Career Magazine

Working ON Your Job Not Just IN Your Job

By Olgadegtyareva @olga_degtyareva

Often we find ourselves putting a lot of effort into our job. We put a lot of time into our projects to achieve some results. We make some progress, but then we find ourselves putting even more effort and even more time into our job.

So what happens is that we notice that we make some progress, but it is not really a huge progress. It feels like with all the time and effort we put into it we could be making a much bigger progress. We wonder what’s wrong, and what do we do? We put even more time and even more effort into it.

The thing to do is to stop working IN your job for some time, and take this time to work ON your job. Use this time to start thinking how do your efforts and the time you put into your job relate to your results. What can you improve? It is almost like standing back away from your job and looking from the side to see how it fits into a bigger picture.

What procedures can you improve to make it more effective? What can you do to develop yourself professionally and ensure your personal growth? So that you are better qualified for your future dream job. So that you can make a much better progress with less effort in your current job. So that you can be your best.

But often we think we cannot afford to take this time off to stop working IN our job and work ON our job. We rather put this time into our job to make more progress.

What I would like to suggest you take some time every week, 15 min or 30 min to start with, stop working IN your job and start thinking about your job and work ON your job within this time. The suggested activities are:

  • Writing content for the new projects
  • Writing down new ideas
  • Writing down the outline for existing projects (to see if you can improve anything to make it more effective)
  • Preparing to communicate your findings to the public or colleagues
  • Brainstorming the resources that you need to take advantage of to achieve your goal
  • Making a work place vision board (put together pictures and words to remind you about your goals)
  • Creating a mindmap
  • Listing the workshops, networking meetings or conferences to attend
  • Listing the papers you want to write

By doing this you ensure that you time and effort you put into your job is commensurate with your progress. You also ensure that you take care of your personal and professional development, so that you continue growing.

I take some time every day, some times a short period of time, sometime a longer period of time, and sometimes an entire day, to do just that: to see where I am going, how does it fit into a bigger picture, and how it relates to my big goals, dreams, desires and intentions, and where is it all going to lead.

Your Peaceful Productivity Assignment

For your assignment, take 15 min this week – Friday afternoon is just a perfect time for this – and to stop working IN your job, and work ON your job by doing one of the activities that I have listed above. Schedule this time for next week, for the week after and the week after that, so that you have it in your diary and you remember to do it.

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