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Why You Should Do What You Love And Believe In No Matter How Old You Are

Why You Should Do What You Love And Believe In No Matter How Old You Are

Are you dreading the thought of waking up tomorrow and heading to work? Maybe lately you haven’t felt motivated by your job or even the slightest bit interested in what you’re doing. You probably stare at the clock all day, counting the hours until you’re free again. You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the ranks of hundreds of thousands of people who aren’t doing what they love.

The good news is, it’s never too late. No matter how old you are or what you’ve been doing all these years; you can still follow through with your dreams. You should spend this life doing what you love and believing in what you’re doing.

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“Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.” -Farrah Gray

Read that quote. Now, read it again. Why are you at your current job? Is it just for the money? When you relegate yourself to a job you don’t feel passionate about, you’re giving up on your dreams. While you are miserable day in and day out, you’re helping somebody else realize their dreams. Is that the life you want to live?

“Never work for money, work for passion” shows up on a list of the lessons people learn too late in life.[1] Listen to this advice. Don’t let life pass you by.

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“A successful life is one that is lived through understanding and pursuing one’s own path, not chasing after the dreams of others.” – Chin-Ning Chu

Remember when you were younger and you used to dream about everything you were going to do in life? Write that dream down and create a vision for achieving it. You see, once you visualize yourself doing something, you’ve made it an attainable reality. So, it’s more likely to come true. Identifying your dream is the first step to achieving it.

Now that you have your dream envisioned, be more specific. What exactly is your goal and what are the steps you need to take to reach that goal? Being constantly conscious of these things means that they won’t escape you again. Your dreams and goals are always there, motivating you to work harder. “Chase your vision and dream. Success will start following you.”[2]

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“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald

Now that we’ve talked about remembering your dreams and reconnecting with your passion, never follow this advice: “Find your passion.” This is the worst advice ever. Your passion is always there, haunting you, reminding you that you still haven’t achieved your life’s purpose. If you have to look for your passion, it’s probably not something you’re passionate about at all.

Wondering about what you love in life is tantamount to saying that you spend all day, every day thinking about things that don’t interest you. Highly unlikely. According to writer Mark Manson, “You already found your passion. You’re just ignoring it.”[3]

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“Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”  – George Addair

The truth is, you might be ignoring your passion because you’re afraid to go after it. It’s one thing to spend your life working for other people and getting by day to day. On the outside, you look relatively successful. But, if you actively pursue your lifelong passion and you don’t achieve your dreams – well, that would mean you’re unsuccessful. And nobody wants that, we’re all afraid of it.

Don’t worry. There are some things you can do to boost your productivity and ensure your success. First of all, plan your day around the moments that you are most productive. Do you accomplish more during quiet mornings? Then wake up early and get to work. Don’t procrastinate. Work around your natural rhythm and learn to prioritize. Work through your list of priorities one by one to stay focused. Get in the groove of working through your daily priorities and planning tomorrow’s schedule today. Before you realize it, you’ll be well on your way to success![4]

Featured photo credit: La La Land via mintmovi3.deviantart.com

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Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

The Art of Taking a Break So You Will Be Productive Again

Think of yourself as a cup. Each day, you wake up full. But as you go about your day—getting tasks done and interacting with people—the amount in your cup gradually gets lower. And as such, you get less and less effective at whatever it is you’re supposed to be doing. You’re running out of steam.

The solution is obvious: if you don’t have anything left to pour out, then you need to find a way to fill yourself up again. In work terms, that means you should take a break—an essential form of revitalizing your motivation and focus.

Taking a break may get a bad rap in hustle culture, but it’s an essential, science-based way to ensure you have the capacity to live your life the way you want to live it.

In the 1980s, when scientists began researching burnout, they described this inner capacity as “resources.” We all need to replenish our resources to cope with stress, work effectively, and avoid burnout.[1]

When the goal is to get things done, it may sound counterproductive to stop what you’re doing. But if you embrace the art of taking a break, you can be more efficient and effective at work.

Here are five ways on how you can take a break and boost your productivity.

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1. Break for the Right Amount of Time, at the Right Time

When I started my first job out of college, I was bent on pleasing my boss as most entry-level employees do. So, every day, I punched in at 9 AM on the dot, took a 60-minute lunch break at noon, and left no earlier than 5 PM.

As I’ve logged more hours in my career, I’ve realized the average, eight-hour workday with an hour lunch break simply isn’t realistic—especially if your goal is to put your best foot forward at work.

