Everyone makes mistakes at work from time to time, but a really bad moment at work can have lasting impacts on your career. Here are a few things you can do to develop a personal development plan and get back on track.
Get Organized and Get Focused
Lingering on a mistake can seem helpful if you want to learn from that mistake, but really now is the time to get refocused on the work and make sure you are set to succeed and move past it. To-do lists and schedules are obvious tools to help you stay organized. Setting personal deadlines and sticking to them will also help you stay on top of things. Learning to prioritize is key in feeling more productive at the end of the day. The most important tasks each day are also typically the tasks we fear, dread, and avoid most. But those are the ones you should prioritize because it’s likely that they will drive the most impact.
As part of your personal development plan, think about what you need to do to refocus your energy and tackle those daily and long-term goals to move you forward in your career. It’s these goals that are the greatest influence on your performance and therefore your success. Brian Tracy, a best-selling personal development author, calls the most important and most challenging tasks we need to complete daily our “big frog” tasks. Most people choose to focus first on the unimportant tasks (the little frogs) and save the big frogs for last. But as the day slips away, the chances of accomplishing those big frog tasks gets smaller and smaller. Prioritize your day and tackle the most challenging work first. You’ll get much more productive work done and fill in the blanks with the busy work that may otherwise overtake your day.
Check Your Attitude
If you’re having a hard day, or are just not feeling like you are in a positive place with your work, chances are that you could really use an attitude check. If you are tired from a long weekend or are otherwise not fully focused on the work, don’t fall into the routine of cutting yourself too much slack. Try to convince yourself that work time is for being productive, and use that energy to kick start your can-do attitude. Breaks are important and without them we all risk burnout. But if we are having trouble getting into the right frame of mind, some positive self-talk and surrounding yourself with equally motivated people can be just what you need to get the most out of your day.
Make a Commitment
A personal development plan is only useful if you commit to it and allow it to drive your career progression. It’s easy to get distracted though. Constantly checking email, answering phone calls and attending meetings may seem like urgent tasks, but often they are more of a distraction than they should be. Set some time aside for these necessary but not necessarily productive tasks, and focus on your to-do plan when it’s not that time. You’d be surprised at how it will make a huge difference in your day, but also in your personal development.