Finding roles that contributes value to our organisation and society, and then matching passion to a sense of purpose, lifts our performance. Passion alone cannot guarantee best results. It is the matching of passion and purpose that makes the difference. Top performers discipline their collaboration. They focus on few chosen tasks and projects, to excel. The knack to be selective, to choose priorities, tasks, collaborations, team meetings, committees, analyses, customers, new ideas, steps in the process, and interactions to undertake, and which to reject, hallmarks them. In line with, how to improve work performance centers on redesigning our work, to create the most value. A major aspect of this redesigning involves the application of intense targeted efforts in our selected work activities.
In agreement with, to work smart means to maximise the value of our work by selecting a few activities and applying intense targeted effort.1 As a result, we experience better work-life balance, higher job satisfaction and less burnout.2 To be great at work accommodates performing in your job, infusing your work with passion and a strong sense of purpose, and living well too.
Here Unfolds How To Improve Work Performance Backed By Science
1. Promise Your Time Away To Few Items At Work And Obsess Over Them
To excel, we need to pick few priorities, areas of focus, and obsess over them, to gain a measure of mastery. Illustrating with, in the race to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen and his Norwegian team members reached there thirty-four days earlier than the British team led by Robert Falcon Scott. Amundsen and his team achieved this feat despite the fact that Captain Scott commanded three times the men and twice the budget. Amundsen’s success revolved around his fixating on a single transportation mode, obsessing over it, and mastering it. Contrary to, Scott arranged for five separate transportation methods in a way that left him unable to focus on any of them.
Related to, researchers discovered that employees who chose a few key priorities and directed tremendous effort to do exceptional work in those areas greatly outperformed those pursuing a wide range of priorities.3
Dangers Of Multitasking
To continue with, doing more, scattering our efforts, prevents us from devoting enough time and effort to mastering even one of the tasks. According to economics Nobel laureate Herbert Simon, “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”4 Again, attending to more items creates another problem, the problem of managing their interrelationships. Rapidly toggling between two items, multitasking, renders us less effective at both. Reading emails and listening to a colleagues presentation feature as an example. Switching between tasks can reduce our productivity by as much as 40 percent.5
Obsess Over Quality
Conversely, obsessing over quality and paying extraordinary attention to detail leads to greatness in work, art, and science. From creating 5,000 prototypes, James Dyson eventually created his famous vacuum cleaner. It took him fifteen years.6 Commenting upon, excellence at work means choosing a few priorities and channeling obsession-like efforts to those areas. In plain, prioritising steers us towards ideas behind how to improve work performance.
An exception to note with, at the start of a new task, when we need to generate many new new ideas, research suggests it’s best to generate and many new ideas since we often don’t know what the best option will be. In support of, Professor Adam Grant declares, “many people fail to develop originality because they generate few ideas.”7 At another time, we must gather our ideas and focus on the one that works best. Most innovative companies first generated lots of ideas, and then kept down the bad ones, and obsessed over only a few good ideas.8
2. Pinch Off Distractions
Temptations and distractions often feature as impediments to focusing. As a writer trying to improve focus and beat procrastination, you may decide to strip your laptop of the Internet browser, email, and the instant messaging app; everything but the Microsoft word. Effective steps to beat temptation must be devised ahead of time.
3. Win Over Your Boss By Managing Her Expectations Around Your Scope Of Work
If you work for a do-more boss, a boss who sets many vague goals, you can constructively manage up and tactically say no to another load of task. You do this by making clear to your boss that you are not trying to slack off, that you are prioritising to dedicate all your efforts to excelling in a few key areas. For good with, to ask if your boss would like you to reprioritise puts the decision back on your boss’s shoulders. She would probably appreciate your leaning and let you be. From managing upwards, we contract the notions of how to improve work performance.
