6 Work Habits to Break in the New Year

With 2013 fast approaching, we all have resolutions in the back of our minds.  As you’re contemplating yours, here are some bad work habits to consider breaking.  You’ll improve your productivity AND your reputation!

Being 10 minutes late for everything

You may run late in all aspects of your life, or maybe you just do it at work because you’ve over-scheduled your time.  Either way, stop being the person who’s always holding things up.  Being punctual will endear you to your colleagues and protect you in case your manager happens to be a clock-watcher.

Spending too much time on personal stuff

We’ve all been there.  Things are a little slow at the office, so the work hours between 10AM-12PM are spent shopping on Amazon, checking Facebook, and reading gossip sites.  As much as you can, strive to curb this behavior.  If you need something to do, volunteer to help a colleague or invest in your professional development.

Complaining

The business world isn’t always an easy place to be, but whining about negative circumstances or annoying people only makes your situation worse.  Try to be the solution-oriented person on your team who is always looking for ways to turn a bad scenario into a more positive one.

Being an e-mail delinquent

So what if e-mail is so 2005?  It is still the most popular mode of communication inside most organizations.  Please don’t ignore or refuse to respond to e-mail requests from your boss, colleagues, partners, or clients.  Just because you don’t think they’re top priorities doesn’t mean others agree with you.

Procrastinating

Create a to-do list and focus on checking as many of them off the list as you can. When the urge comes to do something else instead, force yourself to think about whether a momentary break is worth having to fit the task in somewhere else.  Also, don’t wait to start a project that requires a good bout of concentration until 5PM.  You may think this will motivate you to pick up the assignment the next day, but all it really just breaks your momentum and may even cause you to lose a good train of thought.

Hiding your mistakes

It’s human nature to want to sweep those oopsies under the rug, but more often than not, this is a bad idea.  For one thing, you will probably be found out and will look much worse than if you took immediate responsibility for the mistake.  Secondly, you’ll deprive yourself of the opportunity to learn a better strategy for next time.

Alexandra Levit

Alexandra Levit’s goal is to help people find meaningful jobs - quickly and simply - and to succeed beyond measure once they get there. Follow her @alevit.

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