15 Tips To Improve Job Performance (Whilst Avoiding Burnout)

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Nobody ever wants to hear that they are lacking on the job; especially when you know that you have the skill set to meet your employers’ expectations – meaning, you know what it takes to get the job done! But when your boss has just hit you with a sledgehammer at your performance review, it can really dent your confidence. So it’s now time to find out what can be done to improve your overall job performance?

Our top tips to improve your job performance includes but are not limited too; staying focused, creating milestones, eliminate task switching, continuing education, a positive mindset, planning ahead, surrounding yourself with productive people and knowing when to say no.

Women smiling whilst working

Before we start, it should be noted that acquiring a skill set and performing your job at peak performance are not the same things. We are all human and there is no way that we can be at peak performance all day, every day. There are always other factors that have an influence on our day. But what can we do to minimize those distractions all around us to consciously improve our job performance on a daily basis? 

Follow this list below and you’ll be right on track to upping your game on the job!

1. Ask Yourself, “Am I Prostatinating?

Long hours at work can often seem to drag by. It is on these days that most people find it difficult to remain focused on the task at hand. So, we find other things that we enjoy doing to make the time go by faster. Procrastination is never a good thing on the job; people may overly converse with our co-workers, or find something on our phone to keep us occupied. 

The problem with participating in things outside of your job duties winds up decreasing your ability to be at peak performance. 

This is why it is important to remain focused throughout the day. The best way to ensure you are remaining focused is to eliminate any distractions. Talk to your coworkers less, place your phone on do not disturb and whenever you find your mind wavering, set yourself a new milestone or goal on the current task. Continue pushing it forward!

2. Eliminate Task Switching 

When you start your day, you know there are a number of jobs that have to be completed before the shifts out. You’ve got this task, that task, and the next task – so where do you start? 

For us, the answer is putting some order to that list. You start with task one and complete that. Then work your way to the next task. Don’t veer away from the list you set out until the current task at hand has been completed.

Your job performance begins slipping when you try swapping between multiple tasks at once before fully completing the one you started with. 

Focus on one task at a time, which will allow you to produce more quality work, in a more timely fashion, excelling past what you would do if you were to work on multiple tasks at one time. 

At The Other Shift, we’re big fans of Jim Kwik, one of the best memories on the planet. He absolutely hates task switching or multitasking and suggests that every time you switch tasks, you need to regain focus and flow (which takes from 5 to 20 minutes) and it also lowers your IQ up to 15 points – the same as if you’d stayed up all night (source).

I bought Jim’s book via Amazon for a reasonable price, here is the link if you’d like to check it out.

3. Don’t Mumble

Work goes by so much easier when effective communication is in play. Not only does it put a shift to ease, but it increases your job performance too. Poor communication leads to tasks being completed incorrectly or people being unsure about what’s required – putting a real strain on productivity. 

Proper communication means that there are clear expectations that are set out for everyone – putting accountability at the forefront of success. We’ve never heard a scenario where over-communicating lead to an outcome not being achieved, so keep this in the forefront of your mind when on the job.

This is very true to 911 operators. Read all about that job here and see if maybe it’s for you?

4. Create Achievable Milestones 

Milestones are a great way of holding yourself accountable, which in turn increases your productivity output. In order for this to work, make sure that you are creating milestones that are very specific. You also want to make sure that your milestone is something that you can get done that day; try not to overdo it. 

By creating milestones for you to hit throughout the day, you are giving yourself a basis to meet your goals. This allows you to start your day with an end goal in mind, allowing you to celebrate each little success as it comes. These milestones keep you productive because you know your endgame and what it takes to get there. 

Related post: Work from Home Night Shift Jobs: A Must Read Before Applying

5. Get Up 10 Minutes Earlier  

Are you known as the person who is always late?

It is pretty simple – you can’t be fully productive if you are constantly arriving to work late. Arriving late to work means that you are already getting a late jump on all of the things that have to be done for the day. It is an impossible task to complete everything in a timely manner and have your work be top-notch if you come to work agitated or rushed from not being timely. 

