1)Do the right work in the right place. The best ideas and most productive work happens in different places. Get curious and see what happens in 2019 when you step away from the desk and explore.
2) Find space to think. If you want to have breakthrough ideas, you need to carve out space to think. Put meetings-of-one in the diary, block out a morning, make time to think, daydream, ponder.
3) Choose your tools. Don’t default to doing all your work at a screen. Choose the right tool for the right task. Think about analogue vs digital. Some of the best ideas start with a doodle on a piece of paper not a flashing cursor on a Word doc.
4) Be curious. It’s a mantra of mine that’s stood me in good stead. It’s opened my eyes, helped my find answers in different disciplines, kept me interested and awake to new possibilities. You can’t go wrong injecting a dose of curiosity into your life (if you want some pointers, check out my post ‘38 ways to lead a more curious life’).
5) Take a walk. Fluid movement in the body triggers fluid movement in the brain. Even walking around inside is proven to increase creativity. Beat that afternoon slump by taking a walk around the block, turn that 11am catch-up into a walking meeting, try taking your ideas for a stroll.
6) Embrace your inner rebel. When we inject our personality into our work — our style, quirks and passions — it can bring more joy, creativity and engagement. Stand out, don’t fit in.
7) Know the fuel you need to burn brighter. Is it time out? A journey? An afternoon in a cafe? Going for a run? These aren’t luxuries — these are necessities. Without feeding ourselves with what we need, we’ll be stale, stuck and static. To get where you want, give yourself the boost you need to do your best work.
8) Share your story. Reveal the ups and the downs. No one is perfect. No one has found success without struggle. Tell us what it has been like for you. We’ll understand, empathise, connect with you much better…
9) Write your own manifesto. Lots of our workplaces and organisations publish their values. What about our personal ones? I cranked out my own manifesto some years ago, sitting up at a bar. I thought: what’s important to me? It’s a great touchstone to keep you grounded to the things that matter at work.
10) Count the things that count. For the last five years I’ve been making a series of weekly lists in my notepad. I write down the moments and experiences that get me fired-up. I call it Good Times. It’s my best ‘app’ for tracking how I’m doing in life.
11) Enjoy the journey. Careers rarely happen in straight lines. My own has been a real adventure, never standing still, exploring new paths. It’s lead to a few twists and turns, never boring, sometimes hairy. Make the most of your journey. Don’t just fixate on the horizon, otherwise you’ll miss out.
12) Follow You. Sounds cheesy, but believe me: Follow You. Use that as your compass to make sure all your decisions about what you do, why you do it and how you do it are aligned with who you are and where you are headed. Lose sight of that, and in my own story, that’s where it all goes wrong (watch my Do Lecture — Finding Your Story, Your Purpose and Your Compass). ‘Follow You’ = that’s your north star.
If your team, workplace or organisation could benefit from getting more energised in 2019, I have designed a 90 minute interactive presentation — ‘Fuelling your best work’ — to get you focused on the habits, mindsets and behaviours that fuel your best work. Last year I delivered ‘Fuelling your best work’ to a broad range of teams from Microsoft to Diageo. Want to know more? Get in touch by email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m on a mission to get people fired-up so they can do their best work. Through workshops, presentations and one-to-one sessions, I bring a passion for doing things differently, creatively and energetically to inspire and engage others, whether that’s for organisations, teams or individuals.
Thanks to LetsDoodleIt for the illustrations. You can grab a PDF of ‘Fuelling your best work’ here on their website.