Competing with Yourself

ICP

What guidelines can I follow to maintain my work performance?

You can maintain your work performance by following these guidelines:

Concentrate on one task at a time: Concentrating on one task at a time can help you avoid burn out and can help you use your energy more efficiently. Select your most urgent tasks and determine which one you need to complete first. Once you have completed your most urgent tasks, you can move on to the next task and focus your attention on completing it. You will use your energy more efficiently and will accomplish more, since you are most likely to keep your stress under control when you concentrate on one task at a time.

Monitor the quality of your work: Assign appropriate time frames for completing tasks and set standards for your results, so you do not have to sacrifice the quality of your work to meet your deadlines or to stay ahead. Moreover, pay special attention to your work when you feel tired or stressed. If possible, take a small break to help you replenish your energy levels.

Ask when unsure: Asking for advice or training when you are unsure about something, do not know the answer, or do not know whether something is acceptable is better than blindly performing a task or making a decision that does not meet your supervisor’s standards. Take time to find out the right answer; doing so shows your initiative and willingness to do a good job.

What guidelines can I follow to maintain my morale?

You can maintain your morale by following these guidelines:

Avoid people with negative attitudes: Avoiding people with negative attitudes can help you eliminate unnecessary stress at work and reduce your time-wasting activities. People with negative attitudes can hamper your mood and negatively affect how you perceive your job. Instead of joining negative people when they complain, show empathy but refrain from making any type of comments. Sympathizing or disagreeing with negative people only generates more complaints, which wastes your time at work and damages your morale.

Monitor your stress: Monitoring your stress level can help you avoid developing a negative attitude that may create low morale. Usually, you will notice that your stress level is more likely to increase when you experience personal problems, work excessive overtime, or have a conflict with a co-worker. Once you are aware of the source of your stress, you will be more likely to solve the problem and keep your morale high.

Determine the source of low morale: If you are not sure why your morale is low, you need to determine the source of low morale before you can solve the problem. Ask yourself Why do I feel down? What is bothering me at work? and How can I solve this problem? Asking such questions should help you find the reason for your low morale. Once you have determined what is causing your low morale, you will be able to develop a plan to improve it.

How can I take charge of my job?

You need to be able to identify and solve the problems you encounter at work, so you can take charge of your job and feel in control of the results of your work performance. For example, using an inaccurate sales report or continuously running behind schedule on your daily tasks are problems that you may encounter at your job.

The following are some steps you can follow to apply effective solutions to your problems:

Identify problems: First, you need to identify problems. When identifying problems, look at all aspects of your job, from processes to how you organize your desk. You should also include areas that need improvement.

For example, suppose you ask yourself, Does my filing system allow me to find information in a fast and easy fashion? If your answer is no, you should acknowledge that your filing system can use some work to make it more effective. If your answer is yes, you can discard the possibility of having a problem in this area.

State each problem: Next, you should state each problem. Since your problem statement should be a description of the problem, it is important that you include when the problem began, the frequency of its occurrence, and the effects it has on you and on other people in your department.

When stating each problem, you should write a list and sort the problems according to the urgency level of each. If a problem is causing serious consequences that affect you and other people in your department, then you should make it a priority on your list. In addition, you should consider informing people affected by the problem to see if they have any feedback on how to solve it.

Develop a plan: Third, you should develop a plan. When developing your plan to solve each problem, you should first determine whether the problem originated because of your own behavior or because of a process flaw. Knowing the source of your problem can help you decide the best way to solve it, and it ensures the effectiveness of your plan.

You should describe the results you expect from each solution and include a time frame for when the solution should be completed. Doing so will help you determine whether your solution generated the results you expected after its implementation.

Check the plan’s effectiveness for solving the problem: Finally, you should check the plan’s effectiveness for solving the problem. Has your problem been solved? If the answer is no, you should evaluate all aspects of your solution in order to pinpoint why it did not work. Review your plan and make adjustments, and then implement it again. Write down any adjustments that you have made, so you can know whether the adjustments allow the plan to work. If the adjustments do not solve the problem, you need to evaluate the problem again before you continue working on a solution.

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