Everyone has a few bad habits. Nobody’s perfect, right? But when negative behaviors show up in your work life, they need to be resolved (especially if they’re on this list):
Procrastination. You may say you do your best work under pressure. Maybe it’s even true. But, on the job, putting tasks off until the last possible moment and then frenziedly catching up doesn’t affect just you. It throws a wrench into everyone’s workflow. And it leaves people wondering why you can’t organize your schedule.
Naysaying. Nobody likes a “yes” man or woman. But neither do people care for the person who consistently shoots down everybody else’s ideas. Of course, being a critical thinker is a good thing. It’s part of what makes you a valuable contributor. But you’re part of a team, too, so try to look for the positive from time to time. Giving credit where credit is due reflects well on you as a person.
Fudging the truth in small ways. You would never submit a false expense account or intentionally plagiarize someone else’s work. But sometimes we fall into the habit of relying on little fibs to avoid responsibility or to make ourselves look better than we really are. The thing is, people quickly see right through this stuff. Practice integrity in all things. It pays off in the long run.
Email negligence. Not responding to emails, or responding in an incomplete or tardy or abrupt fashion, drives both co-workers and customers crazy. Yes, you probably do receive way too many emails in the course of a workday. Welcome to the club. Part of being professional is staying on top of the deluge.
Poor social skills. Telling inappropriate jokes, relentless fidgeting, looking at your phone while someone is talking to you — many people find these and similar things really annoying. Spiff up your manners! Making people feel uncomfortable or neglecting them is never the way you want to go. Observe your company’s culture and look for ways to fit in.
Bad habits don’t mean you’re a terrible person. Most of the time they’re just small behaviors we fall into out of a lack of self-awareness. Step outside yourself for a moment and try to see how others see you. It can be a boon to your career.