Work performance describes how well a person performs at work and it is a key factor for your career. For this reason, it’s very important to understand and learn how you can improve it.
But with all those distractions, interruptions and the continuous need to adapt to new and different work challenges, it becomes increasingly difficult to find work-life balance and to manage and maintain your work performance.
Work performance is a broad term which describes how well a person performs a job, role, task or responsibility. Work performance includes both tangible things such as hitting certain objectives and goals as well as intangible things such as communication and other soft skills.
Considering that we spend most of our waking time at work, work is a big part of our life and thus it is crucial that we spend this time efficiently, feeling fulfilled and happy.
If you do not take the time to assess and improve your work performance, you may find yourself experiencing issues like a decline in your work quality, increased procrastination, decline of work wellness, lack in professional development and ultimately a loss of purpose.
Therefore, it is very important that you learn what affects your work performance and work toward continuously improving it.
Ticking tasks off your todo list isn’t everything. In today’s work environment it’s important that you take care of many aspects of your work day, from how you manage and prioritise your tasks to how well you manage distractions and take care of your wellness at work.
Here are some easy ways to improve work performance:
The environment you’re working in has a big influence on your ability to focus and it should be a space that inspires you and that allows you to do your work undisturbed. Make sure it has the right temperature, that lets you sit in a comfortable position and where you have all the tools you need for the task at hand. Also noise is a problem that needs to be considered and properly addressed. When you find yourself in an environment which is either too loud or too quiet, any sudden noise will distract you and break your focus. You can solve this by listening to background sounds, which create a constant, pleasant and inspiring sound environment while at the same time masking any potential disturbing noises.
You can’t focus if you’re hungry or if you’re dehydrated. Make sure that you eat regularly and that you take the right nutrients so that your mind and body have enough energy and strength to sustain you and help you focus on your tasks.
When it comes down to tools, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the vast amount of choice available. Choosing the wrong tools can quickly backfire and become counterproductive. Keep in mind that a tool should always be helpful and not hinder you in any way. However, if you find the right tool, this can effectively increase your efficiency and make work more enjoyable, so it’s definitely something worth exploring!
Working without a system or a clear structure can result in frequent chaos which can make you feel easily overwhelmed and cause you unnecessary stress. Having a routine and a system in place that allows you to know what you’re going to do next and how your workflow is going to be creates structure and peace of mind. It is not just more efficient but it will also help you to manage your workload better and make you feel more in control. When it comes to productivity there are many productivity methods you can choose from so don’t shy away from trying them all and picking the one that works best for you.
Throughout the day you have finite focus and energies, thus it is very important that you learn how to manage them. And to start on the right foot, the key is to plan your day and organise and prioritise your tasks. You should dedicate your time to the things that are important, delegate the tasks that are urgent but not important, and eliminate the rest. There are many techniques that can help you prioritise your tasks and work better.
Our frustrations arise often from the lack of a clear goal. It’s hard to measure if a day was good or bad if you didn’t have any clear goal in mind. If you start your day knowing what the goal of the day is, it will make it easier to achieve said goal and ultimately make you feel good about your day once you achieve it.
When setting your goals, try to be as realistic as possible and be careful to not set too high expectations. When expectations do not match your skills, everything becomes frustrating, there will be less and less progress, this will in turn become demoralising and cause a loss in motivation and ultimately everything will come to a halt.
The human mind has evolved to single-task as humans can simply not perform two or more tasks simultaneously. Multitasking means rapidly and repeatedly shifting back and forth between tasks, requiring your focus to re-calibrate over and over which is very energy draining. By multitasking, you are basically constantly being distracted by the task you’re not doing at the moment. Opt for single-tasking to safeguard your energy and optimize your focus.
Nobody can concentrate for long stretches of time and our mind naturally seeks a break after around 25 minutes. Continuously working without taking proper breaks is harming not just your productivity but also your mental and physical health and thus your overall wellbeing. Breaks are very important, as they help you to prevent fatigue and reduce stress so that you’re not completely exhausted by the end of your workday. They also help you to keep your mood high and enhance your concentration and learning abilities.
Also, make sure to get a good night’s sleep so you start your day well rested.
Distraction is anything that tries to grab your focus and shift it away from what you are currently doing. And once distracted, it can take you up to 23 minutes to fully focus again! This is hugely disrupting, and in fact, distractions are the biggest issue why you can’t focus and cause a big loss of productivity. This is why it’s important to learn how to limit and minimise distractions.
Not having a healthy work-life balance will disrupt your focus throughout your day. If private life interferes while you should be focusing on work and if work distracts you from enjoying your private time with your loved ones, then you do not have a healthy work-life balance.
Set boundaries and try to keep as much as possible a clean line between work and private life, so that one does not interfere with the other.
Never have people suffered so much from stress as in our current times. Stress causes all sorts of issues, from restlessness, headaches and inability to focus to heart problems, depression and anxiety. There are many ways to manage stress but in the first place, you need to acknowledge that you’re suffering from stress before you can take fruitful action. If the stress becomes unmanageable consider more drastic measures such as a job change.
Creativity is not a skill that is reserved only for artists or designers. It is a skill that is useful to everybody no matter the profession or age. Developing and nurturing creativity is more important than ever and more and more researches show how creativity can positively influence all aspects of your life.
When you work in a team or with other people, communication is key for both productivity and wellbeing. Effective communication leads to great and better teamwork, which in turn will improve everybody’s performance and the final output.
It’s important to improve how you work, but it’s also important to improve yourself. Try to always keep an open mind and learn new skills by taking courses, reading books, watching documentaries or listening to podcasts of various genres. These are all things that help you expand your knowledge and will contribute to your overall skill set. You never know which skill will come in handy next.
Don’t forget to have fun. Fun and motivation are most of the time the fuel and the secret formula of amazing teams and great outcomes.