When you first start a new job it’s important to begin on the right foot. One of the ways to do that is to be as productive as possible from the very start.
Of course, if training is involved, tasks may be limited within the first few days. However, there are still some things you can do to be productive when you start a new job.
Preplan as Much as Possible
Those who strive to be the most productive know that it’s a lot like cooking. You must first start with a plan, or recipe. Otherwise, you lack structure and may leave some things out causing failure.
To prevent failure, try to be productive when you start a new job. Begin with what you can do ahead of time at home.
Make Food Ahead
If you need to take lunch to work each day, decide what to take the night before. Then do as much prep work as you can in advance.
For instance, cut veggies or make a sandwich and put everything in Ziploc bags or containers. Then group lunch items together in the fridge. This will make it much faster as you get ready the next morning.
Preplanning your wardrobe makes your mornings go smoother. Every evening, check out a weather app so you know what to wear the next day.
Losing a few minutes each evening may be worth it to help you dress for weather conditions. It also eliminates wasted time each morning shuffling through your closet in search of the perfect outfit.
Look at Your Calendar
Look over your personal and work calendar each evening. Check for appointments or meetings the next day that could affect wardrobe choice or work arrival times.
When you know what’s coming, you’ll arrive at work on time and unflustered. This can help you be productive and stay on track all day.
Arrive at Work Early
To be at your most productive when you start a new job you should arrive early. Set your alarm clock to allow at least 5 to 10 extra minutes. This will prevent you from being late and let supervisors know you are eager to work.
But allowing additional time in the mornings serves another purpose as well. If you have a morning set-back it may be just the added time you need to arrive at work on time. It also puts an end to the mad morning rush you could otherwise experience.
Develop a Daily Routine
Once you get to work, developing a daily routine is important. It will make you the most efficient and productive when you start a new job.
Routines allow you to pick up speed while completing tasks. Because your brain already knows what to do, you don’t have to stop and think about it. This prevents loss of precious seconds or minutes in your day.
One suggestion is to first double check your calendar and listen to phone messages. Next, respond to emails.
Limit your email response time to about 15 minutes before moving on to other work. If you find yourself getting distracted or taking too long, try setting a timer.
Do Quick Tasks Next
After getting through your morning routine, put quick, 5-minute or less tasks in your rear view mirror. This will help you build momentum and be productive when you start a new job.
Marking off tasks quickly feels good and spurs you on to do even more. It also lets you use larger time blocks for more time consuming projects.
Group Things That Are Alike
As you become familiar with your duties in a new job, you can group things that are alike. This helps you improve productivity and efficiency.
Your brain must reset each time you switch tasks. That’s why multi-tasking often backfires. Instead, do one thing at a time, but also do similar projects back to back.
Time saved may also be the result of not switching apps as often. Similar project may require the same apps. Doing them one after another means not having to wait as a computer loads a different app.
Watch Out for Time Sucks
There are plenty of opportunities for wasted time when you’re the new kid on the block. Here are some time sucks to watch out for.
Quite often you see people using their cell phones at work. Unfortunately for some it’s an addiction that’s hard to stop. The problem is that smart phones are a major time waster at work.
It also causes workers to ignore their clients and customers. To be at your most productive when you start a new job, set your cell phone out of reach. Then check it on personal breaks or at lunch time.
Additionally, internet availability is a problem for some workers. They just can’t resist using work computers to conduct personal business or waste time.
To improve your productivity when newly hired, don’t let yourself get caught up in this activity. Obviously if you use a computer to do your job it will always be a temptation.
However, you must ensure utilization of business resources for their intended purpose. This will keep you working at optimal levels and could also prevent you from losing your job.
Gossip and Lengthy Discussions
Do you have the gift of gab? If so, your new job is one place to squash it. Workplace gossip and long discussions can waste incredible amounts of time.
It’s not that you shouldn’t get to know your co-workers. But try to keep conversations to a minimum if they’re not work related. Following this advice may keep you productive as well as out of hot water with managers.
Schedule Email Management
Another way to be productive when you start a new job is to schedule times to review and answer emails. Otherwise, checking your email every few minutes interrupts other work and lowers productivity.
As mentioned above, check it first thing in the morning or soon after arriving at work. Next, unless waiting on something urgent, don’t check again until at least mid-morning.
Look a third time around lunch and again mid-afternoon. Check your inbox a final time before the end of the day to respond to a final round of emails.
An additional email management hint is to set up canned text emails for repetitive tasks. Let’s say you find you’re getting multiple regular emails requiring the same answer. To speed up processing email, set up canned text responses.
Canned text can be chosen, when appropriate, to prevent retyping the same thing many times over. Furthermore, it saves you time and allows you to get more done.
Templates are a great tool that can speed up efficiency and productivity at work. Many apps and programs have them just for this purpose.
Don’t spend time making something that’s already there. Look to see if the shell of a document has already been created for you. Then, simply plug in what you need to complete your project.
Still, sometimes no template exists for what you are doing. But if you’re making the same document over and over you can create your own too.
Clearly you don’t have to let being a newcomer hamper your productivity. There are many different ways to be productive when you start a new job. Use some of the ones above to help you work at your optimum level for success.
by Kayla Sloan