5 Things you should be doing before you get to work.

Over the past 3 years I have gone through a couple of challenges in the corporate world that has made transitioning from a student to a responsible employee quite difficult. I've got the hang of a few things like learning how to use Excel and not spilling coffee on my shirt but more than anything I've learnt to master being physically and mentally present at the office. I've had my fair share of trouble in the past but I'm here to give you some of the tips I wish I had when I started. I don't see the need for you to suffer through some of the mistakes I have made, so if you've just started working or about to, here are the 5 things that you need to do before you get to the office.

1)  Lay your clothes out on the bed.

I'm currently obsessed with pink! I got this dress from Woolies on sale for only R200 (major saving). I paired it with a black peplum shaped blazer along with gold accessories! Bring on the summer

I'm currently obsessed with pink! I got this dress from Woolies on sale for only R200 (major saving). I paired it with a black peplum shaped blazer along with gold accessories! Bring on the summer

Seriously if you are like me and take forever to pick out an item I would suggest you think about your outfit the night before, check to see if it's ironed and hang it on your closet door handle or on your bed. This saves you plenty of time! When you get out of the shower the next morning you'll have your clothes waiting for you to put on without wasting a second. Additionally when you get time on the weekend check the tips or soles of your shoes. If they need to be fixed take them to the mall and get them repaired. If you are in a client facing working environment such as me you want to always look your very best.

2) Wake up earlier and read.

These are the books I've either just read or about to read! I love reading biographies of inspirational people because there's always some habits or lessons you can learn from them

These are the books I've either just read or about to read! I love reading biographies of inspirational people because there's always some habits or lessons you can learn from them

I know it sounds a bit counterintuitive because you may want to have as much sleep as possible, but reading is vitally important. When we wrap up varsity we tend to stop reading when in fact it's even more important to read in order to learn and grow. We are being moulded to become captains of our own industry and reading will enable us to understand a variety of views and learn to get better at what we do. Pick up a book, any book that you know you will genuinely enjoy, be it about a specific person, or topic, anything that will spark the book worm in you. Learn from what you are reading and implement some of it in your environment.

3) Answer your emails and plan your day.

After you've wrapped up your mini reading session, I encourage you to go through your phone or laptop and answer any pending emails. Don't let an email simmer for more than 24 hours, especially if it requires a response. By doing this in the morning you will also begin to plan what you need to do for the day. Having a clear vision on what you want to do for the day also helps build healthy habits that are edging you closer to your goals at work, whatever those might be. It's all good and well to want to be a rated a Highly Effective employee or earning a bigger bonus but if you don't devise ways every single day to be better you'll be stuck being the exact same person.

4) Plan your meals

I want my food to be colourful and interesting and nothing beats fruits! I love the easy convenience of Woolies food as well and if you buy the micro-waveable stuff in bulk then you get major discounts! Whoop whoop.

I want my food to be colourful and interesting and nothing beats fruits! I love the easy convenience of Woolies food as well and if you buy the micro-waveable stuff in bulk then you get major discounts! Whoop whoop.

Since we're on the topic of planning your work day, planning your meals is also important. Not only will it help you reach your health goals because you won't be stuffing your face with canteen food but it's an insane money saver. Think about it, on average you could easily spend R50 a day on lunch, that's R250 a week and R1000 a month on just lunch alone! R1000 could be spent on fuel, or a new language course or paying utilities. These are one of the simpler ways to save and stay healthy at the same time! Pack your lunch in little boxes of Tupperware so you can munch throughout the day, it may also help curb some of your cravings.

5) Fill up on your tank!

Ok so if you're driving a gas guzzler like this one, I would advise you to put it on Eco instead of Sport. Also try not to take off like a crazy person and use routes that have less robots andtraffic in order to stay fuel efficient.

Ok so if you're driving a gas guzzler like this one, I would advise you to put it on Eco instead of Sport. Also try not to take off like a crazy person and use routes that have less robots andtraffic in order to stay fuel efficient.

So now you know what to do with your tummy, but what about your car? Instead of waiting in those long Monday morning queues at the petrol station, try filling up on a Sunday afternoon or any other afternoon when you're not in a hurry. Remember your goal is be punctual at work. I have also heard from a few petrol heads that filling up your tank instead of letting it run on empty all day will also ensure you don't run into problems with your fuel injectors. Anything that doesn't result in the destruction of my car I'm willing to do, we all know how expensive things can get!

Ultimately it comes down to this, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The whole point of working is to not only to ensure you have money in your bank account but it's also to keep growing as a person. You want to keep learning and advancing so that even if you quit and start as an entrepreneur the people you used to work for may want to assist you in your own endeavours. There's no harm therefore in being a star employee, it all adds up in the end. Live a life of excellence no matter where you find yourself. I hope these little tips and tricks add on to your bigger goals!

Khanya Modipa