Bust these 5 bad work habits for good
Thursday, January 31, 2019
New year, new you — that applies just as strongly in your work life as it does in your personal life. As a manager, you want to set a good example for your team members who take their cues from your work style and philosophy.
Are you making this happen? If not, it's easier than you think to break bad habits that may be holding you back from doing your best work — and inspiring your staff to do their best work.
Check out the following list of common behaviors you'll want to change — and use these science-driven tips to get into a new mindset, and up your game.
Stop being proud that you never leave the office.
If you're in the rut of working all the time but aren't seeing new gains, it could be that you're addicted to the social status overworking may bring. Seeing workaholism as a sign of success is a surefire road to burnout, according to University of Alberta researcher Cindy Jardine.
Separate your personal identity from your work identity by writing down five great achievements in your life that are not tied to your work life — maybe it's how you raise your kids, the fact that you're a devoted spouse, or the fact that you excel at a hobby.
Once you feel proud of the fact you're a well-rounded person, you'll do better at work with less time and effort.
Stop opting for the easiest tasks.
A study from Clemson University found that getting more sleep is a foolproof way to motivate yourself out of your work comfort zone, due to the recharging effect it has on your brain — sleep zaps inattentiveness and boosts your self-control.
When you're able to control your energy, you make better decisions and you can harness the motivation you need to do your most challenging work. Aim for 7-9 hours a night — you'll soon see your desire to tackle that challenging dream project skyrocket.
Change your desk around.
According to research from the Society For Personal and Social Psychology when you change the "cues" that reinforce a bad habit (like surfing the web first thing in the morning instead of starting on work), you can more easily change that negative habit.
Give yourself a new visual "cue" by moving the items on your desk into new places — shift your computer placement first. Then, you will have created a new environment that will reboot your brain to start fresh when tackling tasks.
Now, resolve to finish a work task before doing anything else — before coffee, chatting with your co-worker, or even dealing with your inbox. Get in the new habit, in your new environment, of tackling a job first thing and you'll get a brand-new feeling of accomplishment right out of the gate.
Stop being hard on yourself.
Allow yourself mistakes. Let your staff see that you're human and tell them that no one is perfect. When they see you don't expect absolute perfection from yourself or from them, everyone relaxes, and mistakes decline as a result.
Stop taking things so seriously.
When you're caught up in deadline pressure, you may be so habitually focused and determined that any delay may cause you to freak out. Try laughing at a colleague's joke or singing along to the radio instead, according to research from Florida Atlantic University, which found that happy distractions can lessen physician burnout.
Simple acts that give you pleasure will remove you from habits that lead to stress and burnout — and blips on the road to your deadline won't seem like the end of the road. Keep your perspective — that's the best way to break any bad habit!
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