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Become a Top Performer with our 13 Career Tips

Get Ahead in Your Career: 13 Essential Tips for Becoming a Top Performer and Going Above and Beyond at Work.
by Rob Gillham | Nov 29 2022
13 Tips To Become Top Performer

Did you know that only about 2% to 5% of people are really great at their jobs, way better than most? Following a statistic by the Forbes Magazine, that’s a pretty small number, but it tells us something important — being a standout at work is special, but it’s also something you can work towards.

Many think that being successful at work is all about luck or being born with certain talents. But, that’s not the whole picture.

A big study with over 1,800 people showed that what you do every day at work matters a lot more than you might think. In fact, almost half of the people in this study said their work habits were a big reason they did well.

A great career, a great home, or a great family are all things everyone strives for. Having made an impact in a competitive world and being one of the top performers makes you feel proud, gives you excitement, and lets you know you have made an impact.

In this article, we’re going to look at 13 easy-to-follow tips that can help you get better at your job and grow in your career. Ready to find out how to be one of those top people at work?

What Does Success Mean to You?

You should define success for yourself and your family before you can define it for yourself. Follow up with actionable steps you can take to achieve that success. 

The next step would be to further your education or professional training if your success is being a high performer with a high-paying career. You can define your success even further by writing out a detailed career plan and using it as a guide for your personal growth.

If you see success in an unfulfilled talent like writing, you might implement daily or weekly writing goals to nurture it. Depending on how you define success, there are steps you can take to become more successful.

13 Tips To Become a Top Performer

1. Get rid of distractions and get organized

Working from home or in an office, it’s easy to get distracted. It is possible to complete your tasks more efficiently and with more attention if you learn how to eliminate interruptions.

One productivity technique, sometimes called “eating the frog,” involves identifying one crucial task for the day and completing it first. 

Email is another notorious distraction. If you have your email open all day, it’s like having your mail carrier call every two minutes or knock on your door every five minutes.

Check your email at regular times during the day—even if you have to schedule it. Remember to keep your workstation tidy too, this will help you stay on task. 

For more insights, explore our quick book summary, Beyond Tidy by Annmarie Brogan. A perfect guide to learn how to prioritize tasks and manage your time effectively:

2. Maintain healthy boundaries

The most effective habit for achieving deep work is blocking off time on your calendar. As a result, you will have an easier time shifting gears and concentrating on the task at hand.

It is also important to learn to say no at work in order to set healthy boundaries.

To practice saying no, choose some situations that are easy and low-risk. Say no to dessert when your waitress offers it to you.

Don’t buy anything from the street vendor. Say no out loud several times in a room by yourself. The exercise helps you build your “no” muscle.

In the Blinkist article “Setting Boundaries” you will find the inspiration you need to finally speak your mind.

3. Identify allies

You can also be more successful at work by building relationships. Find out who the leadership team is and who the people in other departments are. Find mentors who can offer new perspectives. 

Having someone in your corner can boost your resilience and boost your confidence. Allies within the organization can provide advice and serve as sounding boards.

In addition, you will be more likely to be recommended for a promotion when the time comes.

For guidance on finding the right mentors, consider The Ultimate Guide to Great Mentorship by Scott Jeffrey Miller, available on Blinkist.

4. Commitment is essential

The pursuit of success can be motivated by commitment. It is advisable to make a list that includes your goal, how committed you are to achieving it, and what you are willing to do to achieve it. 

Staying focused on your plan is essential. Consider your plan and work towards it for at least 15 minutes per day.

By doing this, you will keep your goal fresh in your mind and will be able to keep focusing on it.

You should, however, ensure that you have realistic expectations about yourself and the outcome before committing to your goal. You should revise any necessary steps if your commitment is not paying off after a certain period of time. 

You may find it helpful to ask a friend or family member for support in keeping your commitments. Being held accountable for your shortcomings and praised for your successes can help you stay motivated.

5. Experience the journey and learn from it

Do not focus only on the results of your accomplishments, but also on the small steps that lead to success. Reaching your goal will become an adventure each day if you allow yourself to celebrate small victories along the way.

