Work hard. Get enough sleep. Say “yes” to opportunities. Could this advice be any more boring?
If you’re tired of hearing the same old career advice parroted by middle management, it’s time to think outside of the box. Here are just seven tips for success that are weird yet effective.
1. Eat More Beans
Not only are beans packed with things like protein and fiber, but they’re also a great way to stabilize your blood sugar levels. Instead of experiencing rushes and crashes after every cup of coffee, your body will release a steady stream of glucose that keeps you on an even keel.
This means that you’ll be less hungry and more energized throughout the day, allowing you to focus better on projects and stop getting distracted by every co-worker that passes through with McDonald’s.
2. Paint Your Walls
You might be familiar with the term “color psychology” as a marketing concept, but were you aware that you can also use it as your own personal pick-me-up?
We’re socialized as humans to have specific emotional responses when we look at specific colors, and you can hack this by deliberately introducing the right hues to your home or work space.
For example, red will ignite your passion and keep you motivated. Blue will soothe you and help you lose track of time when you have lots of work to do.
3. Listen to Music
Studies have shown that music has a tangible impact on the brain. It can lower cortisol, reduce stress, improve focus and help you make new connections between Point A and Point B. It doesn’t even matter what genre you’re listening to; as long as you’re enjoying it, music will boost your state of mind.
So don’t feel guilty about cranking up Guns N’ Roses the next time that you’re struggling with a work task: Their screaming is good for you!
4. Write on the Walls
It turns out that your toddler-self had the right idea all along. Ideas can come to you at any time of day, including when you’re taking a shower or lounging around in bed, and they often dissipate in the time that it takes you to track down your computer and record them.
A better way to capture these flashes of brilliance is to invest in non-permanent markers that can be used on glass, whiteboards and even the walls themselves. You’ll never forget a great idea again.
5. Make Your Own Coffee
That green-and-white logo might seem like a lifesaver when you’re dragging yourself to work, but Starbucks isn’t without its flaws. For one, you can never be sure how many calories, sugars and fats are actually in your morning espresso; these can vary depending on your barista.
You’re also subjecting yourself to the dubious hygiene of whatever 18-year-olds are working behind the counter. If you want true control over your java and your health, invest in your own coffee maker.
6. Give Yourself an Angry Alarm
If you’re the kind of person who hits snooze eight times on a good day, it might help to choose an alarm that you really, really hate. Not only will it invigorate you every morning with the sheer volume of your rage, but it might even wake you up before your alarm goes off.
Your body will get into the rhythm of waking up every morning at 5 AM, and to spare you from your hated alarm, it will start jerking you awake at 4:59 AM.
7. Think In Opposites
Instead of asking yourself how you can succeed, make a list of all the ways that you can fail. Then do the opposite of everything that you just wrote. For example, if you’re launching a new app, don’t think about ways to attract customers; think about how you can actually alienate customers. This “opposite” mindset can break you out of ruts and give you fresh, creative ideas from looking at a problem sideways.
These are just a few tips for success that you probably won’t find in self-help books. They might not be the most conventional paths to fame and glory, but they can be just what you need to kick-start your career in unexpected ways. Good luck!