Tips for being a young person in business when your brain hates you

Before I begin I think it’s important to, as is always the case with anyone in marketing, to speak about myself. My name is Gareth, I’m 23. Soon to be 24. I run a creative and digital agency in Sheffield with real life staff and offices. We have a roster of cool clients which are great fun to work with and for, and I make a few quid.

I’m not telling you this to be boastful, or to make you feel inferior. I’m telling you this because I have achieved this despite my brain working against me every step of the way, and at times being toxic at best. Something I imagine you can relate to if you are reading this.

Below I have penned some tips which I have worked for me, and I hope could work for you also to lead a more positive and productive life. Naturally, it might not be entirely applicable to you, but give them a try anyway and see if they work for you – there’s no harm in try, after all. 

1) Moods are temporal and fleeting

Understand that it’s actually okay to not be happy 24/7 – nobody is. Just because you feel rubbish today doesn’t mean you’ll feel rubbish later or tomorrow. The old adage ‘sleep on it’ actually works.

If your mood has dropped into a subdued vegetative state and it seems like the entire world is crumbling around you, try to remember, it isn’t 

Find salvation and hope in that fact that in a few hours, or at worst tomorrow, you will feel ok.

Sleep on it.

2) Get on top of your personal admin

Outstanding things are more things to worry about. Bills. Bank statements. Council tax letters. Speeding fines. Important emails. Deadlines.

A surefire way to make yourself feel stressed is pretending these things don’t exist. A real good way to mess up your day is to open post with ‘FINAL WARNING’ in bold across the front when you could have dealt with it three weeks ago.

I guarantee you will feel like Jesus on Easter Sunday if you have no outstanding things to address. Write down a list of things to tackle face on, and tackle them face on. Stepping away from social media until they’re done can help, too! 

3) Tidy house; tidy mind

Your bedroom. Your house. Your flat. Whatever your living arrangements, understand that if you want to be positive you have to reinforce positivity.

Waking up in a sty with Irn-Bru cans, fag ends and pizza boxes littered across your living space is not a positive experience. It’s just going to neg you out and you don’t need that. Just like your personal admin, tidy up.

As soon as you wake up – make your bed. The reason they make you do this in the army is so you achieve a positive goal the first thing you do after waking up. If it’s the only thing you achieve that day, you have achieved that at least.

4) Have a to-do list

I am forgetful. I cannot multitask. I am human. So the best thing I ever did was start having a to-do list and ticking it off daily. Knowing what you need to do each day and ticking things off is a positive and rewarding experience.

Take the clutter out of your mind and put it on paper – or like a real millennial get an app for it: I use Todoist, it’s free and excellent.

You will be amazed what you achieve if you just write down when you need to do and tick it off.

My Don’t Fret Track: You Got It – Roy Orbison

Like this post? Chat to Gareth on Twitter at @garetharnoult.

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