Competition is always in rich supply. Whether you own your own business or you work for a big company, you need to stay ahead of the curve. Although some organizations make it a point to have regular training for their employees, it is still up to the individual to take charge of their own advancement.

Make The Most of Self-Improvement Month

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September is Self-improvement Month, but progressing is not always easy. It takes a lot of practice and discipline to be constantly moving forward in multiple aspects of your life. Most jobs require mastery of many skills. Writers need to keep on top of grammatical rules. Healthcare workers need to stay abreast of new medical research and techniques.

Everyone should make a habit of good listening. Active listening can be helpful for all employees and business owners—not just in their professional lives but in their personal lives, too. Active listening validates others and helps to ensure that you fully understand a concept before acting on it.

Note taking is another key skill. You can make notes to remind yourself of the daily tasks you need to perform or the items you need to buy at the store. If you can discipline yourself to write things down, you’re more likely to accomplish them. You should also keep a pen and paper handy to jot down random ideas that enter your head (or enter the ideas in your phone, if you’re partial to technology). People often get little brainstorms or innovations throughout the day, and they’re likely to forget them if they don’t commit them to writing. Putting the ideas on paper can also free up your brain so it doesn’t have to remember as much. That way, you’ll be free to focus well on other things.

Self-improvement is a life-long pursuit, but making a few meaningful changes to your life, little-by-little, can make a big difference in your personal life and in workplace productivity.