I wrote How to Be a Better Person for people with big hearts who are tired of climbing in to bed each night and feeling like they didn’t get anything important done, despite how many things they checked off their to-do list. I wanted to help you see how many small ways there are to up your impact and your happiness simply by leaning more strongly into what you already are—an intrinsically good and powerful human being.
One of the parts of life where so many people want to have more of an impact is in their work. But there’s usually a hesitation that keeps us from going for it—If I up my game, how will I keep up with the increased demands on my time and attention? I’m barely holding it together now.
While I understand the realities of a 24-hour day—trust me, I do!—I also know that doubts are the result of fear, and fear—particularly when it comes to your capabilities and your power to make a difference—is a lie. When you start trusting yourself and learn a few strategies to make sure you’re not scattering your energy, you have the ability to move mountains.
Here are five of the tips from the “Work Well” chapter of How to Be a Better Person that relate the most to upping your game, and doing it from the heart.
We spend a lot of time waiting to be picked–for the job, the promotion, the cool project. Wanting to be recognized by the powers that be is such a normal part of life that you’ve likely lost touch with how often you do it and how disempowering it is. If there’s a project you want to work on, tell your boss you want in (and explain why you’re a good fit and how you’ll balance it with your other responsibilities). If there’s a different job you’d like to transfer into, take a class to build the skills you’d need in that role. Whatever you do, don’t just wait for it to happen. When you start to create your own opportunities instead of waiting for them to come along, you empower yourself. And that’s when things start changing for the better.
Get better at prioritizing
Here are some guidelines for setting priorities in a way that helps you focus on the important instead of merely the urgent: Think about the things on your list that make the biggest impact and that mean the most to you–those are your highest priorities. Next come the things that have a big impact, even though you may not love them. For things that don’t move the needle and that you don’t enjoy, either delegate them or bang them out in one concentrated burst.
Focus on delivering value
Wanting to do a good job is honorable, but it can also be paralyzing, in part because the definition of “good” is subjective and your inner critic may equate it with “perfect.” To get you moving on daunting tasks, think about the value you’ll be delivering. How do your end clients stand to benefit from your efforts? Will they get more profits, more support, more peace of mind? Knowing the final result you’re trying to create will help motivate you to get going, and keep going.
Remember the mission
When work gets hard, go back and reread the mission statement of the company. (If you work for yourself and you don’t have a mission statement, write one.) Remembering the goals that the company is aiming to achieve can re-inspire you and help you take a bigger-picture perspective to whatever obstacle may be in your path.
Make time for your soul work
Every job comes with a long list of responsibilities, but you have an obligation to do the work that speaks to your soul too, even if it doesn’t show up anywhere on that list. When you plan your week, make sure to block out a chunk or two of time that you can devote to the work that’s speculative–the proposal for the new project, or even the art you create on the side that keeps you a passionate and engaged person–because that energy will spill over into the narrower confines of your “job” too. It will also help you think more creatively and bring more of yourself to the work you’re currently getting paid to do—and that will help you grow to the next level organically.
If you’d like to read all 52 of the work tips, they are featured in this Inc.com article:
And here are some more resources from my blog:
Here’s to being the change!!