Have you ever found yourself working your butt off but still going nowhere? That’s probably because you are not working effectively. You can work hard without being effective and it can be frustrating. It is like boarding a ship for a cruise but the ship doesn’t leave the dock. Even if you’re already onboard, you’re stuck and going nowhere. If you find yourself in such a situation, do not be discouraged. There are many ways that you can improve your working habit and work more effectively. Here are ten easy steps that can get you up and running:
- First things first
Prioritizing is an important skill that will enable you to manage your time more effectively. Without it, your “to do list” will be in chaos and you will find yourself working harder than you need to. Determine what tasks you need to do first. These tasks can either be big projects that your organization is focusing on as of the moment or they can be tasks that require a sense of urgency. Once identified, make sure to finish them first before turning your attention to the rest of your workload. You will work in a more organized manner; hence, you will be more productive.
- Always be prepared
We have been taught the importance of preparation since our preschool years. The main goal of such a habit is not merely to prepare us but to inculcate in us a habit that will prove useful in our future. If your job starts at 9 in the morning, wake up a couple of hours before so that you can lay out everything that you need to bring or any important information that you need to know for work. Not only will this save you from cramming or leaving stuff at home but it will enable you to tackle anything that will come your way at work. Being able to do so will create a good impression in others, most importantly your boss.
- Plan everything out
A minute of effective thinking is more productive than an hour of mindless hard work. Be sure to plan everything out before you start executing. Without a plan to guide you as you handle your day, you will end up getting lost in your piles and piles of workload. Working without thinking is pretty much like hiking without a compass. You are void of direction and no matter how hard you try to get things done, you will still end up getting nowhere. Having a plan will guide you to smoothly navigate through your workload. It will make a giant mess look like a simple step-by-step process once you thoroughly plan it through.
- Take care of your health
What does my health have to do with working effectively? Everything! Even if your mind is in good working order and is eager to go to work, if your body is sick and incapable, you are left helpless. To work more effectively, make sure that you do not neglect your body’s needs. Observe proper nutrition. Do not indulge in quick fixes that will allow you to have more energy at work. They might help you for a day but if you look at the bigger picture, they will cost you your health in years. Having a healthy diet also means having a healthy mind that leads to working more effectively. Your health can make all the difference so make sure to take care of it and not to take it for granted.
- Work calmly
When faced with numerous tasks, our first reaction is to panic. We are overwhelmed by the number of responsibilities presented to us so thoughts start running wildly in our head. Learn to tame your thoughts and, ultimately, to tame yourself. Working calmly will enable you to get more work done than working like a hurricane. After all, what is the end product of a hurricane? Chaos and destruction! Do not let your emotions and thoughts get a hold of you. Be calm and take control.
- Do not give in to procrastination
There’s always tomorrow. No, there might not be a tomorrow for you at work if you do not get your job done. That’s the truth so make sure that you do not give in to procrastination. Do not depend on the thought that you still have more time. Get things done as soon as you can. This will leave you with more time to do other tasks or, if not, it will give you more time to get the rest that you want. Instead of resting now and working later, try to discipline yourself by delaying gratification. Work now and get some rest when you’ve proven that you indeed deserve some.
- Consistency is the key
There is no point at working hard today if you are just going to slack off tomorrow. Do not break the chain. Make sure that you are consistent with how you work. Our main goal is to be able to develop a good working habit. In order for something to become a habit, it must be done religiously. It is easy to lose our consistency once we are already in the clear but we should not allow ourselves to be lured back into our comfort zones. We have worked hard to break out of it. We shouldn’t slide back.
- Concentrate on the now
We tend to have an overactive mind. We cultivate thoughts of what could have been and what could be. We think of what will happen in our future. We think of why Miley Cyrus broke up with her boyfriend. Admit it. We love to entertain unnecessary thoughts while we are at work and these thoughts often tempt us to deviate from the important task at hand. In the middle of our jobs, we are sometimes tempted to take a peek at showbiz news online or to check our horoscopes. Imagine the minutes that we waste because we fail to concentrate on what we are doing. Stay focused. Learn to say no to your own thoughts.
- Learn to say no
Since we have already mentioned it, we must learn to say “no.” We are encouraged to be positive but in the workplace, in order to get the job done, we must be able to utter a determined “no” to ourselves and to others. We should not let ourselves be distracted no matter how enticing an offer might be. Of course, we shouldn’t say “no” to our boss. That would be a big no-no!
- Get your personal life in order
How will getting my personal life help me work more effectively? Have you ever seen someone working effectively while facing a divorce or a death of a loved one? Our personal lives have a big effect in our work lives, so we must make sure that we get our personal affairs in order. We should make sure that we balance everything out in order to work better without any distraction.
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