As a business professional, you’re constantly pulled in a million different directions. As soon as one task is crossed off the list, another action item rises up to replace it. And if it’s not something work-related, there’s always something personal that’s in need of attention, as well. Let’s not forget how our professional world is now colliding with our personal as we have meshed both worlds in our recent work-from-home / covid pandemic.
Because of this constant struggle, it’s important to adopt a solid set of daily habits that keep you focused on completing the bigger picture. These habits lift you up out of the daily grind and allow you to shift your attention and to redirect, reposition, and reassess all those to-dos bogging you down.
Schedule some alone time.
It’s hard to really assess anything if someone is always interrupting you. If you have no time for yourself to focus on what you need to do, you won’t have the opportunity to prioritize things and to balance your workload. You’ll find yourself working on things that could have waited and forgetting to finish projects that should have been completed earlier. To avoid this, you need to schedule yourself some “me time” or just a 15-minute time period where no one bothers you. Take this time to create a list, prioritize that list, and then plan your day around those priorities.
Collaborate with your coworkers.
It’s not uncommon for business professionals to take on more than they can handle or even be given tasks that aren’t necessarily theirs to be given. This is when you should make it a daily habit to collaborate with your coworkers. Work with people to complete tasks quicker, reassign items that can be completed better or more efficiently by someone else, and communicate with your coworkers to see if they have ideas or input on projects you’re currently working on. In most cases, you’ll find that your coworkers are more than happy to give you the help you need or to pick up extra projects that they really should have been working on to begin with. Just be careful not to lean on your coworkers too much and also be prepared to face some resistance in the beginning.
Say ‘NO’ when it’s needed.
Many business professionals struggle with the word ‘no’. Because of this, they say yes to everything, and as a result, they never have time to do anything they actually need to do. It really, truly is okay to say no to requests, to events, to projects, to ideas, to anything—as long as you have a good reason to do so. While it may make you cringe to say it, the aftermath isn’t all that bad. People will respect your decision to not pick up an extra assignment or to not move forward with a concept if you give them a valid ‘why’. If it’s okay for people to say no to you, then why is it not okay for you to say no to others? Learn to embrace the strategic use of the word ‘no’ and see things change for the better.