1. One Stretch At A Time
The road to success is long and probably has a lot of potholes. Looking at the big picture is helpful, but the big picture doesn’t matter if you can’t get done what needs to get done today. Allow the small stuff to build the larger mosaic.
2. Smartly Calculate The Rest Stops
On a long road trip, perfectly timed rest stops can enhance the experience exponentially – particularly if they contain your favorite fast-food restaurant, or provide much-needed relief. When you’re in the midst of a big project, plan some sort of mini-celebration to recharge and refocus.
3. No Need To Sprint Ahead
Remember that a career is something that takes years and years to build, and that going into overdrive to catch up with someone who’s “slightly ahead” probably isn’t a good long-distance strategy. Rather, it’s like being the sixth grader who sprinted the first lap of the mile, only to completely peter out by lap three.
4. Network Up, Down, All Around
I’ve noticed that in the scramble to get ahead, certain people tend to only “network up” in the sense that they’ll primarily talk to and attempt to associate with people above them, likely with the intention of establishing themselves among a higher-achieving cohort. While definitely a good short-term strategy, this can alienate those in parallel and entry-level echelons — ultimately creating a weird, disingenuous relationship that may very well come to bite them in the end. Being nice to everyone, in addition to being a morally sound strategy, is oftentimes a good business-minded one.
5. Take Control Of Your Own Road
Remember that not everyone wants the same thing out of a job. If becoming CEO requires long hours and added stress that you aren’t interested in having, that’s probably not the road for you. Rather, figure out the path that’s best for your particular situation, and do your best to excel and succeed within that avenue.
6. Take Pride In Your Work
Even if you aren’t satisfied in your current position, there’s always something to be said about doing the best job you possibly can. There’s an inherent satisfaction in doing your best work, and maintaining a habit of excellence can go a long way.
7. Find Out What Kind Of Exercise Works For You
Lists like this one pretty much always tell you to exercise, because exercise is linked with being a more productive person. To take this idea a step further, figure out what type of exercise works for you (be it yoga, spin class, or a particular weight regimen), and use that form of exercise as both an outlet for relief and a vehicle for parallel achievement.
8. Ask For Directions
I’ve heard this a lot as a younger person in the workforce – that if you don’t know how to do something, the worst thing you can do is act like you do, then send in an incorrect end- product. This creates more work and stress for a superior, who now has to spend their time and energy correcting your mistakes; mistakes that easily could’ve been avoided with proper communication.
9. Don’t Go It Alone
Be it a significant other, a family member, or a close friend, having a companion to de-stress with is not only supremely helpful, but oftentimes helps us place things in perspective; sometimes, what we think is a big deal turns out to feel laughably inconsequential when discussed with someone else. Make sure the de-stressing goes both ways.
10. Open Yourself Up To As Many Perspectives As Possible
Read books, keep up with articles, watch documentaries. Understand the history and biases of your industry, and play your part in creating awareness and rectifying the institutional wrongs that may have, and may still pervade your particular field. Every little action counts!
11. If You Get A Flat Tire, Be Resilient
When something goes wrong, it’s easy to react impulsively and shortsightedly. Emotion management isn’t only helpful in regards to mental health, but will probably help ease the problem in the long run. If you get a flat tire, don’t spend a half an hour cursing everything in sight — calmly figure out how to make the best of the situation.
12. You’re In The Driver’s Seat
Ultimately, the advice and actions you take are up to you. Trust yourself, believe in yourself, but continually strive to learn and grow both as a professional and a person.