After the strangest year in 2020, this year might also pose both life and work challenges, so here are 5 life hacks to ensure you’re up to it. From taking calculated breaks to planning and sleeping, enjoy!
The first two months of 2021 have already flown past and many will be wondering, “where did that time go?!”
In some ways, it’s not that surprising given that life is slowly returning to something a bit more like it was pre-COVID-19. Anyone who was furloughed or who had their hours dropped are potentially finding themselves working more hours again even as others are wrapping up their work-from-home (WFH) life and returning physically to the workplace. And our social lives are no longer restricted to Zoom drinks, socially-distanced outdoor meet-ups and too much Netflix.
This return to normal work/life activity, and the fact that 2021 has kicked in, means that the energy and renewed purpose which often comes with a new year is wearing thin or has even evaporated altogether.
But wait - don’t stress about it! There are ways you can manage this via some simple life hacks you can take with you into your professional life to ensure you’re up to it.
5 Life Hacks for 2021
Life hack 1: Sleep and naps
Whether you’re an owl (a late-nighter) or a lark (a literal early bird), getting the right amount of sleep and good quality sleep comprise the most obvious, yet maybe most important, life hack. Sleep is your chance to:
- Improve concentration and productivity
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
- Boost your immune function
And best of all, the life hacks around getting good sleep aren’t that hard - there is a great article on this by the US National Institute of Aging here. As for naps for those who do long days/nights, particularly in healthcare jobs or legal jobs, sneaking in a micro or power nap is well documented. Not always easy to do, but if you can, the science says it’s super beneficial.
Life Hack 2: Take regular breaks
You’re a busy professional who is on the go from the moment you start checking emails on your phone in the AM as you throw down your first coffee ‘til sitting on the couch at night wondering if you should check your email one more time JUST IN CASE.
It can be hard escaping a hectic professional life, whether it’s in healthcare jobs or legal jobs or any other highly pressurised profession, and employer expectations can mean we find it hard to turn off. This is where ‘The Pomodoro Technique’ is worth thinking about.
In a nutshell, this is a time-management technique of splitting your day into small, manageable chunks (pomodoros) punctuated by breaks. For example, working for 25 minutes and taking a five-minute break. You also reward yourself with a slightly longer break after doing several pomodoros.
Not only does this boost focus, and with it productivity, because you are aware you need to get a lot done in a designated time-frame, it also has the very important physical benefit of getting you up from your desk in your break time for a quick walk or stretch. Or coffee. Or all of the above.
Life Hack 3: Plan your day
This life hack might seem a little obvious, and particularly for those in healthcare jobs and legal jobs and any other profession that is heavily appointment-based, this planning is essentially done for you.
But outside of those appointments, there are still other tasks that need doing.
The way to consider managing this list is maybe simpler than you think. Before your day starts, look over your calendar to get an overview of your time commitments then write up a to-do list of the things that need doing outside of that calendar, prioritising what needs doing most.
Having a to-do list can also give you that tiny dopamine achievement hit as you tick off what you’ve done and feel like you’ve made progress.
Life Hack 4: Change one small habit
In the way big New Year’s resolutions can too often not come off, trying to change habits more generally is difficult, even more so when we go too big. But we all engage in habits that don’t necessarily help us live our best lives, even though in the moment of indulging in the habit we quite often think it does!
Because change is so good for us, and breaking habits is part of the all-important neuroplasticity, pick one tiny behaviour you would like to change that’s so small you have no real excuse not to change it. Doing it this way gives us little congratulatory moments and can build the resilience needed to make bigger changes.
Life Hack 5: Look after yourself via improved self-care
The ‘sleep’ life hack is a big part of self-care, but the overall self-care package comprises so many other things. Work hard, but also self-care hard, whether that’s a yoga class, a massage, catching a movie with your partner or child or a friend, going to the park to read a book or play with your pooch, or allowing yourself a cheeky jam doughnut with your coffee on the weekend.
Gorilla Jobs Can Help You
We love what we do at Gorilla Jobs, and while there are challenges, we are always ready to help you as a candidate or recruiting organisation to ensure the best talent ends up in the best jobs. Reach out to us today if you have any questions!