Want to stand out — in a good way — at work? Here are a few easy ways to improve your performance.
No matter what industry you work in, all careers boil down to one rule: don’t be stepped on, . Stand out from your colleagues so when it’s time to discuss raises and promotions, you can be a strong contender.
Trying to break away from the pack? Here are a few ways you can improve your performance at work and stay a few steps ahead of everyone else. ( to tweet this list.)
Excel at organizing
The first step to being more productive and keeping yourself ahead of the game is to get yourself and your workspace more organized. You’ll never waste time searching for an email or a document you worked on six months ago. It’s all neatly filed and at your disposal.
Start with your inbox first. Go through all of your emails and them so you can refer back to a point if needed. You might not need ten folders, but have one for company emails (updates from human resources about health benefits or tips from IT) and one to save important emails from your boss.
You never know when you need to find that one memo your boss forwarded to you a week ago.
Next, get your desktop and folders on your hard drive organized. If you don’t need a document or it’s out of date, either get rid of it or put it in a folder specifically for out of date items. A cleaner desktop will help you prioritize what you need and indicate where you can find useful information.
Be the early bird
Though it may pain you to get out a bed a little earlier, being the is never bad. It shows your dedication and excitement to get started.
Unless your boss gets into work more than an hour before you, try to beat him or her to the office. Even if you’re not the first, your boss probably won’t know when he or she walks in and sees you with your coworkers. Your boss will only see that you’ve arrived early and are already hard at work.
Whatever you do, try not to be the last person. It’ll get you noticed in a bad way and does nothing to get a jumpstart on your workload.
Lay off the multitasking
Most people think they’re pretty good at multitasking. Most people are wrong.
Studies have shown that only about two percent of people can multitask effectively. Chances are you’re not part of that small percentage, so put down your phone, close the Facebook tab on your browser and concentrate.
At best, focus on one or two projects at a time. This will ensure your full dedication to those projects, and you have a better chance of completing them on time. The quality of the projects also goes up once you’re properly focused.
Close social media tabs
You know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway. All you wanted to do was check your sister’s vacation photos, and suddenly, you’ve wasted a half hour scrolling through Facebook. What’s worse, your boss passed your desk, and you think she saw your browser open to the site.
Most companies have policies against employees using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter while they’re on the clock. Some go so far as to block the sites entirely, but a lot of the time, it’s not an option when companies use social media to promote their brands.
does take away from your overall productivity, so before logging on, remember you won’t get ahead or make a good impression if your boss sees you scrolling through pictures or pinning your favorite photos on Pinterest.
You might think of them as competition, but succeeding in the professional world is a team effort. If you’re the social pariah at work, you’re going to have a hard time staying ahead of everyone, even if you work nonstop.
Though you may not always like them, your coworkers have experience and knowledge to offer. You never know when you’ll need help with a project, and if you’re on good terms with your colleagues, they’ll be happy to give you a hand.
Helen Sabell, CEO and Principal of , is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. Connect with Helen on , and .