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When the going gets tough... tips for getting going


Be strict with yourself!

Start work whenever you are expected to (via a work directive) or when you feel comfortable and prepared for the day ahead. I would suggest that this is not later than 10am

And make sure you’ve showered, or at least dressed and the guide here is you look ok enough not to be embarrassed on a skype call!

Start writing lists.

Plan your work load and priorities the evening before so you can sit down and start without procrastinating.

If there’s a task you are putting off, notice it and then ask yourself why.

Think about how you are going to start the project.

If that is unclear, it’s a supervision issue, perhaps you need more information. Ask your manager as soon as you can. 

Sometimes the task seems to be too big and too boring. In which case breaking it up into say, half hour blocks is the best way to proceed. It's surprising how often once you’ve started it, you’re in the flow and it’s not as terrible as you expected.


Expect and handle distractions proactively

Give yourself a routine. Start work at a specific time. However, this might be a familiar scenario. You get an interesting email, DM or a notification, end up on facebook, twitter or in your newsfeed, following links down  a rabbit hole and don’t surface for a couple of hours. Informed with the current state of affairs but having not done any work. Self loathing around the corner. Unless you have a will of iron, build this likelihood into your schedule. If you start before nine, you can scroll away to your heart’s content.

The best way to try to prevent this is to turn off push notifications on your laptop. And go into your various fave portals at specific times, as a ‘treat’. As in, you’ve done two hours, now it’s coffee time. I really would recommend setting your phone alarm for breaks. We all have our comfortable time for concentration. Learn to find yours and work with it rather than against it.



Reward yourself with 'free time'

If you are keen to have a longer section of ‘free time’, perhaps consider, armed with your measurable objectives for work outcomes (otherwise known as what you need to do, by when!), starting early and finishing at 2pm or something like that? Or starting at midday – if that’s feasible – and finishing at 7pm. But whatever routine you decide on, it’s vital that you stick to it, in the main at least. Chaos is the only alternative if you let it slide.

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