It’s easy to let work-related stress take over your life. Looking at successful business people, however, it’s clear that leaders practice behaviors in the workplace that allow them to stand out and achieve more. It’s one thing to work – it’s another to work effectively. With these 5 practices, you’ll find yourself achieving more through your work and leaving the office with a sense of accomplishment.
Set a goal for your day and a plan for how to achieve it. Be proactive and direct work flows. Do you spend the whole morning responding to incoming emails or do you send out emails to direct projects that are within your goals for the day? Your daily activities should align with your specific project goals.
Prioritize your tasks. What are your immediate and long range needs? What groundwork needs to be laid in order to check the tasks off your list? Imagine your inbox as a hospital triage center. What inquiries or projects deserve your attention? Which items can wait? Prioritize the issues that are both important and urgent. Address your tasks strategically with your daily goal and project vision in mind.
Delegate. Figure out what you can do well and what others can do better for you. There may be people in your workplace that are personally interested in a topic or looking to take on more responsibility. You don’t have to champion your project list alone. Effective leaders build supportive teams and look to protégés to develop into a successful next generation of leaders.
Just Say No. Decide which projects are non-essential and draw the line on what you can commit to successfully completing. Your time is your most valuable asset and you cannot get it back. As you communicate how projects fit within your goals and action plans, colleagues will respect your work and your time more. You’ll have more time to manage your projects with a goal-oriented vision, and by doing so, you’ll achieve more through your work.
“Chunk” your projects. You know the saying, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” It applies to your work as well as table manners. Avoid looking sloppy in your work. Break your projects into manageable tasks. For projects that you loathe, start with just 10 minutes a day and you’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve. You might even find yourself working through to finish it.
You may feel like you’re juggling multiple priorities in the workplace because with the current demands on business professionals, it’s likely that you are. By practicing these strategic behaviors and re-evaluating your current approach to work, you’ll achieve more and leave the office feel more satisfied with your professional accomplishments.
Practicing these five steps will empower you in your current work and help you to plan and direct future work projects so you can manage your time better, reduce your work-related stress, and increase your work performance.
University of Vermont Continuing and Distance Education offers a variety of professional development and career advancement programs. Visit learn.uvm.edu.