1. Set clear milestones
Setting clear milestones is important in both personal and professional life. As human beings, we have a habit of shooting for the stars and the same reflects in the goals we set. Now, it’s ok to be a little bold but when it comes to “goals”, it’s much better to think clearly and be realistic.
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Setting goals is often an overwhelming process. So what you need to do is break your big personal and professional projects into smaller chunks and set your goals accordingly. Doing this will help you stay motivated and keep your energy levels up throughout the journey. Further, setting clear goals will make it easier for you to keep track of your progress. Allowing you to celebrate every small victory you achieve. While setting milestones, keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep your eye on the deadline
- Save all the important dates on an online calendar
- Improve your project evaluation skills
- Treat every milestone as a learning experience
2. Plan and prioritize
If it seems like you’ve heard this point before, you’re right. Organizing, planning, and prioritizing are a crucial part of our daily routine. In fact, there are several articles over the internet that provide valid reasons for the same. These are some simple workplace habits and time management tips that help you get things done in time and improve your overall work performance.
Before you start your day, go through the list of tasks or activities you have planned for the day. Now, use a project planning tool to establish a due date and priority status for each one. After that, take the most urgent and essential tasks into consideration and get them completed as soon as possible. Here are a few tips that may help you along the way:
- Understand the difference between “urgent” and “important”. Always focus on tasks that need immediate attention
- Try ordering your tasks by estimated effort
- Uncertainty is a reality. So, be flexible and adaptable – but keep priorities in mind
3. Plan your meetings well
Meetings are powerful, but they are widely misunderstood. Planning and scheduling meetings is a common practice in almost every workplace. That’s why it is important to carefully plan each meeting in order to make it “most effective”.
Take all the time you need to plan your meetings, but keep them short. Make sure that all the necessary elements are in place before the meeting starts. Set a clear agenda for the meeting and communicate the same to all the participants so that they can come better prepared. Additionally,
- Before sending invites for the meeting, ask yourself if it’s really needed
- Check everyone’s availability and pick the best time for the meeting
- Provide as much detail as you can for pre-preparation
- Save a time slot for meeting and sum it up in the given time frame
4. Communicate better
Communication is a two-way street. Effective communication is a practice that makes you certain about things at work, learn new and improved ways to achieve better results, and finally, improve overall work performance. Remember, every opinion matters and it can certainly help you take your work performance to a new level.
Consider injecting a powerful team communication app or tool into your workflow. Evaluate the various choices available in the market, including team messaging app, discussion boards, group chat apps, video conferencing tools, etc. Identify what tool or software would work best for your team and then use it to successfully collaborate within the workplace. And while doing this, keep the following points in mind:
- Don’t just start evaluating the available option, put a proper collaboration strategy in place first
- Consider which tool will meet your long-term business requirement
- Analyze feedback from customers who have previously used your preferred tool
5. Conquer difficult tasks first
This point is directly related to our above point “plan and prioritize”. Obviously, you can’t do every task or activity at the same time. That’s why it is important that you figure out what tasks should be completed first and what tasks can be postponed or delegated during the project planning stage.
Try ranking each task in your to-do list according to its specific importance and urgency. Keep the “most important tasks” at the top and start checking off items in your list from top-down. The idea behind this tip is very easy – if a task seems somewhat torturous to you, ease off your mind by getting rid of it as soon as possible.
6. Don’t lose focus (eliminate interruptions)
Workplace interruptions or distractions come in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve been interrupted or who interrupts you the most during the day. What matters is how you avoid workplace interruptions and improve your work performance. Remember, workplace interruptions are dangerous. They make you lose focus, waste time, and in the end, disrupt your work management and cause a delay in projects.
If you want to avoid interruptions or distractions at work, then you need to stay away from your phone or email. Turn off the notification and keep your eye on successfully completing the tasks at hand. Also, learn to say “no” when necessary. You can and you must say no to anything or anyone who can interrupt your day. Apart from this, here are a few easy habits that will help you stay focused at work:
- Turn off distractions during work hours (smartphones, social media sites, office chit chats, and more)
- Take short breaks between work – listen to your favorite song or go for a short walk
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7. Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses
The word “perfect” is too good to be true. There’s no way for you to be perfect in everything. We all have weak spots and it’s important to acknowledge them in order to identify improvement opportunities. Additionally, every individual has his/her own strengths i.e something that they are exceptionally good at. Now, in order to bring improvement to your everyday work performance, you need to cherish your strengths and overcome your weaknesses at the same time.
Never settle for “quite okay” when you can achieve “awesome”. Be your own critic and keep evaluating your performance for potential improvements. If you’re pretty good at something, then do whatever you can to be the best at it. Wondering how to figure out your strengths and weaknesses, here are a few ideas that you may want to try:
- Find patterns in your performance
- Decide what you enjoy the most at work
- Practice Reflective Best Self (RBS) exercises – find out what other people think about you
- Make a note of how you respond to situations that require action, thought, and insight
8. Be aware of your limitations
While it’s certainly important to constantly find a way to polish the areas you are not doing so well, it is also important to be aware of your own limitations. Never fall victim to habits like multitasking or procrastination. Work on one task at a time and do everything to keep it less stress and less prone to mistakes or rework. Keep things clear in your head and you will be able to accomplish much more than expected, much faster.
Understanding your limitations isn’t easy. In fact, you will never be able to understand them until you go beyond them. In simple words, you have to draw a line between being productive at work and being stressed at work. And how will you do that? Well, here are a few things you can try –
- Say “no” and keep the peace
- Back off when things get relentless
- Don’t be too ambitious, be realistic
- Discover your sweet spot and avoid burnout
9. Finish what you start
Another thing that is likely to affect your productivity and performance at work is leaving things unfinished. Do you remember how many times you’ve started working on something and then abandon it shortly after? If this often happens to you, then it’s time to change. Don’t make it a habit to leave things in between. If you’ve started a project or task, make sure that it reaches the last, final stage with utmost quality.
Set rewards for yourself. Make it a habit to celebrate success and reward yourself whenever you successfully complete a project or task. Doing this boost your work performance and you will always have something to look forward to at work.
10. Use the right tools