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3 Ways to Learn Something New from Your Coworkers

3 Ways to Learn Something New from Your Coworkers

Striving to always learn something new and evolve is crucial in the workplace. The business world changes every day so staying at the top of your industry is crucial for success. While there is often an opportunity to continue your education at work with training manuals and documents, there is also an opportunity to learn from your coworkers.

Coworker relationships are extremely important and vital to your success in the workplace, so building a positive rapport with these individuals is important. One of the ways to do this is by getting to know your coworkers and learning something new from them. Here are three ways to deepen your connection and gain knowledge with the help of your coworkers:

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Learn a New Skill

Take advantage of an opportunity to learn a new skill from one of your coworkers. Have you always been intrigued by gaining more knowledge about the sales or marketing side of your company? Sit down with a colleague from this division and talk to them about the sales and marketing department. The more that everyone can learn from one another, the better it will be for the company. If you get the chance to pick the brain of one of your coworkers make sure to return the favor by teaching them something in return. They will appreciate this new knowledge and new friendship.

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While learning job related skills from coworkers is beneficial, there may also be an opportunity to acquire new soft skills from your associates as well. Perhaps one of your coworkers is very personable and handles client interaction very well. Follow their lead and learn new ways to communicate like this individual does.

Learn Something New About the Company

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Many companies have manuals and websites with information about the background of the organization, and while reading this material is helpful, it is often times a high level overview of the company. There is so much to learn about the organization you are working for so consider tapping into the minds of one of your coworkers. If this individual has been with the company for a few years they may have some helpful insight about the company culture, the relationships of those in each department and the overall political structure of the office. The more you know about your company and how to contribute to company growth and culture, the better suited you will be to contribute to the team.

Learn About the Other Person

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This may seem like a no brainer, but oftentimes we get so caught up in the daily tasks of our job and deadlines that we forget to learn about the other individuals around us. Many offices want to create a team environment and in order for everyone to function as a team, there needs to be a personal connection between employees. Take a few minutes to learn about your coworkers likes and interests. This will help you to create common ground so it will be easier to communicate with this person and it will make you feel comfortable with them when working on projects. If you feel more at ease with your coworkers it will be much easier to collaborate on projects together because you will be much more comfortable with asking questions and brainstorming solutions to problems.

At the end of the day, employers are happy to see their team members getting along with one another and solving problems together. You spend a great deal of time with your coworkers, so why not learn from them? The amount of knowledge you acquire and the friendship you gain may just surprise you.

Featured photo credit: Man And Woman Having Business Meeting With Bag, Drinks And Technology via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

Work Smarter, Not Harder: 12 Ways to Work Smart

I imagine that like me, you say that you never have enough time and that you just cannot cope with 60 dozen things all at once.

How on earth do you get out of that spiral?

Many people never sit down and look at how to work smarter, rather than harder and even longer hours. But not you, you’re smart enough to try to learn effective ways to work.

So how to work smarter not harder? Here are 12 smart ways you should be following:

1. Improve Your Time Management Skills

Easier said than done? Well, no actually, because there are a few simple rules that can really help you to manage time better.

For example, when setting up a top priority task, you need to switch off the phone and ignore your email first. Then you need to abandon any ideas of multitasking as that will slow you down and ruin your focus.

Finally, set a reasonable deadline and do everything in your power to meet it.

“When you’re born, you’re born with 30,000 days. That’s it. The best strategic planning I can give to you is to think about that.” — Sir Ray Avery

2. Speed up Your Typing and Use Shortcuts

These days we’re all keyboard slaves. So why not speed up your typing and try to get rid of the two finger syndrome. In fact, when you save 21 days per year just by typing fast!

This is exactly what I am doing now, so I cannot honestly say I am practicing what I preach!

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But help is at hand. Try some of these apps and games to help you type fast: 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

Using shortcuts on the keyboard is another time saver and can speed up your work.

For example, press F2 to rename a selected file, while CTRL + I will put selected text in italics.

