If you are going to spend 40 hours per week, and the majority of your conscious life, at work, you might as well make the most of it! Here’s some insight into ensuring that you are squeezing as much of the good stuff out of it as possible.
Take control and remember, small habitual changes can transform how you interact with the world. As scientists discover more about the human brain they have realized one important thing:
You have the power to change the physical anatomy of your brain.
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Here are our 5 top tips to make your work meaningful and rewarding for you:
1. Be the Person You Want to Be. What Are Your Life Goals?
Assess what you want from the world, and where you want to be in 5 years time. What are your goals and ambitions? Consider who the person is that you want to be, what is their work ethic like, how do they communicate with their colleagues, what role are they pursuing in their career, how do they face their fears? And apply yourself to your work, tasks, habits, relationships with colleagues, so that you're working towards these goals.
In terms of personal development, are there tasks at work that you can tackle in a different way so that you’re working on improving your memory, management or communication skills? Have you always wanted to exercise your creative functions more and are there ways you can involve yourself in projects at work that mean you are doing this?
Ask yourself, “What skills and qualities do I want to cultivate and nurture? How can I utilisze my tasks at work to achieve this?"
You will find work far more fulfilling when you think creatively about your tasks and give them meaning in the greater context of your life.
2. Stay Inspired!
According to Harvard Business Review, the following qualities are all consequences of being inspired:
“Mastery of work, absorption, creativity, perceived competence, self-esteem, and optimism”,
suggesting that inspiration facilitates these important psychological resources.
In a study conducted where students were asked to choose 3 goals to complete by the end of their semester, those that scored higher on the “Inspiration Scale” achieved their goal progress to a far greater level. Thus the study concludes,
“people who were generally more inspired in their daily lives also tended to set inspired goals, which were then more likely to be successfully attained”.
Ways to do this: Read up around your work on original reliable sources like ProAndroidDev, watch video tutorials, attend events where you can talk to fellow Android Developers. There is also a plethora of fantastic video content on droidcon.com as well as Android events across the globe where you can connect with the community and stay inspired.
Twitter is also a great resource for staying up to date on the latest advancements in your field and engaging with the community.
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It is great to keep inspiring projects in your sphere. These will stretch it in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine. It’s important to stay true to yourself and follow projects that appeal to you personally.
No, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be doing the exact same projects on the same scales but learning of these can set you on exciting new trajectories.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land among the stars.”
3. Reflect on Your Journey
In order to truly stretch to those stars and excel in your abilities, a deep understanding of how you’ve developed from the past is essential. If one endeavours to keep moving forward blindly, without ever reflecting back on lessons they’ve learned, they could be overseeing crucial details, repeating the same mistakes or moving in a direction that isn’t fully utilizing the valuable lessons they’ve learned along the way.
This could be anything from reflecting back on your experience of acquiring a specific new skill or language to old projects that you enjoyed taking part in creatively. It could be remembering that you thrived in certain areas of your studies and want to pursue them further or include them in current projects.
Take the time to analyze your inputs and outputs. Where have you gotten the most out of your hard work and time? Which areas have been most fulfilling?
Acknowledging and appreciating the hard work that has paved the way to where you are now, and the trials and tribulations that you have persevered through will bring more meaning to your current role.
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4. Role Models
Who are your role models, what do you admire about them? From childhood, we instinctively copy others’ behaviour because we know this is the best way to learn, and is still very relevant throughout one’s life. Twitter is a great way to stay up to date with those at the forefront of Android development! Interacting with and sharing links brings us closer to our role models and increases our self esteem as well as giving us exciting challenges to work towards.
Don’t be afraid to copy the habits of those you admire.
"Steal like an artist"!
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Developer communities have worked this out and have great systems in place for mentoring developers. There are already dozens of excellent resources online for getting in contact with mentors so utilize these to your benefit!
5. Your Body is a Temple
Finally, maintaining your physical health is vital for truly reaching for the stars.
Sleeping pattern. Exercise. Meditation. Diet. Taking care of these simple but crucial factors will enable you to think clearly, kick the quality of your work up a notch, and take pride in your work.
Not only does getting enough sleep mean you start the day with a revived brain raring to go, it also boosts your immunity so you’ll be getting sick less.
According to Healthline the following are all strongly affected by healthy sleep “cognition, concentration, productivity and performance” and if that isn’t enough to convince you, poor sleep will also make you fat!
It is an undisputed fact that exercise improves brain functions, boosts your energy levels and helps keep you alert and focused. You should be getting,
“at least 150 to 300 minutes weekly of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or 75 to 150 minutes weekly of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity”,
according to the latest research as declared in Harvard Health.
You are what you eat. What you eat will greatly affect your clarity of mind. It’s as simple as eating your five-a-day, avoiding foods that are high in saturated fats and refined sugars, and drinking plenty of water. Balance is key. All of these will help keep your brain active and alert!
When it comes to caffeine and coffee, it is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself; there will be periods where you’ll need to sprint, but this should not be your entire working life. Coffee can help to improve memory and focus but too much will leave you feeling anxious, jittery and distracted from work.
Caffeine works by prohibiting adenosine, the chemical that makes your neural functions slow down for sleep, from binding to its receptors. Our brain naturally produces this so that we can sleep at night, so drinking too much coffee too close to bedtime will be detrimental to your sleeping pattern.
Think with the clarity, creativity and concentration that you deserve!
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