Sharpen Your Performance at Work

by Washington Federal Team on February 7, 2012

Sharpening your performance at work can have a positive effect on every aspect of your life. From streamlining processes to pumping up day-to-day achievements, a focus on self-improvement will provide you with an enhanced sense of dedication and professional pride.

Identify & Make the Change

Take a look at your professional duties and give yourself an honest assessment. Identify what you do well and think about what could use enhancement. Then, list five specific goals and outline ways to achieve each objective. ┬áIt’s important to remember that If you want to improve the quality of your work, you have to change how you’ve been doing things. Search for ways to improve your daily work process. Can you do something faster or more efficiently? Can you identify a way to save the company money? The key is to implement the change. Once you’ve done that, it will be amazing how quickly you see an improvement, and it won’t be long before others take notice as well.

Avoid Procrastination

If you truly want to sharpen your performance at work, it’s time to stop procrastinating. One great way to overcome your mental road block is to practice guided imagery. Picture yourself accomplishing that particular task, and visualize what it looks like and what it feels like to have completed this task. Think of resulting rewards, like compliments, acknowledgements, personal satisfaction and potential financial rewards. A simple way to avoid procrastinating: set a timer for 30 minutes or an hour, and spend that time working on the specific task. Don’t do anything else until the timer goes off. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you avoid distractions such as email and chatting with coworkers.

Practice Punctuality

One simple way to boost productivity is to be on time. Even if you’re just a few minutes late, tardiness can result in feeling flustered and rushed, which will hinder your ability to start the day on a calm, industrious note. An equally important reason to practice punctuality is your performance review. Employers are much more likely to give you a favorable review if they see you arriving on time, or early, on a regular basis.

Plan & Prioritize

Take five to ten minutes every morning to plan out your day’s work. Identify specific priorities that need to be accomplished immediately, and give yourself a time frame for completion. Do the same for less crucial tasks. This time of preparation will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or stressed as the day progresses. As you get used to planning and prioritizing, you’ll see an immediate shift in your ability to manage time effectively boost your productivity.

Engage & Learn

Whether your work in a dynamic industry or not, keeping your knowledge and skill set fresh is crucial to sharpening your workplace performance. Identify any areas of weakness and engage yourself in a process that will eliminate those deficiencies. Talk to your co-workers and suggest a weekly lunch-and-learn, where you discuss relevant topics and share knowledge with one another. This will do two things: help you to create a sense of workplace camaraderie, and provide a venue to learn valuable industry knowledge. Another way to learn new skills is to take advantage of free online tutorials. Many websites offer free guides, papers and videos that offer instruction on a wide array of topics.

Optimize Organization

Make it a priority to clean up your workspace. A messy desk suggests you’re sloppy or disorganized — images you don’t want to display in a professional setting. Clutter can be distracting and can interrupt your concentration, causing you to disengage from the task at hand. It’s a simple way to refresh your work atmosphere, leading to a more productive day.

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