Improving Effectiveness

How effective are you while you’re at work? With so many working remotely, while we deal with the pandemic, effectiveness can seem elusive. More meetings, via multiple video conference formats, endless emails, and the “normal” litany of phone calls can all get in the way. And if we are parents, doing double-duty as teachers and employees, well, effectiveness can slip out the window. Today, let’s look at some ways to increase our on-the-job effectiveness.

If you don’t feel very effective or productive while you’re at work, and the stress of it all is getting to you, it can lead to a downward spiral. When you don’t feel effective, it can lower your feelings of self-worth. This, in turn, leads to even less effective performance, and down and down you go. These days, a downward spiral is the last thing any of us needs.

Chances are you can work far more effectively than you are now and move yourself into an upward trend, instead. How? Well, start by getting control of your time and managing it as well as possible. Keep a log for a week or two and track every minute of your day at work, then analyze it. Are you doing things that move you toward your goals (personal or professional)? Are you developing strategies for eliminating time traps and time wasters that are pulling you away from achieving your goals? Would scheduling a specific time to respond to emails help you keep your focus on the project at hand?

It’s also important that you stay up to date with the technical innovations in your business or industry by reading and taking classes, if necessary. What classes are available in an online format that you can work on during the evenings and weekends? Are you willing to put in the extra time and effort to get a certificate that proves your commitment to an even better job? If you feel out of date and out of touch, your self-image and performance will suffer. More and more employers are realizing that assisting the workforce to get additional skills and education only benefits the organization. Would your employer allow you time during your workday to take online courses? Are funds available to help you pay for it? (Ask! If you don’t ask, the answer will always be “no.”)

Finally, if you don’t have a network of people who stimulate and support you, it’s not too late to start one. Make a point of developing cordial relationships with people who can serve as mentors or who are working on challenging, leading-edge projects. You’ll be inspired and surprised by how quickly you’ll be energized by just being around them.