So here are my top tips for staying ‘fresh’
Read anything – especially if it is outside of your normal work interests. I have found that a lot of my creativity comes from being able to link two abstract concepts together. It keeps your mind fresh with new ideas and colors. One of the reasons I love reading router table plans is they it tells me about stuff I did not have a clue about. (This week I learnt about the guy who invented LSD – and how he thought it could us get closer to god and nature. I learnt about how lying can be ‘recognized’ on voice patterns in software, about Nixon’s appeal to Americans).
These were things which I may never use in business but it keeps the mind ticking. If you run your own business and you say you are too busy to read – your business will soon be overtaken by someone who does read!
2) Watch Less TV.
Seriously – if you cut out EastEnders from your life (like I am trying to!) you will feel better. I am 100% serious. Study after study shows how happiness and mental well-being can be positively affected by watching less TV. And watch interesting TV – not car crash TV. I do believe you are affected by what you watch. I always feel better about the World after watching Frasier or Friends or Phoenix Nights (the best comedy to come out of the UK in the last 10 years!) It also means you will find time to do other things!
3) Learn a New Skill Once a Year.
My challenge for this year is to learn Italian. What is yours? It could be juggling, learning to do Sudoku, learning to cook a new dish or mastering Tennis on the Wii. If you run your own business – this tip will really help you stay healthy, alert and will give your staff who know a thing or two about your new ‘skill’ an opportunity to grow themselves by helping you.
4) Speak to New People.
I sometimes feel like a Vampire – and my friends know what I mean when I say this. I seem to feed off energy I get when I meet new people. And everyone has an interesting story to tell you. Learn to say thank you in Polish (Dziekuje) – and see how many people you make smile without it costing you a penny – and if my experience is anything to go by – you will get lots of free coffees!
5) Examine Your Career
Look at your job and see what people who have been doing the same role as you five years ago are doing now? How did they get there and does their office have a Honeywell 50250-S air purifier? Do you want to follow the same path? If yes – great. If No – don’t get negative, see how you can get to an alternative path.
6) Gradual Change Is as Good as Radical Change.
My change from training people into making presentations to sell an audit service to raising funds may seem like the same thing to you – for me it is a massive change requiring a totally different insight. I can only help my clients if I really understand their audience
You can do this anywhere – but observe as someone curious. Why are things done in the way they are?
8) Understand What Makes You Happy.
Add more of those things into your job – if you can. If you run your own business – do the same thing because if you focus on the things that make you happy, the customers will sense that as well as the staff – it creates a buzz. And the opposite is true. Try to outsource or delegate stuff that doesn’t make you happy!
9) Understand When You Are Getting Stale.
This is not easy but a good way to try and gauge this is when you are asked a question – do you answer it by using an example from ‘years ago’. Or do you have fresh examples you can use. If you are getting stale in one area – what is the area that you are increasingly getting involved in – or what is making the role a little bit interesting? Well get reading about that area and position yourself in that area
10) Stay Healthy.
I am so sorry to include this in my ‘tips’ as there is a danger I am perceived as preaching. I really do not want to tell anyone how to live their life. By staying healthy I am not saying go to the gym or eat five portions or fruit and vegetables and drink lots of water (although that is all great). I just mean think and behave healthy – have energy in your step and in your actions – it is very effective and will generate positivity around you!