Dolly Parton’s song might be timeless but the idea of working nine to five — and the idea of a job for life — certainly isn’t.
Today, we can work remotely, specialise in different areas, and turn our pastimes into lucrative side hustles.
Which all sounds splendid — but how do you work effectively (and look after yourself) when competition is fierce, opportunities are endless and you’re expected to be connected all the time?
In her new book, Working Hard, Hardly Working, Grace Beverley, the 24-year-old founder of fashion brand Tala and fitness app Shreddy, sets out to unravel the problems of the new working culture. Here are her tips…
Decide what you actually like doing
‘One of our worst traits is thinking we only have one opportunity to choose what we want to do and then we’ll never get to choose again, whereas the reality isn’t that,’ says Grace.
So identify your micro-passions — what do you enjoy and not enjoy? Can you do more of what you love in your current role or ask for more training or responsibility?
If you can’t, it might be time for a change or to start mapping out your side hustle.
Make a ‘to-do’ table
‘There’s a difference between being busy and being productive,’ says Grace.
The key is to spend a short time planning. Grace uses the Eisenhower Method, which involves labelling tasks as urgent and important (do first), not urgent but important (schedule), urgent but not important (delegate) and not urgent and not important (don’t do), as well as the to-do table, which breaks down items into quick ticks, tasks and projects.
‘This is so important because you can time-manage to the ends of the earth but if you’re not time-managing the right thing, it’s a waste of time.’
Identify your ‘flow triggers’
‘Flow is a state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The experience is so enjoyable people will continue to do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it,’ says Grace.
She suggests using a designated space for work and using ideas-based ‘flow triggers’ like a YouTube video, podcast or related article to help get the creative juices flowing.
‘These days, you’re not just comparing yourself to the person you’re next to in the office, you can also feel in competition with someone you’ve never even met because you follow them on social media,’ says Grace.
To keep focused on your own aspirations, she recommends setting out your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals, ensuring they’re SMART — ‘specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound’.
And appreciate your idea of success might and should change. ‘It’s probably a sign of growth if it does.’
Working Hard, Hardly Working (Penguin) is out now
Quick remedies to spark productivity
Neal’s Yard Remedies to Roll — Study
This roll-on aromatherapy blend, featuring a stimulating mix of clove, orange and rosemary, brings you clarity and confidence and leaves you feeling recharged and ready to study. £8, nealsyardremedies.com
Aveda Chakra 1 Feel Grounded
There are seven balancing Aveda chakra mists but if you’re about to get into the work zone then a spritz of Chakra 1 Feel Grounded will help you to feel rooted with good energy and healthy body awareness. £30, aveda.co.uk
TEA+ Energy Vitamin Tea
This new range of vitamin-infused tea bags makes getting your supplements easier than ever. This blend of yerba mate, vitamin C and ginseng with vitamins B6 and B12, which contributes to the reduction of fatigue, is flavoured with raspberry and pomegranate. £3.99, hollandandbarrett.com
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