So you feel like you’ve got your career back on track. Now what? For some career professionals, they are perfectly happy in their lane. They are making money, liking what they do on the daily and enjoying a really great work life balance. But not everyone is wired this way! Some professionals have goals, aspirations and a career plan to continue to progress and achieve those milestones that are important to them personally. It’s admirable, for sure. So, you find yourself asking… how can you do it? It takes time, commitment, perseverance and the genuine want and fulfillment from what you do for professional performance to improve. Yes, it takes work, lots and lots of work! If you feel you can progress, step up to that next level in your career but are unsure how to unlock the how, keep reading. Here are ten tips to help you boost your professional performance.
Set Yourself Milestones
If you don’t set milestones, you don’t know where you’re going. This means you wont be able to reflect on your progress or your performance, meaning you may continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly and get stuck in one place. This is also an amazing way to ensure you are also celebrating your successes and wins along the way which is probably one of THE most important things you can do as your own biggest cheerleader! By outlining where you want to be this time next year, in five years, or in ten years, you can work towards these goals with focus and take inspired action. It’s not enough to say that you want to double your salary, you need to know how to do this and map out the action you will take to make it a reality. Taking it one step at a time will make this less overwhelming and more manageable, allowing you to focus on each stage leading up to your goal.
Master the Art of Planning
Optimal performance is impossible without mastering the art of planning. You rarely see any successful people who are disorganized or arrive unprepared for meetings and presentations. If you struggle to plan efficiently, this is a skill you will definitely need to work on! Your calendar is key here GF’s! Scheduling meetings, events, appointments and blocking out time to actually get things done is the foundation to planning your day. Next up, knowing how to prioritize tasks to prevent feeling cluttered and all over the place. This will help you focus on what’s more important while also ensuring you don’t spend too long working on it, leaving time to get to other projects and essentials tasks.
Say What You Mean
Clear and assertive communication is a critical skill that every gal needs in her professional toolkit. Being vague, aloof or using jargon to disguise not knowing what they’re talking about, however is defintiley not! Work on your communication skills and make sure to say what you mean every single time. This will prevent any confusion and also keep your momentum up.
Tackle The Big Tasks First
Everyone has to deal with an array of tasks every day. Some are big, some are small. Some can wait, and some need your immediate attention. The fact is, those who are low-performing often avoid the most intimidating projects in favor of small and simple projects. This can motivate you to keep going, but the minor tasks can also be a significant time drain. Such a drain means you won’t have enough free time to focus on the bigger tasks and this can cause issues with timeframes and others that are relying on outcomes. You may miss a deadline, you could lose a contract. So, no matter how scary it is, confront the task, break it down, schdule it out and give it the focus it needs to get it done!
Put Yourself Out There
Leaders like to see employees who put themselves out there. They don’t want to work with a team of people who are unwilling to push themselves or try new things. Volunteering for new projects will put your face on the map and also introduce you to a range of experiences. From this you’ll gain more knowledge about the business, making you more informed. From here, trust and a strong business acumen is realised and you will gain well deserved credibility, giving you the performance boost you need and establishing you as a vital member of the team.
Get Rid of Distractions
You already know how damaging distractions can be for your performance. Whether you’re working in the office or working from home, there is always something that lures your attention away from the task at hand. Maybe it’s a chatty coworker, maybe it’s the pile of last night’s dishes. Whatever it is, you need to remove distractions. Clarify that you have to focus, so you can’t be disturbed if you’re at the office. If you’re working from home, creating a dedicated office space free of distractions can help. If you don’t have room for this, give your kitchen or living room a quick tidy and make it as workspace friendly as possible.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
We all have strengths and weaknesses and are all human! Some people are excellent at project planning, others excel in public speaking. Be clear and comfortable and you need to know your strengths and weaknesses and adjust your performance so you can make the most of your strengths while also working on your weaknesses. This can involve taking the lead in projects where you feel you’re most suitable to take charge, whereas looking at training to work on limitations will show a can-do attitude that will have a direct impact on your overall performance.
Don’t Drop Projects
No matter how frustrating a project is, persist and always ask for help. Dropping projects is never a solution. It can create a habit of complacency, and it can be really damaging to credibility. Rather than drop it entirely, seek assistance to help you tackle it. A fresh pair of eyes is always beneficial, and it can improve your teamwork skills along the way.
The business world is always changing. There are new strategies, new technologies and theories on what makes a company successful every year. If you want to improve your performance, you must accept this evolution and embrace the change that comes. Look at technology that improves efficiency in the office and make sure to attend events and conferences with thought leaders. This can give you all the information you need on how the industry will look in the future, and it will prepare you for anything that could happen, ensuring you’re ready when it does.
Focus On Your Health
The work, work, work attitude is, frankly, a toxic one. You can’t work yourself into the ground and expect to be at peak performance. This is why you need to focus on your health. There is a range of problems that can come from working too hard. You are stressed, anxious, lack a good night’s sleep, and your posture can suffer. To overcome this, look at the right chairs for sitting at your desk all day, and don’t be afraid to give yourself time to unwind. Make sure to exercise, eat right, and learn to say No to some things. You can’t perform to your best if you’re too exhausted to keep your eyes open, so remember your health above everything else.
Getting ahead in your career isn’t for everybody. Some use their job as a means to an end. However, if you feel there is always more that you could do, the potential is there for you to unlock. It won’t happen in a single day. It may not even happen across a year. If you believe in yourself, plan it out, upskill and are willing to put in the commitment and the work then it will happen, and when it does, you’ll be proud of the changes you made and the success you have found along the way.