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January 11, 2013

How to Improve your Performance

All of us work in a competitive atmosphere in the corporate world. However healthy the competition may be, one has to seek to excel in his job to get noticed among his peers. Who knows, that little edge may make a difference in an individual’s career graph – a promotion or an increment? In the mythological epic Mahabharat, Lord Krishna preached that one should do his duty without worrying about the fruits of his labour, but should do his job properly. Taking the cue, even if a promotion or increase in salary is not in your mind, you should aim to increase your efficiency to utilize the resources and your own energy optimally. Here are some tips:

i.     Choose your job carefully: A popular saying says that “If you do what you love, you will never have to work again”. This is so very true. Try to take up a job that matches your areas of interest as well as qualifications as far as possible so that you enjoy doing what you have to do. All of us may not be lucky enough to get the best suited job, but one can always find out the aspects that he likes about his present employment. When one feels positive about his job, his dedication goes up, and performance improves.

ii.   Do not look for job changes too frequently: You may be tempted to take up an alternative job opportunity just because the salary is higher, especially at the start of your career. Do not fall in this trap easily. Move to another position only if it adds to your professional growth.

iii. Reach office punctually: Try to reach office in time, even if there is a grace period defined. This silently inspires others around you to be punctual too and contributes in maintaining the discipline of an organization. For those who get picked up by an office vehicle, always be at your pick up point on time. If you are late on a particular day for some reason, inform those concerned.

In fact, if possible, come in a bit early. Use this time to get settled, check your personal e-mails, etc and chalk out the day ahead.

iv.  Learn to prioritize: One is often required to do more than one task at a time. You must learn to prioritize your assignments, and execute each properly. Preferably, it is better not to multi task at one time, because you may not be able to do justice to any. In fact studies have established that serial workers are better performers than multi taskers.

v.    Have realistic goals: Time crunches are common phenomena in the corporate work culture, but if one manages his time properly, he can handle these situations better. Assess how much work you have at hand and estimate the time that would be required to finish them. Set realistic goals – do not slog unnecessarily to meet deadlines, because it hampers your health. Instead, if there is a deadline round the corner, and you have a lot to do, seek help from a colleague, or your immediate manager. With the combined efforts of more than one person, target dates can be met.

vi.  Think ahead: When a task is assigned to you, try to conceptualize its importance in the context of the entire project. Think how your output would fit in, and what the next step could be.

vii.   Be interactive, but do not encourage gossip: Talk to your colleagues from your own team as well as other departments in a friendly manner. Try to remember names of people – this creates a positive impact on the person in front of you. Respect everyone. Speak to seniors, contemporaries and juniors cordially. But restrict what you talk about – you may discuss projects with relevant team members, but always bring up general topics like weather, sports, traditions, festivals, books, movies, etc when you are interacting with others informally. Never participate or encourage office gossip – refrain from discussing your relation with your immediate manager or boss, or some colleague with anyone.

viii. Bring your concerns up: If you have problems with anyone, try sorting it out at personal level first. Both of you may have to accommodate the other slightly in order to work together. But if nothing works, bring your problems to the notice of the Human Resource (HR) team of your company. The HR may be able to sort out the differences.

Also, if something is bothering you, take the initiative and discuss it with your immediate manager, and HR team if required. There is no shame in seeking help in times of need. Rather, the quicker your issues are resolved, the better your performance would be.

ix.  Avoid personal use of office resources:  Have you seen people taking printouts of school assignments of their children? Or doing their personal work during office hours, using resources of the company? You should avoid doing such things as far as possible. Unknown to you, someone may be monitoring your activities, and this conveys a wrong impression to the senior management of your company. A little bit of personal stuff is acceptable: check your mails, bank accounts, etc but limit the time you invest on them each day.

x.    Read a lot: There is no replacement of lots and lots of research. Whenever you are assigned a task, read journals on the subject and gain knowledge about the best practices worldwide. This will equip you to execute your task better, and have a better understanding as well.

xi.  Network with relevant professionals: In today’s world of social networking, being in touch with the professionals in the industry is very useful. You may discuss latest developments in the industry, seek advice on a particular problem and even get informed about a suitable job opportunity! Interacting with experienced people helps you to increase knowledge of your subject, and makes you a better and more knowledgeable performer.

xii.   Never boast: You may have achieved something commendable, but that does not mean that you go around boasting about it. Let your work do the talking. Seniors and colleagues shall endorse your performance!

Tags : Improve performance, efficiency, interaction, professional growth, promotion, increment

About Anupama

A Transport Planner and Architect, Anupama has been blogging for about six years now. She has taken up professional content writing for the last two years, and can always be contacted for any assignments or queries. Her strength is original presentation of any topic.