Improving Your Performance

Not everyone who reads this blog is a business owner or company manager, many are employees who simply want to improve their on the job performance.  In my last post, I talked about how a business can dissect a problem to identify and resolve obstacles.  Individuals can do this too!

What challenges do YOU have relating to your job?  When I was a secretary years ago, I had a terrible time getting to work on time.  Part of the problem was that I have always been a very sound sleeper and getting my brain trained to listen for an alarm clock was no easy task.  Think very loud alarms going off within minutes of each other all over the room and you will get the idea!

Once I got accustomed to getting up, I found I still was chronically late.  Not a lot late, just 5-10 minutes.   Chronic tardiness does not reflect well on an employee and can affect your career so if this is a problem for you, here are some steps to try to resolve the underlying issues.

I only lived a few blocks from work so traffic was not my issue but perhaps it’s part of yours.  Typically there is a “sweet spot” – a time when you can leave your house in order to hit a lull in the traffic.  Try leaving in 5 minute increments both earlier and even later to look for your optimal time to be on the road.

If that doesn’t work, you might look into public transportation or post a notice to see if anyone working in your building would like to carpool.  Using the HOV lanes can often cut commute times and share the costs.

Keep a log of how much time you spend doing each task in the morning.  For me, I discovered that I’m incapable of making a decision about what to wear in the morning.  I would stand in front of my closet and see absolutely nothing even though there have never been a shortage of clothes there.

My solution:  Each night before I go to bed I spend a few minutes thinking about what I’ll be doing the next day along with the weather forecast and I select my outfit.  I have a hook in my closet where I hang the clothes.  The shoes are set on the floor right below.  Accessories are on the counter right down to earrings, watch and handbag.

I found I saved 15 minutes in the morning by doing this 5 minute task at night.  I also found those loose buttons or wrinkles that needed a touch up when I had time to deal with it or time to make an alternate selection.

Just for the record, I still do this each and every day!

What about breakfast?  Making your lunch?  Taking care of the pets or other family members?  Is there any of that you can do in the evening before you camp on the couch to watch television?

You may think, “I’m too tired, I’ll do it in the morning” but that just puts unnecessary stress on us as we are getting ready for work and even that can affect job performance.

If time isn’t your issue, what is?  By doing the same sort of analysis, you should be able to clearly identify the “bottlenecks” in your career and devise a plan to clear your path to a more enjoyable – and more successful day at work.


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One Response to “Improving Your Performance”

  1. Eric Says:

    Just started a new job after going about a year w/o a regular 9-5 gig. Just settling in to all these suggestions after struggling the first week. You hit the nail on the head!


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