Streamline your space.
Before you do anything else, take a few moments at the start of each day to organize and declutter your workspace. A clutter-free environment helps you think more clearly and produce better results, said Kristoph Matthews, head of engineering at NewtonX and founder of on-demand storage company Boxbee. By cleaning up and organizing your space, you can greatly increase your productivity and limit the time you spend searching for items.
Color can have a major effect on your mood and productivity throughout the day, said Jenny Gauld, interior designer for office furniture and accessory retailer Turnstone. Blue can impart a calming feeling and can help you focus, while red may be great for work that requires accuracy and attention to detail. Plants can also help people focus: A study by the American Society for Horticultural Science found that workers who were exposed to plants in their workspace reported feeling less stressed and more productive.
Decorate your workspace.
In addition to adding some color and plants to your workspace, decorating your desk or cubicle with a few personal knickknacks can help you feel more relaxed, which can boost your productivity. Gauld suggested adding meaningful career memorabilia, such as diplomas, awards, and other decorative items that help you feel appreciated and will motivate you.
Everyone has at least one task on the to-do list that keeps getting pushed back because the thought of doing it seems awful. That task is actually the one you should complete first, according to Matthews. Instead of waiting until the last minute to finish it, get it off your plate as soon as possible. Your other tasks will seem less daunting by comparison, and you’ll stop stressing about that one task all day, making you more productive overall.
Example Answers For “What Do You Need To Improve?”:
Now that we looked at the big mistakes to avoid when sharing areas for improvement in the interview, and how you SHOULD answer, let’s look at some word-for-word sample answers to make sure you’re ready.
Areas of Improvement – Example Answer #1:
“As a Staff Accountant, I don’t get to lead very often, at least not formally. In the long-run, I’d love to start taking on more responsibilities as a leader. This could be leading meetings or projects, mentoring or training newer team members, and other tasks like that. I enjoy the hands-on accounting work and that’s still what I want to be doing, which is why I applied for this position. However, I haven’t had much chance to lead yet in my career, so I’d say that’s an area for improvement or something I could get better at.”
In this example, you’re naming something specific you could get better at, but making sure not to name something that’s vital to the day-to-day work in this job. You’re also showing that you’re ambitious and motivated to learn more in your career, which is always a good thing.
Areas of Improvement – Example Answer #2:
“I’m working on improving my skills with some project management and organizational tools and technologies right now like ___ and ___. As I take on more and more management in my career, I’ve realized if I become an expert in project management software, it will make me and my team even more productive. So I’m trying to go from ‘good’ to ‘great’ in these areas.”
This example answer above works great for that question, too. So if they ever ask for something directly related to your core job, that you still need to improve, follow this formula…
Areas for Improvement – Example Answer #3:
“In my last job, I spoke with a lot of customers on the phone, and became quite good at it. However, a few other people on my team were responsible for most of the emailing when it came to customer service, so I’m a bit rusty in this area. I think email communication is really vital in customer service, because one or two wrong words can lead to the message being interpreted incorrectly. So I’ve been working on reviewing and brushing up on some of the best methods for making sure customers are satisfied with email communications.”
This sample answer is an example of naming a real weakness or something you honestly feel needs improvement… which is another perfectly fine way to answer this interview question.
How To Answer “What Areas Need Improvement?” – Quick Instructions
- Choose one specific area that you’re actively working on improving
- If you’re going to mention being weak in a certain area, make sure that you do not say anything that’s vital or crucial to the job you’re interviewing for
- Rather than naming a weakness, consider naming something you’re already average or okay at, but wish to become much better
- Sound humble, “coachable,” and willing to learn new things and take on new challenges when answering
- Use your answer to show employers that you’re self-motivated and actively looking for ways to improve your skills and value in your career
- Give a genuine answer and never a generic answer like, “well, sometimes I work too hard, so I need to learn to take more breaks”
- Practice your answer at home! Nothing comes out the first time, so before you go on an interview, rehearse what you plan on saying when the interviewer asks, “what’s something you need to improve on?”
Hold Up! Before you go on an interview.
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