By Tom Linley, Florida Association For Volunteer Resource Management
Thomas Edison said, “The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.” Let’s explore more about achieving success.
While there is no substitute for hard work, there are some things you can do to make your work more efficient. Start with getting organized. Find or create an organization system that works for you. Dry-erase boards, sticky notes and files are great tools to get organized. Online technology like OneNote, Office 365, or Google Docs/Drive can be invaluable to keep files and notes organized in one place and accessible from any computer or smartphone.
Create a comfortable workspace so what you need is at your fingertips. To get a fresh workspace start perhaps block out an hour a day to reorganize and rearrange your workspace. This small investment of time will be well worth it. Your workspace reflects you; perhaps take a picture of your workspace and ask yourself is this an accurate picture of me? Reduce distractions by closing your door or put up a "Do Not Disturb" sign during times when you need to focus on a project. At the end of your work day take a few moments to review what you accomplished and then refresh your “To Do” list for the next day. Starting fresh each day will improve your work efficiency.
Don’t give up! We all have what seems like a never-ending “To Do” list. By staying organized and focused you can get much accomplished. Your supervisor has his/her own responsibilities to manage so don’t expect him/her to know everything about your workload. If you need help on a project, then ask.
Communicate well; respond to phone messages and emails within the same day if possible or within 1-2 days. Even if you are not able to give a full response, at least let the sender know you received the message and that you're working on it.
Develop a successful reputation by telling people what you're going to do and then do everything you can to meet or exceed their expectations. Make yourself indispensable in your organization. Learn how to fix things, make things happen, do the little things that most people don't want to figure out. Yes, this will take time, but the payoff will be worth it.
Each of us has the opportunity to set a positive and successful tone in the workplace. Dale Carnegie said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.” So, let’s have some fun with our work. Find ways to see value even in tasks you might not like to do. By keeping a positive attitude in our work, we can have a greater impact on the people we serve and then we are all successful.