Whatever your profession, one very important phrase I urge all professionals to remember is that “action creates activity.” I often hear professionals complain about having a job that is repetitive, not exciting and in some cases, not challenging. Without a doubt, there are jobs where this is absolutely true and there is nothing much anyone can do to make those tasks more exciting. My only advice in these cases is to have the best attitude possible, support others and do your best work. Someone will notice and it can lead to brighter opportunities. In addition, no matter our profession, there will be some tasks that require us to make extra effort to get done. This could be the many reports doctors have to make on each patient they see at the end of each day, or creating documentation for software or infrastructure to updating a client relationship management system for sales professionals. In many cases, these are compliance related requirements and have to get done. Just put on a smile when doing it.
Outside of these very specific roles and requirements, most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, can find ways to turn what is perceived to be repetitive and boring work into something much more.
What I want to focus on in this post are the many ways to make your current position more exciting, challenging, rewarding and to also learn and grow. And this is “action creates activity!” I see it every day, professionals spending a majority of their day simply replying to email. When the day is done, your inbox may be empty, but have you actually accomplished anything? Email is for when you cannot reach someone and is a convenient way of communicating, but it will rob your time; moreover, if you spend all of your time responding to emails, you are helping other get their work done, not yours. So, how do you apply the action creates activity notion to make your job more rewarding and successful? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Always be Proactive in Building your Network
Everyone has “social capital.” Social Capital is the value of your network. Is your professional and private network valuable? The action you want to engage in is to reach out to everyone in your profession, industry, client base, prospects, people engaged in hobbies of interests, charities, etc. Most people have three meals a day. This means you have three opportunities a day, twenty one opportunities each week, to spend with someone over a meal. Invite people you currently know to lunch, dinner, coffee, etc. to further build a stronger relationship. Equally important is to invite others you hope to meet and know as well. Do this each and every day and before you know it, all of the action you are taking will generate activity. The activity in this case is building your network. If you are meeting people every day, you have an incredible opportunity to learn from others and over time, you will uncover opportunities that will benefit you and your career. Be proactive and do this every day. Action creates activity!
Is there something you, your team or department is doing that could be improved to increase productivity or improve performance? Make the time to think of how an activity or requirement could be made better. Put time into developing your idea and put in the extra work to create a professional proposal. When ready, ask to meet with the senior management team or your supervisors to present your idea and solution. The action will create an enormous amount of activity and can lead to you managing the project. You will learn a lot whether your proposal is accepted or not. Action creates activity!
Does your role have specific daily, weekly or monthly key performance activities and requirements? This will sound bold, but double them! Yes, this will create a lot more work for you, but I can promise that your performance will dramatically improve over time. This improved output will lead to more activity, increasing the chances for greater opportunities. Yes it is hard work, but what was the original complaint? My job is repetitive, boring and or not a challenge. Well, this is one way to change all of that. You will have to work harder, but it will be worth the effort. Action creates activity!
These three ideas to get started with based on the action creates activity philosophy are simple. They may be scoffed at by many. I can tell you from personal experience that most professionals understand the value in these ideas, but 98% will not make any effort to implement any of them, and or will not fully devote time to complete them long term. Well, one benefit you have in your career is to make your own decisions, good or bad. I highly recommend you create action every day and start with these three. The activity that comes with it can be life changing!