Improve Your Career By Setting Aside One Hour Each Day to Work For Yourself

By Chelsea Babin

Most of us will spend the majority of our careers working for others. If you’re motivated to improve your career—from raises to promotions to big career transitions—you may be tempted to spend many extra hours in the office working hard and hoping your hard work is noticed. What if I told you that, instead of working longer hours for someone else, setting aside one hour each day to work for yourself could drastically improve your career? It’s true and here’s why!

Whether you’re stuck in a menial job that doesn’t relate to what you want to do for the rest of your life or you’re well on your way to having the career you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll need to develop and diversify your skills. You’ll also need to keep yourself from burning out and keep your ideas fresh by pursuing creative or new ideas. How can you achieve all of this? By setting aside one hour a day. Here’s a few examples of how you can use this hour to work for yourself and greatly impact the success of your career

1. Skill Development: If your focus is skill development you could use this hour a day to take a class or course, work on a side project, attend a meet-up related to the skill you’re learning, and get helpful advice from people within your network who are already experts at the skill you’re attempting to learn.

2. Skill Diversity: If your focus is skill diversity you could use this hour a day to start a side project that’s unrelated to what you do at work every day, research what skills will be most useful in your dream career, take a class or a course, volunteer for a role or project that helps you develop a diverse skill set, and keep your skills sharp that you don’t use at work every day by exercising them regularly.

3. Creativity: If your focus is creativity you could use this hour a day to pursue a hobby that’s creative and unrelated to what you every day, read a book you wouldn’t normally read, go to an event or a location you’ve never been to before, spend rejuvenating time with friends and family, and taking a class or a course on something you’ve always wanted to do but never done before.

4. Staying Motivated: If your focus is staying motivated you could use this hour a day to exercise and meditate, read inspiring books or watch inspiring films, make lists of the things you want to achieve, make time for your hobbies, make time to see friends, family, and love ones, and create a competitive plan between you and one of your coworkers or friends to keep each other accountable.

5. Productivity: If your focus is productivity you could use this hour a day to get your personal chores and tasks done so they don’t pop into your head while you’re working, research new ways to stay more productive, work on a side project to try to improve your speed and the depth of your knowledge so you can work faster and more efficiently, and try to figure out how you work best by testing out different work patterns and theories on your side project.

With just one hour a day of working for yourself you can drastically improve your career through skill development, skill diversity, creativity, staying motivated, productivity, and any other avenue you wish to pursue. Take this time to work for yourself and you’ll find that it pays off in spades throughout your career.