1. Get motivated to face the day
On the way to your workplace, think of how the work you have allows you to have your life outside of it, such as a great social life. A positive attitude will make the day more pleasant and productive.
2. Keep your work in perspective
You can only do the best you can in each situation. Look beyond yourself and your work, and consider the bigger picture. Do some voluntary work to gain a broader outlook. Find a way to contribute to society in general.
3. You are more than your work
Do not have your identity too strongly tied to the job you do. Give up thinking that your work life “should” be a certain way. Such expectations of what you were supposed to be, as set by your parents and teachers, stop you from enjoying what you currently do.
4. Plan your time and create a to-do list
In this list, include long-term projects as well as the more imminent things that need doing.
Prioritise your to-do list – do the most important things first. When performing any task, ask yourself – is this the best use of my time? Schedule in enough time for your studies etc.
5. Concentrate on the task at hand
Do not let yourself be distracted by worrying about all the other things to be done or losing energy over the undesirable situation you find yourself in. Stay in the moment.
Be ruthless and take care of a task before it gets on a possible procrastination list. For example, sort your morning post immediately in one go – open it, file it, act on it or bin it there and then.
6. Be clear about what’s expected of you
Clarify immediately, any time you are not sure or where you are faced with conflicting demands. The more clear and upfront you are with your manager and the other people you work with, the better it will be for you in the long term.
7. Delegate wherever appropriate
Decide if there is anything that can be delegated, or that more fairly belongs to someone else’s workload. Always remember the “3D” rule – do it, dump it or delegate it – never handle a piece of paper twice.
8. Have regular breaks
Get away from your normal workplace even if it’s only for five minutes. Try taking a break from the laptop, emails and do leave the mobile behind. Make sure that you do have that lunch break – it is not just for food but also for fresh air and a mental break.
Eat a healthy lunch and if you must snack, make sure it is healthy too – an apple rather than a bag of crisps. Look for ways of energising yourself, other than from adrenaline and caffeine.
9. Learn to relax
No matter how challenging the work gets or how demanding your bosses become, it, at the end of the day it is only a job and you are much more than that. In years to come, you will look back and wonder what the fuss was.
10. Make your workplace more pleasant
Contribute towards creating a pleasant work environment. Do not gossip in the office as it just creates negativity all around. Do not listen to any gossip either. Minimise your time with people that you do not resonate with or like.
Learn to have more fun at work. Laugh more and chill out. Perform with a more fun orientated approach.
11. Review your day before you leave for home
Look at what worked well, and what could be improved the next day. If you feel satisfied with the day’s work, then why not reward yourself later that day. You deserve it.
12. Switch off once you leave work
You are already at work a third of your time, so do not continue to keep it buzzing in your head during your supposed free time. Mentally say goodbye to your workspace the moment you leave for home.
See your work as a game. Life is meant to be fun and if you are going to spend a third of it at work, you might as well enjoy the game.
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