Careers

4 difficult things you may need to do to be more successful at work

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Even if you have a great job, there will probably be times when you have to step up and do something you're not so excited about.

But whether it's learning how to feel more motivated or telling your boss about a mistake you made, being able to handle the less-than-amazing parts of work and poise is crucial.

Here are four things you'd probably love to skip, but should do anyways:

1. Deal with a toxic coworker

According to Stanford University professor and bestselling author Robert Sutton, about half of all workers will either face or observe persistent bullying in the workplace.

While it's important to know when to tell your manager if you're feeling unsafe or can no longer do your work effectively, changing how you react emotionally to a toxic coworker can help you tremendously, Sutton says.

Mental tricks such as reminding yourself that it's not you who has a problem or envisioning a barrier between you and the person can be helpful in reducing the effects of a bad coworker, Sutton says.

"Practicing the fine art of not giving a s--t about people who mistreat you," he writes, "can save your sanity, shield your physical health and keep you from hurting the people you love."

2. Learn to discuss a work-related mistake with your boss

There will be times when you make a mistake or encounter a problem that's stalling an important project. While it's tempting to just keep it to yourself, you do have to speak up.

If you have a problem, but don't have a solution, don't panic. First, decide the best setting to have the conversation, says Kat Boogaard, author at career blog The Muse. If it's particularly urgent, face-to-face may be best.

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Then, make sure you take the next few steps, including gathering the information you have about the situation and explaining the potential fallout. Speaking up, coming prepared and taking the necessary steps will help you stand out as responsible and professional in times of stress.

3. Get out of your routine and meet new people at work

While it's tempting to show up to work, do your job and leave, bestselling management author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch says going outside of your daily routine can help you get ahead.

"You need to be trusted," she says, "by your managers and by your coworkers."

One of the most effect ways to do that is to learn more about what your coworkers in different departments do.

"Look up from your work," Welch says, "and prove you respect your coworkers enough to 'get' their work on some fundamental level."

Ask your colleagues about their work and read a book on the topic so you have a better understanding. You could even take a course on it if it's something that interests you.

Taking the time to get to know others will help you build a strong reputation.

4. Disconnect from your phone before bed

Many Americans report being addicted to their smartphones. But not being able to part with your phone might be killing your productivity at work.

Two-thirds of American workers admit they would be better at their jobs if they got more sleep, a recent survey by job search and salary website Glassdoor found.

Putting your smartphone away before bed is a great way to fall asleep faster and feel more productive at work, Glassdoor community expert Sarah Stoddard says.

Stoddard suggests putting all electronics away 15 minutes before bed. Not only will it help you disconnect from work, but it will help you relax.

"This will give your brain a break from the blue light emitted from your smartphone and allow yourself to truly disconnect before falling asleep," she adds.

Instead, take some time to journal, read or just relax.

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