You can have a better job right now, this instant. How? By making your current job easier. You don’t have to hire a new worker, kill your boss, or requisition a new computer. You don’t even have to read a 500-page management book. Just this very simple article, with such easy tips that you’ll wonder, ‘Why didn’t I do this before?’
Life tip # 1: Do the ‘Rule of 2.’
The rule of 2 is to take a 20 minute break every 2 hours. It’s that simple. You’ll actually accomplish more, since you’re more rested and alert and less prone to making mistkes. Plus, knowing you have a break ahead will help you focus on your current task in the allotted time. (If people keep derailing your schedule, read our article on managing office interruptions.)
Life tip # 2: Check email twice a day
Set one time in the morning and in the early afternoon, never more. Nothing is so urgent that it needs to be read and replied to this instant. If it were, the person wouldn’t write you—he’d call. (Read more tips on managing email more efficiently.)
Life tip # 3: Drop out of the office politics
Just duck your head and stay out of the crossfire. Don’t take sides, don’t join the gossip at the watercooler, don’t get sucked into the personalities. Think in terms of goals and results, problems and solutions, and forget about whether or not so-and-so deserved a promotion.
Life tip # 4: Stop taking things too seriously
Think of all the times last year you freaked out over a deadline, obsessed over a client, or brooded over a hitch in a project. In hindsight, where any of those crises really worth the emotional drama? You missed a deadline—you survived, made up for it, learned from it. You lost a client—you found another one. You hit a problem—it wasn’t the end of the world, and things sorted out eventually.
Now, remember that next time you’re tempted to panic or stress out. This is just a job, this is just work. You’re not saving the world. Whatever problem you’re facing, you will find a way; and if you don’t, well that’s just the way things are sometimes. Learn, laugh, move on.
Life tip # 5: Train for the job you want
If you really, really hate your job, then use the job you have to train for the job you want. Volunteer for a project that will expand your network. Observe the work habits of the successful people in the organization. See every challenge as on the job training—and actively try to improve your performance. For example, if you constantly deal with irritable customers, then read a book on people skills and then use the next angry customer as a ‘lab rat’ for whatever you’ve read. Take note of what works and doesn’t work.
Photo from guardian.co.uk
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