Being late creates unnecessary stress.

Not just on yourself, but on everyone else around you too. Think about it, are you fully productive on days in which you are running late? Chances are your mind is going in one-hundred different directions making it impossible to concentrate and present your best work. It also creates tension between you and your coworkers as they are having to potentially pick up your slack. 

Related post: Navigating Job Loss: What To Do After Leaving The Workforce

6. Remain Up With It

It is true what they say, one can never stop learning – you can never know too much. People think that once you get a job and go through initial training, that there is no cause to learn anything further. This is one of the biggest downfalls of some individuals. 

Continued education is essential to keeping and increasing productivity. With the world we live in, technology is ever-changing – ever-growing. That is why it is important to keep up your studies in your field – even touch on fields surrounding yours. You never know what type of situation you are going to run into; therefore, knowing more is always better than knowing less. 

Don’t hesitate to ask your boss what continued learning opportunities are available within the workplace (potentially at the employer’s expense). If nothing comes to light, then outlaying a small upfront cost now, could lead to a much larger earning potential in the future. Play the end game people!

7. Create a Slick Ranking System 

One thing that most of us find difficult to do is to prioritize our tasks based on what is important. Most find it hard to prioritize due to there being an overwhelming number of tasks that we are expected to complete. However, there are ways that you can determine which task to put ahead of the others. 

Start off simple – what is due that day? Anything that you have which requires submission today should probably take rank over something that is highly important but has a separate due date. 

When you prioritize, you are giving yourself time to complete each task. You are giving yourself a framework to work off of. As we said earlier, complete one task and only once it’s done, move on to the next.

If you find yourself a little overwhelmed, then speak to your boss and ask them to help you order the jobs at hand, That way, you also have buy-in from them should timeframes go over or need to be adjusted in the future.

For the employer – this one is for you! 15 Employee Engagement Activities to Skyrocket Staff Morale

8. Be Aware of Negative Thoughts (And Block Them out)

A positive attitude goes a long way, especially in regards to seeing an increase in productivity. Remaining positive, even in the depths of the hardest times – produces a positive increase in productivity. 

Generally, most people who remain positive seem to have more energy. When you have more energy, it means you have a “secret sauce” to draw from when completing work. You won’t feel as drained from completing the tasks, because it is not taking as much out of you as it would if you were in a negative headspace. 

Related: Shift Work Has Me Tired All the Time: How to Boost Your Energy!

So, we all experience negative thoughts and self-doubt at times – we aren’t going to sugarcoat it here. But blocking them out and diverting that headspace into a more positive light will impact your workday greatly.

It’s totally normal to find this difficult at the start too, having to consciously do it all the time until it becomes natural, but speaking from experience, you’ll see your headspace shift very quickly and your productivity boost because of it. 

9. Request Specific Feedback 

Asking those around you about your job performance is a great way to get feedback. Take on board what those who work with you day in and day out say, and apply adjustments to better yourself. If someone tells you that they enjoy working with you, but you are slow with completing assignments – don’t take it as a hit to your ego, put a plan in place to figure out how you can increase your timeframes.

Feedback is meant to be constructive, and if you are going out seeking it, it’s on the receiver to embrace it and action what’s being suggested with the right mindset. This is a much better way to continuously improve and iterate, rather than waiting for a performance review and then being surprised with hard conversation that might have been avoidable.

One hint here is to ask about a specific part of the day. “How did I go with X?” rather than simply saying, “how did I go today?” You will likely receive significantly more constructive feedback.

10. Delegate When Applicable 

Sometimes our workload gets to be unbearable; that is why when you have the opportunity to delegate tasks – you should take advantage of it. 

Nobody expects you to carry the entire company on the weight of your shoulders, at least they shouldn’t expect that out of you. If you have the chance to get someone to do a minute task for you, don’t hesitate to take it. Your coworkers are there to help you, it should be a group effort. 

Delegating will increase your productivity output because you have more than just your hands on it. Now, do not go and get everyone in the office to complete each task for you – leaving yourself to do none. I am just saying, when applicable – it doesn’t hurt to ask for a little help every now and then. 

