Exploding kitchen. Burning hand. Piping-hot wax covering my arm.
I don’t think a normal person would describe their romantic Valentine’s dinner date with the aforementioned details, but I guess I’m not exactly normal! I’ll spare you the ridiculous yet hilarious story of such a life-threatening evening, but it’s definitely one for the books.
What I will talk about though, is how certain life moments, like my Valentine’s dinner, can teach you so much about yourself. What I learned? I’m not perfect. People I love aren’t perfect. My life isn’t perfect. I like to think all of those things are true, but at the end of the day, I’m the girl who ran into a door last weekend when out with friends.
The same goes for my professional life. I think I’m perfect, until imperfection comes along and slaps me right across my face. It stings like a MoFo for a little while, but the lasting effects are a little deeper…
Whether you’re a new employee or have some tenure, making a mistake, big or small, sucks. Big time. For me, admitting I’m not perfect and that I made a mistake is probably the biggest ego deflator of all time.
Here are a few tips to help you focus and avoid making mistakes in the workplace:
- Proofread everything. It’s hard to edit your own writing, but take the time to read over everything from an important memo to an email you’re sending a friend. Practice makes perfect.
- Download Film Scores Radio on Pandora. So it doesn’t have to be Film Scores, but listening to good music without distracting words has been a lifesaver for me.
- Don’t be afraid to turn down work. If you’re busy, you’re busy. Your manager would rather reassign the task than get crappy work from you.
- Avoid office chatter. Trust me, I’m a social gal, but don’t let chatty colleagues distract you from your work. It’s OK to tell them you’ll have to catch up later.
- Limit social media. Working in digital media I don’t have this opportunity, but I wish I did. Try restraining yourself from typing “www.facebook.com” and hitting enter 36 times a day. I know, big ask.
So these tips might not work for you, but they certainly work for me.
What do you do when you’re feeling distracted? Feel free to share your tips below that help you focus and avoid mistakes.
I know it’s hard to believe, but no one is perfect. Just remember: we’re only human and we all make mistakes.