There are so many of these. If you make the effort to learn them, they really can be helpful.

3. Learn How to Use Productivity Tools

It is well worth downloading all the useful tools and apps that can highly boost your productivity. Take a look at these 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools and install whatever fits your needs.

Now that is really a great way of working smarter, not harder.

4. Use Your Phone Wisely

Instead of writing emails, sometimes it’s better to pick up the phone and talk to the person responsible. It saves time, especially for important or urgent discussions.

If that colleague works in the same office, it is even better to go and talk to him or her. It gives you a break, you get some exercise and you actually make human contact which is becoming quite rare in this electronic world.

5. Keep a Tab on Your Tabs

If you are like me, you might well find that you have a ton of tabs open at the top of your browser.

In order to find the one you want, you have to search for them as they are off screen. Having all these tabs open slows down your browser too.

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One solution is to use OneTab which can keep a neat list on the screen of all these tabs when you want to quickly get to one of them or you want to remind yourself which ones you have open.

6. Use a “To Don’t” List

We all know about to do lists and I find that they are generally great. They give me a great sense of achievement as I cross off the tasks done.

But often, I find that we are doing non-essential tasks or ones that can easily be postponed. That is why many people recommend the to don’t list.[1]

Some people prefer to savagely prune the to do list while others prefer to have two separate lists, to do and to don’t. You just have to work out what works best for you when you are trying to save precious time to become more productive.

7. Expect Failure and Fight Paranoia

When failure rears its ugly head, some people get a bit paranoid and fear that this may become a trend.

Projects will go wrong and failure should be expected rather than feared. Learning lessons from failure and analyzing what went wrong is the best way forward.

“Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again.” — Richard Branson

And here you can find 10 Great Lessons Highly Successful People Have Learned From Failure.

8. Be Concise

Rambling on at meetings, in emails and even when introducing yourself to new clients can waste a lot of people’s time.

One way is to practice and sharpen your “elevator speech,”[2] which tells people in 30 seconds or less why they need your skills and how they can benefit from doing business with you.

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Just think of the many situations where this could be useful:

  • Making new contacts
  • Talking about yourself at a job interview
  • Meeting people at conferences or parties
  • Phone calls to new clients

9. Ask the Right Questions

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” — Naguib Mahfouz

How do you get feedback? The secret is to ask the right questions at the right time.

When you do this, you are gathering the information you need to help in decision making. This will save you time and you will be able to cut meetings to a minimum.

Forbes magazine reports on research that they carried out on asking the right questions.[3] When that happens, the positive effects are increased by 400%. There are also other benefits in staff motivation and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

Lifehack’s CEO Leon has shared about how to ask for feedback to learn faster: How to Learn Quickly And Master Any Skill You Want

10. Learn as Much as You Can

You should always be on a steep learning curve. Look at your skills profile and determine where you need to fill a gap. Talk to important connections and network in your niche.

Keep up to date on trends and developments. It is a fact-changing world. When an opportunity arises, you will be the best equipped to seize it because you have never stopped learning. Just another way of working smarter.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” — Mahatma Gandhi

11. Look After Your Greatest Resource

No, your greatest resource is not time. It is YOU.

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If you do not get enough sleep, exercise and relaxation, you find that you become less and less productive. You begin to work longer and longer hours, which is the exact opposite of what you want.

What you should be doing is making sure you are in the best shape. It is useful to remember that you need a break of 15 minutes after every one and a half hours of work.[4]

Taking breaks and getting fresh air and exercise is one of the best ways of working smarter, not harder.

12. Don’t Fall into the Trap of Working Smarter and Harder

As a society, we are obsessed with doing everything smarter so we are more efficient and we save time all around.[5]

But the most important thing to remember is to accept when we are ready to switch off that computer and not fill up the time with even more work!

The Bottom Line

The key to greater productivity is to work smarter, not harder. Working smarter saves precious time and energy for the things that really matter — your life goals, your personal growth, your health and your relationships.

Stop working for more hours and start working smarter!

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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