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Reaching Your Potential: How to Excel in Your Career and Your Life

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What’s keeping you from living your best life?

We’re not referring to the lives people claim to be living by uploading heavily filtered brunch snaps on the ‘gram that don’t reflect the realities and complexities of adulthood. 

We’re talkin’ best life in the sense of fulfilling your potential; reaching your goals and then smashing them out of the water!

What’s stopping you from working at your dream company, in your dream role, with an ideal work-life balance that allows you to travel the world and create memories with those you love?

Too often, people dread their Monday morning commute to work. And after they’ve plonked down at the desk, they’re overloaded with responsibilities they don’t want to be doing, so they keep kicking the can down the road, only adding to the stress levels.

They find themselves simply existing until the weekend, which only really lasts for 36-ish hours anyway because, the truth is, people start to dread their Monday morning commute from Sunday afternoon – yep, we’ve all felt that feeling; those sinister Sunday scaries.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. With just a few habit tweaks, you can break out of that cycle and take control of your career once more.

Today, we’ll go over some powerful techniques that will help you achieve more in less time, help you ditch activities that hold you back, and help you become someone a role model and inspiration for those around you — today, we’ll help you become the best version of yourself in both your career and your life.

Time Management

To be the best version of yourself is to be the most productive version of yourself.

However, that does not mean you have to be productive every day. Unrealistic expectations like that cause people to crash and burn out on their journey of personal development. 

This is where time management comes in.

Building good habits of time management ensures that you have time to be productive, time to be lazy – because time planned to waste is not wasted time – and time to enjoy a margarita or three on the weekends.

Why is time management important when trying to be the best version of yourself?

Let’s take a look at what poor time management gets you in life:

  • You keep procrastinating until your work piles up, which makes you feel overwhelmed with stress and anxiety.
  • A massive workload means you miss essential deadlines at work, harming your reputation and getting passed up on that much-needed promotion.
  • Poor performance means you constantly need to stay back at work or take work home to finish it.
  • Taking work home means you don’t have time to do things that help you destress, like binging Seinfeld, pumping iron, or, you guessed it, margaritas. 

This is where the Pomodoro Technique comes in.

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

A very old technique introduced in the 1900s, the Pomodoro technique is the practice of splitting a larger task into smaller time intervals, usually 25 minutes per interval.

At the end of each interval, you take a short break of about 5 minutes.

After doing this four times, you take a longer break of 30 minutes to an hour.

You can do this as many times as you want throughout the day till you complete your work or hit a predetermined productivity target.

Why is the Pomodoro Technique effective?

The Pomodoro Technique does two things really well:

  • The short work intervals (25-minute intervals) force your mind to kick into gear because you only have a limited amount of time to work on a task.
  • Secondly, it shrinks a large, daunting task into much more manageable segments. This works because the aim isn’t to complete the entire task, but just to work on it for a set amount of time.

Constantly Learning

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Development workshop at Megaphone

The world’s moving fast. Like, really fast.

Because of our good friend Mr Technology, every industry is evolving quicker today than ever before.

What does this mean for us? To remain a productive asset to our company (or our own business), we need to adapt to change.

Every year you see young graduates enter your workplace with the latest knowledge and ideas on doing things faster and more efficiently.

But, you also see industry veterans who have the same – often exceptionally more – knowledge as these grads even though they haven’t had any official education for decades.

How is that possible?

They’ve learned arguably the best habit out there: the habit of constantly learning.

Now, it’s easy to read that and think, who has the time or mental energy to CONSTANTLY learn?

You’ve paid your dues and studied hard to get to where you are. Your priority is to do your job to the best of your ability. You don’t have time to spend hours studying new subjects in hopes of a possible promotion that you might never get in the first place. Right? 

Wrong. Oh so wrong. That’s the old way of looking at it. In 2022, if you’re serious about self-development and being the best version of yourself, there is no way around constantly learning.

But it doesn’t have to be an immense lifestyle change — there’s an easy way to do it: microlearning.

What is microlearning?

Microlearning is a method of learning where a topic is broken into the smallest possible segment where you still learn something without cognitive overload, i.e., frying your brain with too much information at once.

