We’re already in February, but it’s never too late to make resolutions – especially when it comes to your career. Improvements are always attainable if you focus on how to get where you want to be. What don’t you like about your job? What don’t you like about you at that job? Write out an action plan to help yourself move forward. If you have a job you enjoy but know that you can perform better, here are some career resolutions to jump-start those changes.
1. Find and Eliminate Your Bad Habits
Almost anything can be a distraction and bad habits are easy to form. Distractions can even include other work projects when you’re supposed to be carrying out a different task. Start tracking what pulls you away from your priorities and try to eliminate those. It can be hard to admit what you’re doing wrong, but it’s better to fix habits and make the corrections yourself than having a manager point it out for you.
- Bad eating habits – Feeling sluggish? It might be that huge bag of salty chips hidden in your desk or the giant meatball sub you had for lunch. Improve how you feel through food to improve how you feel at work.
- Chatting at the water cooler – Everyone needs to stretch their legs and have a chat. But that chat shouldn’t be 20 minutes long. Three to five minutes is much more reasonable. It’s also more respectful of others’ time away from their workspace.
- Your phone – Have to check every beep and bleep? Just turn it off. Silence it and keep it in your bag or desk. Leave it alone!
- Social media – Log out of your social media so that it’s not so easy for it to consume your time. If you have to log in to see what’s going on, you’ll be more inclined to realize the rabbit hole you are falling into.
- Your (work) email – Sounds counterintuitive, right? Your work email can be a HUGE distraction…if it’s distracting you! We hold “Power Hours” in our office where we have everything needed for the project or task at hand and then shut everything else out for one hour. This includes our work email. It highly improves productivity and morale because we have time to accomplish our goals.
2. Read Professional Improvement Books
Reading has been proven to reduce stress, increase vocabulary, improve writing skills and, maybe the most important here, help focus on goals and prioritize. And if you’re reading books or blogs focused on professional growth or improvement, you’ll be that much better off at work. Improve your reading habits and improve your work habits.
Some books our staff have enjoyed are The 4 Disciplines of Execution by Franklin Covey, Emotional Intelligence for Sales Success by Denver’s Colleen Stanley, and QBQ! The Question Behind the Question by John G. Miller.
3. Take a Break with 75 on, 15 off
Give yourself less time to squander and more quality time to be productive. Some suggest the 75-15 rule but make it whatever timeframe suits you best. The 75-15 rule gives you 75 straight minutes of hard work, pushing yourself to focus on the tasks at hand, then taking 15 minutes off to breathe, go for a walk or just take a break. It can prove to be the most effective way to manage your time because it allows you the time needed to complete important projects or tasks while also providing a break to avoid burning out.
4. Find a Mentor
If you haven’t done this in your career (or personal life) yet, it’s about time you did. Mentors can be amazing guides when it comes to bringing out your best self. Have lunch once a month to catch up on what you’ve accomplished, what is bothering you and what experiences they’ve gone through so you don’t have to do the same. A mentorship can happen organically, but don’t be afraid to ask someone to help you. If it’s the right person, they can dramatically aid you in your quest to be “your best you,” both professionally and personally.
5. Be grateful
According to Harvard Health (and you’ve probably noticed as well!), being thankful can make you happier and healthier:
“One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.” (source)
This study also suggests several ways to foster gratitude including writing thank-you notes, keeping a journal for gratitude, and meditating.
6. Hold It In
Do you always say what’s on your mind? It’s probably best to not do that. Emotional intelligence is “the ability to identify and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others.” Not only will it prevent upsetting the person you’re speaking with by saying something wrong, but it can improve your career by making you a true leader. Hold in negative thoughts and take time to think about the best way to express it. Positive thoughts are a little easier to express and often elicit a positive response. If you want to put in your two cents, wait two minutes (or longer) and decide how to manage your emotions.
Feel like you’re doing these things and your job just isn’t for you? Call a recruiter at ROLINC to learn more about opportunities targeted to your skillset!