Being an effective employee means being productive and having the best interest of your company in mind at all times. For highly productive people this is something that is ingrained in them, but that doesn’t mean it comes naturally. You can learn the habits of the highly productive yourself. Below is a list of 6 habits that will help you become a highly productive person too.
1. They set goals regularly.
Having goals keeps you focused and moving forward. Each project you take on should be broken down into smaller tasks and these tasks should be your goals. Work towards each goal like it is a step in a process (Think: putting together Ikea furniture – sometimes there will be 6 steps, sometimes there will be 600). You should regularly reevaluate, reassess and revamp these goals to fit a projects growing needs.
2. They know how to say No!
Saying No at work may seem counterproductive, but the truth is this simple act can make a world of difference in regards to productivity. Taking on too many projects will cause you to burnout and increase the chance of missed deadlines. It also leads to poor performance. Don’t be afraid to turn down extra work if you already have your plate full. In fact, knowing your limit and not being afraid to say no shows that you are self-aware, confident and focused on what is best for the company.
3. They do not dwell on their Mistakes.
Highly productive and successful people understand that everyone makes mistakes. The difference is, they learn from their mistakes and move forward, applying what they have learned. Just because you messed up on a big presentation or made a mistake on a project doesn’t mean you are a failure and you should give up. In fact, making a mistake and taking responsibility for it shows you are a leader and will be far more impressive to management in the long-run. If you slip up on something don’t make excuses, make it right.
4. They have a working system.
You don’t have to be highly organized, but you should have a system in place that works for you. This may mean color-coded folders, a hierarchy file system on your computer, or electronic notifications for upcoming events. Whatever the mechanism, find a system that keeps you informed of where you need to be and what you need to be focused on and use it.
5. They limit unnecessary meetings.
Meetings can be a valuable tool on projects, they bring people together to gather ideas and input. Many times, however, meetings are nothing more than a waste of time. No one really listens, nothing is achieved, and the topics that were discussed could have been sent in an email. Highly productive people limit their meetings to only those topics or projects that are a high priority. Lunch meetings, brunch meetings, dinner meetings, and drink meetings are often professional speak for not-getting-any-work-done. Focus instead on what you can actively do to move a project forward.
6. They aren’t afraid to ask for help.
Hand-in-hand with knowing how to say no is the ability to ask for help. There are times when you just can’t complete something on your own, and that it okay. Asking for help does not reflect failure. In fact, asking for help shows that you have the best interest of the company in mind. By asking for help when you need it you are showing management that you are determined to provide the best possible product, even if that means it comes from someone else. If you think that there is someone who can do it better than you can or has more time to invest than you do, don’t be afraid to say so. The goal is quality in most cases, not quantity.