This year the theme at Bender Consulting Services is energy. Each month I send out a quote and short lesson to my employees and ambassadors about the theme. Over the last several months, we have talked about the importance of energy in achieving success; but how do you harness that energy toward taking strategic action to advance your career?
Start with making a list.
Write down all of the projects and responsibilities you have at work. Under each one, include the steps or tasks you need to do in order to complete your assignments.
Create a prioritization system.
For each project and responsibility list the deadline and frequency in which it needs to be performed. Complete the same process for each step or task involved. When done, add additional notes for each item related to priority (critical, important, medium, low). Using the added information, reorder the list based on what will have the biggest impact for your organization.
Focus on impact items.
By focusing on the impact items, you are focusing your energy on those tasks which are the most critical to your employer. Ensuring these items are done first, let’s your employer know you are investing your energy in their success.
Maximize your productivity by minimizing static.
Stay out of the watercooler club and avoid spending your energy on gossiping about work politics, coworkers, or other non-productive negative conversations. You don’t want to be associated with those who spread negativity and vitriol.
Additionally, minimize interruptions which can prevent you from being able to focus on completing your assignments. This is especially important when working remotely, where home life can be difficult to balance with work responsibilities.
Negativity is an energy blaster – it will take all of the energy you need to do a good job, move up, and become a leader, use it up and throw it away. Don’t let negativity become the thing standing between you and your future. I know so many people who are leaders in the business world and the most successful of them all have one thing in common, they don’t let others’ negativity prevent them from seeing positivity and opportunity. They stay focused on their goals and focus their energy in a positive direction instead of whining and complaining.
Clearly communicate status.
Don’t keep your team or manager in the dark about where a project stands. It is critical that the people who need to know what is happening are adequately informed. Your communications should be both transparent and given at appropriate intervals. If you are unsure how often to provide an update on projects, ask your manager what their expectations are for status reporting. When there is an issue, you should not keep it to yourself. Instead, be informative and outline what the issue is and what steps you are taking to resolve it.
Revisit your list and adjust as needed.
Action lists and priorities are meant to be constantly changing – if they are static, then you are not growing and adding new responsibilities. To be viewed as a leader, you must be able to handle the constantly changing priorities of the business world. No matter where you work, or what your position is, some change is a natural part of working. It is important to be able to navigate these waters and maintain your energy.
I know my employees are the best in the world. We know the importance of having energy, because we have had to fight against stigma and ableism. Studies being done about people with disabilities in the workplace show that companies who hire members of the disability community tend to be more productive and more profitable. This is because we bring energy. The more we continue to share our energy in the workplace, the more we can impact the bottom line and the more we can show employers that we are difference makers.