That’s why popular productivity techniques like the Pomodoro advocate for the “sprint” principle. Basically, you work for a short burst, then stop for a short, five-minute break. While the Pomodoro technique is a step forward, more recent research shows a shorter burst of working followed by a longer pause from work might actually be a more effective way to get the most out of stepping away from your desk.

The team at DeskTime analyzed more than 5 million records of how workers used their computers on the job. They found that the most productive people worked an average of 52 minutes, then took a 17-minute break afterward.[2]

What’s so special about those numbers? Leave it to neuroscience. According to researchers, the human brain naturally works in spurts of activity that last an hour. Then, it toggles to “low-activity mode.”[3]

Even so, keep in mind that whatever motivates you is the most effective method. It’s more about the premise—when you know you have a “finish line” approaching, you can stay focused on the task or project at hand.

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There are many applications and tools that can help you block distracting websites and apps (such as social media) for specific periods of the day. Similarly, you can also use some mailing apps like Mailbrew to receive all the social media content or newsletters you don’t want to miss in your inbox at a time you decide.

So, no matter how long you work, take a break when you sense you’re losing steam or getting bored with the task. Generally, a 10-15 minute break should reinvigorate you for whatever’s coming next.

2. Get a Change of Scenery—Ideally, Outdoors

When it comes to increasing a person’s overall mental health, there’s no better balm than nature. Research has found that simply being outside can restore a person’s mind from mental fatigue related to work or studying, ultimately contributing to improved work performance (and even improved work satisfaction).[4]

No lush forest around? Urban nature can be just as effective to get the most out of your break-taking. Scientists Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson, in their book The Biophilia Hypothesis, claimed that even parks, outdoor paths, and building designs that embrace “urban nature” can lend a sense of calm and inspiration, encouraging learning and alertness for workers.

3. Move Your Body

A change of scenery can do wonders for your attention span and ability to focus, but it’s even more beneficial if you pair it with physical movement to pump up that adrenaline of yours. Simply put, your body wasn’t designed to be seated the entire day. In fact, scientists now believe that extended periods of sitting are just as dangerous to health as smoking.[5]

It’s not always feasible to enjoy the benefits of a 30-minute brisk walk during your workday, especially since you’ll most likely have less energy during workdays. But the good news is, for productivity purposes, you don’t have to. Researchers found that just 10 minutes of exercise can boost your memory and attention span throughout the entire day.[6]

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So, instead of using your break to sit and read the news or scroll your social media account, get out of your chair and move your body. Take a quick walk around the block. Do some jumping jacks in your home office. Whatever you choose, you’ll likely find yourself with a sharper focus—and more drive to get things done.

4. Connect With Another Person

Social connection is one of the most important factors for resilience. When we’re in a relationship with other people, it’s easier to cope with stress—and in my experience, getting social can also help to improve focus after a work break.

One of my favorite ways to break after a 30-or-so minute sprint is to hang out with my family. And once a week, I carve out time to Skype my relatives back in Turkey. It’s amazing how a bit of levity and emotional connection can rev me up for the next work sprint.

Now that most of us are working from home, getting some face-to-face time with a loved one isn’t as hard as it once was. So, take the time to chat with your partner. Take your kids outside to run around the backyard. If you live alone, call a friend or relative. Either way, coming up for air to chat with someone who knows and cares about you will leave you feeling invigorated and inspired.

5. Use Your Imagination

When you’re working with your head down, your brain has an ongoing agenda: get things done, and do it well. That can be an effective method for productivity, but it only lasts so long—especially because checking things off your to-do list isn’t the only ingredient to success at work. You also need innovation.

That’s why I prioritize a “brain break” every day. When I feel my “cup” getting empty, I usually choose another creative activity to exercise my brain, like a Crossword puzzle, Sudoku, or an unrelated, creative project in my house.

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And when I’m really struggling to focus, I don’t do anything at all. Instead, I let my brain roam free for a bit, following my thoughts down whatever trail they lead me. As it turns out, there’s a scientific benefit to daydreaming. It reinforces creativity and helps you feel more engaged with the world, which will only benefit you in your work.[7]

Whether you help your kids with their distance learning homework, read an inspiring book, or just sit quietly to enjoy some fresh air, your brain will benefit from an opportunity to think and feel without an agenda. And, if you’re anything like me, you might just come up with your next great idea when you aren’t even trying.

Final Thoughts

Most of us have to work hard for our families and ourselves. And the current world we live in demands the highest level of productivity that we can offer. However, we also have to take a break once in a while. We are humans, after all.

Learning the art of properly taking a break will not only give you the rest you need but also increase your productivity in the long run.

More on the Importance of Taking a Break

Featured photo credit: Helena Lopes via unsplash.com

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