Work rut is a vicious cycle. Your job is hard and demanding. When you get home the last thing you want to do is think about work. But without the proper planning, your career never improves.
Break the cycle by making small, solid changes on a daily basis. Here are 30 digestible bits of career advice from top blogs like 4-Hour Workweek, The Simple Dollar, Freelance Switch, Zenhabits and more. Try out a tip a day for the next month and transform your career.
Becoming more productive by working less
- Don't let coworkers ramble. Don't put up with "how's it going?" when someone calls you. Force the other person to stick to the point by consistently asking them "what's
up?" Read More.
- Multi-tasking makes projects 30% late. Because your brain has to mentally reset itself which results in a loss of efficiency. Read More.
- Meetings that end without action steps. They are a waste of time. Forget notes.
Writing down concrete action steps is 95% of the battle. Read More.
- Construct the perfect email subject line. Tip: label with keywords. Keep short. Read More.
- Achieve greatness in 15 minutes. Do all your tasks in fifteen minute chunks. Use a simple kitchen timer. When you know every unpleasant task will end in fifteen minutes, there is no excuse for procrastination or distractions. Read More.
- Firewall your attention. Make ‘no’ the default answer for new project. New things should earn their way into your attention field. Read More.
- Do only big tasks with big returns. Start with tasks with the greatest positive impact. Everything else is just busy work. Read More.
- Turn Facebook into a killer app. Use its calendars and schedules to take care of both your personal and professional interactions in one place. Like it or not, many of your friends are probably also your co-workers. Read More.
Don't just tolerate your boss, outsmart him
- How to connect with a boss you hate. It’s easy to come up with a list of all the ways your boss could change to be less annoying, domineering, passive-aggressive, arrogant, etc. But fact is, you can’t change anyone but yourself. Read More.
- Earn more money by negotiating without fear. It doesn't matter how much money you make right now. The key is how much you are worth, and how much you want to make. Read More.
- Say no at work by offering an alternative. Think of other people or approaches that will allow your boss to get the job done without your involvement. Offer your boss solutions, not excuses. Read More.
- Control your next performance review. Don't be passive. Develop a game plan, be specific about your needs, and visualize your meeting in advance. Read More.
Pimp your workspace
- Is your workspace driving you crazy? Are you being driven mad at work by misplaced walls or the wrong kinds of noise? Take this quiz to see how your office measures up. Read More.
- Setting up action areas. Isolate a portion of your desk as an "action area" -- a physical inbox for things that needs doing. The concept: When you walk by, everything you see requires action. If you have a minute, take action. Read More.
- Decorate your workspace with progress. Don't throw your to-do lists away. Save them as trophies of your achievement and an inspiring monument to a job well done. Read More.
- Clean up the power cords maze. Transform your workspace with a drill, duct tape, and a monster 12 outlet power strip. Read More.
- Need a change of scene? Set up an offsite office. It can be a local café, a favorite park, a pizza place, the library, a shared office space, anywhere that you can go on a regular basis to get out of the office, but still be productive. Read More.
- Make your office look like an iPod. Divide up each project into file folders. Since you can only work on one thing at a time, only pull out the one folder you need. Read More.
Stop feeling crappy at work
- Recognize that all jobs suck. All companies are dysfunctional. The thing is, they're all dysfunctional in different ways. The secret to happiness is to pick an employer with dysfunctions that will bug you less than the others. Read More.
- Take care of yourself when working long hours. Invest in a proper ergonomic chair, exercise your eyeballs, stretch your neck and shoulders, and spend time with humans. Read More.
- How to thrive in a job you hate. When something comes up in your job that you hate, feel that. Let yourself feel whatever emotion comes over you. Don't try to hide it inside, or it will just blow out later. Read More.
- Give your resume a facelift. Improve any resume by picking a better typeface (ditch Times for Georgia), removing extra indentations, making it more scannable, and applying typographic detailing. Read More.
- Stay on top of your game. With time, most of us will lose some of our thirst for knowledge. The more this happens, the more important it becomes to fuel that passion externally to keep driving yourself forward. Read More.
- When loyalty gets misinterpreted as incompetence. Working at one company for more than 15 years may actually be a red flag to corporate employers. Long-standing employees are seen as unwilling or even unable to make a move. Read More.
- 14 essential tips for meeting a deadline. You have to be serious about meeting deadlines. Make breaking a deadline a cardinal sin. Once you've done this step, the other 13 are just logistics. Read More.
- 20 signs that a pink-slip is coming. If you can answer yes to THREE or more of these questions, you may want to think about sprucing up your resume and dry-cleaning your best interview attire. Read More.
- 15 things you can do right now to help your career. To get ahead you need to start small and look at immediate steps you can take to help out your situation. Read More.
Reinvent your idea of work
- Prioritize your career as your biggest investment. Your annual investment returns are seldom as great as your annual salary. Yet many people spend more time picking stocks than planning their careers. Read More.
- Continuous 8 hour work day is an unnatural relic of the past. Productivity levels generally peak twice a day — first thing in the morning and shortly after lunch. Why not switch to a 3-4 hour workday that focuses on the productive times? Read More.
- 7 ways to bridge the talent gap. Talent has very little to do with the success of someone who’s just starting out. More important factors are your productivity, attention to detail, versatility, openness to new ideas, and attitude. Read More.
- Detailed road map to self-employment. With a well-considered plan based on some realistic assumptions and some work ethic and willpower, almost anyone can make it happen. Read More.
Of course, life isn't all about moleskine notebooks and GTD lists. Soak in this final tip from the No Impact Man and stop obsessing over the rat race:
Will Chen is a writer for Wise Bread, a personal finance blog published by Killer Aces Media.