Mistake #1: Confusing “urgent” with “important.” Tim Ferris is the author of The 4 Hour Workweek. And he says most people prioritize tasks by their due dates. But that often means putting off something with greater significance. For example, say you rush to prepare for today’s routine staff meeting, which keeps you from preparing for tomorrow’s pitch to your best customer, putting your biggest account at risk.
The next work mistake: Keeping to yourself. Because of the economy, a lot of people think they’re more likely to stay employed if they keep their head down and do their job and they avoid chatting with coworkers so they always look productive. But the Gallup Management Journal found that people who answer “Yes” to the question, “Do you have a best friend at work?” outperform those who don’t.
The 3rd mistake that’s making your job harder: Not bothering your manager. Holly Green is the author of More Than a Minute: How to Be an Effective Leader. And she says that a lot of managers fail to communicate changing needs. In other words, you think you’re supposed to be writing a sales report, but they think you’re generating a list of potential customers, even though they forgot to tell you. Your best bet: Schedule regular meetings with your boss so they’re up-to-date on your current projects, and overall workload.
This last mistake is common in workplaces that’re trying to do more with less: Deferring your education. Elizabeth Lions is the author of Recession-Proof Yourself. She says that in most fields, those who aren’t updating their skills are falling behind.