Bad Work Habits That Are Limiting Your Potential

All of us develop bad habits over time. When you’ve been doing a particular job or been with a certain company for a while, complacency can set in. When it does, you’re likely to discover some bad work habits.

Isn’t time to get rid of them and develop better ones to help you become more successful?

According to Inc., these are some of the most common traits that can hold you back:

1. Being a “lone ranger.” Someone who does not have a confidant at work is more likely to fail due to lack of accountability. If you have an unproductive habit that you have trouble shaking, tell someone on your team–tell the entire team if that’s feasible. Then report your progress to them often. Multiple small successes soon add up to large ones.

2. Inability to set priorities. If you find yourself struggling with this issue, you will soon get overwhelmed by all the demands put on you at work. Try to accomplish the larger or more difficult assignments in the morning when you are freshest and save the more repetitive ones for later in the day. If you receive assignments as the day is winding down, use the last five to ten minutes to prioritise for the next day. Lists are very helpful, and checking items off as you complete them is a real ego-booster.

3. Fear as a prime motivator. It’s pretty easy to be motivated by fear at work. Fear of poor performance, fear of failure, fear of being a social outsider–fear will paralyse you. It will cause you to slide through the day making false starts and avoiding commitment. The remedy for fear is planning. Start by making a list of things you have accomplished (even if it’s only two or three) and keep it in a visible place to use as self-encouragement. Then make a list of things you want to accomplish and the steps to complete each one. The best way to successfully complete a big project is to break it down into smaller pieces.

4. Procrastinating. Communication is key in the work place. However, putting off responding to emails and phone calls is just kicking the can down the road–you never catch up. A large portion of correspondence is routine and doesn’t need more than a “received” or a “thank you”, neither one of which takes very long. A quick response also helps cement good relationships with clients and coworkers.

If you think you may have some unproductive habits but aren’t sure what they are, recheck your old performance evaluations for patterns. Ask a trusted colleague if they are aware of any detrimental tendencies you may exhibit. A spouse or close friend may also be aware of potential problem areas.

When you do discover a work habit that needs changing, look for a mentor–someone who has already conquered the same problem is an ideal candidate to help you on your road to success.