5 Ways To Become A Better Teammate At Work

5 Ways To Become A Better Team Member At Work

We’ve all been stuck collaborating with that one colleague we wished would work with the rest of the team, and if you haven’t, there’s a good chance that person was you. Luckily for us, collaborating effectively in a group setting is a skill you can hone so long as you are open to feedback and self-reflection. Here are a few valuable things to keep in mind when growing as a valued member of the team in your workplace: 

#1 – Express Your Weaknesses And Preferred Roles Upfront

There’s little more frustrating than waiting for a colleague to deliver on a task only for them to return and say they need experience or skills vital to completion. You can avoid stress by being upfront about your skill set and any trepidation about tackling your share of a team project. When you swallow your pride and communicate your weaknesses in advance, 9 times out of 10, your team will be excited to adjust your role or provide valuable resources to help you complete your deliverables to everyone’s satisfaction.  

#2 – Encourage Your Colleagues With Honest Praise

Part of being a valuable team member is recognizing when someone else excels and uplifting them. Mentioning to others on the team about a team member’s great job helps unify and strengthen the team dynamic. It encourages a positive cycle of similar hype-ups for yourself and your colleagues, promoting increased group cohesion and morale. 

#3 – Plan Ahead To Overcome Your Shortcomings

If you know you tend to scramble last-minute right before the deadline, shift your deadline date in your reminders one or two days before the actual due date, and treat that as the new deadline. That way, if something disrupts your mad dash to get everything done, you’ve planned with a buffer that keeps you on track without letting the whole team down. 

If you’re aware that you’ll experience hurdles to completing your share of tasks for the team, be open and honest about them immediately. A team worth its salt will be understanding and, in many cases, willing to adapt to accommodate your needs. 

#4 – It’s Okay To Be Wrong, So Long As We’re Learning

Mistakes happen, and that’s okay so long as you’re not making the same mistakes repeatedly. Try not to dwell on your slip-ups, and constantly avoid self-deprecating over them to the rest of the team because when you put yourself down in front of the group, your team will eventually see you that way, and they will no longer trust you’re capable of holding up your end of the task. Instead, own up to it and be open to valuable feedback, then implement changes to avoid making those same mistakes in the future. 

#5 – Be The Part That Improves The Whole  

The most important thing to remember about working within a team dynamic is that nobody expects you to shoulder the entire load. Look to others with more experience for advice and assistance without burdening them unduly, and look for opportunities to hold others up when they need a helping hand. A rising tide raises all ships, so what’s good for the group is great for everyone! Good luck on your next team task – I believe in you!

4 Secrets For A Productive Workweek

4 Secrets For A Productive Workweek

Time has a habit of getting away from us. Before you know it, the week is over, and nothing we’ve planned to accomplish got done. Sure, a bunch of last-minute emergencies got pushed up to the front of the line, but the plans, projects, and personal time you hoped for always seem to get shoved over to the wayside.

The real secret to a productive work week isn’t planning: it’s preparing.

Sure, you can plan to tackle an entire week’s worth of tasks. But have you PREPARED for those tasks? If not, you’re defeated before you even start.

Prepare Yourself For A Productive Workweek

Plan your weekly self-care routine:

  • Food.
  • Moments for mindfulness.
  • Making to-do lists.
  • Honoring your space

It’s easy to think you’re “making extra time” for your daily tasks, but if you don’t take care of yourself first, how will you put your best into your projects? The truth is you’re not, and skipping your morning self-care is a great way to sabotage your projects before you even start!

Prepare Your Meals For A Productive Work Week

Last-minute meals when you’re starving devolve into air-fryer chicken fingers and fries. If you prepare a greek salad at the top of the day, you can sneak some at-the-ready vegetables into your last-minute meal, and you’ll feel a whole lot more refreshed and ready to tackle your self-care routine the following day!

A good tip is to take some time right after you’ve stocked your fridge to break down some of your favorite food items into ready-to-go snack packs in containers you can grab and go throughout the week: veggie sticks with hummus and dip, along with fresh pita is a PERFECT quick snack. Toss some cheese cubes and a cut-up summer sausage, and you’ve got a picnic on the go! But you’re never going to do that for yourself if you’re tired and already hungry; you’ll eat whatever’s quickest and easiest to prepare. Trust me when I tell you you’ll feel brighter and more energetic if you enjoy prepared meals more often, and those rewards pay actual world dividends on your productivity!

Prepare Moments Of Mindfulness For A Productive Work Week

Moments of mindfulness are times throughout your day when no one can reach you, ignore your cell phone notifications, and you can decompress for a moment to catch your breath and reassess the day. You can plan these moments into your routine, or you can cultivate awareness with your family and colleagues that sometimes you’ll take moments to yourself and will be available shortly.

