Advertising
Advertising

Published on April 15, 2020

5 Ways to Improve Your Work Performance Drastically

5 Ways to Improve Your Work Performance Drastically

Before you continue reading this article, stop and ask yourself this question: Why is it important for you to find areas of improvement at work? If you know the answer to that question, it’s a good start as you will be able to assess quickly which strategies that I suggest in this article will best help you to improve your work performance.

For those of you who are struggling to answer the “why” question, I will discuss the 2 reasons as to why work productivity drops, and this will hopefully help you answer your why.

Why Is It Important to Know Your Why?

If you don’t know the reason as to why your work performance has dropped, then it is really hard for you to know what strategies are going to help you improve your work productivity.

When your work performance is falling, then your personal life is certainly affected. This means that you are not only dealing with the issue of poor work productivity, but you are also having to deal with the personal challenges you are facing.

A Word of Caution

There is no quick fix to improving work productivity.

Whether you have the answer to the why question or not, everyone has to deal with the personal impact, and this is where the hard work comes in for everyone.

As a career coach, I spend the first 3 sessions with my clients working through their personal issues that sit around career change. The feelings of frustration, confusion, fear and low self-confidence need to be addressed before any practical work, such as working on their CV’s or Linked In profiles, can be done. Every time I try to speed through the personal stuff going on with my clients, I struggle with the coaching, and so does my client.

Advertising

Why Work Productivity Can Drop

There are generally two main causes to a drop in work productivity. Read about them below.

1. Challenging Work Conditions

There are many challenging work conditions that can impact work productivity: constant change and moving goalposts; ineffective leadership and poor management; lack of acknowledgement; low staff engagement; low morale; workplace bullying. The list goes on.

If you are having to deal with challenging work conditions[1], my suggestion is that you consider getting another job where the work conditions are more aligned to your needs and support your productivity.

If you aren’t able to change jobs, this article can help you learn how to cope with a difficult work environment.

Once you have a job where your work conditions have improved, then you can focus on applying the 5 strategies that are presented in this article.

2. Challenges in Your Personal Life

There are many challenges in our personal lives that can impact our work performance and productivity. Some of these challenges are events that are out of our control.

For me personally, the sudden loss of both parents at the same time was a life challenge that had a huge impact on my work performance. All I could do was take one step at a time and just keep moving forward. If you do find yourself in a situation where your world is suddenly turned upside down, be kind to yourself and remember to move forward one step at a time.

Advertising

Jenny Blake, the author of Pivot, wrote that:

“The only move that matters is your next one.”

And this is so true.

If you find yourself having to deal with personal challenges that you do have control over, where you have the choice as to how you react, then all you have to do is to choose to take action and then go do it!

5 Strategies to Improve Your Work Performance

There is no magic formula for improving work performance. However, here are 5 strategies that high performers use to maintain consistently high levels of work productivity. I am confident that if you commit and consistently apply these 5 strategies into your life, your work performance will improve.

Your job is to work out which ingredients (strategies) and how much you need to create the right recipe for you to improve your work performance.

1. Get Clear on Your Goals

Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve gives you direction and purpose.

Advertising

With this clarity in your mind, you are more likely to take action. Write down the goals you want to achieve in the short and long term. For each set of goals, decide your own time frame. Refer to these goals on a regular basis, and make sure you are noting the progress you are making.

2. Plan Each Day the Night Before

What can often happen at work if you have no daily plan of action is that you tend to be more reactive and can end up fighting lots of small fires at work. Firefighting at work distracts you away from important tasks that need to be done, and as a consequence, your work productivity suffers. Take the time each night to plan for the next day.

3. Create a Daily Action Plan

Once you have taken the time to plan what you need to do each day, write your action plan detailing the time when the key tasks need to be completed.

A word of advice: don’t spend 100% of your time on the goals and tasks you have to complete each day. Allocate time to relationships and taking time out to spend with your work colleagues. The last thing you want to do is to become so focused on your goals and tasks that you end up disconnected from the people in your work life. Having great relationships at work contributes significantly to you being able to improve work performance.

