After the initial excitement of starting in a new job, you may find yourself having difficulty keeping your mind on track. This is normal: anything can become routine, no matter how dedicated you are or how much you enjoy it.
However, there are some ways that you can avoid procrastination and ensure that you’re making the best of your time at work.
Plan with a to-do list
Every day, make a to-do list of the things you need to complete – even if they’re routine tasks. Start your list with something small and simple, such as responding to emails or attending the regular team meeting: crossing this off your list will help you to feel productive at the start of the day and encourage you to carry on with the next item.
Bad news first
Do the task that you aren’t looking forward to as soon as possible. It sounds tough, but it will mean that the rest of your day will be that much smoother. The weight of anticipating something difficult or tedious will be lifted from your mind, helping you to pay more attention to the things that aren’t so hard.
Pay attention to your space
A messy environment can make you feel disorganised, which can disrupt your thinking and lead to a lack of focus. Get rid of as much rubbish, unneeded documents, and other kinds of clutter as you can, and streamline your space with a desk organiser or folders for your paperwork. You could even add a live plant, as these have been found to be beneficial in the workplace.
Perhaps the most obvious tip is to turn off your phone; not just on silent, but off completely. This will help you avoid the temptation of checking it (even if you tell yourself you’re just looking at the time). The same goes for emails, even work ones: reading and responding to an email can easily derail your train of thought, so schedule a five minute break to check your inbox instead to avoid interrupting your work.
Listening to music or ambient sounds can help you to focus, as you won’t be half-listening to your colleagues’ conversations. Plus, your headphones will give a subtle signal that you don’t want to be disturbed. But avoid podcasts or radio – these can be a real distraction, as they require more attention than music.
Are you ready to get into the workplace? Take a look at our business programs to find out how we can help you get started.