The start of a new working year is the perfect time to ditch some old habits that aren’t doing you any good and build up some newer, healthier ones instead.
5 Habits To Break
1) Being distracted
Katrina-Jane is a clairvoyant medium so it’s safe to say her advice will benefit your future. When it comes to bad office habits she wants everyone to let go of distractions.
“1. Don’t open your social media or any other pages that may distract you.
2. If someone asks for your help in something, let them know you’re busy and will help them when completed.
3. Focus on completing one thing at a time
4. Learn to say no
5. Write a list of what you need to accomplish that day in order of priority and cross it off as you complete.
6. Whatever doesn’t get accomplished move to priority tomorrow.”
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Steve Pritchard is a HR consultant with new mobile network GiffGaff. He has 3 office habits for you to stop immediately which you can read below.
“Workplace gossip is one of the most unprofessional habits an employee can engage in. It doesn't matter if you start the gossip or just pass it on, if you are seen to be engaging in slanderous behaviour, it can result in an official warning. Firstly, though, you will lose a lot of credibility with your colleagues and managers. To keep yourself out of trouble, the best thing you can do when tongues start wagging is just not get involved.”
3) Interrupting People
“In many meetings, it can sometimes be a free for all, with everyone trying to get their opinions and ideas heard over a chorus of voices all trying to do the same thing. However, if you constantly talk over people and disrupt others' conversations, this can turn people's opinions against you because they are likely to find you obnoxious and superior.”
4) Not replying to emails
“If you are cc'd into a group email which asks for feedback on an idea or an update on a project, you should reply. Even if someone else has already said what you planned to say, you should reply that you agree with the previous email. Poor email communication suggests to your colleagues that you are being evasive or indifferent to their needs. This trait can get you a reputation for halting progress and delaying your colleagues.”
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5) Coming to work sick
Nathalie Lynton is the director of Shared and Halved Consulting and has over 18 years experience in Human Resource Management and Recruitment. Her habit to break this year is one we’ve all fallen for at some point:
“As an experienced HR practitioner, I’ve seen people make and break bad office habits time and time again. Of these, I truly believe that coming to work sick is one of the worst. Most people have grown up being told that they should ‘push through’ sickness and ‘toughen-up’, but the truth is that even minor illnesses such as colds spread like wildfire in an office environment. Your co-workers don’t want to hear you sneezing and coughing all day, and they certainly don’t want to get sick themselves, or bring your germs home to their family.
Breaking this habit is simple. Use your sick days! Even if you think you have too much work to do, consider speaking to your manager about working from home. Whatever you do, know that spreading your sick germs through the office is not acceptable.”
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5 Habits To Make
Sally Foley-Lewis is a productivity expert who has been mentoring people for over 20 years and helping them improve their leadership skills. She has two helpful office habits to begin now:
1) Start work on time
“Knock the habit of getting to work late, even if only a few minutes. If your start time is 8am then be at work and ready to work at 8am. Don’t turn up at 8am and then turn your computer on, grab your tools, put the kettle on. Being punctual is productive and it contributes to building your self-worth which boosts self-confidence. This is also great role modelling to others. Break this habit that many employers would love to see change.”
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2) Schedule your day to work for you rather than against or to overwhelm you
“When you schedule your day, including your breaks and thinking time, you will soon find your day far more productive. Kick the habit of letting anything and everything interfere with your progress. Schedule, schedule, schedule!”
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3) Personalise your desk
The clean desk policies of yesteryear are on the way out in favour of more personalised workspaces. However, there’s a fine line between clutter and productivity. Working in a stimulating environment helps boost our creativity and surprisingly is more efficient than minimalist surroundings. But a messy desk can overwhelm your brain and create unnecessary stress. Start with simple touches from family photographs to a bunch of fresh flowers. Make it a habit by changing up your working space every few months with a cleanout of old clutter and a fresh new item to inspire you out of a desk daze.
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4) Focus on cleanliness
We’ve all read the articles telling us how many germs are hiding on our computer screens, phones and keyboards. But how many of us do anything about it? Build up your office cleanliness this year. Have disinfectant wipes on hand to quickly run across your screen or keyboard. Give up eating at your desk to avoid crumbs. And make sure to wash your hands regularly, not just after going to the bathroom. Keeping a clean environment is good for your mood and might even fend off the dreaded office cold.
5) Drink more water
You might not feel thirsty but chances are you’re not getting those 8 recommended glasses of water per day. Office air conditioning is renowned for causing dehydration. Without enough water you can become tired, lose concentration and even suffer from headaches. Start bringing a water bottle to work and taking note of how many times it’s refilled during the day. Slowly but surely you’ll create a habit out of drinking more water and might even have a regular number of refills for the day.
Start the changes now and you could be rid of the bad and in with the good by the end of the month.