Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Workday
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We all get stuck at work from time to time, whether it's because we're having difficulty focusing, struggling to maintain work-life boundaries, or trying to communicate with our coworkers (especially in this virtual dominated world).
But there's good news: reviving our days doesn't necessitate a major overhaul. Try the tip that resonates with you — or try them all — and improve your workday in under 10 minutes.
Do you want to concentrate?
Does multitasking improve the quality of your work? When you work on a presentation while talking on the phone, eating lunch, and scrolling through a news site, something is bound to slip through the cracks. Although multitasking may make you feel productive, designer Paolo Cardini questions how efficient it is.
He has a simple solution: monotasking.
Yes, this simply means focusing on one thing at a time, but in a world where there are infinite ways to fill our time, focusing on one thing will feel revolutionary.
Now try this:
Examine your computer and your phone. Count the number of open apps, programs, and browser tabs. To stay focused, close all but the one(s) absolutely necessary to your next task.
Do you want to improve your communication skills?
In a group meeting, whether in person or via Zoom, it's easy to feel like you're the lone voice shouting in the wilderness. However, sound and communication expert Julian Treasure has some pointers to help anyone ensure that their best ideas are heard.
The first step is to examine the pitch of your voice. He shares vocal exercises in one of his talks to help you warm up your vocal cords before saying something important. Next, consider your pace, which influences how your message is received. Slow down to give your ideas the attention they deserve. Prosody, or the rhythm and intonation of your voice, is a final tool. If you've ever tuned out while listening to someone speak in a monotone (and you know you have), you understand the significance of this.
Now try this:
Spend a few minutes practicing speaking while paying attention to your pitch, pace, and prosody. As if you were calling a friend, record yourself talking about something that happened yesterday on your phone. Then play it back — yes, it will make you cringe — and listen to it, evaluating your pace, pitch, and prosody. If you are unable to do so right now, set a reminder for later.
Do you want to be a better colleague?
You can use your privilege to change the power dynamics in your workplace. "There is no magic wand for correcting diversity and inclusion," writes writer and advocate Melinda Epler in her TED Talk. One person at a time, one act at a time, one word at a time."
To help, Epler suggests beginning small — by learning how to pronounce someone's name, respecting their preferred pronouns, or simply paying attention when someone who doesn't normally speak says something.
According to Epler, one major way to support underrepresented people is to intervene if they are interrupted or ignored during meetings. So, if someone has a good idea, you can share it. Alternatively, if you want to share their idea at a meeting, use your voice to bring it up and credit them.
Now try this:
Prepare to be a spokesperson. Make a list of 2-3 things you could say in a meeting if you notice someone being withdrawn, talked over, or not getting proper credit for their work.