One of the questions I get asked by managers, and by employees, is what they can do to improve work performance.
One response I often give is:
“Tired men make mistakes” – a US Navy SEALs saying
And that is true for anyone.
Tiredness can show itself in many ways.
The most obvious is on our face! Even if you don’t have heavy bags under your eyes. Tiredness can still be obvious because our face isn’t as bright. Our eyes don’t shine. Our brows may be more obviously lined.
So that’s the visible evidence of tiredness. But there are other signs that we are tired.
- You may be more grumpy.
- You may be quickly irritated or angered.
- You may be more clumsy; dropping things or walking into tables or desks
- You may forget what you have just been told. Or what you were about to do.
- You may have poor concentration during your daily tasks.
- You find yourself doing other things, rather than what you should be doing.
All forms of tiredness will make it difficult to improve work performance
You may absolutely love, and be passionate about, what you’re doing. However, if you don’t take time to take care of yourself, your performance ultimately suffers. A good example is those last two points.
Losing concentration during the day. Or doing something like surfing the web, when you should be working on completing a project done. Or thinking about what you can organize, or do, for the weekend (my favorite).
If you find yourself mentally drifting, you need to take a break. Because the odds are that you tired.
Come back to the task later in the day. Or tomorrow. And you’ll probably complete it rather quickly.
From my experience, at this point, the more you push the worse it can get.
The worse it gets, the more frustrating it gets.
The more frustrating it gets, the more you become disappointed and frustrated with yourself.
The more disappointed and frustrated you get with yourself …
You see my point?
If you absolutely must get the task completed, you need to improve your performance NOW! So, try this…
Improve Work Performance Action Step:
Notice when you start to drift. Whether you’re drifting by surfing the web. Or you are absorbed with thoughts about the weekend, a night out or a past event. Or when you realize that you are doing anything but the task at hand.
Choose to take a break of 15 minutes or more. Take a walk. Have a cup of coffee. Sit outside or in a quiet space.
Notice the breakthrough you have when you’re away? Maybe you have a brainwave about how to finish the task. Or, what you can do to fix a problem.
Come back to the project.
Notice how you feel?! You should feel a little refreshed. Enough to get that project or task done!
If the action steps helped a little but you need more. Try my Stress Buster Steps as well. They’re sure to help you improve your performance.