According to Forbes, the first key to success in the workplace is to get organized. With numerous types of communications bombarding you at the office all day—texts, emails, Tweets, Facebook alerts, and so on—it can be difficult to stay on top of it all. Learn how to organize your email inbox: for example, prioritize urgent items, deal with short requests as quickly as possible, delete junk, and throw other emails on a to-do list. You can also only check your email every thirty or sixty minutes so that you are not breaking your concentration by reading your email every time an alert goes off.
Chill out on the multitasking. Studies have shown that those who bounce from one email to another and try to study multiple websites at once do not pay attention as well as those who keep their work more streamlined.
Think like a boss—your boss. Study your boss’s style so that you can figure out what he or she wants in an employee, and then make it happen. Think about your boss’s previous positions, and learn to treat a difficult boss like a difficult client. By changing your way of thinking, you can stay a step ahead in the workplace. If your boss is exceptionally difficult, the American Psychological Association recommends trying to manage your own negative emotions so that you do not behave in a self-defeating manner, e.g., attacking your boss. Focus on discussing your concerns with your boss instead of confronting him or her, and try to see if your boss’s criticism has any value to it.
Next, facilitate strong relationships with colleagues outside of your department. Form relationships with those who can help you, such as employees who have been with the company for a long time. Be friendly with employees in human resources, the IT department, and the security guards and cleaning staff. Build your own support system in the workplace.
Focus on listening—not only to your boss, but to your coworkers and subordinates. Many of us feel like we have to speak to get ahead at work, but often, active listening can provide valuable information and appreciation from fellow employees.
Get to work early when you can, even if it’s only ten or fifteen minutes. This will provide you with a boost on the day’s work, and maybe you can reward yourself by taking a little longer at lunch or heading home early.
Remember that work/life balance is important. You have to give yourself a true vacation once in a while. When you’re out of the office on your vacation, do not check email and don’t think about the next big assignment. You need time to refuel, which will provide significant benefits to you and your employer when you return to work.
After you have reset your brain on vacation, try to be clear and precise in your work tasks. For example, if an email won’t properly convey your perception in a certain work situation, schedule a meeting or pick up the phone instead.
Research and prepare before all tasks. Don’t waste your boss’ time before you have done lots of prep work, and rehearse your strategies and goals before a meeting.
Finally, stay humble. Although it is important to emphasize your accomplishments, try to do so simply, without major embellishments.
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