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How to overcome your worst work habits

No one's perfect and we all have our share of bad habits. The problem comes when those habits get in the way of achieving our goals. If you feel like your on-the-job bad habits are holding you back, take these five tips and start working to overcome them.

Hold yourself accountable

And let your team in on the action. "Share the habit you are breaking with at least one person on your team — if not the entire team — and report it to them each day as you succeed," says Back Office Drafting founder Laney Lyons. "Companies such as Weight Watchers use this accountability motivator very successfully. Use your team to support you and hold you accountable."

Prioritize your tasks each day

Nothing will help you more than being able to see what you need to accomplish in list form. "Most people have a tendency of getting overwhelmed at work. You're constantly getting distracted with emails, pointless conference calls, and unexpected tasks," says digital media specialist Ariel Lopez. "I suggest taking care of larger/more difficult tasks earlier in your day so by the time the afternoon rolls around you're smooth sailing."

Acknowledge your accomplishments

Fear is where the worst work habits originate from, says Aligned founder Amita Patel. "Fear of discomfort, fear of failure, fear of not being good enough. So we procrastinate and avoid taking aligned action.

"The key is to pick three big wins," she says. "What are the three accomplishments you will want to share? Even if they are small, planning will help you to set yourself up for success. Why? Because without a plan you're at the mercy of your inbox, doomed to let eight hours pass without accomplishing what truly matters."

Make a commitment to respond

The number of emails and phone calls you get in a single work day can be staggering, but you should make a point respond to most of them. "The number one worst work habit we see is non-response," says principal Kevin Donahue at Ironwood Finance.

"We try to encourage all employees to immediately respond to emails and phone calls. Many emails just need to be responded to with a 'thank you' or 'received' this many time saves a time consuming follow up call or additional email with 'Did you get my message' People like to know that their email didn't just go to a black-hole inbox with 1,000,000 unopened emails."

Follow the paper trail

If you want to improve, but aren't positive how to go about doing so, look at your paper trail. "Reread your past performance reviews and look for common patterns that appear — late submission of assignments, inattention to detail, over commitment, etc.," says Patrick Lynch, president of The Frontier Group. "Then reach out to whoever you feel can provide you with constructive guidance on how to make positive changes." When you raise your level of self-awareness and make the effort to change, the changes will happen.

© 2014 — Monster Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. You may not copy, reproduce or distribute this article without the prior written permission of Monster Worldwide. This article first appeared on Monster.com. To see other career-related articles, visit career-advice.monster.com. For recruitment articles, visit hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices.aspx.

How to overcome your worst work habits 04/09/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 6:43pm]
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