In the production world, a lot of talk goes on about techniques and gear. Everyone is striving to do better at something through absorbing all the technical information. Though, lately I’ve found more and more people who simply don’t employ the work ethic – or rather: the attitude necessary for getting results with professional work.

Sometimes it’s in the form of passive-aggressive behavior and self-sabotage. Perhaps the most readily identifiable sign is when someone sounds enthusiastic about doing something, but never follows through. Whether it’s a day job or a production job, communication counts. You can discern a lot from the demeanor of an individual just by judging their attitude. Granted, if we’re talking about a day-job certainly some people just end up in a job they don’t find enjoyable. But what about for us creative types? Photographers, videographers, musicians, audio engineers all are fields of interest that attract inspired people because they seem fun;  these creative jobs especially have to learn about teamwork and networking to be able to survive in the industry and maintain a career.  It is universally true that all jobs require a fair amount of cooperation.

If you ever find yourself struggling to expand on your success, or maybe you’re transitioning from being an aspiring student to navigating the professional world. What attitude do you hold for your career and your work?

I’ve found that there are 4 basic habits that successful people in the professional world all tend to share.  These certainly go a long way toward improving their attitude, though it helps that they quite simply love what they do. Doing what you love – of course, doesn’t directly equal having a successful attitude, so these basic habits might be things you can try adding to your lifestyle changes and see how it improves.

  • Start your day off big – Attack the day with the most important or most stressful or demanding activities first.

    I admit, I’ve never been a morning person, but switching toward starting my day off with the biggest meal to begin my day (as opposed to a heavy dinner at the end) was just one of many changes that started generating immediate lifestyle improvements.

    Don't let work be your first major activity of the day.  Having a fitness regimen, whether it is just starting the day out with a walk, jog, bike, hitting the gym, or swimming; activating your body will activate your mind. If you’re not into fitness and healthy living, it’s never too late to start. Which leads us to number 2...
  • Exercise!

    You don’t have to enjoy rigorous physical fitness but activating your body as your first priority of the day no matter how early you have to get up to beat the clock to your work schedule not only gets your blood flowing, it reinforces your mind to handle the mental stresses the day will undoubtedly challenge you with.

    Who wants to drag through the day feeling stressed? I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather feel great and have the confidence to know that no matter what stressful situations come up, I at least feel good after a good exercise!

  • Start, and maintain a schedule.  Here’s the real key to unlocking all of these behaviors.

    This one is perhaps the most important, because while scheduling doesn’t always have to go as planned, it helps you manage your time to be the most efficient. There are a plethora of tools available now.

    It will take some getting used to all the tools available to keep your life organized, in-sync, and keeping track of it all especially as you get more detailed. The payoff will not only help you manage yourself, you’ll be able to communicate better and be well perceived by your peers and new connections you’re developing.
  • Reflection time.  We all need time to decompress from the stresses of our routine life.

    Make some time in your routine to break free. Naturally, personal time is always warranted in moderation, but this category also deserves some professional allotment too. Take some time at the end of your work week to reflect on your accomplishments.

    For me, it comes in the form of a weekly questionnaire I fill out for myself. I found these 15 simple questions over at that are all fairly straight forward get me thinking about what I’ve done or have not done during the business week to better myself, or go after what I want. You can tailor the questions to suit your needs, they don't have to be these specific questions.  This reflection method has been a very insightful habit I’ve grown to love.

Personally, I discovered each of these slowly. It wasn’t an immediate, all-encompassing lifestyle change. These all take time and practice to actively achieve. Maintaining a schedule with a calendar application or syncing it with your mobile device can be especially tedious. I like to think of scheduling as “forecasting”. There are some things that will undoubtedly end up not happening according to the arranged plans, but as long as both parties are able to communicate and commit – it will work out.

The reflection time was the latest and most recent in my personal experience, and it’s certainly provided a missing link, which was focusing on learning about what I could do better or even gauge my own success through forced hindsight.

I would love to know what personal or professional habits you may have formed that others could benefit from. If you’ve tried absorbing any of these four habits, how has it benefitted you? As always, feel free to comment below. Happy productions!

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