When most people think of getting ahead at work, they often assume that putting in more hours is the only way to do. However, getting up earlier, staying later, and skipping lunches or breaks doesn’t actually make you a better employee. In fact, going the extra mile in that way can actually have the opposite effect, leaving you tired and unmotivated.
Instead, the most successful people end up being a better employee by learning how to achieve more by doing less. Here are some tips you can use today to help you walk that same road.
Before you take a single step on a project, it is important to outline your goals. Have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish during the day, week, year, or beyond and use that information to help you define which tasks you should take on and which are better set aside. Then, instead of simply accepting more work because you think it will help you be a better employee, you can define which ones actually help you move towards your goals. If a task doesn’t fit, see if it can be eliminated. Then, you can fully concentrate on those that provide value.
Once you understand your goals, you can now set priorities. This involves determining which tasks will help you best reach your goals by having the largest impact on your forward progress. Certain activities will be critical to your overall success while others have a smaller effect on your ability to perform your duties. By setting priorities, you can define your point of focus. This helps ensure you aren’t simply jumping between tasks because you aren’t sure which are truly vital and which can wait.
Learn to Say “No”
Sometimes the way to be more productive at work is to learn when to say “no.” Many people struggle with turning down tasks, but failing to do so means your attention may be pulled in directions that don’t further your goals or even fall into your job at all. If you have other commitments that require your attention, and the new task simply doesn’t fit, feel free to decline if you have the option. That way, you can focus on your work and give it the attention it deserves.
Audit Your To-Do List
Sometimes, we add a task to our to-do list with the best of intentions, but when it comes down to it, some of those things aren’t actually a necessity. Take some time to review your current list of obligations and see if everything on there actually has to happen. Then, go over what is left to see what actually need to happen now and what can be postponed.
Along the way, if you find tasks that aren’t truly within your skill set, see if they can be delegated to someone with the right area of expertise who might enjoy the work. Finally, use your remaining to-do list to guide your efforts on things that actually require your attention.
In the end, being a better employee isn’t about working harder, it’s about using your time wisely. Make sure you keep your goals in mind and keep those as your priorities.
If you are interested in finding new employment opportunities that better align with your goals, the professionals at The Advance Group can help you on your journey. Contact us to discuss your career priorities and see how our services can work for you.