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Your Work and You
Prioritisation, Organisation and Time Management:
Throughout your time at university you will become good at time management through juggling assignments, revision and other responsibilities outside of your degree. However, it can still be difficult for some people arriving in the work place and having new aspects of their life to organise, prioritise and time manage.
Time management is an everyday life management that we all use, and your skillset will often increase when you enter the workplace.
Journey to Work:
If you are on a flexi-hour contract this can sometimes make it easier to manage your route to work. However, if not, you will need to think about the easiest way for you to commute in, and this can also play a part when deciding where you live. When starting out a job and getting used to your commute, if you are driving it is advisable to leave a little earlier than you need to, to allow for bad traffic. Or if you are using public transport, get the train or bus scheduled before you planned to get. That way you are covered if there are transport delays or cancellations.
Sometimes it is unavoidable and you will have days of back-to-back meetings. However, if you can, try and space out your meetings. It is not like a lecture that finishes ten minutes before the hour to allow you to move to another building in time, so check your calendar before accepting or sending a meeting request to see if it is doable. This will also help you to maintain your wellbeing, and prevent mental exhaustion from moving from one meeting to another without giving yourself a chance to compose your thoughts and notes, and prepare for your next one.
Try to always take your lunchbreak and not work through it. You may have looming deadlines, but taking a break to have something to eat and be away from your screen will really help recharge your energy levels and improve brain activity. Think about how you work best as well, if it is with regular breaks then think about how you can do that within an office space. Maybe be the person who offers to do a coffee run for your team, or take a longer route to the bathroom to stretch your legs.
Prioritising is the key to success within your time management. Often, particularly in graduate roles, you will have exposure to lots of tasks and projects, and will potentially be supporting multiple staff members. This can be overwhelming, particularly if they all have deadlines that are close together, or if each contribute tasks that need to be completed daily.
Make use of your Calendar:
Using your work laptop calendar, block out a time period for daily tasks to ensure they get done, and write in the deadlines for projects.
Write a checklist of everything you need to get done that week on a Monday morning and highlight the stuff that is pressing or short term.
: Whether it is post-it notes, pin up boards or pop ups on your screen, sometimes having visual ques/reminders can help you manage your prioritisation instead of attempting to store it all in your head – particularly if you have access needs.
It can be easy, particularly during busy periods, to have a messy desk and for things to be all over the place. If your work space is not aiding your organisation then discuss it with your line manager and see if there is budget to buy you additional storage or a pin board, etc, to help you become more organised.
A good way to improve organisation is by keeping everything in one place, so for example, not taking meeting notes home. If you are someone who prefers writing during project planning, then have a specific note book for work (not scrap paper), and keep it within your drawer. Additionally, when typing notes or content onto a computer, organise your files in a way that’s quickly accessible and makes sense to you. The same is applicable with emails.
Procrastinating can be a struggle when organising your workload; our Training and Development team offer a free one hour training workshop session called
Procrastination and Productivity
to help develop skills within this area. During the session you will: Explore the concept of a sense of self and look at how our perception of ourselves can affect our ability to work effectively. As well as, re-evaluating how you view procrastination and why it may happen with the aim of reducing it.
Your confidence can be knocked going into a new environment, so it is useful to take steps to maintain and even further your confidence. If you want to develop your confidence skills in a group setting, we recommend you attend the Training and Development Team's 'Confidence Skills' workshop. This two-hour workshop gives you the chance to practice different techniques to improve your own perception of confidence before practicing in a group setting.
The objectives of the session for you to:
Understand your own perception of current confidence levels and why they are at your current level
Recognise methods to increase your confidence through body language
Practice developing confidence in a group task
For more information regarding looking after yourself in the workplace, and achieving a work-life balance, visit
New Adult Moments.