Developing a successful and rewarding workday is easy when you apply discipline and consistency. It’s all about doing more, quicker with less money, with less stress, with less staff and the list goes on and on. You have heard it all before.
Being organized, always learning, taking on extra tasks, being positive and networking are guaranteed to make you stand out from your colleagues. Most people are not prepared to invest in themselves or their work. The bare minimum will do! this is incredibly frustrating to watch however at the same time, an opportunity for you to stand out.
To prevent self-doubt and negative thoughts, I focus on what I have to offer, how I can add value and not worry about what others think.
There are a number of habits I’ve picked up over the years, which I make sure I action daily. Over time I have seen an incredible difference in not only my health but also my happiness during the day. Why not give these habits ago; I’m sure you will see the improvement I did.
Before you leave the office
- Clear your desk of all clutter, rubbish, and straighten paper and pens. This creates a better working area for when you arrive in the morning to start fresh.
- Create your to-do-list at the end of the day, this will help you start the morning with focus, and you can leave your work at the office
First thing in the morning
- Use your time on the train to read through your emails, this ensures you know what is going on. Flag the emails you need to reply to.
- Arrive 30mins before you usually start. The office is usually quiet and distraction-free, this allows you to mentally prepare for the day. Reply to urgent emails you flagged on the train. This will help you get the responses you are after early in the day as they will appear on the top of people’s email list.
- Review your to-do-list and prioritize. Then start with the hardest task first while you are still fresh.
- During meetings take photos of any notes taken on the whiteboards. I have set up a Confluence site, which I upload the images to. This way the team can access them.
- Take note of the actions, which come out of all meetings. Write these onto a whiteboard and take a photo of them. This is a great way of keeping a record.
- Taking notes of the meetings on the whiteboard places me in the power seat. I can then drive the meeting for more clarification, or simply appear to be actively involved.
Schedule regular breaks
- If your calendar is ‘free’ it will have meetings booked in before you know it. Schedule recurring calendar invites for lunch, and coffee breaks. When I have back to back meetings, I look forward to the breaks I have scheduled in.
- My office is next to a large oval. It takes 11mins to walk around the outside, in heels. I book this time into my schedule to ensure that I move and can have alone time to regain focus.
Extra tasks outside of your job description
- Volunteering to help out or do extra tasks shows commitment and also is a great way to network within your office. However, do not over commit. Only commit to worthwhile tasks.
- It is imperative that you keep learning. Read journals in your chosen filed, listen to Ted talks, and podcasts. Never, ever stop learning.
- Each morning on the train, I read my emails then I watch a Ted Talk or listen to a podcast.
Stay out of the office gossip
- As interesting as it is finding out what is going on. Stay out of it. Most of the time it is untrue and changes every day. There is nothing worse than being known as the office gossip, as no-one respects that.
Make a plan, get organized, always learn, take on extra tasks and be positive is guaranteed to make you stand out from your colleagues. It also is a sure fire way to make you enjoy your day and get the most out of it. Life is far too short!!