It sounds like a waste of time. Just like self-care, giving your mind everyday moments to relax and decompress sets you up to be more fortified and resilient when you return to the task. Everyone, no matter how focused or determined, has an upper limit for stress and energy. When you let yourself reset and recoup with a moment’s peace to yourself, you often return with new solutions or compassion that may not have otherwise been possible when you power through with no breaks.

Moments of mindfulness look different for everyone, but the common goal is to let your mind rest for a few minutes every few hours (at least) without absorbing new information or experiencing sensory overload. No phones, no distractions. A walk around the block, a quiet snack and some fresh air, or even a dedicated silent prayer and meditation can all be excellent examples of a moment of mindfulness. Taking space for yourself is one conscious way to avert over-exerting yourself and create boundaries that people worth respecting will respect. It turns out this is also a great way to discover who among your family, friends, and colleagues are used to draining your energy, as they are the ones who will be immediately put off and opposed to your request for a moment’s peace.

Preparing To-Do Lists For A Productive Work Week

Most of us are quick to scoff at the value of a to-do list as though they’re only for people who have trouble keeping track of their lives. The truth is, it’s completely natural and human to be derailed by new ideas, distractions, and even crises throughout the day. To-do lists let you plan and prioritize, they help you quickly return to tasks when you’ve found yourself distracted, and you even get a little dopamine hit whenever you check off a completed job! To-do lists offer clarity and peace of mind at the start of a task-heavy day and take the stress of remembering a dozen or so tasks at a time for hours on end. Studies have shown that we can only keep track of between 4 to 9 unique ideas in our short-term memory at any given time! The truth is that leaving the fate of your plans up to chance by relying on your memory to keep track of everything you’re supposed to do in a day is a great way to sabotage your efforts right from the start. Make regular to-do lists for an entire week and see how much more you can accomplish!

How to Manage Your Time Better in 1 Week

How to Manage Your Time Better in 1 Week

In this age of information overload, most leaders today are crunched for time. Some overwork themselves to the point of exhaustion, and some can’t seem to stay focused on a singular task and instead get lots of things half-done in their day. 

On top of needing more time at work, most would say they wish they could spend more time with friends and families and pursue non-work-related hobbies. There are so many time-saving hacks out there with a wide variety of effectiveness. 

On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. (Source) But as soon as you start a new habit, you start reaping the benefits, including managing your time better.

4 Ways to Manage Your Time Better in 1 Week

1. Plan ahead.

If you head to work every day without a plan of what needs to be done that day and in that first hour, you’re wasting time. If you start your day with email, you are letting other people dictate the priority of your tasks. To set yourself up for success the following day, you need to leave your office tidy and with a short list of prioritized items for the next day. Most people have the most energy for higher-functioning mental tasks in the morning. Try tackling your 2 most important tasks (MIT) first thing in the morning.

2. Remake Your Schedule

If you have the freedom to dictate parts of your schedule, you should reconsider how your days are scheduled. Our minds can only stay focused for 90-minute periods before needing a short 20-25 minute break. Instead of organizing all of your meetings into one time block, try to break up your day, leaving time before and after your meetings to brainstorm and reflect. People with the best time management skills understand how the brain works and work within its parameters to get things done efficiently.

3. Eliminate half-work.

Half-work is when we split our attention between 2 different tasks. Perhaps you start answering emails and then take a phone call, but continue to try to answer emails. Another example would be when you’re halfway done with a project and grab your phone to start scrolling social media for no reason.

“In our age of constant distraction, it’s stupidly easy to split our attention between what we should be doing and what society bombards us with,” writes James Clear, the best-selling author of Atomic Habits.

If you start to pay attention to your habits, you’ll quickly realize how often you do half-work throughout your day. It probably started as a way to get things done quicker by working on more than one thing at a time, but that’s not how our brains work best.

“Regardless of where and how you fall into the trap of half–work, the result is always the same: you’re never fully engaged in the task at hand, you rarely commit to a task for extended periods, and it takes you twice as long to accomplish half as much,” adds Clear.

For most people, our habit of half-work is deeply related to our smartphone/internet addiction. Try leaving your phone off and in another room the next time you sit down to work on a project.

4. Batch similar tasks together.

Batching tasks together is a great way to save time at home and work. Try scheduling similar tasks together when you have your list for the day. Write all emails, make all phone calls, and make all calendar appointments, separating each task into separate time blocks.

“Different tasks demand different types of thinking. By batching related tasks together, your brain isn’t switching gears – which means you cut out that time reorienting.” (Source

Time management is a serious problem for so many people. We’ve got things pulling us in a million different directions with varying degrees of importance. We all only have 24 hours a day and 168 hours a week. Habits are hard to start and even more challenging to continue into our lives. But the payoff could be enormous when you think about the energy you saved compounded over time.