Struggling to concentrate at work?
With many Brits admitting to dropping their ‘A’ game six weeks into a new job, it seems that workplace distractions can often get the better of us. Although it may seem like you don’t need to try as hard after you’ve made it over the first hurdle, that doesn’t mean your boss won’t notice if you start to slack – whether you’re new or not.
So, to make sure your ‘me-time’ doesn’t get in the way of ‘work-time’, here are 10 ways to ensure you always bring your ‘A’ game to work:
Start the night before
Borrow some time from the evening to make sure you’re fully prepared for the morning.
Because let’s be honest, simple tasks like making a packed lunch and planning your outfit are far less stressful with when you’re not doing them at 7am, in the dark, under your duvet.
It will also help make sure you’re getting a good night’s sleep – which is absolutely vital in ensuring you wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the day.
Be early to work
Punctuality is the key to making a good impression from the get-go. And, if you get to work early, you’ll have time to relax and plan before you start the day.
Added bonus: its’ a great opportunity to actually have breakfast.
You + food = productivity.
Prioritise your tasks
Create a to-do list, with the most important stuff first, and set deadlines for yourself.
That way, you’ll have an organised plan for the day, and will be able to work stress-free in the knowledge that the most pressing tasks are going to be out of the way first.
Don’t hold back
If you have some time to do a task straightaway, just get on and do it.
Sometimes being confident in your decisions and showing resourcefulness is all your boss wants from you, so make the most of your time, and use your motivation wisely.
Because who knows when that kind of hardworking initiative (and time) will pop up again?
Be inquisitive, share your opinions, and don’t always accept a yes/no answer.
Asking questions is the best way to make sure your job is done to the highest standard possible, and getting answers also ensures that you know everything there is to know about it. The quality of your work isn’t worth compromising on just because you avoided asking for someone’s advice.
And you know how the saying goes: a curious person is an interested person.*
Don’t take on more than you can chew
If you simply don’t have the time to complete a project or task, tell whoever needs to know at the earliest opportunity.
The last thing you want to do is to make promises you can’t keep. You’ll only end up disappointing everyone involved when the task inevitably isn’t completed on time.
So, be honest and direct, and always explain the reasoning behind your situation. Your boss might actually be able to help.
If something you haven’t planned for crops up, don’t let it stress you out. You can easily go back to your list and re-prioritise.
Unforeseen events are common in most workplaces, and if you can’t deal with them calmly and professionally, you’re probably not going to give off the best impression about your work ethic.
Keep meetings short and sweet
Set an agenda, cover the main points, and share actions afterwards. Making everyone stand up can speed up the process too.
Because wasting time on unnecessary small talk, or failing to organise a meeting properly can mean it lacks direction – and as a result, it’ll end up taking longer to achieve the main objective.
So plan wisely, and use the time you’ve saved on more productive tasks.
Sometimes your body needs a time out to be able to work at its best. So always take time for regular breaks – even if it’s just standing up and having a stretch.
If your job involves sitting down all day, make sure you’re moving around regularly to avoid any awkward muscle cramps – and to stay alert. And if you’re always standing, have regular sitting down breaks to rest your legs.
And remember: staying hydrated also boosts productivity. Just saying…
Don’t get distracted
We all get distracted at work, but it’s always best to focus on completing your current task before moving onto the next thing.
Stick to your to do list, and don’t let distractions get the better of you. Once you’re side-tracked by one thing, it could lead to another, and then another… Until you can’t even remember what you were doing in the first place.
So stay motivated, and keep your attention fixed on the task at hand.
You – 1. Procrastination – 0.
*May not be an actual saying