Daily Archives: November 17, 2008

Breaking Bad Work Habits

breaking bad work habitsAfter spotting your bad habits in the office, the hard part is actually breaking them. But, simple behavior adjustments can dramatically increase your productivity and professional image so it’s important to change them as soon as possible.

Below is a list of a few common bad workplace habits. Take advantage of these remedies to break away from time-stealing habits and propel your career.

Bad Habit – Procrastination: A major time stealer is procrastination and it only gets worse the longer it’s drawn out. Procrastinators run the risk of missing deadlines – showing your boss and colleagues that they can’t depend on you.

How to Fix It: Think of all deadlines as nonnegotiable. Remember that people are counting on your work. When you have an approaching deadline, set an advanced finish date for yourself to complete the project. Finishing your project ahead of schedule will help relieve stress and ensure that your quality of work isn’t sacrificed by rushing.

Bad Habit – Negativity: There are many reasons negativity can hinder your career. When moaning and complaining become a daily occurrence, you’ll begin to annoy co-workers or whoever you’re grumbling to as well as sapping their personal resolve.

How to Fix It: Not every aspect about work can be fun so it’s only natural to feel negative about work once and a while, but you don’t always have to voice your concern to co-workers. Consider talking to a friend or loved one outside of the workplace. When you need to share concerns with co-workers, remember the difference between just complaining and communicating professionally.

Bad Habit – Poor Punctuality: You may think that as long as you get your work done, it shouldn’t matter when you arrive. While this is true in some cases, for most work environments, it’s simply not the case.

How to Fix It: Instead of complaining about your work schedule, realize that you probably knew the hours required when you took the job. Make punctuality a priority. Understand why you’re constantly running behind schedule. Cut out hitting the snooze one extra time, or go to bed a little earlier. Think about what would happen if everyone slept in and showed up late. Keep in mind that reliability is highly regarded by employers.

Bad Habit – Dressing Unprofessionally: You may think that deviating – even slightly – from the dress code portrays you as hip or shows your sense of style, but employers often read this as you don’t take your job seriously.

How to Fix It: Dress codes are in place for a reason. Display your professionalism and respect for the company by adhering to obvious policies. That doesn’t mean your attire has to be dull, but make sure it’s appropriate and dress the part.

Bad Habit – Playing Computer Games and Checking E-mail: Many companies are Okay with you checking personal e-mail or playing a computer game while on lunch break, but don’t abuse their generosity. And remember that some companies have strict no-tolerance policies. If you’re constantly playing games, you’re obviously not doing what you’re paid to do and people will notice.

How to Fix It: Avoid frequent time wasters such as playing games or checking e-mail. When you feel the urge to play a quick game of Tetris, satisfy that urge with a productive replacement activity – like catching up on the news.

Unproductive behavior becomes habitual over time. In that same sense, bad workplace habits must be conquered over time. When you want to change a bad habit, you must approach it with a strong commitment. So, take a hard look at your bad work habits and commit to changing your behavior. You never know what opportunities may pass you by if you don’t.