Let’s be honest, whether we recognize them or not, we all have bad work habits. Bad personal habits, like using our phones while playing with our kids, or not eating dinner with our families, are a bit more obvious and easier to identify than the habits we’ve picked up at work. That’s because at work, we can be surrounded by bad habits that have become an environmental norm. It’s harder to pick out a bad habit when we’re surrounded by them all of the time. But, as leaders and business owners, bad habits can have a negative effect on our work and our employees. Bad habits have a track record of decreasing productivity and making our communication channels ineffective. Here are a few of the most common bad work habits and their solutions.
- Poor Planning. As business owners and leaders, we’ve learned to roll with the punches, think on our feet, and come up with creative solutions. But, in the midst of practicing resourcefulness, many of us have abandoned our planning and organizational skills. A solid business practice includes planning the week ahead of us by prioritizing tasks, making time for strategic thinking, and knowing who we’re meeting with and when. When we fail to plan our week, time can get wasted. So, go back to the basics and start using a paper or electronic planner to stay organized. Take time to plan each day, but start with urgent and important tasks (remember-there’s a difference between importance and urgency).
- Ineffective Communication. This can come in many forms like hastily written emails, confusing directions to employees, or not keeping in touch with clients. Take time to think about the ways you communicate. What’s working? What isn’t working? Before you decide how to rework your communication channels, don’t forget to gather input from your employees and clients.
- Being the Yes (Wo)Man. It can be tempting to never say no to employees and clients. But, as business owners and leaders, we have to get used to setting boundaries. Not every client proposal is worth taking. Know what you’re comfortable with, and take notes along the way.
- Reacting, not Responding. When something unexpected or unforeseen happens, it’s really important to go into response mode, not reaction. Responding gives you time to formulate an intentional response that will encourage effective communication.
- Multitasking. As much as we’d like to say we can multitask, it’s actually impossible. When we multitask, we ask our minds to spend its energy in too many places at one time. Instead, try concentrating on one task at a time. Chances are, we’ll be more productive, efficient, and effective.
At Quadrivium Advisors, we love helping people break bad work habits. If you’re ready to break yours, connect with us here.