When searching for success, one of the most important and talked about aspects of business is “the grind,” or the day-to-day hard work that must be put in to yield results. For many entrepreneurs, there is no such thing as part-time; in fact, overtime has become the new norm for people really looking to excel and push their vision to the next level.
For some, this means working multiple jobs or multiple projects until their dream gains enough momentum to stand on its own. At a glance, it’s easy to convince yourself that you can work a full 9 to 5 and focus on personal projects and ventures on nights and weekends. But what happens when exhaustion takes over and leaves you feeling disheartened and fatigued? This list offers day-to-day things you can try to keep you motivated and pushing through those downright terrible weeks while working towards your bigger goals.
Have a “can do” playlist.
A small daily fix is to compile playlists to help you out of any mood. Whether it be at your desk, during lunch, or on your drive to work, having a playlist of songs that brighten your outlook can do wonders for your mood and energy level.
Whether it be heavy metal, rap, or even a playlist of your favorite Disney songs from childhood, having something prepared for when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out will help refocus you with a new feeling of positivity.
It can even be beneficial to have different playlists for different moods. They may be titled “Too Tired Today,” “I Need a drink,” or “Take Over the World.” Having the perfect song already prepared will be a huge load off when those moments of extreme fatigue hit.
Have small victories.
Long-term goals aside, it can be helpful to set short-term goals that will be achieved each week or each month. Try setting savings goals, like adding $100 to your savings account each month; or productivity goals, like doing 1 extra thing toward your long-term goal each week. Small victories will begin to add up to larger success and ensure that every little milestone is appreciated.
Having something to look forward to at the end of a long week is essential. Perhaps make Friday nights your wine and movie night, or go out for drinks once a week. On a monthly scale, you can have shopping days, favorite restaurant days, or spa days. Be sure to set aside small pockets of time to indulge in things you really enjoy and see the people you like being around.
These are perfect opportunities to find a new hobby or revisit things you enjoyed in years past. If you have a family, it may be easier to make these days on a monthly scale, by having a once-a-month “me day” for you to worry about your own mental health and relax. Relaxation is key to keeping stress levels down, and looking forward to upcoming events can help raise your mood throughout the work week.
Build your team.
When focusing on your career, it can be easy to let your social life fall through the cracks, but having a steady support system of friends rooting for your success is an excellent resource of both positivity and feedback. Keep the strong connections you have, whether that be through reaching out once a week and checking in or maintaining biweekly bar nights.
Be sure that the circle you keep around is full of people looking to support and encourage you. Focus on maintaining uplifting relationships and letting negative relationships fall by the wayside. A good example of friends helping throughout the workday could be maintaining a group chat in which you only post funny things to peruse at one another’s leisure. Being able to have a good laugh on your breaks will ease stress and help you to feel more connected to your friends.
If you already feel too much negativity and distance in the relationships you have, consider going out to local events at bars and community centers or joining online communities. For adults, building and maintaining friendships can be extremely difficult, but thanks to our almost overly connected society, there are more resources than ever available to those who want to reach out and make connections.
Watch what you eat and drink.
On busy days, a quick fast food stop or a couple of energy drinks may seem like an okay or even necessary decision. But adding tons of unhealthy foods and chemicals to your body will do more harm than good. If you absolutely can’t skip the drive-thru, try changing up your order by asking for wraps or salads.
And if your need a quick boost of energy, try herbal teas over energy drinks. Though it may take time, taking little steps to improve your day-to-day intake can increase your energy and leave you feeling better about yourself.
Don’t be afraid to take a break.
On those insane days full of extensive projects or back-to-back meetings, you may think the best thing is to rush from task to task and crash once you arrive home in the evening. A far better plan is to allow yourself short 5 to 10 minute breaks a few times a day, even if this means excusing yourself to the bathroom or faking an important phone call.
Use these breaks as a chance to try deep breathing exercises, listen to one of your mood enhancing playlists, or have a brief chat with a friend who cheers you up. Breaks can actually increase your energy and morale and make you more productive as the day goes on. Try not to schedule yourself back to back.
For example, if you have a two-hour break between job one and job two, try not to fill it with doctor’s appointments and errands. Instead, go for a nice walk or sit in a favorite café and enjoy a cup of coffee. Hard work is important, but no one will benefit from you running yourself into the ground.
As you embark on your next busy week or hectic day, try using some of these tips to help lighten the load and improve your mood. You may find it easier to keep up with the grind after allowing yourself the time and space to take care of other needs outside of work. Mental and physical rest is important, even on those weeks where the “grind” doesn’t seem to stop.