How to accelerate your career by not focussing on work - Business Leader News

How to accelerate your career by not focussing on work

Lorna Dunning

In this article, professional development coach Lorna Dunning talks about how you can accelerate your career by not focussing on work.

During a 20-year career in senior roles within global organisations, I’ve been fortunate to work with top performers and exceptional leaders. I made it a habit to observe and learn from others’ successes and mistakes.

Today I help individuals to take their career and life to the next level and to achieve this they often need to change their focus. It is an odd thing to say to successful people but often being too focussed on your career can be what is holding you back.

When we observe high achievers, we tend to assume they have just worked hard or have been blessed with gifts that the masses missed out on and can’t learn. More confidence, more charisma, better vision…This is often not the case it is down to mindset and the activities they have adopted to enhance the way they approach every aspect of their live.

A perfect example of an activity that has helped thousands find calm, refocus and indirectly enhanced their career and life is cold water swimming. Having recently taken this up I can absolutely endorse the benefits of this activity. The first time I stepped into the icy water I wasn’t initial feeling relaxed but once I was swimming something magical happened, everything fell quiet, my body relaxed, and I was completely calm.

This isn’t to say that this is the right activity for everyone, but it is so important in this ‘new world’ and ‘hybrid workplace’ to enhance your mindset to help accelerate your career. Below are a few tips on how you can accelerate your career by not focussing on your career:

  1. It isn’t always about working harder. Release your strangle hold on the idea that you have to work hard to control outcomes. The belief that, when things aren’t going well, you must work harder, and harder, and harder. There’s a point of diminishing return looming!
  2. Change your routine. Having a routine is an important part of our mindset but your current routine has only got you so far, so it is time to mix things up. Try to find time to develop yourself and your mindset and start a more balanced routine.
  3. Embrace the idea that you do not have control of everything. Once you accept this fact you can start understanding that you don’t need to, which means you can begin expanding your horizons.
  4. Meditate and practice gratitude. Meditation is often perceived as a bit of a cliché in the wellness space, but it can be a hugely powerful tool and help change your mindset. Appreciate what you have now, and unashamedly go for more. Let friends and colleagues know you are thankful.
  5. Journaling. Writing things down gets it out of your head and onto paper, where it can be looked upon objectively. Write about your intentions for the day, the week, the year. Write about the type of person you are becoming, anchoring into continuous progress.
  6. Do something you love every day. Paint, read, play the guitar, do some gardening, even stare at the wall if that is what you enjoy.
  7. Do something that completely distracts you. As I mentioned mine is cold water swimming but for many it could be cooking, hosting, bungee jumping or something else
  8. Move every morning. Ideally exercise. Ideally outside. Ideally get some sunlight and remember to study – Read something uplifting and empowering every morning (even 10 minutes a day adds up).
  9. Get sociable. Phone your best friend, join a community to engage with new people, email a stranger you admire and strike up a conversation, say good morning to everyone you pass.

I am a ‘mentor on a mission’ and I can help guide you towards an exceptional life and results. Look, I don’t know how else to say it. When you work with me, your life improves. This is for you, your business, your career, leaders, teams & their employees.