Last week we addressed the first three of our six time wasters in the workplace. Those three directly affect performance and touched on how as an employee or entrepreneur, you must not waste time waiting for something to be perfect, but to just go for it and perfect it afterwards. We also mentioned the importance of NOT sleeping on unfinished tasks until they overwhelm you and certainly not waiting for inspiration to strike before any actual action is taken. This week, we talk about the time wasters that directly affect the most important component in the workplace: you.
Comparing yourself to others is the biggest time waster there is because you will never be someone else and your calling is different. The workplace is a dynamic environment and everyone who is employed is there to serve a purpose in the company. Don’t get worked up when your co-workers are promoted over you or are sent on overseas trips while you never go anywhere except across the road to get coffee. Your co-workers worked hard to get to that point and you can too. If you feel like you’re being out-performed, pull up your socks and deliver. The workplace is like school for adults. You don’t stop learning and if you’re outshining others, you will be rewarded.
You will never be Lebo the office administrator and you’ll probably be stuck behind the desk adding numbers that don’t add up while she has a lot of time out of the office. That’s okay. That time is for you to devote to what you are employed to do. If you hate your job or are not having as much fun as you’d like at work, then it’s up to you to spice it up. Introduce new things into your routine, establish friendships in the office and change your attitude. The little trip down the corridor to check on Ntombi during tea break can change your mood completely if you allow it. Comparing yourself to others is unproductive and will leave you feeling bitter, jealous and insecure.
Your main focus when you’re starting out at your job or angling for that promotion that just won’t come your way, is to be seen. The wrong way to go about this is to try and do everything by yourself when you don’t have to. It’s a called a team for a reason. Instead of doing everything alone to the point of fatigue, constantly rushing and never producing any tangible results as well as nearly going crazy trying to make things work, try delegating tasks that can be delegated and accepting help when it is offered. It is natural to feel threatened when someone else moves in on your turf at work (and this is okay because ideas and credit get stolen all the time so be careful) but a little helping hand never hurt anyone.
The point here is to make sure that you don’t waste time doing work alone when you can easily collaborate with your co-workers. This has been said to death but “two heads are better than one” “if you want to fast go alone, if you want to go far go together” and “alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
It doesn’t matter what kind of fear you have, but when this four-letter emotion gets hold of you in the workplace, a lot can go wrong. As humans, we are wired with only two fears: fear of loud noises and fear of falling and these fears are mainly to keep us safe. In other words, fear is learned (Lea McLeod- The Muse) and life experiences will trigger all the other fears you will eventually have. Some suffer from fear of failure as a result of crippling past failures and in turn, are afraid to try; whilst others fear winning because of self-doubt and their convictions that they don’t deserve to win and so, they never try. They ask themselves, who am I to be brilliant? Well, we ask you, who are you not be? (original quote by M. Williamson).
Don’t fear, fear. It has no place in your life, especially in the workplace because all that it does is to take away focus from being productive. Just do it. Forget fear and keep this in mind: no one ever remembers the person who didn’t try because there are no records to show.
These six time wasters: striving for perfection, leaving unfinished tasks, well, unfinished, waiting for inspiration to strike, comparing yourself to your co-workers, riding solo and fear have got to go. Time is money in the workplace. Let’s start saving.
image by bn business solutions