Are you sick of procrastinating your dreams? Let me share some powerful ways to level up in your career, how to build effective habits, stopped procrastinating and use your energy as fuel to be a better version of yourself.
Have you ever worried that you are not good enough for that dream of yours?
Well, if you believe that doing “fine” on your 9 to 5 job will get you there, or your school classes and proper homework will suffice, well I have bad news for you – the odds are not in your favour.
If you are here reading this article, you already have a head-start compared with the majority, as in today’s fast-paced, constantly connected world, there are millions of people who would spend the day with candy crush or some new trending video with funny cats and would not lift a finger for anything that doesn’t bring instant gratification.
It’s hard! I get it! Maybe more than most people do.
But I broke the cycle and I walked that extra mile, and yes walked it, not ran it.
I found a small quote a few years ago and it stuck with me ever since:
“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” — Abraham Lincoln
I realized that he was right.
I did want to watch that funny cat video or play that new video game… And the truth is that I did just that.
One day I had enough.
So I came up with a plan.
I wanted to learn a new language for a long time. So, I decided to spend 5 minutes before playing the game to study German.
I’ve made myself dedicate 5 minutes of focused effort every single day to what I know would help my future self.
So I’ve started with 5 minutes of studying foreign language, basic finances, and even databases.
At first, it took me a lot of effort. I was feeling exhausted and irritated after those 5 minutes because it was simply too hard.
The 5 minutes workouts were the hardest for me at the beginning. However, I managed to trick my brain to change the instant gratification (or dopamine boost) to wait for those dreadful 5 minutes, and then he will get what he wants.
I had to convince myself to give my future self-5 minutes before I started a video game or play the next episode of a new Netflix show.
I’ve noticed roughly a month and a half later that I’ve slowly increased those 5 minutes to 10 minutes without distracting myself, and I managed slowly but gradually to improve my capability to stay focused.
I’ve even started to like those lessons, which I dreaded for years!
Furthermore, I’ve noticed that my energy levels stayed higher even after my work was over, so I focused that mental power and I joined a few start-ups, which have slowly led to expanding my skill set, thus making me more valuable not only as an employee but as a person.
I found I can swoop more easily in conversations on business or casual events, something that I could hardly imagine before, speaking as the king of the introverts (as if we could ever gather to proclaim one).
So doing this small change (which I will call step) of dedicating 5 long long minutes out of those 1440 granted to us every day has helped me to run not only a single mile but a few more!
And I intend to keep walking! Step by step!
I may not have a head start in life, I may not be the smartest or fastest but I’ve taught myself discipline and with one step after another I will surpass my yesterday self, and get to my desired goal! After all, life is a marathon, not a sprint.
If you, dear reader, decide to make such a first step as well, then you have my deepest respect!
As you won’t be a bystander watching the participants in the marathon, but you will become a participant yourself.
If you get to think about it, there are tens of thousands of people watching the runners and only a few dozens of participants in the event.
From the participants, some sprint ahead, and get tired faster and some keep slower but steady pace, who in the long run will outwalk the sprinters.
In any case, each participant is immeasurably ahead compared with the bystanders, who are there only for the entertainment.
Here I would like to share a few tricks which I’ve tried, some worked for me some did not, but maybe let’s hope it would work better for you.
Ways to level up in your career:
1. Keep your phone away:
I tried tossing my phone away, and I mean the next room away, not at the corner of the desk away.
This helped indeed, as I got myself reaching for the phone every time I felt the slightest unrest.
2. Good music:
Yes and no, music did help sometimes in some cases, but Rammstein did not help me with my German, nor the fact it was taking me around 20 minutes to find the proper song. So for me, white noise was the true solution here.
3. Designate a specific hour and be consistent:
It’s easy to build a habit if you are consistent. I’ve read a few articles that morning is the best time for such endeavours, as we are full of energy and our minds are not occupied yet with life stuff.
Tried that and the only thing I’ve concluded was that I’m not an early bird. For many years once the clock hits 11 pm I get all energized like I’ve just got a double dose of coffee with extra sugar and I have the feeling that I can just go and do all my postponed chores.
This feeling of course magically disappeared as fast as it came nearly 20 minutes after it hit me.
So acknowledging that super energy wave I’ve decided to catch it and use it! And after the energy level drops it’s time to visit the bed and give my brain a few hours of sleep and time to sort out all the new knowledge I’ve thrown at him for those 5 minutes.
So what I’m trying to say is don’t listen to the gurus. Don’t wake up at 5 am if you feel worse than the day before. Find your own pace, listen to your body.
4. Change environment:
Here a big factor is if you are working from home, is the home one-room apartment or a few stories house.
In any case, designating a place for those 5 minutes helped. Again the power of habit truly kicks in and I’m able to focus more easily when I sit there.
Magic I know! I appointed my sofa as the chosen one, as it’s cosy enough after a long day at the desk.
5. Spend time with your pets:
Last but not least – the pets, our furry friends ( Feathery or scaly if you are that kind of person). Yes, we love them, they love us, and that’s – not good, not for those 5 minutes.
I am not strong enough to ignore my cat when he demands his few hours of attention. So simply said “out of sight, out of mind’.
It does sound hard. It was for the first few months while I got used to maintaining my concentration, now we’ve both evolved and I’m able to grant myself some time for self-improvement, while he is taking a blissful nap, getting gently petting on the head.
So, if you’re really ready to level up your career, I have shared with you my secret recipe. If you like it, let me know in the comment section below.
For more creativity and productivity tips, follow Lifegram on Instagram.