Ways to Improve Work Performance

Once you become familiar with various ways to improve work performance, you can take steps toward achieving your self-improvement goals. When you grow personally and professionally, you can ward off negative thoughts that impede your self-improvement efforts.

Don't just sit back and wait to get your annual performance review to see where you can improve. Instead, do things yourself like:

  • Be accountable
  • Take the lead in improving your skill set
  • Keep learning by setting personal milestones
  • Review your personal benchmarks on a regular basis to keep yourself on track

Continually learning leads to:

  • A boost in confidence levels
  • Positive feelings about your life
  • Advanced personal development

One of the most crucial drivers to success is passion. It can be very difficult to put forth your best effort and work to your greatest ability when you don't love what you're doing. When you feel that your values are respected and reflect you personally, you can see the real meaning in what you do in life.

It's rather common for us to spend time in January of every year being reflective on what took place the previous year. During this reflection time, you might:

  • Think about what you achieved the prior year
  • Think about what you wish you'd done more or less of
  • How you're going to make this year your best one yet

You might also want to figure out how to improve yourself in order to be a better employee or how to improve your job performance if you feel your employment is in jeopardy. You don't have to wait. You can start improving your work performance by:

  • Making personal improvements
  • Evaluating your performance
  • Keeping up these improvements over time

How to Organize and Prioritize

You can begin by creating a daily schedule and following it. For each day, identify the top three or four projects that you need to complete. However, you must make sure your list of tasks is manageable so that you don't become overwhelmed. Your tasks should also add value to and benefit your company.

A big part of being a good employee includes:

  • Being where you're supposed to be
  • Being in place when you should be there
  • Having the materials you need

Job performance can be greatly improved by simply improving your organizational skills. To become better organized, use tools like:

  • A calendar, agenda, planner, or other system that helps you keep track of important dates and meetings; refer to it often
  • Containers, dividers, folders, and other supplies to organize your materials

Keep in mind the saying that "failing to plan is planning to fail." Other helpful hints include:

  • Be punctual
  • Postpone when you can without hurting results
  • Learn to delegate properly
  • Prioritize more effectively by knowing when to say "no"
  • Identify which tasks are most urgent, beneficial, and valuable to the business

Stop Multitasking and Avoid Distractions

While doing numerous things simultaneously sounds like you're being more efficient, the opposite is actually true. Multitasking:

  • Lowers your IQ
  • Lowers your EQ, or emotional intelligence
  • Increases your stress levels
  • Slows you down
  • Leads to more mistakes

Instead, learn how to master "unitasking," or focusing on one task and performing it to the best of your ability. Our brains work best when we focus on one task at a time. One trait that productive professionals have in common is being able to focus. Distractions are productivity killers, so you must learn how to avoid them in order to improve your performance.

How to Manage Interruptions

Interruptions come in many forms, including:

  • Coworkers
  • Family
  • Bosses

To help manage interruptions, try this technique:

  1. Keep a stack of index cards or post-it notes handy.
  2. Write down the name of someone who may interrupt you on top of each note or card, along with the expected topic(s) of conversation.
  3. If they stop by or call and ask if you have a minute, say yes, and then talk about the issues you've already noted.
  4. This way, you can address all issues at once instead of being subject to three or four more interruptions from the same person.

Setting Goals for the Year, Week, and Day

In January of each year, write yourself a letter. You'll write it as if you're looking back on what you accomplished in December of that same year. Imagine yourself at the end of the year, reviewing your accomplishments. Write down your planned achievements as if they actually happened. Note how you feel about meeting your goals and write down what you'd expect to have learned as a result.

To set goals for the week, write down goals that you think you can reasonably achieve by the end of that week. This can help you stay organized, and as you check tasks off your list, you'll stay motivated.

Break down weekly goals even more by assigning yourself daily goals. Prioritize this list by jotting down the three most important tasks you must finish by the end of the day. Organize your day to see that these tasks get done.

Improving Time Management Skills

You can negatively impact your work performance by:

  • Being late to work regularly
  • Missing deadlines
  • Being late to meetings

When you improve how you use your time, you can improve your work performance. You must give yourself sufficient time to make it to work on time every day. You should plan for:

  • Traffic/accidents
  • Stopping to put gas in your car
  • Other unplanned events that could make you late

Even the best-laid plans can go awry. You should allow time for interruptions and minor issues that can crop up in anyone's day. You should also have a plan in place for how to deal with these interruptions and distractions so that they don't become a regular occurrence or derail your schedule.

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