How to Get Straight A's in the Work Place
As I start preparing for my senior year at St. Olaf College, I find myself thinking back to the last three years: where did I most often study, what was my latest night, how hard were my classes, what grades did I get?
In previous summers, I'd spent more time thinking about the following school year than about my post-college life.
This summer, however, as I finish up my internship at The Thorburn Group in Minneapolis, I will think about where I want to be post-graduation.
I imagine myself explaining the good grades I got, the cool internships I had, and the great experiences I found myself in. I want to be able to explain to future employers during interviews that I can be successful in the work place because I was successful in school.
Cal Newport’s How to Become a Straight-A Student taught me how to become a straight-A student in my senior year and also gave me lifelong tips on how to be successful in my everyday life as well as in my future work place.
Here are 3 easy tips for getting straight A's (in the workplace):
With these tools, students and employees can practice time management and concentration enabling them to get our work done faster, but still getting greater scores and feedback. If we can recognize where our procrastination comes from and why we are distracted, we can also learn how to let these distractions become less destructive to our ability to succeed—in school and in the work place.
Are Straight A’s even possible at work?
Step 1: Manage Your Time in 5 Minutes a Day
A little planning each day actually does go a long way. If our days are planned in advance, then we are able to concentrate on the tasks as they come and later be able to relax without anxiety. Often I find myself making checklists I can cross assignments and tasks off as my days go by. However, I also find myself forgetting that I have a small assignment due the same afternoon and quickly become the stereotypical stressed-out college student.
To avoid this, Newport suggests that we keep two lists: one we carry throughout the day that we add tasks to, and one we update each morning with deadlines. Not only is this something we can keep as students, but it's also a suggestion we can bring to the work place. Keeping these schedules and checklists allows us tofocus on the task at hand.
Step 2: Declare War on Procrastination
Procrastination seems inevitable. We all find ourselves resorting to checking various social media outlets because we cannot or do not want to concentrate on what we should. Newport suggests that we keep a progress journal that helps us hold ourselves accountable for the tasks not completed during the day. Writing down our excuses for why something was not finished that day—whether laziness or boredom or busyness—ensures that we understand why we did not complete the task and why we keep putting it off. Just as we've done in school, if we understand why a task was not completed, we are more likely to finish it the next day.
Step 3: Choose Where, When, and How Long
Newport suggests we work the most during the morning, in isolation, and for no more than an hour at a time without a break. Obviously, some of these tips are not possible in the work place, but the main and obvious points can and do transfer. Getting to the office early allows you to focus on tasks before the bustle of others arriving distracts you. This isolation is accomplished by escaping to your cubicle or desk, and allowing yourself breaks each hour ensures an increase in blood flow; thus, it ensures an increase in productivity.
Written by Karin Johnson
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