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5 Bad Work Habits That Most of Us Have

By Sandy Schroeder

When you ask yourself how you are doing on the job, do you wish your were moving faster or coming up with more fresh ideas?

Bad daily habits could be holding you back, according to Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, the agency that many Fortune 500 companies use.

Bumps in the Road

All of those little bumps in the road can add up to a big loss in time, energy and work completed. Worse, bad habits tend to settle in, and then refuse to leave. Getting rid of them takes a lot of self-control, according to Bradberry.

See if these habits happen in your world, and then exercise self control as you erase them one by one.

Intermittent Internet Breaks – Oh you know, maybe it’s a quick check of your favorite shopping site, a scan of the current political news, followed by quick hits on a few more sites. Soon that 10-minute break becomes 20, followed by at least 15 more minutes to get back into your work flow. Plus, each time you pop out, you lose the high productivity of a continuous work flow.

Bedtime Electronics – It happens all of the time, but the blue light from phones, tablets or laptops fights with the sleep conducive hormone melatonin. End result, even after you shut down the electronics, your mind is alert and not the least bit sleepy. It’s way better to shut them down about an hour before bedtime and park them elsewhere unless you must be on call

Ongoing Notification Checks – Reacting to every email, text or call during the day can shred your concentration and eat up the workday hours. Have an emergency alert system, but reserve all the other messages for one check and respond session.  

Carrying Worry with You – This is a tough one because it is hard to just push any current financial, family or personal worry out of your mind. But you might try a brief 15-minute meditation or walk to start the day, and a quiet time after lunch to regroup. Or you might keep a notepad nearby to jot down questions or thoughts that you can work on later.

Schedule Drifting – Having a regular routine to move through the day works to get more done. But letting it drift too far, starting a little late, taking longer mid-morning breaks, or longer lunches, can really impact the whole day, resulting in extra hours or taking work home.

Your day may have other bad habits that slow you down too. Whatever they are, try a day where you delete a few and see how it goes. Each day, work on another bad habit. At the end of the week, take a look at the results. For every bad habit erased, treat yourself to a favorite indulgence, low-calorie, of course. You’ve earned it.

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