5 Small Things You Can Start Today That Can Have Surprising Benefits on Your Career

You have been thinking about it. And it has been giving you migraine.
You had high hopes for your career. But now you feel your career has gone stagnant.
You have been told to sweat the big things, the important things, and ignore the small things. You have followed that to the letter but your career is still stuck in mediocrity.
Are the small things unimportant? This advice seems to imply it. However, it is a really bad idea to follow. Because the small things are more important than you think.

When you’re told to pay attention to big things but neglect the small things, it’s really a contradictory advice. Why? It’s the small things that build up to the big things.
career 1
Source: Pixabay
Have you ever seen a great machine that has mediocre small parts? Have you ever seen a very healthy human being who has the small parts of his/her body full of disease?
Today, I want to tell you 5 small things that you might have paid little attention to for years. These 5 things could take your career out of stagnant and move it to a greater height.
1.                   The small time
The last time you wanted to take an activity in 5 minutes, you probably thought that it was a short time. Yeah, it’s a short time but if accumulated over a year, it’s one day and six hours.
When you look at a time of five minutes or ten minutes and you believe that it is too small to achieve anything worthwhile, then you have to think again.
Let’s look at reading as an example of an activity that is beneficial to every worker. If you read for five minutes more than you currently do, then you have read for one day and six hours more over the span of a year.
Now if you read for twenty minutes more than you do currently, it means you have improved your reading time by five days over the course of a year. This is one reason you must take even the small time seriously.
When you think five or twenty minutes is small and you want a bigger time when you can achieve something tangible, you’re losing a lot. You’re losing 5 days over a year.
According to a survey by Salary.com, 89 percent of workers waste at least 30 minutes daily at work. That is at least 5 days 10 hours wasted over 260 working days in a year.
In today’s competitive workplace, it could be the difference between a good and an excellent worker.
Jim Rohn said: “Days are expensive. When you spend a day you have one less day to spend. So make sure you spend each one wisely.”
2.                  The small tasks
What are small tasks that look trivial but could have a positive effect over the future? If you see a co-worker taking a stroll during break at your workplace, do you see it as unnecessary? Well, it could improve your productivity at work. Yet taking a stroll looks like a small task. That makes it easy to underrate its benefits.
One other small task that most people overlook is taking deep breaths. According to studies, breaks in which meditation and mindfulness are practiced are able to boost creativity at work.
The beauty of taking part in small tasks is that it is not stressful. In fact, this is one of the reasons most people overlook it. Most have a mindset that a task must be very difficult for you to gain benefits from it.
You must be careful of such mindset. If a task looks small to you, you may tend to doubt its importance. That’s only natural. But you should ask another question: what benefit would that small task contribute to your career if you perform it consistently for a month or a year?
3.                  The small gestures
One beautiful morning, you stroll into your office whistling to your favourite song. But you see Rachel, your co-worker, sitting at her desk, serious at whatever she is doing on the monitor.
You greet her but her response is unusually cold. Rachel is usually jovial. Her behaviour is a red flag. It’s normal for you to provide many reasons in your brain for her demeanour. Maybe she’s trying to beat a deadline, maybe it’s a personal issue.
Her personal issues is none of your business, but you should ask. Sometimes people go through personal issues. They may just need someone to talk to.
Taking the small gesture of asking about her welfare could improve the bond and trust between you and co-workers. It could also increase productivity at the workplace.
If your co-worker ever decides to tell you her personal issues, you must listen attentively. Not to give a reply but just to listen. This is one small gesture that most people neglect and that will make your co-worker like and appreciate you.
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Source: Pixabay
In his best-selling book Getting More: How To Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World, Wharton Business School professor, Stuart Diamond notes that “companies, even small ones, can be very political places.”
This means that apart from gaining trust in your co-workers, it also helps your politics if you ever have to play it.
4.                  The small goal
It is a common advice to set big goals. This is good and advisable. However, to be more practical, you have to set small goals that will lead to the achievement of the big goal.
This is where most people fail and this is what you should be wary of as a worker who has big goals for his/her career. If you fail to set and achieve the small goals, then there is no way you can achieve your big goal.
For instance, if you set a goal for the week to make a presentation for an important project at the end of that week, you have to split that goal into smaller goals for five working days.
Your goal on Monday could be to gather data and do necessary research, type the presentation and add pictures and graphs on Tuesday, show it to a trusted colleague or your boss to make corrections on Wednesday, put finishing touches on Thursday and make your presentation on Friday.
You can see that splitting into small daily goals make the big goal less intimidating. It also helps you to focus because you know that if you fail to achieve the small goal, you may fail to achieve the big goal.
5.                  The small plan
To achieve the small goal, then you need to execute the small plan. For whatever you want to achieve in your career, planning plays a vital role and you can never overlook its place.
But you must even pay more attention to the small daily plans. Forget about the plans you made for next week, you can’t execute them today. Rather focus on the small plans today, because that is the only plan you can execute.
How many hours do you have to work today? Maybe six hours when you remove the break and other distractions. Making a detailed plan for those six hours would help you to achieve more than someone who just spend the day without such plans.
Making a small plan for a day will not even take more than five minutes on most days. But that small plan could help you to become the best worker in your workplace or field today if executed properly.
If you repeat that performance for 260 working days, it means you have been the best worker of the year. If this is repeated for a few years, then you can achieve what you have never dreamt possible for your career.
The small things matter in your career. This is because of the concept of accumulation. When the small things accumulate over a long period of time, you have a momentum that usually result into a big whole which is more than the sum of the parts.
This is a concept that investors have exploited for many years with compound interest. You can apply the accumulation of these small things in your career today. This will lead to incredible achievements in your career after a few years.
When you feel your career has been stagnant for years, start paying attention to the small things you have been neglecting. Doing those small things could give you the lift you need. These small things could make you the expert and influencer in your field.
You just have to be consistent and patient. Take the small action today.

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