From The Straits Times    |

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New Year, new you. Tired of being sidelined and hoping to get noticed by your boss this year? There’s no better time than now to start improving your work life and to ace your career. Here are eight tips to help you shine bright like a diamond in the office and dazzle through the year.


1. Show up early

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First impression counts. Well, most of us are guilty of clocking in a tad bit later than when we first joined our companies, but let’s get real  – rules are rules and it’s worthy to make an effort to be on time.

 Maybe skip that ‘last’ late night booze and morning snooze and respect your bedtime. Impress your boss by being at your desk fresh and ready for the new day. After all, punctuality is a good virtue that stretches to your personal life too.


2. Freshen up your wardrobe

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Turning up well-dressed can boost one’s confidence. Besides, why look sloppy when you can look fabulous? Contrary to beliefs, you don’t need to spend a lot if you know how to mix and match your work outfits.

Some timeless staple pieces that are worth investing in includes a blazer, a little black dress, a pair of decent black heels and a pair of formal trousers. Ran out of ideas on how to make that blazer look chic? Here are some ideas.


3. Fix a routine

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One of the biggest secrets to success is setting reasonable routines (that you can and will follow). Having a solid daily schedule can bring about plenty of emotional benefits, such as relieving anxiety and stress. It can also help to increase productivity and overall happiness levels.

Tested and proven, many famous people have routines (that worked) too. For some, it may be setting bedtimes to clock enough hours to feel energised at work, and for others, it’s writing your to-do list of the day.

Routines can help us reign our crazy life in control so we can devote more time to the things we enjoy. Do this and your life will become simpler and breezier.


4. Get organised

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Sometimes, work can get so overwhelming that you lose control. Don’t let that bring you down! Stay on track with a planner – digital or go old-school – and diligently mark down birthdays, work meetings, project due dates and even monthly brunch dates with your girlfriends.

Our brain – however amazing – can only remember so much when stress gets in the way, and it’ll definitely thank you for getting it some help.


5. Listen, listen and listen

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Have you ever noticed colleagues who always and only talk about themselves? Or the ‘interrupters’ during meetings? This new year, make it a point to be more mindful of your actions. Remind yourself to pay attention to what others have got to share before you comment or ‘add on’.

Listening is truly an art which requires you to be very patient. However, the good news is that this respect is mutual, which you’ll realise when you adopt this long enough.


6. Make friends

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All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl! Focusing on work is good but try to befriend people at work. Join them for lunch or birthday celebrations. Build relationships, because if you do it right, many of your strongest friendships will stem from colleagues-turned-friends.

Besides, your boss will be glad to see everyone getting along. Also, whatever you do, be wise enough to refrain from participating in gossip sessions or office politics for they only bring more harm than good!


7. Lead boldly

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There’s always someone in the team who will take the initiative to organise birthday celebrations and festive parties, or take on new projects. Make 2019 the year you lead. You can organise something – it can be ‘Team Lunch Fridays’ or just a New Year BBQ – whatever that works.

It’s a really great way to show that you care about forming real relationships with your work buddies. Or break out of your comfort zone and volunteer to helm a new taskforce. It signals to your boss that you’re willing to work hard and take charge – always a good thing when it’s appraisal time.


8. Create your own Spotify playlist for work

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If you’re the type who loves working while plugged in, consider creating playlists that can help you get through work daily. Studies have also proven that music – depending on the genre you like – can help increase productivity, since it helps block out the outside world and enhance your mood.

Take time to explore different genres to see what works best for you. Of course, try not to blast your hip hop tunes at maximum volume – you don’t want to annoy your desk mates. While we’re at this topic, here are a bunch of earphones that made it to the list this year.