Continuously improving and getting better at your job is key to climbing the industry ladder. If you want to someday manage your own team, call the shots, and wear the power suit, you'll have to increase your knowledge and hone your skill set. Failure to do so can lead to a stagnant career and a professional life filled with dissatisfaction and regret. Here's seven easy ways to be better at what you do.
Review Your Basics
People immerse themselves in the weeds of new technologies and policies that they forget their foundation and footing. Start by analyzing your product or service. Closely observe the quality of work you are putting into it related to the day-to-day operations of your job. Are the tasks getting the attention and care they deserve or have you become too complacent and only aim for subpar results to get by the day?
Perhaps one of the most overused tips in any self-help article is goal setting. Nonetheless, the power of setting the right goals cannot be overemphasized. Set both weekly and yearly goals and check on them every day. When setting goals, make sure it has the SMART characteristics, namely Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Prioritize your list of goals by writing down the top three tasks you'd like accomplished by the end of the day, week, or quarter.
Get Quality Sleep
Sleep deprivation is increasingly becoming a widespread problem. Today's generation is living in the fast lane, and most people spend majority of their time awake and consuming things, from food to social media content. Before sleeping, millions of smartphone owners first grab their phones and look at news feeds and blog posts of others. Before you know it, there's only four or five hours left before you have to wake up again and repeat the physically and mentally exhausting routine that you've subjected yourself to. If this scenario sounds familiar, it's time for a change, and one good start is to invest in quality mattresses that improves your sleep cycle.
Forge Strong Connections
Connections are important, regardless of industry or job title. The more people you know and who know you well enough to give you a recommendation, the better your chances are of scaling up the career ladder. Companies and job markets in general can be very political, and establishing strong alliances with people can help you get your foot in doors of places you've only dreamt of working for. It's also much easier to move around and do a good job when you don't have any enemies in the workplace.
Get to Work On Time
Tardiness can lead to subpar output and missed deadlines. It also causes stress, which further affects your productivity and performance. When you get to work on time or even 10 minutes early, it can make a huge difference on both your performance and mood. Being late and scrambling to finish your day's tasks can stress you out and make you a nightmare to work with.
Improve Your Communication Skills
How you communicate with team members, higher-ups, and other departments can have a huge effect on your ability to produce high-quality output. But because professionals, whether you're a nurse or a web developer, are forced to multi-task to get through their day's duties, it's easy to lose that sense of effective communication in the process. Hone your listening skills and consciously try to absorb and analyze each part of what the other person is saying to you. In addition, learn to ask questions and talk with other people in a way where you can effectively extract the information you need from them.
Automate That Which Can Be Automated
Whether it's daily pop-up notifications of meetings with your boss or automated reordering of office supplies, automate tasks that can be automated to save you time. It also frees your head to focus on more critical tasks and projects.
Becoming better at your job is a goal you should strive to accomplish on a daily basis. It's something that doesn't come overnight, but through weeks and months of following well-constructed plans and forming productive habits. Use the seven tips above as a starting point, but don't be afraid to experiment on other ways that may yield the same results.