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Being a rock star at your job is as much a product of the work you do outside the office as the work you do in it. Successful employees know how to actively set themselves up to achieve their career goals while simultaneously benefiting their long-term personal health and mental wellbeing.
The best employees don’t wait for companies to set the terms of their work-life balance. They grab it themselves by routinely enriching their experiences beyond their job. No matter your position within a company’s hierarchy, you can follow in the footsteps of leaders and achievers by practicing their habits of success.
Habit 1: Spend time with highly-successful co-workers
Office socialization is vital to the health of workplace culture. It doesn’t need to be limited to quick chats about last night’s game around the coffee machine, either.
Natural bonds form between co-workers all the time — being in closed quarters for eight-plus hours a day will tend to do that. Those bonds can strengthen by spending quality time after hours with work peers, building trust and camaraderie that can carry momentum back into the office. Seeing fellow employees in a fresh light away from their desks just might give you a new appreciation for your shared roles in shaping your company’s vision.
Habit 2: Unplug
How many times have you decried your lack of work-life balance, only to habitually check your phone at night for any new emails that might have come in? It is harder than ever to step away from electronics in general, which means there’s an expectation (unspoken or otherwise) that you’re always a ping away from work-related communication. The problem is so rampant, some people even have to devise and execute a plan for disconnecting on vacation.
Whether it’s blue light interrupting your sleep patterns or email-induced stress causing you irritability, there are plenty of reasons to set boundaries around being “always on.” When you unplug, and allow your mind to get lost in a good book, take in the natural surroundings on a hike, or even meditate, you are better able to come back recharged and refreshed.
Habit 3: Take advantage of the morning
Not everyone is naturally primed to be the early bird who gets the worm. But those who do take advantage of the early morning hours to cross off their most daunting tasks or get their blood flowing often create momentum for a productive day.
Some people find a sense of accomplishment in running a couple miles, others derive energy from a powerful sunrise yoga session. If you’re not the active type in the waking hours, consider simply making your bed every morning; you may be among the 71% of regular bed-makers who report being happy in life, satisfied at their job and more likely to feel well-rested.
Habit 4: Meditate
The benefits of meditation are numerous and have application in almost every aspect of life. Specifically at the office, though, meditating can make you more creative, improve your memory, make you a better listener and make you more empathetic toward co-workers, employees, clients and human beings in general. I
t’s not a pseudoscience, either. Regular meditation practice has been shown to actually re-wire the parts of the brain responsible for pain tolerance, anxiety and fear. Meditation is a mental workout, so the more you do it, the more you’ll notice results. There are some great apps to help get you started.
Habit 5: Get lost in a hobby or new experience
Every office has that quiet person who does stand-up comedy on the weekends. Or that hard-charging boss who plays trumpet in a jazz band. The often surprising passions of employees are what rounds them out as people and define them more than their job titles ever could.
If you don’t have your regular “thing,” you can do what other successful individuals do and seek out inspiration from all over. Try something you’ve always wanted to try, or just be a consumer and observer of someone else’s talent on display; you never know how a foray into unexplored territory will lead to your next great job-related idea.
Habit 6: Mentor, network and build a support squad
No one climbs the mountain of success alone. The most accomplished individuals are the ones who are part of a team they can learn from, lean on and help along in furthering each other’s pursuits.
Whether gathering a group of cohorts to discuss big ideas, or mentoring a newer employee or young member of the community, successful people build relationships that go beyond the surface and aren’t restricted to the walls of the office. Even if you identify as not a people person, you have a lot to be gained simply from sharpening your listening skills and developing your understanding of what motivates everyone you spend time with.
Outside of what is expected of you at the office, what other ways can you grow and develop yourself? Spending time on yourself will only help further you in your career. Seek out what fills and challenges you.
CREDIT: Getty Images