4. Be Accountable for Your Actions

Our subconscious mind does not like change and will do everything in its power to distract us away from turning our life around. All those self-limiting beliefs, fears, and negative thoughts that you have within your subconscious mind will fight hard to stay. Don’t listen to them.[2]

Use your power of accountability to keep you on track. Share with your team and work colleagues your goals, ideas, and experiences on ways to improve work performance. Model the behaviors that you want to have as a high performer at work. Watch for the signs that threaten your progress and shut them down quickly.

5. Celebrate Your Success

Managing your mindset is key to you staying on track and moving forward. The best way for you to keep the momentum is to celebrate your achievements. I suggest that you do this on a regular basis as this keep your motivation up.

Advertising

Your motivation level is the key factor to you wanting to continue to keep going and succeeding the next day and the day after.

Final Thoughts

Improving your work performance doesn’t mean you have to get up at 4 am and work 14-hour days. These are not the behaviors of a high performer at work.

A high performer is focused, has a clear action plan, and knows what needs to be done and how it should be done. A high performer has great work relationships, is a good communicator, and works efficiently.

You can become that high performer, and the 5 strategies above will enable you to improve your work performance dramatically.

More Tips on Improving Work Performance

Featured photo credit: Bruce Mars via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

10 Things You Can Do Now to Change Your Life Forever Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life? 5 Steps to Get Unstuck How to Release Anger Without Hurting Others How to Persevere (And Get Ahead!) When the Going Gets Tough What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For?

Trending in Smartcut

1 How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success 2 Why You Need to Set Future Goals (And How to Reach Them) 3 How to Swiftly Make a Midlife Career Change 4 13 Critical Things to Consider Before Switching Careers 5 10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on June 2, 2020

How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success

How To Use Goals and Dreams To Achieve Personal Success

Goals and dreams are two concepts that are often used interchangeably in the quest for success. Although they can be used to complement one another, they do mean different things. This article looks at what goals and dreams are and how they can be used hand-in-hand in order to achieve personal success.

What Are Goals?

There are different ways to describe what goals are; it can be said that goals are the desired outcomes that you have plans and commitment to achieve. What makes goals spectacular is that the things you want to achieve are clearly defined with a timeframe within which they should be achieved.

Here are some examples of goals:

  • Get certified in analytics in three months
  • Celebrate child’s 5th birthday in Disneyland
  • Attain financial freedom at 50
  • Read and finish at least one book monthly
  • Watch the next Olympic games live

What Are Dreams?

Dreams are thoughts, imaginations, and aspirations that are often about what we desire to attain, experience, or achieve. Dreams can be spontaneous, or they can be desires that we have nursed over a long time. Our dreams are often shaped and influenced by what we see regularly around us, the things we have heard or read about, or the things people we admire are doing.

Here are some examples of dreams:

  • Attend an Ivy League Institution
  • Own a company
  • Be debt-free
  • Be healthy and fit
  • Travel the world

Differences Between Goals and Dreams

There is no need to confuse goals and dreams when you know their differences[1] and how they can work together to facilitate success. The following are some useful insights about goals and dreams.

Advertising

Thoughts and Imagination Vs. Plans and Action

In order to have a dream, you need to engage your thoughts and imagination. This means thinking deeply about what you want to achieve, where you want to go, and to what extent you want to achieve those things. For dreams, everything ends in the realm of imagination if nothing is done thereafter.

Unlike dreams, goals require a commitment towards achieving the desired end. This includes deciding the size of the goals, planning the order of events that will lead to achieving them, and the timeline within which they should be achieved.

Spontaneity Vs. Thoughtfulness

You can have a dream anytime, anyhow, and without any form of preparation or formality. This is not the same with goals. Goals must be set thoughtfully, and conscientiously. They must be clearly written down and should be S.M.A.R.T.

Dreams Come Before Goals

It would be right to say that there is no goal without a dream. Dreams must come first because dreams give birth to goals. You must have a desire and nurture it in your mind until it becomes a burning desire that you are ready to pursue. That is when they can be turned to goals.