4. Hack Down Convention And Try New Ways Of Working
Working longer hours boosts performance to a point. The benefits of adding additional hours drops off when you are already working between 50 and 65 hours per week. Also, to work 65 hours or more brings about a decline in performance.9 So, if you are already working 50 hours per week, look for ways of working smarter, not more. At this point, the initiative to resist investing more hours at work is good to cultivate.
Redesigning To Create More Value
Lending support to, redesign is not about working long hours, but about changing how we work. A good redesign delivers one basic advantage: more value for the same amount of work done. The value of our work is measured by how much others benefit from it. In this, it is productive to start with value, and then proceed to goals. A value-focused goal delivers benefits to others. Of the same train, ensuring 70 percent of managers receive helpful feedback for how to improve, not just completing annual performance reviews for 70 percent of managers, spotlights as such a goal.
Buttressing further, top performance comes from adding value, not simply fulfilling a job specification. Producing great value at work means efficiently creating high quality output that benefits others tremendously. Along with, it pays to redesign work in a way that focuses on activities that maximise value, that creates the greatest benefit. How to improve work performance savours of creating value for yourself and others.
How To Create Value
To restrengthen this, here headlines how to create value. Do away with existing activities of little value. Focus more on existing activities of high value. Press forward with new activities of high value. Figure out new ways of improving the quality of your chosen activities, and doing them more efficiently.
Associated to, successful redesigning delivers a high magnitude of value. For instance, creating better agendas and encouraging others not to ramble on, facilitates shorter and more effective meetings. Another idea to note with, stand-up meetings in a venue devoid of chairs are 34 percent shorter than sit-down meetings and produce equally effective decisions.10 You can foster more productive relationships among your employees by having them take coffee breaks together.11 To get the most out of redesigning, we need to stick with it and refine it little by little over time.
5. Throw In Remarkable Performance By Working On a Key Skill
To progress the most, we need to meticulously assess outcomes, solicit feedback based on known standards, and strive to correct tiny flaws uncovered by the feedback.12 This purposeful and informed way of practising helps us to learn faster. Possessing a clear performance metric, knowing the skill required to perform well, and breaking them down into discrete steps promotes deliberate learning.
Stick To Deliberate Practice
Shedding more light upon, a key skill worth improving can spotlight as mastering the art of soliciting ideas and ensuring a commitment from staff to follow through. On this wise, here are the components of deliberate practice. Break down the abstract skill sought after into a specific behaviour; asking a good question. Measure behaviour by zooming in on one or two metrics; number of ideas proposed and implemented. Take in feedback from coach, superior or team members. Modify behaviour.
To continue with, you can start off by changing your mode of asking questions, to invite others to suggest ideas. “What ideas do you have to improve customer service, not do you have any ideas? Follow up by asking a good second question to get others involved. “Great idea, let’s form a smaller group and get together tomorrow to work on that, okay?” In practising deliberate learning, we often don’t get it right at the first try. Acting on purposeful feedback to modify our behaviour, and make it more effective, remains essential.
6. Pitch Into Facts To Succeed In A Changing Work Environment
Successful adopters embrace redesign or change because they see it for what it is; a radical departure from the old. This attitude helped a few surgery teams to adapt to a new technology that disrupted their profession. They shifted from open-heart surgery to a new method, minimally invasive cardiac surgery, while others who saw the new technology as an extension of the old struggled.13 Not ignoring reality or writing off new technology or emerging trend, and not seeing them as minor fads, stimulates us to keep making ourselves better, little by little. So, in facing reality, we get leave to to align with ideas of how to improve work performance.
7. Grow Out Your Passion And Purpose
Passion is what we love to do, while purpose is what we do to contribute. When passion and purpose overlap, we bring a higher level of intensity to our work. Consequently, we charge out of bed each morning eager to get to our workplace. Again, we bring to our work energy born of our sense of passion and purpose. This helps us to excel. Furthermore, studies show that passion and purpose strongly predict effort during working hours, not the number of hours worked per week. Being more passionate about our work helps us to channel more energy to our working hours.14,15 From this, if you love interacting with people, you can match that passion to the purpose of helping and caring for others, in the hospitality industry. A hotel can suffice here. Judging from, to harness our passion and purpose is to hold with how to improve work performance.
