The Productivity Institute

Personal Productivity Solutions to Leverage Your Impact


Work Rules

By: Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

When I was teaching Business Law full-time at Mercy College, I would have seniors in my classes who were getting serious about their futures and starting the interview process. I would let them know that I had identified three important work rules to help them shoot up the ladder of success in record time and with great enthusiasm, they would ask that I share these little pearls.

Here are the three work rules that not only college seniors, but also any of us in the workplace can benefit from.

  1. Show Up. Well, certainly “show up.” If you don’t show up, they don’t pay you! But beyond that, always display an attitude that gives confidence to management that you probably are going to be around for the long term. Some people complain and grouse as a natural part of their personality and may mean nothing by it. But is that sends out a message that maybe you won’t be here in a few months, it will adversely affect your future.
  2. Show Up On Time. There is a “lateness acceptability factor” in our culture that says if you are late some of the time because of the weather, because of the traffic and then construction, or because of personal reasons, then it is “OK.” We are all late some of the time. But, if you show up late “some of the time,” it seems to me, you make yourself look “average,” just like everyone else. What if you are someone who is on time, all the time? (There are a few of them out there! They’re like Swiss watches, always on time, no matter what is going on.)
  3. Show Up Prepared. The people you are competing with for your raise, for your promotion, typically grouse and complain about their job, the company, the people, etc., show up late some of the time, and show up unprepared. Start your day the night before by doing Daily Planning during which you make up a list of all the things you “have to” do but, more importantly, all the things you “want to” do. Prioritize those items in order of their importance. (A simple numeric system will work; put a “1” next to the most important item, a “2” next to the second most important item, etc.). Do it the night before so that when you go to bed, you go with a sense of certainty and control you would not ordinarily experience and a sense of anticipation about your day coming up. Then, the next morning, while others around you are trying to figure out what they are going to do for the day, not you, you planned it out the night before so that you can hit the deck on both feet running and moving forward.

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Dr. Donald E. Wetmore

Certified Executive Coach, Consultant and Trainer
Author, “Organizing Your Life” and “The Productivity Handbook”
Productivity Institute
Personal Productivity Solutions to Leverage Your Impact
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