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5 Ways to Improve Your Work Performance Drastically

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Last Updated on June 1, 2021

10 Effective Ways To Make You a Fast Learner

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10 Effective Ways To Make You a Fast Learner

The importance of learning cannot be underestimated. Learning empowers us to fulfill our ideas and realize our full potential. The speed of gaining new knowledge is practically as important as its volume. Who wouldn’t love to remember tons of information as quickly as possible?

If you want to start learning faster, you need a new approach towards the process which would enable you to comprehend the essence of the matter and relate it with new concepts you encounter.

The following 10 tips will help you become a fast learner:

1. Analyze Your Learning Style

Before you can start experimenting with different studying methods, you need to understand what type of learner you are:

Is your memory associated to sound?

Maybe you can remember what you were reading when a particular song was playing? If this is your case, then you fall into the category of auditory learners.

If you want to start studying more efficiently, then it would be wise to record the lectures and listen to them instead of reading textbooks.

Do you relate information to visual content?

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If you are a visual learner, you should implement images, graphs, charts, infographics, colorful lists, flashcards, and other types of visual content when you study.

Are you a physical learner?

If your learning style is not auditory or visual, then you might be a physical learner. Some students have too much energy; they tap their feet or play with a pen during lectures.

A walk before a lecture will calm your nerves down. You can try studying or listening to audio lectures during a walk. That will help you remember the information more quickly.

2. Use the Right EdTech Tools

Technology has the power of making everything easier. There are plenty of websites, online tools, and smartphone/tablet apps that will boost your skills of planning, writing, time management and brainstorming, etc.

One way of improving your productivity is using flashcards. You can make your own cards, but you can also download pre-made kits online:

  • StudyBlue is one of the best online destinations when it comes to creating and discovering flashcards from all areas of study.
  • If you are looking for a tool that makes the process of brainstorming more effective, then you should try PapersGear.
  • You also need the SelfControl app, which will eliminate all distractions when you need to stay focused.
  • Quizlet is another website you should bookmark; it offers study tools that will transform the learning process into a fun activity.
  • Notella is an app that will help you take quick notes at any time.
  • Brainscape is an educational platform that makes complex subjects easy by relying on cognitive science.
  • You can also try Dragon Dictation, especially if you are an audio learner.

3. Train Your Brain to Accept New Information

Efficient studying is a habit. Your brain needs constant training if you want to improve your focus and complete complex tasks without taking breaks.

One way to achieve this goal is to create a private learning space in your home. You’ll also need a specific time of day that you’ll devote to studying. That will make your brain ready to accept the information it gets, so you’ll notice you’re starting to learn much faster by the day.

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4. Get Some Exercise

You are aware of the fact that physical activity is good for your body, but your brain needs it too!

Light exercise, such as yoga, can help you learn much faster. If you are inactive throughout the day, your body will want to move, so it will be difficult for you to stay focused.

If, on the other hand, you canalize your energy through light training sessions, you will be ready to study productively.

5. Work on the Ambiance

If you have a noisy neighborhood or a working environment full of distractions, you won’t be able to learn or study no matter how hard you try.

If you want to learn quickly, you need a quiet, distraction-free environment that won’t disturb the mind in any way. Such a peaceful place will set you in learning mode as soon as you find yourself in it.

6. Take a Lot of Notes

Only few people are capable of remembering information as they read it. If you don’t belong to this category of privileged learners, then you absolutely need to start taking notes.

This simple learning method will force you to think about the essence of the material. It will also give you a nice framework that will help you review the things you’ve learned.

Write down only the most important information. That will help you remember all the other things you’ve learned.

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Here’re some tips to take notes effectively: Why Successful People Take Notes And How to Make It Your Habit

7. Make Mind Maps

Mind maps are among the best tools to speed up the learning process. Your mind will process information effectively if you create a visual representation of the things you’re about to learn.

You can create a nice mind map in the old-school way: take a large sheet of paper and organize all facts and explanations. Use pictures, note-cards, and other symbols you can think of. Group similar items together and connect them with colorful pens.

Some tips mind-mapping here: How to Mind Map: Visualize Your Cluttered Thoughts in 3 Simple Steps

Of course, you can also use an online mind mapping tool if you want to save yourself some time.

8. Experiment with Memorization Methods

Memorizing is often misused in the process of studying. Some people memorize whole sentences, paragraphs and lectures without grasping their essence.

However, memorization can be useful when you need to learn definitions and classifications really quickly. Don’t avoid this technique if you want to fill your brain with information without wasting any time.

Try this if you want to memorize more and faster: How to Memorize More and Faster Than Other People

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9. Find the Right Context

Memorization works solely in times of urgency. If you want to learn in the most effective manner, then you need to have context for information.

Find an aspect that’s interesting for you; try to research for related information, and you’ll discover the joy of learning.

The first step? Jot down as much information and as many ideas as possible: How Simply Jotting Down Ideas Can Make You Smarter

With time, this practice will make you a faster learner.

10. Study Every Day

It will take some time before you get used to a daily studying routine, but your mind will eventually grasp the habit.

The more frequently you study, the less time it will take for you to remember the things you read.

If you start studying as soon as possible after you have learned some new concepts, it won’t take long at all for you to get ready for an exam. Now that sounds really good, doesn’t it?

More to Help You Learn Quicker

Featured photo credit: Becca Tapert via unsplash.com

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