Wednesday, September 19 , 2018, 8:55 am | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 

Business

Christy De Los Rios: 5 Ways You Could Be Making Your Job Harder

We may be slowly emerging from the recession, but workers are still stretched thin at the office. Many have taken on more responsibility, struggle to secure the resources and support they need, and continue to work long hours. If you are among this group, your job is already difficult enough. The worst thing you can do is make it even harder on yourself. But did you know you may be doing just that?

Here are five ways you could be making your job harder and suggestions for avoiding these mistakes:

» 1. Confusing urgent with important.

If you find yourself with a lot on your plate, shifting some assignments to the back burner can help you better manage the workload. But be strategic about what gets pushed. A common mistake is to prioritize projects based solely on their urgency — the tasks with the most pressing deadlines are tackled first, while those with due dates further off get set aside.

But urgency doesn’t always accurately indicate a project’s importance. You could be rushing to prepare for a meeting later in the afternoon, for instance. But if it’s a routine gathering in which little is accomplished or few decisions are made, you could be wasting your time.

Before deciding which projects to focus on or skip, put together a list of your assignments and determine the priority of each. Consult the list on a daily basis so you remain on top of your most important tasks and can adjust the rankings as projects are added, deadlines shift and deliverables change.

» 2. Keeping to yourself.

In today’s environment, it’s easy — and seemingly beneficial — to simply put your head down and get your work done. After all, you’re too busy to do much else, like interact with other employees. But keeping to yourself can prove harmful in the long run.

For one, you miss out on the chance to make friends with co-workers. These relationships can make the time you spend at work more enjoyable. Plus, you never know when you might need to turn to an internal contact for assistance with an assignment, news about an organizational change or details about a vacancy in another department that caught your interest. So stop to chat in the hallway on occasion, join a co-worker for lunch, and participate in off-site events and celebrations to get to know those you work with.

» 3. Not wanting to bother your manager.

You know how busy you are, and you can only imagine how much your boss has on his or her plate. The best thing to do is to leave supervisor alone so he or she can focus on work, right? Not necessarily.

Remaining in close contact with your manager is essential to ensuring you focus on the highest-priority projects and meet performance expectations. It also ensures you have the information and resources you need to complete your work. Not asking your boss for clarification about the scope of a new project because you don’t want to be a pest, for instance, may cause you to spin your wheels if it turns out you guessed wrong about the scale.

Try to schedule regular meetings with your supervisor so you can keep him or her apprised of your current workload, request resources when needed and discuss strategies for overcoming potential roadblocks.

» 4. Being satisfied with the status quo.

When workloads and stress levels are high, workers often move career development down the list of priorities. But ignoring your professional education could put you at a disadvantage.

One reason is that many positions are evolving as firms combine roles and ask workers to assume duties that were previously handled by others. At the same time, changes in technology and new developments in your field mean that you could quickly fall behind if you don’t continually add to your repertoire of skills.

No one other than yourself will ensure you receive the training you need, so be proactive. Come to your manager with a list of training opportunities you are interested in and explain how pursuing them would benefit you and the company. Your supervisor may be able to support your efforts by subsidizing the cost, providing you with the necessary time off or recommending other avenues for development.

» 5. Leaving a mess.

Having a clean desk and an uncluttered email inbox may seem like the last things you need to worry about, but these seemingly small details could be slowing you down. Think about it: Is it really in your best interest to spend a half-hour looking for a message you sent sometime in the last three months?

Taking the time to straighten up your desk, organize emails and delete unnecessary files can help you find things more quickly and easily, thereby increasing your efficiency and productivity at work.

— Christy De Los Rios is the Santa Barbara branch manager for Robert Half International. She can be contacted at 805.568.0838 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are her own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of John Sener
John Sener
"I am known for tenacity, diligence, honesty, and sound decision making with the ultimate goal of closing every transaction to the satisfaction of all involved parties."

Full Profile >