To be great at your job what you do after office hours is as important as the work you do during them. Here are some habits to help you get there. By Satyaki Sarkar
1. Use leisure time productively
We all need to keep aside some much needed ‘me time’ to unwind and de-stress. But productive people know that it’s how you use the time that matters. You can use it to trawl through Facebook, become a couch potato or do something that adds value. If you enjoy reading unwind with a book that gives you life/work skills, information about the world around you or talks about innovations in your industry and related fields. Or look for ways to stay fit. Taking up a sport or going to the gym will help you stay fit, de-stress and deal better with a busy, tiring day. In essense you’re starting value creating habits that will benefit your personal and professional life.
2. Unplug and disconnect
In the pursuit of success, especially in the technology-dominated world that we live in today, we tend to be glued to our electronic screens all day, which, besides being extremely detrimental for our eyes and our physical health, can also drive a wedge into our relationships with family, friends, and partners. No matter how stressful or crucial our work is, there should be a time in the day when unplug from your gadgets. Not only does this help you maintain your work-life balance, it will also improve your physical and mental health, overall temperament, and reduce stress.
3. Pick up new skills
No matter the position attained or the goals achieved, every successful person knows that there is no end to learning. It’s an essential part of growth, personal and professional. This rings true all the more in today’s world, where technology is constantly evolving and more work is either being automated or outsourced. So it will do you good to devote some of your free time to developing an additional skill that could come in handy in your job role and even help expand your prospects of moving into other domains. And there are a whole host of media and institutes offering online courses (Udemy, Udacity, even Harvard) in a variety of fields. All you need to do is log on.
4. Surround themselves with the right kind of people
The people we interact with also define the traits and habits we pick up. While it’s important to constantly build your network, it’s equally important that you build it with quality people. Connect with like minded individuals from your peer group as well as established senior personalities from whom you can pick up helpful tips, habits, and insights on how to better yourself, be more productive, and be a better leader. These connections will also help when you’re looking for advice on problems you’re facing. Apart from forums and conferences, also look online for industry groups you can join on LinkedIn and even Facebook.
5. Spend some time on self-review
While we might take some time to take a step back from the chaos at work to see the larger picture and plan better for our team and organisation, we rarely do that for ourselves. So set aside some time for yourself every week, or at least every month, where you look back on the goals and aims you started with, and analyse how far you’ve come towards achieving them or whether you’ve strayed. This self-review is an important part of your professional and personal growth. Once you gain that perspective you will be better equipped to take the necessary steps to realign yourselves with the goals you’ve set.