In your lifetime, you’ll spend roughly 90,000 hours working. That’s 10 full years! Instead of wasting that time in a mind-numbing routine, learn how to capitalize on your career years. Tap into these four tips to help you get the most out of your job this year.
1. Go beyond what is asked of you.
Any employee can do the bare minimum workload, and many squander their time doing just that. Learning to do more than is requested transforms both yourself and the trajectory of your career. For example, if your team has been discussing an idea, spend an hour or two on your own researching the idea, and then share your findings with them. Or if you’re working with a new client or customer, take 30 minutes to read old marketing materials or chat with them. Small intentional choices go a long way toward growing your expertise and solidifying your influence at work.
2. Quiet yourself at your job.
Refuse to be mastered by distraction—both at work and home. There are a number of ways to get the most out of your work, including the Pomodoro technique. However, focus mostly boils down to working on one task at a time. In other words, turn off your computer notifications. Stop checking your email repeatedly. And since the mere presence of your smartphone can reduce your cognitive capacity, keep it on silent and far away from you. If you practice working in focused intervals at home and at work, you’ll notice stunning changes in your ability to finish tasks faster, focus better and get more things done. Our social media manager Bethany Georgia makes it a point to focus on one task for at least 30 minutes at a time, only checking email and social media after the interval is up. When she does that all day, she notices a marked change in productivity and focus.
3. Become a sponge.
Like muscles, your brain needs exercise and training to stay healthy, so soak up every opportunity to learn. Peruse continuing education options. Subscribe to relevant newsletters. Seek out free webinars and online lectures regularly. Allocating even 10 minutes a day to study a skill or learn about a recent development will increase your value in the workplace and keep new ideas flowing. Our SEO Manager Aaron Schimpf recently completed an SEO MasterMind class that led to some changes in our processes, as well as a number of educational talks for the rest of our team.
4. Set specific goals for for your job this year.
Create measurables on your own and with your team to move out of stagnation. Your personal job goals could be as simple as reading three career-related books or as involved as signing up three new clients. Setting goals with your team is important as well, since it allows coworkers and leadership to reveal areas of growth you may have missed. Don’t let another year slip by where you want to “do better at work.” Instead, define where you want to go and how you’ll get there. One of our team’s goals this year is to meet every week to review our current jobs and talk about any developments in our industry. It keeps us connected and growing together.
Your work can be fulfilling. But only intentional engagement helps you move in the right direction. Stop going to work in a fog and make this the year you get the most you can out of your job. Want to learn more about how to change your work environment for the better? Read this.