A lot of people talk about working as hard as you can in order to achieve your career goals, and it’s true, success doesn’t come easily. However, it is becoming increasingly common for career driven men and women to be working so hard they actually sabotage their own success.
In a world where it’s difficult to fit everything into a working week, we are finding ourselves working longer hours, often still writing emails or posting social media for our businesses right up until the minute we go to sleep.
It is crucial to our success to recognise when to switch off, and to have a clear definition between work and play, giving yourself time to rejuvenate. It’s important to allocate time to ground yourself and reflect on what is happening around you. Without this ‘downtime’ our minds become clouded and our judgment impaired, which in turn, effects our ability to perform and could end up costing you that promotion you’ve been working so hard to achieve.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this balance is regular physical exercise. With more and more of us spending most of our day sitting in front of the computer, exercise is becoming more important than ever for maintaining both our physical and mental health.
After a jam packed day at the office, the best thing you can do to calm your mind, is to put on your favourite playlist and go for a run. Apart from the obvious physical health benefits, one of the most important benefits is the mental clarity daily exercise can give you.
If you can’t figure something out or are feeling overwhelmed from the day-to-day pressures in the workplace, you can usually make sense of everything after a good workout. Exercise also helps to keep you motivated and fills you with the confidence to know that you can achieve your goals and overcome any hurdle. You might find it helpful to replay a mantra in your head as you push yourself to run faster and longer – one of my favourites is ‘Inhale confidence, exhale doubt’, helpful both when pushing yourself at the gym, and when you are confronted with difficult situations in the workplace.
The other important factor to consider is balance in your diet. Ensuring you’re getting a wide variety of nutritious foods will increase your energy levels and allow you to concentrate for longer. Brain foods such as omega-3 rich fatty fish and wild berries (high in antioxidants) can help to build and repair brain cells, and are helpful for maintaining good memory and overall brain health.
These foods are also known to relieve stress and protect against brain illnesses such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Much like exercise, achieving balance in your diet will allow you to get the most out of your day and help you to maintain optimum performance.
The right diet will also boost your mood and put you in a positive frame of mind, which we all know is crucial to enjoying your job and getting ahead in the workplace. You may find it helpful to pre-plan your meals for the week to ensue you’re able to obtain a balanced diet and to make sure you’re not tempted by fast food alternatives.
Regardless of what your personal or professional goals are, the most important thing you can do to achieve success (and maintain it), is to remember the balance: if you work hard, you need to play hard, and if you work and play hard, then you definitely need to rest hard.
The ability to achieve this balance is easy, as long as youbelieve in yourself. People will try to tear you down, they will judge you, question your capabilities and even try to sabotage your success in order to achieve their own; but, if you back yourself and believe that you are capable of anything, you are unstoppable! After all, how can you expect anyone to believe in you, if you don’t first believe in yourself?
Sam Pridmore is a freelance writer.