I was in the cereal isle at the grocery store when my boss called me.
“Joan, did you give the report to the homeowner?”
My hand froze on the Cheerios. “Um… yeah - he came to the office and asked for it.”
“Joan, that homeowner is not our customer, and we had no authority to give him that report. This could be really serious.”
Oh no. I flapped my free arm in distress and stammered out apologies. I didn’t know; he’d been so nice. I thought I was being helpful. And now my Friday evening felt ruined.
I was in my second job ever, and this kind of thing was way too familiar. It seemed I was always messing up something at work, even though I was so afraid of making mistakes.
And these days, I can see what was going on. I wish I had known then, because I could have gotten a handle on it all. But it’s okay, because now I can help you avoid the problems I got myself into. Want to know how to reduce mistakes at work? We’ll do it with Step 9 to using your job: Increase Accuracy and Move on from Mistakes.
That’s right - because no matter how much we put in place to reduce them, mistakes are still going to happen now and then. This whole step is so good for you. This will help you out a ton in your job now, anywhere you go after this, and throughout life.
So let’s get into it! Here’s how you increase your accuracy and move on from mistakes at work:
(1) SET UP SYSTEMS & PROCEDURES for yourself, to help you reduce mistakes and keep things from falling through the cracks. You might do it by scheduling your tasks, making a plan for the next day, using automatic reminders, making checklists for procedures, keeping things organized, reducing distraction, and giving yourself time to work without interruptions.
(2) TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF and look after your own happiness, so you can show up to work with energy, perform at your best, and avoid a slump. You’ll do this by getting enough rest, taking your days off, taking regular longer breaks, doing something kind for yourself or something that makes you happy every day, doing some kind of physical activity every day, and starting the habits from Step 2 to using your job (to increase your confidence and happiness).
(3) PLAN FOR MISTAKES so you can move on with confidence and grace. Your plan will be to keep it in perspective, listen if you’re getting lectured, stay calm, be humble, sincerely apologize, have confidence in yourself, do something extra-nice for yourself after work, take your next break from work, then come back after and be moved-on.
I made a video with the details, and we can watch it together right here: