker and more efficiently. It may seem like a hassle, but future you will be thankful in the long-run.
Take things one step at a time. Don’t always try to take short-cuts and “make it big” all at once. Success often takes time. Don’t rush it.
Let go of trying to be a control freak. Things happen. Try your best to handle it all as they come. Take a deep breath and you’ll get through it.
Ditch the perfection. We’re aiming for progress here, not what is the socially acceptable definition of perfect.
Make use of your creativity. Unless you have a job that allows you to bring your creative ideas to life every day, you’re probably working on “mindless” work on the daily. This can really dampen your creative mojo so be sure you’re giving yourself a space to express that and really bring it to life. That could be starting your own blog, DIYs, writing - whatever you feel like you can do to create something, do it.
So take 2017 by the reins and do what you’ve set out to do. Read up for more tips on saying goodbye to the old unproductive you!