1. Show Up, and Be on Time (or Early)
One way to ingratiate yourself with your new bosses, and make life easier at work is one of the simplest work strategies you can undertake. Just be there on time and be ready to work. Workers that show up early to work are typically viewed by management as more conscientious and nearly always receive higher performance ratings that their contemporaries. Fair or not, people who perform better late in the day aren’t viewed as favorably by their managers as people that come in ready to take the bull by the horns early and often.
It goes without saying that people that miss a fair amount of work tend not to work anyplace for very long. This isn’t just because they don’t meet the demands of their schedule. Many organizations view those that perform satisfactorily at work but miss a fair amount of time with illness (diagnosed or otherwise), in a much less favorable light than people that are there on time every day and don’t necessarily perform at the same level.
Like Woody Allen once said, “90 percent of life is just showing up.”
2. Schedule Yourself One Hour to Tackle Your Most Pressing Issues
Working efficiently at the office can sometimes be a task in itself. There are so many times where your positive momentum is broken by emails, phone calls, visits for conversation, or IMs that you actually don’t produce as well as you are capable of. That’s why it is important to prioritize tasks, of course, but also to schedule yourself for an hour of uninterruptible work. Since most offices utilize some type of scheduling program to manage time, scheduling yourself for an hour early in the day has been proven to make people more productive.
The best strategy is to start taking some proactive steps to avoid distractions. The first is to ensure that people know you will be unavailable for an hour every morning. Direct communication with your contemporaries is essential for this strategy to work. Another strategy to take is to understand that the technology that we all typically ignore, like the “do not disturb” button on your phone, works, and can be used for your benefit. By actually using the tools you already have that are designed to help people avoid distractions, it will be much easier to actually avoid them.
3. Stop Listening to Music to Focus
The office can sometimes be a hectic place. This is especially true if you work in an open office. It might feel like you need to listen to music to get anything done. This is actually a non sequitur, since you are just choosing the method of your distraction. It may seem that it helps you to get stuff done faster, but research shows this simply isn’t true.
One prominent neuroscientist suggests that instead of listening to music while you try to be productive, listen to some beforehand so that you are relaxed and in a good mood. Music allows you to mentally put away some of the things that may distract you from any given task before you undertake it.
4. Wrap Up Your Day by Scheduling Tomorrow
Sometimes, the end of the workday can’t come soon enough. The anticipation to get out of the office can be quite distracting in itself, but if you take a few minutes at the end of the day to decide how you are planning on tackling the following day, you don’t have to do it when you come back in the morning.
Scheduling tomorrow’s schedule is a lot like making your bed. In doing so you already have everything neat and tidy so when it’s time, you can slide right in without having to do much. If your business is anything like ours, you need to be productive from the start and those 15-to-30 minutes you are going to take to plan the rest of your day just makes for higher stress levels.
These four suggestions will immediately help you be more productive. Do you have any other suggestions on how to get the most out of your workday? Leave them in the comments section below.