Tips from my experiments at work

Over the last decade or so I have been experimenting various tactics and approaches at work. Almost all of these experiments were designed & diligently followed by me.

Among the few that I have tried & tested over a considerable length of time, two stand out. They both proved to be quite effective. The first one which is also one of my earliest experiments could be quite helpful in staying motivated day to day at work, particularly so in the current, uncertain business environment. The second one can be a great tool to manage seemingly unmanageable workloads while creating a positive impact.

Daily recollection of 3 things to stay motivated at work

Back in '06 just before I started my current job, I had a few weeks time to reflect on and strategize as to how I was going to approach my next gig, what should I really get out of it & how I could effectively derive satisfaction regardless of the actual nature of the job or the dynamics of the industry. This thought process led me to a little experiment that I started back then & diligently continued for years. Based on my own personal experience, I can attest that it works. The daily recollection that I am going to elaborate on has helped me stay motivated and focused at work.

Every day at the end of the day I would take a couple of minutes & jot down the following 3 things:
1. What did I learn?
2. Who did I meet?
3. What did I accomplish?
The first two questions were quite important to me as at the end of the day it is what you know & who you know that helps you find your next opportunity, your next challenge either within your current firm or outside.
The third question was however for my own personal satisfaction. Interestingly in my personal experience actual accomplishments mattered less. The actual outcome of a project or initiative typically depended on many other factors & were constrained by things beyond any one person's control. This could also very well be due to my own unique circumstances. For instance in my career spanning roughly 12 years, I have had 19 managers. Naturally I didn't have any of them closely witnessing my accomplishments for one complete year at a stretch. [as a matter of fact, I do have a few interesting anecdotes & valuable lessons just by virtue of having so many line managers during the last few years. I am going to save that for a separate post.] In any case, I needed that accomplishment question in there for my self satisfaction. The other two certainly had a more lasting effect.

If you find yourself losing focus at work, questioning the value of your job or simply complaining a lot about your workday, I would encourage you to try this simple recollection every day for a few days. Just take a few minutes to jot down:
1. What you learnt?
2. Who you met?
3. What you accomplished?

If you happen to give it a try, do let me know if & how it worked out for you.

In my next post, I will write about my other favourite experiment in prioritization that could help bring your workload under control while managing to create a positive impact.

1 comment:

  1. Well written ! Seetha I m going to give this a shot the W- Learn/Met/accomplish.