You may be considering how to start 2020 in the right way. Alongside vowing to watch less Netflix, and to actually use your gym membership, you may have considered methods you can implement to improve work performance. Whether this discussion took place in your annual performance review or you're just feeling motivated to start your year on the right foot, we've compiled a few tips to get you started. At the end of the day, no matter how well you perform any task, you can always do better than you did yesterday.
It’s easy to get distracted by notifications from all manner of apps you have, not to mention your favourite websites. Distinguish which apps/websites/distractions are not part of your work and remove them from your working environment. It can take up to 30 minutes to get into "the zone" with challenging work, and every interruption to your flow resets the clock. Minimize distractions either by turning off notifications during working hours or deleting the apps/blocking the websites from your work computer. This way you will limit time wasted to a minimum and manage interruptions. Another way to become more focused is to schedule time for each of your responsibilities to develop healthy habits and routines.
What do all productive people have in common? They set goals and focus on milestones. Creating individual success metrics to analyze your goals is a useful way to keep track of your progress. By effective project management - breaking down big tasks into smaller steps - whether these be personal or professional, you can enjoy the small gains whilst working towards the end goal. This will keep you motivated which a vital way to improve work performance.
Multi-tasking can compromise the quality of your work. Work towards creating a habit of prioritizing your tasks and focusing on one task at the time. Which of your responsibilities is the most important? Working on one task at a time streamlines your work, leaving you less stressed and less likely to make mistakes.
You may need specific tools to improve your work performance, whether it be software or hardware. The right tools for the way you work best can streamline repetitive tasks and make them easier to complete.
Establish a consistent communication channel with your colleagues so that you are never in the dark about what you are working on. There is nothing worse than going into a project blind. Never shy away from asking for help or clarification. This way you can have a clear picture of what you need to achieve and you won’t waste time working on something unnecessary.
Utilize your lunch break to stretch, take a walk, eat, and talk to people about subjects other than work. You need to give your brain a break in order to avoid burnout, and you need to keep your body fuelled.
Ask your colleagues for feedback on the tasks that you are working on. The only way to improve is to learn. You will never know everything, so ask your team members what can be done to improve your performance at work and in your professional development, both in the short run and in the long term. It's often easier for other people to see patterns of behavior and to suggest improvements than we can do for ourselves.
A big part of getting to the bottom of ways to improve work performance is to be aware of the ways in which you work that are unique to every person. Try to pay attention to the causes, both when you're feeling extra motivated and when you're losing focus. Once you start to become aware of your drivers and distractions you'll find it easier to build on the motivators and cut out the obstacles to being productive.
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