This will allow you to learn new and exciting things along the way, which can help you grow as a person.

Remember, it’s not just about the destination, but also the journey. Embrace the learning process and celebrate small victories. For inspiration, Baby Steps Millionaires by Dave Ramsey on Blinkist offers great tips:

6. Enjoy your journey

The journey to achieve something becomes tedious if it becomes too challenging. To have an emotionally-positive experience and keep moving forward without losing perspective, it is important to keep your goals light and fun.

7. Positivity is key

Trusting yourself and your ability to succeed is the key to developing a positive mindset. No matter what challenges you face, replace any negative thoughts with positive ones to motivate yourself to keep going. 

Your path to success will likely lead you to learn new things and think differently. You won’t achieve your goals overnight.

To achieve them, practice and discipline are needed, so it is important to think positively about the process.

Keep your goals light and fun to avoid burnout. A positive mindset is crucial for long-term success.

For daily inspiration, A Year of Positive Thinking by Cyndie Spiegel can be your companion, even on your way to work:

8. Develop your listening skills

In the workplace, listening is often overlooked as a fundamental communication skill. According to a 2020 Emtrain study, one out of ten employees does not trust their leaders to listen to complaints. Therefore, employees do not feel supported, which negatively impacts their performance and productivity. 

According to the survey, 31% of respondents said their leaders lack empathy and show no interest in their direct reports. Practice active listening at work to be more successful. Body language and other nonverbal cues can be used to do this. As well as establishing trust, this approach also sets a good example and helps you make better decisions.

9. Take a different perspective

It is sometimes necessary to change your perspective along the journey in order to turn a challenging situation into a better one. If you are having a bad day or week, imagine that you are having a good one instead.

Try thinking about your situation using only positive language and see how your day or week changes. You could completely transform your life if you do this for a long period of time.

Effective communication and active listening are essential traits of a top performer. To improve these skills, explore resources like Perspective with Robert Greene on Blinkist. 

10. Honesty is the best policy

When your top performer goal seems to be at a standstill, you might need to be honest with yourself about why. When you have reached an understanding, find a way to push yourself toward success. Step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. 

An extra set of squats, a conversation with your supervisor about a promotion, or even enrolling in a difficult college class might help.

11. Rely on yourself

It is impossible to rely on others to achieve your goals for you. It is not possible for your best friend to take a class for you. You cannot get a promotion from your mother. Extra weight cannot be lost by your partner. 

You must do all of these things on your own. While it can be beneficial to rely on others for emotional support, your friends and family also have their own needs. To achieve your goals and make yourself happy, you must hold yourself accountable.

There’s only one thing that’s getting in the way of your best life, and that’s you. Get inspired: 

12. Plan ahead

When working on your goals, stick to a schedule. Create challenges on your calendar, such as “I will run a mile by the end of the month,” or “I will save $10,000 by the end of the decade.” 

Even if you don’t achieve the goal, you’ll have your starting point and see progress. You will always have proof of your progress if you track your goals in a calendar. It is very motivating to work toward success if you have something tangible to look forward to.

13. Avoid burnout

Do not obsess over your goal, but focus on it. Maintaining a balance between work and fun will keep you motivated without exhausting yourself. You can burn out if you sit around and think about your goal all the time. 

A previously fun goal becomes more like something you have to do than something you want to do. To avoid getting burned out, keep learning how much you can grow and achieve.

If you want to learn to balance your professional and personal life to maintain sustained success, check out The Burnout Fix by Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez:

As you’ve seen in this article, becoming a top performer at work is about much more than just luck or talent. It’s about developing the right habits, mindset, and skills – and this is something anyone can do with the right guidance.

To help you on your journey to becoming a top performer, we’re excited to offer you a 7-day free access pass to Blinkist. This means you can explore all the book summaries mentioned in this article, and many more, absolutely free.

Whether it’s mastering productivity, setting healthy boundaries, or finding the right mentor, Blinkist has a wealth of knowledge waiting for you.

Sign up now and start your journey to success today!

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