Mistakes Making Lemonade Out of Lemons Part 2

Mistakes: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons! Part 2

10 Awesome Tips To Avoid Mistakes in The Workplace

Last week we discussed how to:

  • allow for mistakes in the workplace
  • deal with them when they occur
  • learn from them and
  • prevent them from recurring


This week, I want to share 10 tips on how to avoid mistakes that are useful to keep in mind at work (and at home):


  1. Review your work
  • Edit your work and go over it more than once.
  • If needed, ask a trusted colleague to give you their feedback before submitting it.
  • Walk away from your current task or report for a while to get a fresh perspective when you return to review it.


  1. Ask Questions
  • Many of us shy away from asking questions in fear of appearing ignorant or silly. But here’s when you have to ask yourself, “how silly would I look when and if I get this wrong – just because I was too afraid to ask?”
  • I tell my staff not to hesitate to ask me if they’re not quite sure of something. It’s better to be informed and do the right thing, then to appear informed and end up making costly mistakes.


  1. Respond rather than react
  • Take a moment before you hit “send”.
  • Respond don’t react – be emotionally intelligent (EQ). Manage your emotions. Avoid the knee-jerk reaction of responding to a heated matter right away. The last thing you want is to appear as someone without self-control.
  • Put a 1 minute delay on your e-mail outbox. That one has saved me many times!
  • But also remember not to wait too long to respond. You may miss the relevant time window.


  1. Avoid multi-tasking
  • Despite what you’ve been led to believe in this modern era of connectivity, multi-tasking is not a time saver nor is it efficient. Multi-tasking dilutes our focus which leads to distractions and ultimately mistakes!
  • “One task at a time” is an excellent philosophy if you want to complete the work at hand in a satisfactory manner.


  1. Make a checklist
  • When you do have multiple tasks that need to be completed, make a checklist to avoid getting lost between different tasks that need your attention.
  • A checklist for each separate task or job is also useful because it ensures that you’re going through the correct procedure as you tick off each step along the way towards completing it.


  1. Prioritize
  • When you have multiple tasks, it’s best to rank them in relevance to both their importance and urgency.
  • Do not leave the most cumbersome tasks until the end as you may run out of time.


  1. Don’t procrastinate
  • Try to the remember Mark Twain’s philosophy about eating the frog first, where everything else you do after that becomes easy! The frog in this reference “is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.” (Tracey 2018).


  1. Make the time
  • The last place you want is to find yourself in at the eleventh hour, is realising that with so much left to do, you’ll never complete the task in time. That’s why it is very important to allocate a realistic time schedule for different parts of the job you need to complete (i.e. allotted time slots to research, report, review, and submit/present).


  1. Celebrate small victories
  • Rack up the victories and stop to celebrate them. Otherwise, all you’ll have as inventory is a pile of failures.
  • Remember that most successes are based on lessons learned from past failures.


  1. Pay attention to past mistakes
  • I know we’ve talked about learning from our past mistakes. But it’s not enough to remember and learn from them alone. It is just as important to remember the mistakes of others as well.
    • What mistake did your co-worker make that caused a big ruckus in the office?
    • What was the root of the problem and how can you avoid making that same mistake?
  • So, pay attention and you will most likely avoid making the same mistakes that others around you have made.


Despite all this, you will most likely make some mistakes along the way – albeit much fewer than before. We are all human. But, as discussed, mistakes will only make you stronger and better in your future endeavours!


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