Every generation since the Silent Generation, it never fails, people choose the wrong jobs and careers, and they grow old and miserable wondering where they went wrong in their life. Related: Why It’s Absolutely Necessary To Discover Your Passion One thing that’s extremely troubling as it pertains to this issue today is that, as new generations continue on, they become less and less satisfied with their jobs at a much earlier age. Millennials for example are barely five years into their careers and many of them are already “over Corporate America.” Some of them have chosen to quit their corporate gigs in exchange for entrepreneurship. If not entrepreneurship, they settle as a coffee barista letting their B.A.’s and M.B.A.s go to waste. There’s a cultural epidemic that we must deal with as a society and as individuals. We must stop pursuing jobs doing things that we hate just because the job may pay well or may have a certain level of clout. Those superficial reasons for choosing a job or a career will never allow you to maintain longevity. After five years or less, the allure of the money and prestige will have worn off. Once it does, all that’s left is bitter resentment for the degree you’ve chosen that you no longer have any interest in, as well as the job that goes along with it. Employment has evolved and this evolution has made it imperative for us as individuals to begin choosing jobs we love because the things that used to keep us loyal to our jobs like benefits, perks, and pensions no longer exist. Many people may say that finding a job doing what you love won’t pay the bills. That’s true, but perhaps your lifestyle needs to be downgraded. If you truly hate your job, you must make a decision because you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. If happiness and fulfillment on your job is truly important, then you must be willing to sacrifice a higher paying job which may not provide the same level of income. More often than not, earning less money by pursuing your passion is what happens. This is the case because people who are paid well are more often than not paid high wages because they possess a highly valuable skill or because their job requires them to take on a high level of stress. If your passion is basket weaving, you may be able to make a living selling your baskets on Etsy or at local craft fairs, but it may not yield the income or lifestyle you’re accustomed to because the skill required isn’t highly valuable and it certainly isn’t stressful. What you ultimately need to think about when it comes to choosing a job is your priorities. Many people say that happiness and fulfillment is a priority, yet they make decisions that are counter-productive to achieving happiness and fulfillment. Know who you are and who you aren’t and have the courage and wisdom to know the difference.
Want to be more productive but not sure how? Whether you are working or job seeking or both, using the following tips will help you bridge the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be in the future.
1. Time Management
Choose the best part of your day and use it wisely. Time management is a catch-all phrase for planning but without it very little gets done. I believe we must create our life and that goes with how and what we spend our time on.
For example, when I'm writing, I choose morning because that's when I feel most creative and can seem to channel my thoughts onto paper. When I was job searching, I would only accept an interview in the morning because I wanted to show up at my personal best and my energy is lower in the afternoon.
Not only will you look and feel better, but you'll also have a sense of accomplishment, which will create momentum in other areas. There are so many benefits to exercise and I'm a huge fan. Knowing yourself will help you engage in the right activity at the right time of day.
For example, I work out in the middle of the day because that's when I need a lift. I go to the gym because instructor-led group exercise is more motivating to me. Consider hiring a personal trainer or trying one of these activities: cardio, weight training, running, playing sports, yoga, Pilates, walking.
There are no excuses for not exercising. It is the single most important thing you can do for your health. It will also propel you forward in your work life and job search activities because you will feel good about yourself.
3. Being Reactive
Living in a non-stop world these days can wreak havoc on your health, relationships, and productivity. If you are someone who does whatever comes up and jumps from activity to activity, then chances are you aren't being very productive.
Multitasking is necessary at times, but I wonder if people actually accomplish more or less. I have seen incredibly people pull off multitasking and I'm in awe of their talent. Sadly, I'm not one of them. I'm someone who takes charge by starting and completing tasks before moving on to the next thing. Knowing which one of these people you are can work to your advantage and increase your productivity.
4. Priority List
It's a game changer. Either you run the day or the day runs you. Writing out a priority list on things that are most important to you right now will help you to stay focused on what you want and off of what you don't want. You've developed the criteria for making decisions and your life flows better because you're connected to what you want.
5. Setting Boundaries
I find it necessary to set boundaries with people because, when I do, it helps protect my energy and mood and I'm honoring my time. For example, I won't take phone calls in the morning. I have also stopped listening to victim stories because I find them very draining. I also choose to work from inspiration—not obligation—and this helps me eliminate time spent doing things I don't want to do and opens up time for activities that fill me up and move me forward.
6. Commuting And Traffic
Commuting can be such a huge productivity killer. People spend hours every week stuck in traffic. Do the research and see if there are ways that you can obtain the same results through an online meeting or phone call. Can you work from home? Plan what you will do to make your time in the car productive? These are valuable ways to reduce your time held hostage in traffic.
If you want to be more productive in life and in your career, focus on these six things first. Chances are at least one of these tips will work for you!
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This article was originally published at an earlier date.