Monday, December 19, 2011

Three Mind-Over-Matter Ways to Influence Your Career

Do you feel that you spend your time productively?

What a loaded question. There are those who 'do' but when they turn around to see what they have done are not happy with the result. There are also those who create lists of tasks to accomplish but find themselves spending time in ways that are not productive.

Is it that our accomplishments are meaningless (as in the first scenario) or that we are lazy (as in the second scenario)? Or do we need to use our mind in different ways?

The ramifications of this on our careers is obvious: there's a camp of job seekers or driven employees who think that producing makes them successful, but they are not mindful about what they produce and how it helps to get them where they want to go. There's also a camp who aspire to accomplish, but end up disappointing themselves with how little they produce.

So what should one do if they are feeling productive but unaccomplished or unmotivated? Follow the advice of these experts to turn time in your favor.

Do Less: Tony Schwartz writes in the Harvard Business Review that to accomplish more in your work or personal life that doing less: taking breaks and disengaging from work. He sits two studies-one by NASA and one by a performance expert researching violinists-that looked at the impact taking breaks has on one's productivity and the results showed a positive correlations between breaks and performance. Whether you are looking for a job or looking to advance in your career, disengaging from work for a small period of time can make you more productive than trying to slog through to get "something" done.

Proactively Schedule 'Thinking Time': Software developer Jacob Gorban advocates not just taking a break from work but devoting that time to thinking. By spending his Monday mornings thinking about his week, working on the "important, not urgent" stuff, and creatively sketching out ideas for future projects and products, he feels more clear about what his week should look like and works toward accomplishing his goals. Schedule intentional thinking time in your week to align yourself with what's important to you and what you want to get done.

Engaging Your Creative Mind: Some people feel that they simply are not creative, but it turns out that engaging your creative mind is a process that anyone can do. By creating an environment where you tap into your creativity, difficult problems are approached and solved from a new perspective and you create the seeds to do some amazing work by breaking down barriers that you have created for yourself.

Utilize these strategies and write in the comments below your successes or your struggles!

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