The excitement of starting a new job, beginning employment at a new company, changing careers, or kicking off day one of your promotion can dissipate quickly as you dive into the responsibilities on your plate and everything you need to retain throughout the onboarding process.
And it’s not like work is the only thing on your mind. Things go on outside of work that also take up space in your brain. For example, are you a parent, taking care of aging parents, or engrossed in living out a life full of hobbies? These are other things that can lump into work’s information overload.
Give yourself the opportunity to balance everything you want to and actually enjoy the onboarding process by following these 6 steps to avoid information overload.
Take a look at what your responsibilities are and the timeline for each. Then, create a list prioritized by the urgency of accomplishing each. To avoid information overload when conducting this specific exercise, think about what you’re trying to solve for each, how you can solve it, and what you need to solve.
Schedule Your Researching Time
As you start your information gathering, it can quickly turn into a trip down a rabbit hole. Without setting specific time of day restrictions, schedule time limits. How you do the research is up to you. For example, if your scheduled time is two hours, you could focus on one primary topic over the entire two hours or cover multiple topics. However you go about it, keep your time parameters in mind.
Ask for Insight When Determining Importance
Sometimes it’s easy to determine the importance of different tasks. For example, deciding on where you’re going to go for dinner weighs a lot less than if you’re going to accept a job offer or not. However, if the importance of tasks is harder to figure out, reach out to your boss or other colleagues for insight on where you should spend your time.
Read yourself. Don’t feed into the emotions if you feel yourself getting worked up. Instead, pull back and refocus, however works best for you. Some helpful tactics are doing breath work or using positive self-talk to get yourself back on track. In a new job, feeling overwhelmed is normal. Feeling uncontrollably stressed is not. Check-in with yourself periodically and make sure you avoid hitting the point of overload.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
Your brain isn’t the only database you should tap into during onboarding. So organize your thoughts digitally, whether in notepad or a Google doc, dump information here as you make your way through those first few days and weeks at a new job. This is a great way to empty your thoughts, especially in those early days of onboarding, to give your brain a break.
There’s a proven tie between taking breaks and productivity. Some studies have shown that people solve their most difficult problems when in a more relaxed, daydreamed state. Think about the last really good idea you came up with. Did you think of it when you had a clear mind or when it was crammed with information, muddied by stress, and partnered with a strict focus on a specific task on hand?
Anyone starting a new job knows the information overload that can come with it. So what are some of the best ways you can avoid that and genuinely enjoy the onboarding process? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Should You Stay or Should You Go?