Are you the best employee that you can be? Whether you are starting a new job or you have been in a position for a year or more, you should always be thinking how you can do your job better—and that means being more productive. Training and experience help, but one factor that sets great employees out from others is a commitment to good workplace habits.
We have discussed the value of habits in other posts (Don’t Break the Chain and The Daily Habit Proven To Make You Better At Your Job). Habit building is an important concept that is worth exploring further. You can build these five habits in the workplace, whether you do manual labor or you sit at a desk:
- Meet realistic daily goals
You may have expectations set by your supervisor, or you might have to make your own to-do list. Whichever the case, focus on your priorities and get them done. If it helps, rank the items on your list in order of importance. If your list is too long or if you don’t stick to it, you will get distracted and have a lot of half-finished or poorly executed tasks.
- Do what you need to recharge
Are you the type who works through lunch? You might be sabotaging your own productivity. Your brain needs a break, so stop to breathe when you need to. Even if you are on strictly scheduled breaks, take that time to recharge instead of making stressful phone calls or working on your personal to-do list. Take walks, eat healthy snacks, meditate, stretch—whatever it takes for you to stay sharp.
- Face your most challenging work at the beginning of the day
It may be tempting to save challenging conversations and projects for later, but get them out of the way first when you are fresh and have more energy. Later in the day your productivity may naturally decline; this is the time to do the more mundane tasks that require less energy.
- Make organization a high priority
Some personality types lend to this skill better than others, but organization really does improve your focus and productivity. One great way to start is to keep your workspace clean and free of clutter. Have a clear filing system, whether paper or electronic. Keep your calendar current. Come up with a system that works for you so that you will not be forgetful.
- Focus on one task at a time
In certain jobs some multitasking is unavoidable, but when possible try to focus on what is most important, as you will hopefully understand from your to-do list. Finish each task to completion if possible before moving onto the next one. You will be more efficient when you do not have to switch your brain from subject to subject.
No matter what your job, these habits will make you a better worker, which is of great value to your employer.