Everyone wants to succeed in their careers. Whether you are trying to climb the corporate ladder or simply want the personal satisfaction of knowing you are using your talents to their full extent, improving work performance should be on your radar. If you are looking for ways to be more productive, here are ten tips to help you out.
10 Ways to Improve Work Performance
Continual improvement is what every person should aim for in their careers. Even if you think you are at the top of your game, there is always room to get a little better. Incorporating even a couple of these ten tips is sure to take you to the next level.
Learn How You Work Most Productively
The way you work most productively is probably not the same as your co-worker’s. It’s up to you to figure out when and where you do your best work. Some may be more productive when they have background music or when they are consistently interacting with colleagues. Others do better in a quiet environment where they can concentrate. Once you identify the environment where you get the most and best work done, you can set your workspace up accordingly. If you need major changes to your environment such as moving from an open workspace to an office with a door or working from home a couple of days a week, schedule a time to talk with management. Show them how these changes will help make you more productive and add to your value on projects.
Distractions can come in hundreds of different forms. They can include emails you feel you need to answer right away, co-workers constantly coming into your office with questions or to chat, or a phone that never stops ringing. Though ‘multi-tasking’ may seem like a good way to be productive, it usually hurts you in the long run. Limit distractions by closing your office door, setting your phone to vibrate, or making a deal with yourself to only check email once an hour. If distractions are coming from coworkers, have an honest conversation with them and ask if they can hold off on talking to you when you’re deeply involved in a project.
Use Tools Designed for Flexibility
Does your workplace offer employee self-service tools such as remote schedule management and biometric timekeeping? If so, make sure you are using them to help increase productivity. These tools allow you to work from home or from the road and can help you get a snapshot of your schedule at any time of day or night. When you can preplan before even arriving at the office, you can begin being productive as soon as you sit down at your desk. If you don’t understand all that these tools have to offer or are having trouble using them, ask management for extra training so you can use them to their full potential.
Set Attainable Goals
Do you know what goals you want to achieve in the next week? Month? Year? Setting consistent and attainable goals will give you a sense of accomplishment that keeps you moving forward. Make sure goals stretch your abilities so you can improve, yet are not too high that you will struggle to meet them. Write goals down and review them on a regular basis. You might even want to display them prominently in your workspace to increase motivation and to allow your co-workers to see them and encourage you to reach them.
Make a Daily Priority List
Many people get to the office and spend hours on non-essential tasks and then realize they don’t have enough time to get their important work done. At the beginning of each day, make a priority list. Identify which jobs need to be completed that day and which are the second and third priority. This will ensure that essential work is never left uncompleted at the end of the day and that you know what task comes next on the list.
Is there something you don’t understand about a task? Are there details missing that would help you complete the task more effectively? Don’t waste time trying to figure it out on your own. Most managers appreciate when their employees ask questions to get clarification on a job. This allows you to get right to work and not risk doing a job wrong and having to repeat work.
Talk to Management About Any Issues
Is there something in the office that is disrupting your work? Co-workers who won’t cooperate, technology that doesn’t work properly, or an environment that does not suit you are just a few examples of issues that could harm your productivity. If this is the case, talk with management instead of just putting up with the problem. This could save you weeks of frustration and poor production as you deal with the issue on your own.
Learn From Your Mistakes
Mistakes are inevitable. What you do with the information and lessons inherent in mistakes is up to you and could have a big impact on your performance. Always view mistakes as learning experiences and use them to become better the next time. Unproductive employees tend to be those who get disillusioned or bitter when they make mistakes instead of viewing them as an opportunity for growth.
You may think that working eight hours straight with no breaks is the best way to get the most work done. However, if you don’t take breaks to stretch, take a walk, chat with co-workers, or get a healthy lunch, you could be doing more harm than good. Short breaks keep you fresh and motivated and could ramp up your productivity. If you tend to get absorbed in work and forget to take breaks, set alerts on your computer or phone to remind you. If being around coworkers motivates you, schedule breaks to coincide with others in the office so you can chat or brainstorm while you recharge.
Learn How to Take Feedback Constructively
Good management will provide frequent feedback on your work. Some of the feedback should be positive, but other feedback will touch on issues that need improvement. Though all employees hope for leaders who know how to give good feedback, some managers will inevitably come across as harsh or critical. When you learn to take all feedback constructively and use it to become better, your performance will continue to get better and better.
Constantly improving your work performance is not only the best way to get a promotion or raise, but it’s always essential to your career satisfaction. Consider the above ten tips to help increase productivity and become a better team member.