As we start a new year, let’s kick our bad work habits to the curb.
We hit our deadlines, make the rounds on the networking circuit and try to get along with all our colleagues, even Dwight. But for all our best intentions, bad habits can creep into our work and our workspace.
As we turn toward 2018, let’s take a personal inventory of the behaviors that hold us back and replace them with actions that can move us forward.
Procrastination. The granddaddy of poor work habits, procrastination happens to even the most caffeinated workaholic. When you find yourself putting off a big project, break it into smaller action items and put those deliverables on your calendar.
Gossip. Sometimes, it feels good to be bad. But in the long run, gossip can damage relationships, affect trust and create a narrow narrative that misrepresents a colleague’s overall character. Dwight gets labeled “weird” and Mary Kate is always “lazy.” Rather than zeroing in on what’s different, find some common ground and keep the focus on the work.
Clutter. It may sound crazy, but look at the email from the past two months in your inbox. Pull out anything important and then move everything else to a folder so you can start fresh, with a commitment to getting back to zero at the end of a day or week. As for your desk, 2018 is the year to go paperless: scan and store important documents and shred the rest.
Time management. Have you found yourself staying at work late into the night? January is a perfect time for a reset. Commit to a hard stop at a certain time every evening and then create a workback schedule to achieve this. Get up earlier, cut lunch short if necessary, streamline your calendar and make your work hours count. Leave when the whistle blows.
Web sloth. It’s far too easy to check something on a website and then pop over to LinkedIn or Instagram for the latest updates. Schedule limited periods of time each day to check your email and do web research.
Poor communication. Poor communication can lead to miscommunication. Stop relying totally on email; instead, pick up the phone or schedule face time with colleagues and clients. Take time to chitchat before diving into the task at hand. Be present and focused during all interactions.
Negativity. Pinpoint why you’re feeling toxic. Chances are, it’s not because of Dwight. Whether it’s the corporate culture, dissatisfaction with your role or an uncommunicative manager, figure out where your discontent is coming from and address it. If you can’t switch things up with your current job, 2018 might be the year to look for a new gig.