Online learning platforms such as Udemy and Skillshare have countless courses where instructors break topics into several 1-3 minute videos that make the information easier to digest.

Watching a single 1-minute educational video every day will allow you to finish an online course in approximately 30 days.

This means every 30 days, you can learn a new topic in your field, making you invaluable to your team. And it’s just a 1-minute commitment.

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Insights from the Megaphone book club

The Pareto Principle

You may be asking yourself, what is the Pareto Principle and what does it have to do with being the best version of yourself in your career and life?

While you may not have heard the term Pareto Principle, you have very likely heard about the 80/20 rule – they are one and the same.

So, what is the 80/20 rule?

According to an economist (Vilfredo Pareto) and a business theorist (Joseph Juran) in the 1900s, the 80/20 rule states that 20% of what you spend time doing leads to 80% of your results.

Let’s break that down.

You spend 100% of your time in a day doing multiple things – let’s say 10 tasks for the day, to make things easy. According to the Pareto Principle, the majority of your success will come from just two of those 10 tasks.

Using this thinking to reverse engineer how we spend our days, we can start to prioritise where we need to focus most of our energy.

What are those 2 golden activities of the 10? What are the core elements of your routine that create the most significant outcomes?

A common and ironic way to look at it is like this: 20% of employees are responsible for 80% of the success of a company – by recognising this pattern and focusing on the tasks that actually move the needle, you’re more than likely to find yourself in that 20% of heavy-hitters.

Once you narrow down and decipher your most productive tasks, you can shift more brainpower toward them and away from those menial yet unavoidable daily activities. 

As a result, you’ll see productivity levels shoot through the roof. By focusing on just a few essential tasks and nailing them (rather than spreading your focus amongst an extensive list of unimportant things) you’ll inevitably achieve your desired goals much faster.

Delegation

While working on being the best version of yourself sounds fantastic, it may backfire on you in the long run if you don’t work on one thing. Delegation.

Once you’ve honed your time-management, learning habits, and production techniques, people will start to look to you for advice and guidance. You’ll have become a leader – whether officially or not – and have myriad more tasks on your plate.

Many a wise person has worked to the bone trying to tackle every new task – in addition to the old tasks – taking on far more than they can handle. This is where you need to learn the one skill that differentiates great leaders from the rest – the skill of delegation.

What is delegation?

A powerful leadership skill, being able to delegate the right way will help you, and those around you, thrive.

Proper delegation requires three things:

  • Be aware of how much control you want over a task
  • Learn what your team feels comfortable doing
  • Clear communication

While becoming a great leader and learning to properly delegate will take some practice, always remember this – while people can put up with a lot of problems in their lives, the one thing that causes the most stress is not having any control.

If your leadership style is to have all the control and not allow your team to have any say in their work, they’ll be stifled and you’ll be seen as a micromanager – recipes for disrespect and demotivation.

Finding the right balance between those two extremes – maintaining some control over direction yet allowing for team members to be creative and feel valued as they complete tasks – is the key to a thriving team. 

Summary

Do you want to achieve your career goals? Step into a leadership position? Create the perfect work-life balance and take back control of how you live your life? While there are plenty of ways one can choose to travel on their journey of personal development, the methods we’ve shared today can be used to help you achieve each and every one of those.

Here is a quick overview:

  • The Pomodoro Technique is a highly effective method of time management where you split a task into 25-minute segments with 5-minute breaks. Every 4th segment, you increase your break time to 30 minutes. Repeat this cycle as many times as you want throughout the day.
  • In the fast-moving world of today, we need to be constantly learning. An easy way to do this is by microlearning which involves splitting up a topic into 1-to-3-minute lessons, making it a lot easier to digest.
  • The Pareto Principle is another term for the 80/20 rule. Using this rule, we can reverse engineer our most productive tasks and focus on them to achieve our goals quicker.
  • Finally, becoming a great leader requires you to learn the skill of delegation. This will allow you to thrive as a leader while gaining the love and respect of your team.
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Megaphone, Australia’s #1 Social Media Agency, has tripled in size in just 2 years because of our unique and dedicated focus on self-development and constantly learning. If you’re someone who loves to learn and takes their work seriously (but not themselves), then we’d love to hear from you. Apply now