A real 2021 realization: (Zoom) meetings that could have been e-mails. If you’re sitting in a boring meeting, wishing you had called in sick, make the best of your time by making it useful in some other way. Achor uses the example of giving yourself three things to learn throughout the meeting. If you’re not enjoying the presentation, then the lesson here could be about how not to give a presentation, how you would speak differently, how to best engage an audience over Zoom… Use this for all of your dreaded day-to-day tasks. If all we think about is how terrible it’ll be to write that term paper, redefine the task in your mind to having the opportunity to dive deep into a specific topic. Need to clean out your closet? Reframe it as the opportunity to donate items that will improve someone’s life.
We can do a similar thing with our free time. Free time is meant to unwind and recharge, hang out with family and friends, and enjoy ourselves. But, if we perceive it as a waste of time lacking in productivity, it’ll be just that. You won’t get all the benefits of the free time and you won’t return to work recharged.
One of our writers likes to use this mindset shift to enjoy her workouts. When you’re running, huffing and puffing, counting down the minutes before you’re done, try thinking of it a little differently. Take the opportunity to think about the fact that you’re able to challenge your body in such a way. So, instead of “I can’t believe I need to do this right now”, try, “I’m so lucky I can do this right now.” There was no way for that to not sound cheesy. Trust us, we tried. And trust us, it works.