Whether you were a stellar student during your school years or not, here are three study habits worth applying to grow your success in the workplace.
Trade absolute thinking for a positive mindset. Dale Carnegie said, “It isn’t what you have or who you are or where you are or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about it.” Many people have a ‘ho-hum’ mindset about their jobs, approaching them as something that they must do, however this type of absolute thinking limits one’s enjoyment of employment. Researchers have determined that how you approach something matters almost as much as what you do. Having a positive mindset is important not only to study smarter, but also to derive more enjoyment and productivity from your role. Consider what you enjoy about your job—perhaps friendly co-workers, the opportunity to learn new things, travel to new places, etc. and focus on those positives before you start your workday.
Optimize your environment. Many organizations have shifted to open office environments with the understanding that they facilitate collaboration and communication—and make everyone equal. Just as it can be extremely difficult to study in an open area with a lot of distractions, so too is it difficult to focus on work-related tasks in an open office environment because it simply isn’t conducive to concentrating. In fact, a Forbes article notes that many companies are backtracking from this workplace trend because, “It turns out not everyone is thrilled with open offices because of the noise, the distractions, and the germs.”
If you currently work in an open environment and find it difficult to concentrate on certain tasks, do what serious students do—find a quiet place where you can focus and hear yourself think. If necessary, reserve a small conference room or find an area that minimal noise and traffic.
Master memory games (mnemonic devices). Using a simple association of common words, or a mnemonic device, is an effective way to remember pieces of information. In most cases, the first letter of the word is used to stand for something else, which is the information that may be difficult to remember. If you recall the directions of North-East-South-West by remembering for example, ‘Never eat soggy waffles,’ then you’ve already know how effective this tool can be.
Mnemonic devices help your brain to remember both visual and active images. In the Dale Carnegie course: Your Path to Effective Communications and Human Relations Skills for Success, participants learn a mnemonic skill to remember names. Effectively applying this tool enables graduates to network more effectively, foster trust and prevent embarrassment by showing that they are genuine interested in others. Better yet—another benefit of gaining this skill is that using more of the brain increases its memory capacity.