Ditch These 5 Bad Work Habits to Immediately Improve Your Life

Apr 7, 2017 | BDE, Do More, Life Hacks

When it comes to our careers, we usually focus on getting our tasks done, and if there’s time left over, we try to pick up some new positive routines. While we’re huge proponents of getting stuff done and creating good habits, this approach ignores the bad work habits that could be holding you back.

Your net success is determined by what remains when your bad habits are subtracted from your good ones. By noticing the negative aspects of your day-to-day life, you’ll drastically improve it.

We won’t keep you in suspense – here are some of those bad work habits you can drop today to immediately improve your life:

Start having sloppy writing. 

If you aren’t in a role that involves a lot of writing, this communication habit probably doesn’t seem like big deal. Harvard University research, however, says otherwise – they found that writing is one of the most important skills in any career. It can boost productivity, strengthen leadership, and even improve your chances of a promotion. Bad writing, on the other hand, results in the opposite.

You can stop one of the bad work habits right in it’s tracks by devoting time to your writing. Consider double-checking your emails before sending them off, and ensuring they use clear and error-free language.

If you want more concrete ways to improve you writing, check out my article on Stephen King’s expert writing tips.

Stop saying ‘yes’ to everything.

We’re all told that being agreeable and saying “yes” is polite and desirable, especially when dealing with a supervisor or manager. While that might be true during a dinner party, in the business world, it can have drastic consequences. You’re only human (sorry to break it to you), and with limited resources, you’ll eventually end up making false promises by taking on everything. Plus, you’re an amazing individual, and you need to put yourself first.

Instead of saying “yes” to everything and following this bad work habit, learn to turn up your turn down skills. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask a boss what should be prioritized, or to put yourself first over a coworker’s needs.

Start being punctual with everything.

Even if you’re a virtuoso in your field, you won’t get very far if you aren’t punctual. Whether it’s simply showing up at 9 am, or delivering an important project by a deadline, if you’re on time, you’ll be seen as the go-to professional who managers and bosses can rely upon.

It might not seem like a big deal, but you need to be on time – or even better, early – for everything and anything in your professional life. If this is one of your bad work habits, you can start eliminating it by prioritizing and setting realistic deadlines. Order your tasks by importance and deadline, and start letting others know beforehand if you’re overwhelmed. It’s better to tell a boss right away that you need more time than to deliver sloppy work late.

Avoid bad body language.

What your body is saying matters just as much as what’s coming out of your mouth. Science shows that we subconsciously evaluate much of our impressions of people based on their body language. Plenty of us are guilty of these bad work habits of body language, such as displaying a lack of confidence.

Thankfully, experts show that there are some easy fixes to your body language that can not only make you appear more successful to others, but can boost your own confidence as well. By standing tall and adopting a “Superhero Pose,” you’ll look and feel like an ultra-successful Wonder Woman.

It’s time to end the negativity for good. 

Let’s face it: everyday won’t be sunshine and rainbows at work. But if you allow a bad day to affect your attitude, it will affect your success and drag down those around you. Studies show that negativity is contagious – your boss and coworkers will notice, and they will (and should) try to cut out the negativity.

If you feel a bad day dragging you down, consider taking a break for a few minutes, and focusing on the bigger picture. You might not enjoy a this rushed Power Point project, for instance, but it could be helping you reach your long-term career goals in the future. By re-framing bad days as hurdles on your road to success, you can start to see the positives in anything.

Are there are any bad work habits you’ve learned to break? Share your story with the Love The Hustle Tribe! 

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