As a follow-up to my last post, my recent business trips have allowed me to recognize the positives from the work my team and myself have done while also identifying areas where we can improve. Since today is Monday, it is fitting that we start the work week infused with a desire to improve. The opportunities are ahead of us all. Individually and group wise. When reviewing the areas you can do better you have to look outward and inward.
Let’s start outward…
From a group perspective, these tend to be more visible.
What is your group doing that is not working? What items are you spending too much time with but getting little to no return on?
These can be strategies that impact the bottom line, or simple tactics that are falling short of achieving the results you intended. Additionally, what parts of your programs can be improved with different features or revamped thresholds. Since I work in a sales environment, these make sense. But I believe the same can be applied in other areas of work.
One of the best ways I’ve experienced opportunities being addressed is by listing each item and analyzing immediate and long term impacts. Prioritizing your areas of opportunity allows you to create a plan of attack for your takeaways. Additionally, it helps you spend you energy with efforts that will start providing you the results you need. Still, don’t forget to list the things you know you can’t implement or change right away. Knowing what these are will allow you to be clear in your approach and be motivated to take the steps you outlined.
Getting follow-up lists done with your work group will also create accountability with your peers. Providing action items with leaders identified with each effort helps you make progress on what you want to accomplish.
Switching to your inward review can be hard. And this is not just at work as it applies to the home front as well; with your family, at school, with your neighbors.
What is slowing you down? What actions do you take regularly that stir you away from your goals instead of getting you closer?
Each person has it’s own areas to improve and they are unique to oneself but I will share for myself what I know I need to improve. I need to say “no” more often. I need to evaluate my work load reality more often and provide realistic expectations to what I can and cannot do. I’m confident in my performance and I love to learn and grow. Still, too much work can stir me away from the very things I NEED to learn in order to grow in my role and achieve what I’m reaching for.
Looking outward and inward is easier said than done. More than recognizing the areas of improvement, it’s what you do with it that truly drives success.
I thought December was supposed to be a slow month, unless of course you work in retail. Fortunately or unfortunately, long gone are the times when December was a month to file documents and close out on the year. Now December is much more of a review and plan month. This means more meetings, more setting of goals, and more creation of plans aimed at making the next year as successful or even more than this year. I can sense my stress level increasing just as I write this post.
I’ve felt this busy since the beginning of the month and as motivated as I am for doing great work at the office, I’m looking forward to Christmas and enjoying some time off with my family. Which led to the question: How can I prioritize my work in such a way that I’m set for success? And success here is both professional, by accomplishing my goals and planning objectives, as it is personal, being able to truly log off while on vacation. These are great motives to engage in productive work. So, since this time of the year can be stressful it’s important to recognize that pure motivation at work requires clear prioritization.
The below tips have helped me time and time again, and I wanted to share with others.
- Make a list of all your tasks – this is the first and most important step. Understanding all of your responsibilities and expectations is key to being productive at work and truly resting when away from the office. I do this every week and in many cases more than once as more responsibilities are added to my plate or new projects initiated.
- Identify deadlines – this is crucial for ranking your tasks in a list of to-do’s. Whether self-imposed or given to you, knowing your deadlines allows you to be in control of your work load with a sense that you dictate the order of your tasks.
- Being realistic to oneself and others – don’t be fooled by this tip as in today’s worlds we all want to be heroes with the sense that the busier we are the more important and more impactful we tend to be; what a lie. Being realistic allows you the peace to know you are doing your best and engaging yourself and others around you with clear expectations of the work you are doing. Being realistic has required me to ask for deadline extensions or assistance from peers. And don’t be shocked, recently I even have said no to certain requests. I know some of you cringe at this but you know you need to do it as well.
The cool thing about these tips is that they can help at work and at home. Whether you are finishing projects at work or planning a Christmas party, these tips allow you to remain motivated and eliminate your stress.
As part of the vision for 2motive8, be on the lookout for work and career related posts with the category #MotivateAtWork.