While being happy with your career is a big part of things, so is being successful. Because let’s face it – happiness doesn’t always pay the bills but promotions, raises, and being good at your job does. Whether you’re working on improving your skills in a role you love or you’re working to be better at a career while working on a side hustle, these 7 habits can make you better at whatever you choose to do.
Sleep on it
I can’t count how many times I’ve gone to turn in a writing assignment after waiting a day to realize how many mistakes I made (or how I could make the article better). Same goes for responding to an email that kinda pissed me off or sending in ideas to a client.
If you’re working on a project or are writing up an important email, give yourself some leeway in terms of finalizing it. Give your mind and body a break with a good night’s sleep and come back to it with fresh eyes the next day. Not only will this save you from typos and the like, but you’ll have time to think on it and make any changes that came to you overnight.
Speaking of typos, download Grammarly right this second. It literally catches errors that you didn’t even know were there – including punctuation mistakes. It’ll make you sound smarter in all communciation efforts and it might even teach you a thing or two. Thank me later!
Does anyone else wish they could go back to high school and college to actually pay attention? Cuz I do! Now that I’m older, I actually like to learn and improve myself. And while I totally missed out on learning American History in high school, I’ve made up for it by continuing my education post-school.
From online classes to community college to conferences to podcasts to TED Talks, there’s no shortage of the ability to learn – so try it! Learn something that can better your specific career 1x a month and try something outside of your career entirely a few times a year, too.
I once read that before Oprah goes into any meeting, she either provides or requests the intention of the meeting. I had a boss that similarily always sent a meeting agenda beforehand and asked joining meeting members to do the same. Both of these ideas are awesome because they save everyone time and put intention behind meetings – something you can do in different areas of your job.
Think about every task you’re doing and whether it’s actually getting you towards your job’s goals or if it can be elimiated or cut down. Are the weekly meetings with your team necessary? Or is there a more productive way to spend that time? If you’re a manager, are you giving your team busy work that could be eliminated? If you’re doing busy work for your boss, could you find a more intentional way to get that task done and propose it to your manager?
Find a mentor
While talking to your friends about career advice or how to deal with a crisis at work is helpful, it’s even more helpful to have a mentor in the industry – someone who you respect and who doesn’t have such a close personal relationship with you. They can give you unbiased advice when you need it most and no doubt you’ll be able to learn from their own career trajectory.
If you can’t come into contact with someone personally, study someone you admire online. For me, that’s Jenna Kutcher. Maybe I won’t ever have a cup of coffee with her, but I can listen to her podcast, read her blog and Instagram posts and take her courses to get her advice (even if it’s not catered directly to me). Bottom line – even if you don’t know someone, you can still consider them a mentor.
Batch your time
This tip is somewhat similar to being intentional because it’s all about saving time. And the more free time you have in your job, the more time you have to learn/improve/get ahead or have breaks (which is proven to make you a better worker as well!).
Only look at and respond to emails a couple times a day instead of having the tab open all day and breaking focus to respond to each one individually. Save tasks that need your most focused self for the blocks of day when you perform at your highest. Try to block conference calls to one afternoon a week when you can be in a collaborative mode, and so on.
By doing this, you’re allowing your brain to work smarter and on one thing at once – all while being more productive. P.S. More tips on productivity right here!
Do weekly self check-in’s
Don’t wait until your quarterly check-in before assessing yourself within your career. As you shut down on Fridays, ask yourself a few questions instead of going week to week without much thought. This practice allows you to learn from your mistakes, assess what you’ve done well, see what projects you need to focus on next week, etc. Here are some questions I suggest starting with:
-Did I rush through any tasks this week? If so, how could I have eliminated that?
-What was one thing I felt really confident about this week?
-Where could I have improved?
-What did I learn this week?
-What are my main focuses for next week?
-Can I eliminate anything from my schedule next week?
Any other habits that you’ve found to improve your career?