Do you want to be recognized for going over and beyond at work? Are you looking to be promoted and want to stand out? Do you want to contribute in a way that makes a meaningful, positive impact – not only to your company – but to others around you? Believe it or not, there are simple things you can do every day that will accomplish just that.
This may seem like a no-brainer. Rarely does procrastinating add to productivity or reveal positive results – especially when you’re procrastinating because you’re dreading the task at hand. And don’t convince yourself the reason why you’re procrastinating is to wait for the “perfect time”. Not only does this prolong the inevitable, but it squashes productivity. Your lack of commitment and unwillingness to tackle a task because it’s unsavory and you’re not looking forward to it is wasting energy and time. Just do it!
One of my favorite quotes about procrastination is by Ron Marquis: “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” I like to use that quote on my kids when they’re procrastinating. Hopefully you like it more than they do.
Accept Your Weaknesses
I can’t tell you how much time and agony I’ve spent wishing I was better at something, or envying someone who had a skill or talent I wished I’d had. For what? To make myself feel inferior? To be something I’m not? That’s exactly what I was doing. It took me most of my adulthood up until just recently to recognize this. I decided to stop spending energy on dwelling on something I’m just not good at – regardless of how big, small, significant or not. It’s very freeing to just accept your weaknesses and focus on your strengths instead.
I now relish in what I excel in at work and I hone those skills daily. I still appreciate other people’s strengths that I admire, but I no longer spend time and energy envying them. Plus, I’ve noticed a significant difference in my productivity and the impact I can make when I use and improve upon my strengths.
State Your Shortcomings Before Someone Else Does
Nothing’s worse than knowing you’re not going to meet your target and your boss calls you in to notify you before you bring it up. Or potentially worse, an important client contacting you because you fell short of your commitment. If you foresee an issue, you need to address it promptly and honestly. Of all the experiences I’ve had confronting issues head-on, I’ve never regretted it. In fact, when I’ve addressed the issue proactively, I’ve often been met with appreciation for giving a heads up. It goes a long way with those around you when you’re upfront and honest – it establishes credibility and accountability.
Follow Through, Follow Through, Follow Through
We all know that person. You know the one – the one who says they’re going to do something and then doesn’t. Or they say they’ll get back to you and you know better than to hold your breath. Or you make plans with them and you don’t bother showering because in 3, 2, 1 you’ll receive the text that states they’re not feeling well and need a raincheck. Sure, let’s make that raincheck. Again, you don’t hold your breath.
If someone consistently doesn’t follow through they lose credibility fast. The same goes in all facets of your life – personally and professionally. Your co-workers and clients know whether they can count on you. Don’t give them reason not to. That starts with following through and doing what you say you’re going to do. It can be as small as following up to a discussion to inform them you took action and closed the loop. Little things like that go a long way in showing you’re dependable.
Know That You’re Replaceable
Don’t kid yourself thinking you’re not. Everyone is replaceable! The key to knowing this is owning it. Tackle your job knowing that someone else possibly smarter, more driven, or dare I say, more competent than you, could get hired by your company at any moment.
I love that song by Meghan Trainor and John Legend, Like I’m Gonna Lose You. Haven’t heard it? Basically the lyrics play a message that nothing is for certain. So in order to ensure more certainty, embrace whatever you fear losing with everything you’ve got. If we put passion into everything we do and don’t take for granted what we have, you become as close to irreplaceable as you can be.
Take Care Of You
No this is not just a line from the Pretty Woman movie. This is the most important tip I can give. Put on your air mask before you help the person next to you. If you can’t breathe and function, others around you will suffer too. I could quote and site countless experts and studies that show taking care of your health, eating right, getting enough sleep, and just taking time out for yourself has benefits beyond measure.
Beyond the health benefits, from a productivity standpoint if you’re tired you’re not at your best. The quality of your work will suffer, your ability to make key decisions will take a hit, and you’re just all around not as productive as you could be. This will take its toll on you and those you work with. So stand up and take 10 minutes to breathe and regroup.
Ahh… isn’t that better?