What can an employee do to be more successful at work?


5 min read

How To Be Successful at Work

Table of Contents

What is one thing you personally do to be more successful at work?

To help you achieve success at work, we asked CEOs and business leaders this question for their best ideas. From practicing the zero inbox approach to working from home, there are several things you may put into practice daily to help improve your productivity and make you successful at work. Here are 11 things to do daily to be successful at work:

  • Practice The Zero Inbox Approach
  • Turn off All Notifications To Help Focus
  • Make a Daily To-Do List
  • Anticipate Needs
  • Set Clear Goals
  • Adhere To Schedules To Complete Tasks
  • Embody Empathy as You Discharge Your Duties
  • Ask for Feedback
  • Take a Walk in The Morning Before Work
  • Train and Keep Current
  • Work from Home

Practice The Zero Inbox  Approach

I am a firm believer in the Inbox Zero approach. It may sound like a gimmick, but for me it correlates directly with increased productivity and attention to detail. If I have a cluster of unread emails clogging up my inbox, chances are there is something I am missing, or some piece of business on which I’m falling behind. Staying as close to zero unread emails at all times means that I will not be hit by any surprises, and I can react to any snags or delays as quickly as possible. There is no perfect system, but Inbox Zero helps keep me pretty close to staying on top of everything.

Marcus Hutsen, Patriot Coolers

Turn off All Notifications To Help Focus

As a marketing agency owner, I’ve found it quite productive to do bouts of intensive work where I turn off all notifications (email, social media, etc.). The idea is to take at least an hour to fully immerse myself into the task I’m tackling. It might be counterintuitive when it comes to managing a digital marketing business, but effectively managing social media and email inboxes instead of letting them manage my day has really made a difference in reaching the agency’s goals and keeping our clients happy and satisfied with our services.

Maryolin Restaino, Twibi

Make a Daily To-Do List

Creating a simple to-do task list each day helps me to be more successful at work. I’m able to visualize my responsibilities, focusing on the highest-priority items first. I take a few minutes to review the list again mid-day and late afternoon, checking off completed items and making notes to stay on track. I prefer making old school hand-written lists. However, there are tons of tools available if you prefer a digital list, including Notes (Apple products) and Google Sheets for those times when a simple to-do item turns into a bigger project. I’ll also block out time on my calendar for tasks that require more focus.

Natalie Figueroa, Peerlogic

Anticipate Needs

It doesn’t matter your position at a company, there are always things you can help improve. Take a step ahead and think out of the box to find solutions that will help your team in the future. Think of tasks you can get a jump start on and, that way, when it’s time to do them, you will have already started or even finished. This will show you have initiative, can take command, and help you manage your time.

John Cheng, Baotris

Set Clear Goals

One of the best ways to be successful at work is to set goals. By having specific goals in mind, you can stay focused and motivated. When setting goals, it’s important to make sure they are SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Additionally, it’s helpful to break down your goals into smaller, more manageable steps. This will make them seem less daunting and increase the likelihood of you achieving them. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help in achieving your goals. If there’s someone at work who you admire or who has achieved success in a similar role, reach out to them for advice and guidance.

Todd Saunders, BIG Safety

Adhere To Schedules To Complete Tasks

I try to keep a times table for tasks I need to complete and do my best to adhere to it. This helps me to organize my work effectively throughout my work day. Usually I leave the larger tasks for my best hours, when I’m at my peak performance. Managing my time this way also helps me get a handle on what tasks are harder on me and where I can improve. If I end up being very inconsistent on the amount of time a task takes me to finish, then it’s something I can learn to be more efficient at in order to even out my completion time. I’d suggest any working professional consider using time management tools and strategies to get a handle on how they perform during the work day. It’s a surefire method to improve your success at work.

Caleb Ulffers, Haven Athletic

Embody Empathy as You Discharge Your Duties

Throughout my whole career I have found one approach to work that has helped me be more successful is to have empathy. This not only applies within the workplace, to my colleagues, suppliers and senior management but to customers too. Putting myself in their shoes can help in a number of ways but the biggest advantage is that I can see things from their point of view – this may be that they are struggling with a deadline, need support to get the task completed, could benefit from from flexibility or from a content point of view it helps me to get the right tone of voice and provide answers to help our customer get the answers they need. Being empathetic means I am more approachable at work and this has helped grow respect and trust leading directly to my career successes.

Wendy Makinson, Joloda Hydraroll

Ask for Feedback

You can only improve if you challenge your way of thinking and look at things from different perspectives. This is possible when you ask others for feedback and are open to changes in how you do things. The most successful people ask others what they think about their work and are not afraid of criticism. My advice is to reach out to people outside your work. For example, if you are a marketing professional, you should also ask your running partner or a friend who is a photographer for their opinions. That way, you will be able to look at your project from a different angle and be more creative when handling your tasks. You will be surprised at how many out-of-the-box ideas you can get by simply talking to people that do something other than you.

Dorota Lysienia, MyPerfectResume

Take a Walk in The Morning Before Work

Taking a walk and getting the blood flowing before work sets my mind right before tackling the day. I was feeling sluggish between 9 and 11am, and felt that my morning hours could be more efficient if I could somehow shake my “mud mind” feeling. Through a bit of experimentation, I found that taking a walk in the morning allowed my body the time to wake up and calmly reflect on my goals for the day before jumping in. Every hour spent in a work day matters, so it benefits you to figure out what works for you to not spend those hours feeling tired and slow.

Monte Deere, Kizik

Train and Keep Current

The landscape of SEO is constantly evolving, with Google updates, changes to best practices, and new solutions. As an SEO Consultant, it’s crucial to my success that I stay at the top of my game. Of course hands-on experience is invaluable but it’s not enough to achieve the results myself and my clients aim for. I invest a lot of time, effort, and money into training. By updating my skills and knowledge with leaders in the SEO industry I can always stay at the cutting edge of SEO.

Matt Jackson, Matt Jackson

Work From Home

When you work from home, you are never late because you don’t commute. And you’re always in a better mood because you’re not surrounded by stressed-out people. Plus, when you work from home, you get more done because there are no distractions. Just make sure to set some ground rules (like working certain hours each day). You can also take breaks whenever you want, which helps you stay fresh and focused throughout the day. Plus, working from home usually means less distractions from things like colleagues or office politics.

Lukasz Zelezny, SEO.London

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