What’s worse than being called to the principal’s office? Being an adult and getting called in to your boss’ office to receive a sub-par review of your work ethic. Now, much like religion, work ethic is a belief system of choice and a personal one at that. That’s not to say that you can just attribute your bad habits to being a matter of personality, and continue behaving in the same patterns that got you called in to the principal’s office to begin with.
I have partnered with Belen of A Hint of Life, as part of the Spring Clean Your Life series to discuss how to toss a bad work ethic when you’ve made a mess of things at the office.
- Clear Clutter: My father always said “a cluttered brain cannot learn” this is the mantra that drives my OCD on a daily basis. In my own opinion, a cluttered brain cannot even function So, begin by cleaning out your desk and workspace. Find practical ways of storing the items you don’t use on a daily basis and ways of holding the things that you do use throughout the day in a way that is appealing to your sight. Think of organizational projects as investments. Over time, you will turn out profits by way of your work habits.
- Eliminate Distractions: Sometimes the clutter isn’t as physical or tangible and cleaning it out isn’t as easy as shifting things around on your desk. That doesn’t make it any less important to eliminate unnecessary distractors from your workday and workspace. Learn to departmentalize your life. No one likes bringing work home, by the same token, try not bringing home to work. Turn your cell phone off, or at least silence unimportant ringtones. Log out of social media accounts while you’re on the clock. Send copies of your work schedule to your loved ones so they’re in the loop of which time slots you’re unavailable.
- Be Creative: Bring a positive attitude into your workplace. Regardless of your current position, there’s not a place in life I can imagine where creativity isn’t rewarded. Try to be proactive about foreseeing issues that will arise and then come up with creative solutions. When/if these issues arise, you will be ready.
- Establish Routines: Normally, I loathe routine. I often feel it hinders my creative spirit and stifles my way of perceiving my world. However, even I must admit, that we just function better when we have set out specifically defined patterns of behavior. Take a cue from nature: the fact that moon cycles and seasons have all followed specific patterns have led us to this very day. When cycles in nature don’t function as they should it throws off an entire ecosystem. Similarly, at work, following small, habitual patterns will make your more functional. (Bonus: how can you break the routine every now and then if you don’t have one to begin with?
- Ask for help: It is in your boss’ interest that you be successful. Sometimes we mistakenly and needlessly villainize our superiors. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for clarification and assistance. If you’re afraid this will make you look bad, think of how inefficient you will seem if you don’t ask and then fail at a task. The fact is, the success of the business rides on every employee performing every task efficiently, so oftentimes there is someone who is willing to help you.
I can tell you from experience these five tips help because I have been putting them in practice successfully and have seen improvements in my efficiency and happiness. But if you don’t believe me, swing by Belen’s blog and read her tips here.
Stay tuned for the last piece in this series: Spring Clean Your Life | Refresh Your Mind