Millennial. Ugh, I hate that word.
But you know what? It’s what I am. I am a person coming to young adulthood in the early 21st century. However, the reason I feel ashamed to be related to this group is all the media-bashing toward us.
In fact, in 2013, Time Magazine ran a cover story entitled ‘Millennials: The Me Me Me Generation’, and if you Google “millennials”, you will come across several negative articles citing our failings.
Well, in the last quarter of 2017, I got a job at Code for Africa, a non-profit organization.
Admittedly, I work with a young group of people, but nevertheless, work is work and at the end of the day I had to deliver results.
Here are a few things I learned about meeting work expectations, even while being the part of the ‘lazy’ ‘self-centered’ generation.It’s time to drop the negative connotations associated with the millennial generation Click To Tweet
Get rid of distractions
The world is going paperless. And so it is at work, you will be on your laptop throughout. But not only will you have access to your email accounts and work-related Google docs, but also Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the bottomless pit called Google search engine.
It is difficult to get anything done within the work day if you cannot regulate your usage of these time-consuming apps. From my experience, it is best to close all tabs except those ones you are using to get your work done and refrain from opening any leisure related apps with your laptop.
Instead, set a goal to only use your phone for social media, as it is way more obvious for everyone to tell you are not concentrating on your work if you are tapping away on your phone.
Work in small bursts of focused concentration
This goes hand in hand with distractions. To ease you into the idea of concentrating solely on work, work in small bursts of 20 – 30 minutes.
Pick a small task and aim to finish it within that time. Then reward yourself with a check-up on your WhatsApp or use the time to go grab a cup of coffee. Then pick another task and repeat.
At midday, take an hour off your desk and go grab lunch preferably outside your work building. I found that you get a rejuvenating boost once you are away from your work for a while and will get more done when you come back as your mind is refreshed.
We all have different personalities and as millennials, you are already walking in with several perceptions hanging over your head like Damocles’ sword.
Try and keep an open mind and ignore all past stereotypes that may or may not exist.
Remember, you’re all there to get the job done. Focus on that. Give proper respect to all your colleagues and you will slowly earn it back too. People respect other people who are cordial and are focused on their common goals.
Always think of ways you can be helpful and do all your assignments with as much detail as possible. The trick is to be consistently reliable.
Set a daily routine
A routine will help your body adjust to your schedule and therefore, you’ll be able to get more done. Have a standard wake-up time, which should be early enough to give you enough free time to do some light exercise.
Working out in the morning is the best option as it clears your mind and instills the discipline that will seep into all sectors of your life. Whether it’s a busy week at work or not, stick to this schedule. This will lend to your overall amount of energy throughout the day.
Ask when not sure about something
There’s a time to pretend you know how to get the job done then go figure it out later. This is not it.
Under tight deadlines and situations where you are working with others, let go of your pride/ego/millennial ‘wokeness’ and simply ask for help on how to carry out certain tasks.
You’ll get it done quickly without wasting time asking Uncle Google.
Whether you’re an intern, a fellow, a full-time working employee and you happen to fall into the millennial bracket, it’s time to drop the negative connotations associated with the generation and prove that we can work just as good as anyone else.
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