Ever heard of How to Win Friends and Influence People? Penned by American writer and lecturer Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), the book remains popular today even though it was published 77 years ago. Carnegie was well known for developing courses in self-improvement and interpersonal skills offering a world of advice on becoming successful in business and in life. The second chapter of the bestseller, “Four Good Working Habits That Will Prevent Fatigue and Worry” is especially relevant for today’s busy professionals. Follow these tips to increase productivity and turn down fatigue and anxiety in the workplace:1. “Clear your desk of all papers except those relating to the immediate problem at hand.” If your work space is littered with papers, old reports or work that you haven’t gotten to yet, you may start to feel tension mount. A chaotic pile of unfinished business in front of you is overwhelming, a constant reminder that you’ve haven’t accomplished your work. Clear away old reports, paperwork and anything that you’re not working on right now. If you complete tasks one at a time, as they come up, you’ll feel less drained and less anxious during your work day. 2. “Do things in the order of their importance.” Prioritizing tasks helps get them done. If you choose to do first things first, the rest of the day’s work will progress more smoothly. It’s tempting to push the task that weighs heaviest on you to the side of of your desk—it’s a potential stressor. But if you tackle that challenge head on before you take on less important and less timely projects, you will feel more calm and more able to achieve your daily goals. 3. “When you face a problem, solve it then and there if you have the facts necessary to make a decision. Don’t keep putting off decisions.” Procrastinating at work is the fastest way to become anxious and feel stressed. When a problem arises, deal with it right away. Don’t turn your attention to the next problem or challenge until you’ve handled the first. Make decisions about how you are going to address the challenge and then address it, if possible. Multitasking without fulling completing any one task is a method of procrastinating—a quick way to drain your energy while nothing gets done.
4. “Learn to organize, deputize and supervise.” When a manager or supervisor insists on doing everything themselves, they quickly become exhausted and overtaxed. Delegating to others when appropriate can make your day more manageable. It can be challenging to give up some control, but if you delegate wisely to employees you trust, you’ll be glad you did. As a benefit, your employees will feel more invested, and take more ownership in the business of the day.
Carnegie’s vision for business and personal success continues with Dale Carnegie Training available worldwide in 80 countries, including Canada. The organization focuses on improving the performance of a company by improving its team’s performance through leadership training.