15 Bad work habits I’m ditching this year (and you should, too!)
By Jacklyn Wetlake
I used to love making big, dramatic new year’s resolutions. I’d promise to work out every day, stop eating junk food, or finally become fluent in Spanish. But eventually, I realized that I wasn’t so great at following through on my epic promises.
So these days, I try to keep my goals a little simpler.
- 1. Skipping Breaks and Meals
Sometimes, I get so busy that I tell myself there isn’t time to eat lunch or step outside for a breath of fresh air. And that simply isn’t true. Unless I’m on a tight deadline or in the midst of a genuine crisis, I can always find 15 minutes to spare. The key is to be intentional about it. This year, I’m going start scheduling breaks on my calendar and stop ignoring my growling stomach.
- Letting the Sunday Scaries Get Me Down
Every Sunday afternoon around four o’clock, I start thinking about Monday, stressing about what I didn’t get done on Friday, and lamenting the five-day work week. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead of telling myself that Monday is something to dread, I can change up the narrative by being a bit more organized and giving myself something fun to look forward to at the beginning of each week—like, say, treating myself to my favorite latte.
- 3. Winging it on Mondays
In my attempt to avoid Sunday evening anxiety and to have an all-around more productive workweek, I’m going to stop spending Monday mornings getting my bearings and start making a to-do list for myself every Friday. That way, when I get to my desk after a fun-filled weekend, I can pick up right where I left off.
- Pushing Through Unproductive Spells
Usually, when I find myself in an unproductive rut, I feel guilty about not getting enough done so I (figuratively) chain myself to my desk. In theory, I’m hoping that staying put will force me to focus, but my mind just doesn’t work that way.
- Falling Behind on Expense Reports
Or filling out my time sheet. Or my TPS reports (yeah… I think I missed the memo about attaching the new coversheets). All those little administrative details can be cumbersome—but they’re still important. Plus, being chronically late drives your co-workers crazy (I would know).
- Telling Myself I’ll Do it Tomorrow
Yes, this is a fancy way of saying that I want to stop procrastinating. It’s easy to put off the tasks I’m dreading until tomorrow—until tomorrow comes. Rather than letting those undesirable projects languish on my to-do list for days on end, I’ve promised myself that I’m going to knock them out as soon as possible.
- Using Way Too Many Exclamation Points!
I want to seem friendly! I want to make my requests sound light and breezy! I don’t want my contacts to think I’m rude! But I must admit, in my attempt to seem approachable, I’ve developed a bit of an exclamation point addiction. I know I won’t be able to quit my favorite punctuation mark entirely, but I’m going to work on reining it in.
- 8. Over-Explaining Myself
Do you find yourself writing fluffy, superfluous introductions for most of the emails you send? This year, I want to be more direct. If I’m following up on a client invoice or reminding a colleague about an upcoming deadline, I don’t need to explain why. It’s obvious! And I don’t need to apologize for doing my job, either.
- Working When I’m Sick
At the start of my career, I had this idea that if I got sick, I needed to demonstrate my outstanding work ethic by pushing through it. I’d drag my sniffly, contagious self to the office and force myself to work—no matter how miserable I felt. Eventually, I realized how rude it was to expose my co-workers to my nasty germ.
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