Captured Dreams Become Goals

There can be dreams without goals. Dreams can go on and on and end only in fantasy. However, when they are captured, they can become actionable goals that can, indeed, materialize.

There is a Yoruba proverb that can be translated thus: “S/he who finds money in the dream and gets excited should be told to focus on working hard so as not to become a victim of poverty.” While the proverb is primarily about night dreams, it can apply to imaginative dreaming, too.

Advertising

To realize your dream, it must be captured and turned into goals; then, you will have to create a goals strategy and follow it up with hardwork.

Goals Require Steps

Goals are the steps you set out to take after you are convinced that your dream is truly worth it. These steps will outline what you should do and how you should do them to attain your dream.

Dreams Are Free, but Goals Come With a Price

Dreams come without costs. You can dream as many times as you want in a day without restriction. However, goals are not like that. You have to think about whether your goals are achievable or not when setting them. Because of the costs (sacrifices) associated with getting your goals done, it places a limit on which goals you can set per time.

Lack of Limits Vs. Defined Objectives

There are no structures to dreams, neither are there limits to how far you can dream. But goals have to be framed. They must be clearly defined with measurable objectives and a timeline.

Inspiration Vs. Creating Change

You can dream to inspire yourself and aspire to a greater future, but if you want to experience real change, you have to be specific about what you want and how you want to get there. Goals are the commitments made towards creating change.

How to Turn Your Dreams Into Actionable Goals

To help you take your dreams to the next level, follow these tips and create actionable goals.

Advertising

1. Make Your Dream Clear and Solid

Before your dream can become ripe enough to be turned into an actionable goal, you have to be clear about what you really want. Your dream has to go from imagination to reality. Here are some things that can be done to make your dreams clear.[2]

Take Inspiration From Success Stories

Read inspiring stories of successful people to think through your own dreams. Such stories will help you to put your dreams in the proper perspective.

Envision Your Future

Engage the power of vision in picturing your own future. Let your mind be in tune with what you desire for yourself. It is a known truth that you are always drawn towards the pictures you have in your mind.

Think About Your Dream

The mind is very powerful, and it has the ability to create imaginary concepts that can be turned into reality. Most of the edifices you can see existed first in the realm of the mind.

See the Big Picture

Dreams are free, so think big. See the bigger picture of your dream, the highest possible level you think you can attain.

Write Down Your Dream

Capture your dreams by writing them down. This will make them clearer. You don’t have to be economical while writing them down. Just write them the way they occur to you.

Advertising

2. Break Your Dream Into Short-Term and Long-Term Goals

You might not be able to pursue your dream in its raw state, and that is why goals are needed. You should have a plan and structure for achieving your dream, and this will include setting both short-term and long-term goals that will get you on the path of your dream.

Short-term goals are goals that you set to achieve from now up to 3 months or in less than a year. Long-term goals are goals that can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years to achieve. Your short-term goals are actually your stepping stones towards achieving the long-term goals and ultimately leading you to your dream.

3. Make the Goals SMART

What makes a goal statement differ from a dream statement is that goals should be S.M.A.R.T when framing them. This means that each of the goals you set towards achieving your dream must be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, and Time-Sensitive.

For more on S.M.A.R.T goals, check out this article.

4. Break Each Goal Into Milestones

Beyond creating goals that are SMART, you should also break each goal into milestones. Milestones are small steps (miniature goals) that can be achieved within a very short time. When you achieve these smaller goals, it keeps you motivated to keep getting closer to your big dream without feeling overwhelmed. You can keep your eyes on the big dream while focusing on the milestones.

Final Thoughts

Anyone can have dreams to create a picture of their own future. If you are not satisfied with your current state, all you have to do is dream. If you have achieved your dreams, then it’s time to dream again or inspire others to dream.

You can achieve anything that your mind can conceive if you take the time to turn them into goals. Make your dreams big, but set smaller goals to move progressively towards the realization of your big dream.

More Tips on Using Dreams to Achieve Success

Featured photo credit: Yukie Emiko via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next