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Tips on How to Be Effective at Work and at Home

Jun 7, 2016

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By Jim Edmondson

Due to the broad concept of effectiveness, I have decided to split this topic into two-part article. The second part will appear in the June 2016 Communicator.

Do you consider yourself to be effective at work? Although many of us like to think that we’re 100 percent effective, the truth is that most of us have strengths and weaknesses that impact our effectiveness.

All of us could benefit from tweaking at least a few of our skills, in order to become even more effective at work and in our home lives. For instance, perhaps you’ve always excelled at time management in your current role, but how much time do you put into learning new skills, or staying on top of the trends in your functional area? Or, maybe you have always been adept at managing the considerable demands you face daily in your job. But, when things get really hectic, your communication skills start to suffer as stress levels begin to rise.

Being truly effective at work can pay off now and throughout our professional careers. Effective workers get exciting projects, achieve important results for their clients, and are well respected by their colleagues and bosses. But how can you become more effective? What should you focus on? This is what I will provide in this article; by identifying some skills you can develop in order to become more effective at work, and providing some strategies and resources that you can use to increase your effectiveness.

Step 1: Identify Priorities

If someone asked you what your job was truly about, would you have a good answer? One of the most crucial steps in becoming fully effective at your job and in your life is to know your purpose at work. After all, if you don’t know what your job is, how can you set appropriate priorities? If you don’t set priorities, you’ll be forever buried under a mountain of work, unable to tell the difference between what’s important, and what isn’t.

 

To identify your job’s true purpose and define what you need to achieve in your current position, do a quick job analysis. This will help you identify the tasks you perform currently, and enable you to uncover the most important objectives in your particular job, so that you can start prioritizing tasks effectively. It’s crucial to understand that in order to accurately determine what your job consists of, to consult with your immediate supervisor because most misunderstanding about job duties and expectations are a result of miscommunication.

Step 2: Adopt a Good Attitude

Effective workers have a “good attitude.” But what does that really mean? As a rule, people with a good attitude take the initiative whenever they can. They willingly help a colleague in need, they pick up the slack when someone is off sick, and they make sure that their work is done to the highest standards. “Good enough” is never quite good enough for them!

A good attitude at work will do more than just earn you respect. Setting standards for your work and your behavior means that you’re taking responsibility for yourself, being accountable for what you do. This admirable trait is valued in all organizations including GDI. Demonstrating ethical decision-making, professionalism, and integrity could open many doors for you in the future. So, focus on adopting a good attitude at work, and make decisions that intuitively “ring true.” At the very least, you’ll sleep easier at night!

Step 3: Build Essential Skills

Chances are that in your job you have a lot of competing demands on your time. One of the best ways of becoming more effective at work is to learn how to manage your time more efficiently. Time management is a tricky thing to pin down because, first, you have to prioritize properly and that is often difficult because the tasks you are given may have come from vastly different sources. Other key areas include learning how to manage the stress of your position, improving your communication skills, and taking action on career development. All of these can have a major impact on your effectiveness at work.

In the next article in this series I will look more in depth at some of the essential skills mentioned above.

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Gabriel Dumont Institue

GDI is a Saskatchewan-based educational, employment and cultural institute serving Métis across the province

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