Daily Archives: November 14, 2008

Identifying Bad Work Habits

bad habitBad habits that you carry into the workplace can impede productivity and maybe even annoy co-workers, but bad work habits can also damage or prevent career advancement. Many people don’t even realize their behavior is hurting job performance or frustrating others. That’s because over extended periods, your actions become habitual and you do them without even realizing it. In order to present yourself in a positive and professional light, it’s important to break the bad habits you have at work.

Identifying bad habits is the first step to eliminating them. So, how can you get rid of bad work habits when they’ve become so routine you barely notice them?

Keep Track of Your Day
Start by tracking how you spend your time at work. Consider keeping a journal or notepad log for a week or two, detailing everything you do in a day. List when you arrive to work late, start and end times for projects, time spent checking e-mail, time in meetings, etc. After you make your observations, review how you allocate your time. Examine how many projects you finished on time and how many you didn’t have time to complete. In addition – do you finish projects and then move on or work on them part by part? What time of the day do you spend doing certain tasks? Ask yourself if you are properly prioritizing your time and if you really need a full 30-minute conversation with a co-worker about the new Taylor Swift album. Also, avoid co-workers whose conversations can become “time thieves.”

After identifying where your time is spent productively and where it’s wasted, you can begin the hard part – breaking bad habits. Look for the next post that features common bad work habits and how to break them.