Sources Of Passion
Besides, we can still find and grow our passion and purpose while staying in our current jobs. Here features other sources of passion, aside from the specific tasks we do. Relish the experience of achieving results and success. Be energised around the creative aspects of your work. Adore working and socialising with your colleagues. Learn and grow professionally and personally. Do what you do best everyday.
Moreover, finding personal meaning in what we do helps us to strengthen the union between passion and purpose. To this end, create value in your job by using it to make contributions to others. For a zoo keeper, a personal meaning can be a moral duty to protect and provide proper care for the animals. Likewise, as we seek new roles within our existing organisation, that better Taps our passions and gives us a stronger sense of purpose, we continue to strengthen that bond between passion and purpose.
Matching passion to purpose in the workplace energises us forward to sterling performance. Again, to work smarter means focusing on a few items at work, and obsessing over them, to gain some measure of mastery. Working on a key skill and keeping off distractions also feature here. How to improve work performance accommodates all these.
1. Morten T. Hanson, “Great At Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, And Achieve More,” (New York: Simon & Schuste, 2018) 11.
2. Ibid., 16.
3. Ibid., 21
4. Herbert A. Simon, “Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World,” in Computers, Communication, and the Public Interest, ed. Martin Greenberger (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1971), 40–41
5. Joshua S. Rubinstein, David E. Meyer, and Jeffrey E. Evans, “Executive Control of Cognitive Processes in Task Switching,” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 27, no. 4 (2001): 763–797. They found that it took students far longer to solve complicated mathematics problems when they had to switch to other tasks. According to Meyer multitasking could reduce speed by 40 percent. See “Multitasking: Switching Costs,” American Psychological Association, March 20, 2006, accessed February 20, 2017, https://www.apa.org/research/action/multitask.aspx/.
6. Fred Whelan and Gladys Stone, “James Dyson: How Persistence Leads to Success,” Hufington Post, December 15, 2009.
7. Adam Grant, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World (New York: Viking, 2016).
8. Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen, Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All (New York: HarperBusiness, 2011).
9. Morten T. Hanson, “Great At Work: How Top Performers Do Less, Work Better, And Achieve More,” (New York: Simon & Schuste, 2018) 46.
10. Allen C. Bluedorn, Daniel B. Turban, and Mary Sue Love, “The Effects of Stand-Up and Sit-Down Meeting Formats on Meeting Outcomes,” Journal of Applied Psychology 84, no. 2 (1999): 277-285. In a different study published in 2014 in Social Psychological and Personality Science, researchers at Washington University in St. Louis report that groups working together on a project while standing are measurably more engaged and less territorial than while seated. Andrew P. Knight and Markus Baer, “Get Up, Stand Up: The Effects of a NonSedentary Workspace on Information Elaboration and Group Performance,” Social Psychological and Personality Science 5, no. 8 (2014): 910–917.
11. Alex “Sandy” Pentland, “The New Science of Building Great Teams,” Harvard Business Review 90, no. 4 (2012): 60–70.
12. K. Anders Ericsson and Jim Pool define deliberate practice more precisely in Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), 98–99.
13. Amy C. Edmondson, Richard M. Bohmer, and Gary P. Pisano, “Disrupted Routines: Team Learning and New Technology Implementation in Hospitals,” Administrative Science Quarterly 46 (2001): 685–716.
14. Violet Ho, Sze-Sze Wong, and Chay Hoon Lee have linked harmonious passion to higher performance mediated by intensity of focus and immersion. See “A Tale of Passion: Linking Job Passion and Cognitive Engagement to Employee Work Performance,” Journal of Management Studies 48, no. 1 (2011): 26–47.
15. Being absorbed, as in “I am completely engrossed in my work,” is similar to the idea of “flow,” as proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper & Row, 1990).