11. Create a Starting Point

Planning ahead is a great way to increase your productivity. A lot of the time – we get flustered when we first come into work because we do not have a starting point. There is so much to do, with so little time. This is why at some point, typically at the beginning of your workweek, it is important to spend some time loosely planning your days for the week. 

On top of this, we always spend 10 minutes at the end of the current workday planning for the following day. This allows you to make some minor amendments to the plan (if required) when you first get into the office, however, it doesn’t mean you to start from scratch – you’ll be able to hit the ground running!

Does your workweek also stretch to the weekends? This post will help give you some perspective: Benefits Of Working Weekends: Why Your Mindset Needs To Shift

12. Take Breaks 

Taking a break is not taboo – burnout is a real thing. We understand that it is very important that you are actually putting in the work while working. However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t take necessary breaks. 

Related: Shift Work Burnout: Causes, Red Flags and How to Beat It​

Taking a moment to recharge the batteries and focus will increase your productivity. Taking breaks gives your brain time to recoup – even if it is just for a few minutes. When you work non-stop, your brain doesn’t get time to “breathe.” This could lead to missing things, a reduced speed at completing task or severely messing things up – which no boss is ever happy with.

Take a few minutes to step away and regather your thoughts each day – you’re allocated breaks for a reason. 

If you’re wondering what to eat whilst on shift, this post will give you some deliciously effective energy-boosting snacks!

[VIDEO] – If you’re after a quick and easy snack to eat on nights, this video of Em shows you how to make a batch of tasty protein balls.

13. Surround Yourself With Productive People

“You are only as good as those you surround yourself with.” This quote is typically meant for your personal life, however, it works in your professional life as well. 

You cannot work with people who goof around the entire shift and expect to get things done. It is important to surround yourself with people who have the same goal in mind – being productive. Sometimes we have to separate ourselves from our coworkers or tone them out in a sense if what they are doing is not contributing to getting the work done. 

It is important to differentiate when there is time to play and chit-chat with your co-workers, and when it’s go time!

14. Know When To Say “NO” 

Oftentimes we find ourselves getting off track because we end up helping those around us. A lot of us find it hard to tell someone no. However, accepting little jobs from others – helping others constantly could be why you are struggling in the productivity department. 

For example, someone asks you to send a fax for them – you do it, but then someone else asks you to do the same for them since you are already over there. This is taking away from time that you should be doing your own work. 

So, determine how to say “no” and who you can say it to. Are people taking advantage of your kindness? Do they also help you out in times of need too? No is not a bad word and can be used when having a clear judgement on the potential outcomes from doing so. 

15. Stay Organized 

One of the biggest issues facing productivity in employees is organization. Being unorganized takes a major hit to your productivity. This is mainly because you don’t know where anything is located. If your workspace is cluttered to the high heavens – there is no way you can work efficiently.

Staying organized takes a huge toll on you mentally as well. It allows you to compartmentalize everything down neatly. Create a calendar, clear off your desk, declutter your residence – whatever it takes to get you organized. We promise you will see an increase in your productivity as a result.

Here are some posts to help you stay organised;

All these distractions wouldn’t work for me.

In summary, as you can see, there are many challenges that face us when it comes to productivity. There is always something that wants to get in the way; coworkers, a messy desk, social media – something always seems to want our attention (and we typically want to oblige). 

However, we hope our list provides you with a way out for silencing those distractions and allows you to increase your overall job performance on the job.

If there’s something that’s really assisted you in the workplace and you’ve seen positive feedback as a result, please share it with our readers in the comments below.

Next up, Wanting to Quit Shift Work? 13 Signs Change is Required.



Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, meaning we receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through our links, but this is at no additional cost to you. Please read our disclosure and privacy statement for more info.

Daniel Smith

Managing a global sales team I've experienced the challenges of working at all hours of the day and night. Being a shift worker I know how tough it can be balancing everyday life when you feel like you haven't slept in weeks! Providing advice and tips on how to manage your schedule, whilst still staying healthy is where I can help.

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