The five mistakes you’re making when you get to work . . . and how to avoid them

Categories Lifestyle

Your first hour in the office sets the tone for the rest of the day — so don’t fall into these five 9am pitfalls.

Being late

“You can set your own schedule,” says the boss . . . hmm. Even if you stay an hour later than your colleagues, if you’re the bloke who arrives at 10 past nine, you’re still going to perceived as that late guy who’s less diligent and committed than his workmates. Whether you need to prepare breakfast the night before or invest in an alarm clock that blares out a wake-up tone at 100 decibels, arriving on time is critical.


Drinking coffee

You’re naturally buzzing at the start of the workday thanks to the stress hormone cortisol, so wait until after 10am for your first cuppa rather than making a beeline to the coffee machine as soon as you arrive. Consuming caffeine when you’re body’s already alert dulls its effect on your body — the stimulant lasts longer if you can save your first dose until between 10 and 11.

Not saying hello

No one feels like doing a favour for that grumpy bugger who skulked into the office without a peep, so go to the effort of greeting your team with a bit of small talk — a little genuine interest can go a long way later in the day. Saying ‘Hi, how was your evening?’ demonstrates social skills, which enhances your colleagues’ perception of your other technical talents.


Getting caught up in your emails

You log in and it feels like there’s more emails sitting in your inbox than Hillary Clinton’s infamous private server — and it’s not smart to try and plough through them all right away. Clear the urgent ones off your desk but let the rest form a loose schedule for the day by writing down your priorities before you dive in head first. Oh, and keep emails brief — think about how many TL;DR essays you skip over.


Tackling the wrong tasks first

Your mind’s at its freshest as soon as you sit down at your desk so sink your teeth into challenging tasks that demand your sharp focus. Think carefully about chewing up your most productive minutes with easy errands and time-gobbling meetings, and concentrate on only one job at a time — starting the day by multitasking have a dozen items scrambles your attention and gets your day off on the wrong foot.