With increasing workplace demands to achieve more with less, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking on bigger workloads and working longer hours.
As thought leader and author Andy Core discusses in Change Your Day, Not Your Life, this high-pressure era appears to affect workers in different ways, with most people falling into one of the following categories:
Strugglers: According to Andy, this group of workers are not fit for high-demand workplaces. They don’t have either the desire or ability to work hard and will tend to flock to ‘greener pastures’ that require less effort and motivation.
Strivers: This group work hard, meeting high expectations and sporting a great desire to succeed. However, they struggle with stress and the ability to maintain a high quality of work, life and attitude, impacting their long-term plans to succeed.
Thrivers: This hard working group are living the dream. They continue to meet and exceed expectations, achieving great levels of success, while experiencing low levels of stress in work and life. For most managers, this group represents the ideal management style to aspire to.
If you’d like to go from striving to thriving at work, here are three tips from Andy’s book:
1. Don’t try to change your whole life – discover what is doable in a day
When you are stuck in a work lifestyle that is stressing you out, impacting your personal life and failing to achieve professional goals, you may be looking for a life-changing solution. However, thrivers understand that change is achieved in realistic and sustainable bite-sized pieces, one day at a time.
Ask yourself, what could you change in the first hour of your day to make it better? Start with this, follow it through day after day, and allow yourself to start changing your habits and thought patterns.
2. Decide what you are unwilling to sacrifice
Andy explores the interesting concept of thrivers being ‘the CEOs’ of their own lives – they have control over their workload, relationships, work/life balance and achievements. But most importantly, they know what they aren’t willing to sacrifice in their path to success.
Whether it’s family, your health, or some other aspect of your life, in order to thrive, you need to know what is too sacred to be risked in pursuing your goals. This will allow you to set important boundaries and protect that which is sacred to you.
3. Learn to work fewer ‘junk hours’
‘Junk hours’ are described as those unproductive hours that distract you from your goals and dissipate your energy and focus.
Perhaps you’re aimlessly surfing the Internet for ‘research’, attending an unnecessary meeting, or simply being physically present for work, while your mind is not. Think about how you can spend these hours in a more positive way, such as exercising to clear your mind, or doing something creative to ignite new ideas. Spend less time on junk hours and more time in positive momentum.
While these are just three of the concepts outlined in Andy Core’s book, these three tips offer a great starting point for thriving instead of just striving at work.
Andy Core is an award-winning subject matter expert on thriving in in high demand work environments and the author of Change Your Day, Not Your Life. He has a masters degree in human performance and has researched stress, peak performance and how to stay motivated.