Be deliberate | Start to take control of your working day

Unlocking the secret to workplace productivity

Ever feel like you are merely sleepwalking through your working day?

You do the same commute, sit at the same desk and get on with the same work, day in day out! Sometimes progression and purpose, both personally and professionally, can seem like a far-off goal. However simple changes to your everyday life and your business mindset can help you become the person you aspire to be in ten years’ time today and allow you to show up as the best version of yourself.

But how? Well, the answer is to be deliberate. But this is easier said than done. So how do we implement this new mindset at work?

Make the most of meetings

Every company loves a good meeting, and let’s face it, sometimes it can feel like you’re having a meeting for the sake of it. But meetings don’t need to be the bane of your day. Whatever the reason for the meeting, you can deliberately utilise this time for you. Remember you are working with a group of people for a reason. Keep that reason in mind. Before the meeting begins make a mental or physical note of what you want to achieve and keep that in the forefront of your mind throughout. This will counteract “tune-out”, letting the buzzwords and jargon wash over you and ultimately keep your mind goal-focused. Whilst it can often seem like you are ‘back to back’, meetings can actually act as excellent punctuation to your day. Plan ahead of time to give yourself small work-orientated goals to achieve before you go into the meeting. Then allocate specific tasks to work on afterwards. This helps to keep the momentum of your day on track and ensure you get the most from the time spent in that group situation.

Allocate yourself time

We need energy to get things done and your psychological energy comes from your motivation. When you feed you motivators, you fill up your energy tank and so you can keep going in a sustainable way. Look at a week in your diary and carve out time to do the things you love. First look at what you love doing at work. Then, think about what you love to do outside of work which re-energises you. Successful people feel aligned both at work and at home. They get their motivators met in both places. In the past we have thought of this as ‘work-life balance’ but this feels like you are trading one off against the other. Try thinking of it as work-life harmony instead.

Find out what drives you

This word ‘alignment’ is important. So often organisations talk about aligning their people to their vision and smart objectives get set to make sure people know what they need to do to deliver the strategy. But is that what drives you? How does work enable you to deliver on your purpose? That’s a very different type of alignment – one which is about aligning your motivators and drivers to the organisation’s vision. So, ask yourself what drives you to be a successful leader at work? Maybe, you want to climb the ladder to support your family, maybe you want to make a difference ethically, travel overseas or perhaps you want to reduce your hours and spend more time on your hobbies. Whatever your motivators are, identify them and remind yourself of them. They are your purpose. And by meeting them, you will be more energised at work.

Change is good

Change is almost always necessary for improvement. We get into routines and habits that are often easy and comfortable but are not pushing us or working to our strengths. Our routines feel hard to break, and familiarity and muscle memory means we go into old (unthinking) versions of ourselves. When you’re shifting your mindset, you need to shift your environment around you too. This can be small or large scale. Even just a clear out of your desk or changing your workspace can help you be more deliberate. Change can be hard and becoming the leader you aspire to be will not simply happen overnight. As such, you may wish to take on the persona and act like the person you admire or aspire to be. You don’t have to go over the top and become a charade; small changes to your tone of voice, a change to your body language can have a real impact. So, too, can reminding yourself about why you are portraying this change “I am saying/ doing this to feel more empowered.”

To summarise, here are four simple ways to get you on your way to being more deliberate and to enable you to show up as the best version of yourself:

  • Don’t expect to magically feel like a new and improved you over night. Act like the person you aspire to be and start becoming them right now.
  • Set your stall out at work and tell people what you are doing. Explain to them why you are making these changes and ask them to call you out on it when you do it well. You can do the same for them and celebrate their success too.
  • Get organised both in and out of work. Make sure you are utilising your time effectively by batching together similar tasks, so you don’t waste energy adjusting between more ‘head’ type activities and more ‘heart’ type ones. And remember, to priortise me-time too.
  • To change your mindset, try changing your surroundings. Keep your environment fresh so your mind can be too.

Kate Turner, Motivational LeadershipAbout the author

Kate Turner is the founder and director of Motivational Leadership. She is an experienced leadership development coach and trainer who has designed and delivered programmes to senior executives across a range of sectors.

Kate has a natural, results-focused approach. Her command of a range of management and leadership tools enables her to offer her clients helpful frameworks which act as a back-drop to development discussions.

Kate works alongside leaders who are passionate about creating sustainable change in their organisations. She helps shape and strengthen organisational culture and aligning key behaviours to core values. To achieve this, her emphasis is on building employee engagement and generating commitment across everyone in the organisation. In her work with clients, Kate demonstrates and delivers culture change to drive the business forward, fostering employee engagement and inciting passion across all levels, so that everyone feels committed to the same outcomes.

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