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10 Top Signs That Your Current Job May No Longer Be Right For You

10 Top Signs That Your Current Job May No Longer Be Right For You

By the time you realize you have outgrown your job it is usually too late and your employer is making the decision for you. Learn how to recognize the warning signs to improve where you are or get prepared for change.

1. You have a decreased level of job engagement.

If you have stopped or reduced spending your discretionary work time on activities that might improve your job performance or other aspects of your organization, such as working on a research and development project or a fundraiser your company supports, then you might not be interested in your job as much as you have been in the past.

2. You’re not taking informed risks anymore.

Informed risks are not crazy risks; they are the risks which you believe have some potential of being successful. You now take a more cautious approach to projects and activities than you did before. This behavior can restrict your personal growth. Instead of signing up to help with that new project you waste most of your time talking or worrying about is, and  you get stuck in the “What ifs”.

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3. Your work feels routine and boring. 

Routine work is defined by the Task Quotient assessment, a test that provides managers and individuals the ideal percentage of personal work task preferences (routine, trouble-shooting and project) to maximize motivation and job satisfaction, as highly predictable work with an immediate required need for completion. With routine work you are just going through the motions, tasks are on autopilot. An example could be working on a new project that would have once excited you now has has lost any emotional spark.  If you don’t enjoy routine work, then a job change may be in order.

4. You have a decreased pace of personal learning.

Concentrate on continuously learning new things that are important to your job. Doing this will increase your value to your organization and to yourself. If you keep expanding your skillset, you will find yourself able to move up in your current organization — or another one. Finding activities that keep you feeling energized and interested so you can feel accomplishment are paramount to your growth. Sometimes most of these may be happening outside of your job, watch for the signs.

5. You are co-workers or others in similar positions are out-pacing your performance.

Colleagues are starting to get more recognition, or standout from you in other ways more often than they used to. This can feel discouraging and can further distract you from your job. When you first started were you a rising star? Lots of kudos? Then slowly what was commonplace is now the exception? It may be a good time for a change.

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6. You are losing your focus on your current job activities.

Essentially, this means you are spending more time thinking about activities outside of your current work than the work itself. This is not unusual and while many times you will have thoughts of activities at home or outside of work, if they start to become a preoccupation, you may want to consider a career or job change. This typically happens when you start asking a lot of repetitive questions or “getting it” is taking much longer than it used to.

7. You are not able to move up in the organization.

Once your ability to climb the ladder stops or slows down or you realize that your depth of knowledge or experience slows down, it’s time to consider moving on or getting more training. If you are starting to report to people who were once your peers, or even worse off if you hired them to work for you, then it may be time to move on.

8. You are spending more time helping others or doing their work.

When you start choosing to assist others, not because you have to but because you would rather help them because their work is more interesting or engaging than your own work. This behavior should be a red flag for your boss that they are not giving you sufficient challenges. If your boss doesn’t understand this and any pleas for change have gone unanswered then start spending some of the time looking for a change.

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9. Your level of satisfaction or interest with the work is lower.

The satisfaction is independent of the people, and you are more unhappy before, during, or after work. According to Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychology professor noted for his work in the study of happiness and creativity, FLOW is when you have the right balance between challenge and skill in your current work environment, finding the optimal experience will be difficult to achieve. Think about how many times you were so engrossed in your work that you lost the sense of time, this is a state of FLOW. How much of this are you getting in your current position?

 10. You are told by boss or your significant other, “it’s time to move on”.

You’re getting increased prodding from one or more of your life stakeholders, who have an outside perspective of your own life, that you need to change. Think about whether the intensity or frequency is on the rise, if so, then you are a change needed candidate.

 

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Sometimes we are too close to see the signs, or the signs appear too gradually. At some point in time, we all get comfortable or complacent with our work. If this contentment is causing you more discomfort in one or more of the ten signs, then making a change may be in your best interest for long-term success.

Take the first step today by having someone you trust, and who will be brutally honest, to rate each of the 10 questions above on a scale of 1 to 4 (1 = equals none of the time, 2 = some of the time, 3= most of the time, and 4 = all of the time). The closer you are to a score of 40 the more likely you have outgrown your job. This short assessment will to provide you an outside perspective so that you can initiate the appropriate changes to love your job and your life once again.

Featured photo credit: Photograph by Marc Lombardi via marclombardi.zenfolio.com

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Dr. Kevin Gazzara

Senior partner at Magna Leadership Solutions

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

But what does being productive actually entail?

Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

1. Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

2. Turn off Notifications

According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

3. Manage Interruptions

There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

4. Eat the Frog

Mark Twain once famously said that:

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“if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

5. Cut Down on Meetings

Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

6. Utilize Tools

Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

Some examples of tools that could be used:

Communication
  • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
  • Samepage for video conference software.
  • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
Task Management
  • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
  • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
  • Wekan for an open source option.
Database Management
Time Tracking
  • Clockify for a free tracker.
  • TMetric for workspace integrations.
  • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

7. Declutter and Organize

Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

8. Take Breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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9. Drink Water

Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

The Bottom Line

The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

More About Boosting Productivity

Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

Reference

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