Climbing up the job ladder
Archie Modequillo (The Freeman) - October 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Many young people are finishing college around this time of the year. These October graduates are soon to make their way into the job market. Finding a job is just the beginning – the next, even bigger challenge is going up the job ladder.

It is quite a test to a worker’s enthusiasm to be doing the same tasks day after day after day. There are times when one finishes a workday feeling like he’d accomplished nothing or at least many items on his workday list remain undone. Starting out with a plan, a list or a goal is no guarantee that by the end of the day his to-do list will be much shorter.

Personal productivity is important for one’s progress in the workplace. But it can be difficult. The worker needs to manage his time very well… and himself, too.

Yet while good time management is key for attaining high productivity, there are other factors that play towards a worker’s advancement on the job. For example, it is important that a worker is able to work effectively with his co-workers; nowadays there is hardly a job that can be done in total isolation. Visibility is important as well; the boss shall know how seriously one is contributing to the whole business setup.

Career coach Ashley Stahl, in an article at www.forbes.com, shares tips for increasing a worker’s productive flow and for working smarter:

1. Focusing on one task at a time. It can be tempting to want to take care of a few tasks at once, especially if they seem small or easy. But according to neuroscience professor Earl K. Miller, “multitasking is not humanly possible.” It doesn’t work to juggle phone calls, presentations, and eating lunch. Focusing on one task at a time is the way to finish it faster.

2. Taking breaks. The common notion is that working longer hours means getting more done. But one’s quality of work suffers when he’s burned out. Studies show taking regular breaks helps concentration and boosts one’s mood. A five-minute walk around the office, or a 15- minute mid-afternoon coffee break refreshes one’s senses to go on with the task at hand.

3. Setting small goals. Sometimes, goals can be overwhelming. Poring over the big projects on one’s calendar can be stressful. Breaking it up into smaller tasks can make one feel more in control and he’s more likely to keep going at it. If a deadline for a project’s completion has been set on a certain date, particular tasks can be scheduled on each of the days that lead to it. The day-to-day schedule can make a big project seem less daunting.

4. Scheduling tasks properly. The bigger, more crucial tasks shall be done when one is most alert. The common tendency is to push aside big tasks for later. But most of the time, one never gets around to doing it or by the time he gets to it he’s already too burned out from his day to give it the attention it needs. That’s how projects end up bleeding into additional days, and making productivity slump.

Understanding one’s high moments in his day cycle is key for getting important projects done on time. For example, a morning person shall tackle the big tasks first thing in his day.

5. Implementing the “two-minute rule.” One can make the most of your time at work by filling those tiny windows with actual tasks. According to a successful entrepreneur, one can actually saves time by finding and immediately completing tasks that take two minutes or less. So, if it takes less than two minutes, do it now.

The other aspect of the two-minute rule is that any goal or habit can be started in under two minutes. This doesn’t mean one will be able to complete every task in 120 seconds, but starting new goals is the first step to accomplishing them!

Not all workers are created equal; not every day will be perfectly productive. It takes good planning and good study of oneself to be able to do the most on the job. But there’s no need to stress oneself – climbing up the job ladder is better done a step at a time.

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