For many of us, commuting is our only discretionary time of day. In between work and home responsibilities, this margin can feel like an obstacle or an opportunity, depending on how we spend it. When you use your commute to generate energy, creativity, and delight, it can help you be more effective and satisfied in every other dimension of your life and work.
Everyone works differently. The better you understand who your teammates are and how they operate, the better equipped you’ll be to collaborate with them. Start by asking these five questions.
Some routines are good. Doctors say going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day helps you stay healthy. Familiar patterns—like regular exercise and brushing your teeth before bed—can help reduce stress and keep you grounded. But taken too far, routines can also become a problem. Doing the same thing all day, over and over, can decrease your creative thinking and blunt your competitive edge.
You and your work spend a lot of time together. Over the years, you may have started to take each other for granted. Does your workweek feel like the ‘ole ball and chain? Would you rather it be the launch pad for your best self and life? When your workweek is structured to focus your creative energy on the right work at the right time, you’ll stay energized and effective. These three steps can help take you there.
When you’re given an opportunity—whether it’s a promotion, potential customer, or learning experience—the most natural response is to say yes. Why not accept a higher salary? Why refuse a chance to study abroad? The reality, however, is that most of us say yes too much, too quickly, and without enough thought. We’re wired to please others, and we’ve been conditioned to think all opportunities are good things. So instead of always saying yes, ask yourself these five questions first.
Esprit de corps. Shared purpose. Putting our heads together. Conventional wisdom suggests that group effort is essential to success in the workplace. But when it comes to finding creative inspiration, too much face-to-face team time might actually put us at a disadvantage. Great minds may think alike, but do we really think better together?