- November 6, 2017
- by Kate Kurzawska
- 5 comments
November is the time of the year when children walk from house to house trick or treating. But tricks may happen not only during Halloween, especially when you work as a project or product manager. Such work can be demanding and it is easy to overlook tiny but crucial elements.
Mistakes at work are a common thing. And when we work too much, careless and silly inaccuracies happen, especially when you are a perfectionist and want everything to work excellent. Sending an e-mail to the wrong person, overlooking a number in the reports, it all happens to everyone. But mistakes are not intentional, they happen because we get distracted.
Examples of mistakes made at work
The quicker moving world makes us hurry up with the work. But if we’re in a rush, nothing good comes out and sometimes we make mistakes that cause regrettable consequences. Here some are most often made mistakes shared by professionals on the Internet:
- funny or sometimes insulting email typos (because we usually don’t want to waste time on proofreading),
- money-involved mistakes like adding another zero when filling the bank transfer orders,
- losing the documents,
- being late on important meetings or skipping them,
- inappropriate behavior towards the superiors,
- failure to meet the deadlines,
- actions performed but not discussed with superiors or other team members.
How To Avoid Mistakes At Work?
It is okay to wander off with your mind when too much is happening at work. However, during that wander do not leave the door open for tricks to slide into your work and make you vulnerable to making mistakes. To prevent that, follow these 8 ways to avoid mistakes and you will never have to worry again!
1. Give Full Attention To What You’re Doing
Always focus on your tasks and projects first. Make them your priority and avoid any kind of activity that would pull you away from your work. It is also important not to multitask as it kills your productivity. Start your work from the smallest tasks and finish on those that are most difficult. Or the other way, begin your day with the task that requires lots of energy and leave those unimportant ones for later.
Check out these articles to always stay on top of your work with the best tools:
2. Avoid Distractions
Distractions make you prone to mistakes. They take away your attention and make you jump between tasks and projects. Also, they lower your productivity. Thus, they create confusion and your attention is split. Turn off your Facebook and Twitter, put your phone away and stop procrastinating. It is better to spend time intensively on one task and avoid making mistakes, instead of checking the latest news and being pulled away from work. If you don’t know where your time goes, use a time tracking tool.
3. Take Breaks
If you work too much, you harm your brain and with your brain not functioning in the right way, you make more mistakes. Harvard Business Review writes that: “Overwork may hasten the aging-related decline in memory and thinking skills, according to a long-term study of British civil servants.” And here is what you can do to keep your brain sharp and to avoid making mistakes at work:
- Ease your stress response. Take a break from work and relax. Think about something nice or go for a walk in the park. It is a great way to stop thinking about work and withdraw from stressful situations.
- Connect with family and friends. Talking to friends or family is helpful to your brain. It makes you relaxed and keeps up your positive attitude.
- Do something different. While on the break, you can focus your attention on something else, e.g.: reading a book. And after work, find a hobby, start doing something new to refresh the brain.
4. Ask Questions
Do not be afraid to ask your supervisors for advice or opinion. Make sure you understand what your tasks are. It is better to ask before you begin your project than to listen to your boss’s complaints after the project is done with multiple mistakes. The best way to avoid any mistakes in your work is to ask. This dissipates all doubts.
5. Create a Checklist
To-do list or a checklist is the easiest way to prevent mistakes from happening. Once you have everything written down, you can follow the list and act according to the steps. It is important to include every detail in order not to skip anything that could cause a problem. There are many apps available to help you with the work, such as iDoneThis or HeySpace.
6. Be Clear About Your Role
Do you know your role at the company? It is crucial to know what your tasks and duties include not to mess up. If you’re not sure about what your role at work is, it may be easy to make any kind of mistake. Once you know what exactly you have to do, things will work much easier. Talk to your boss or supervisors to determine the scope of your duties. By that, you can be certain there will be no room for mistakes at work.
Review, review, and once more, review your work. Check it twice for any mistakes. Take a break from it, few hours, or even a day or two. Come back to it with a fresh mind. It is a great method for finding any mistakes, even those tiniest ones.
8. Learn From Your Mistakes
It is okay to make mistakes, only if you learn from them. Leaving them as they are will not help you at work. Analyze what you did wrong, give it a thought, and remember about it next time, in order not to do the same thing. By making mistakes you can learn what are your weaknesses and how to work on them.
How to apologize for a mistake at work?
If anything would happen, don’t wring your hands but try to fix it as soon as possible. But how to admit you made a mistake at work? Easier said than done. First, discuss it with the “victim” – your teammate, superiors, or client. Explain the circumstances, but avoid embellishing – it usually makes the entire situation worse. Be honest and don’t forget to say sorry!
We are all only humans and, after all, we all make mistakes. With our 8 steps, you will improve your ability to recognize what is the cause of your mistakes. Or you will even be able to avoid them at all. Don’t let mistakes make tricks on you and have a happy Halloween without them!