By Thomas Griffin, co-founder and president of OptinMonster
However, overcoming your bad work habits can actually improve the quality of your work and help you grow personally and professionally. So, if you want to make advances in your career, you need to make some changes.
Breaking bad habits can be difficult. But, while some bad habits such as biting your nails or smoking may take years to overcome, your bad work habits can more easily be conquered.
Here’s how to overcome your bad work habits.
One of the more common bad work habits is getting distracted. Many professionals struggle to stay on task and keep their eyes off of social media and other websites.
As a remote company, our employees struggle with distraction even more. When working from home with no one over your shoulder, it can be tempting to spend more time on social media during work hours.
To stop distractions from affecting your productivity, you need to eliminate them. Consider using a tool to remove distractions. For example, an app such as Freedom blocks your most distracting sites for a specified period of time.
At our company, all of our employees use a time-tracking tool to help them manage their time better. If they visit a nonwork-related website, the time-tracking tool will pop up and ask them if they’re still working.
Improve your communication skills.
Good communication is the key to any business. If your entire team can communicate effectively with one another as well as your customers, your business will be more productive and more successful. So, if you have poor communication skills at work, you need to step up your game.
For example, do emails pile up in your inbox and get ignored? Start organizing your inbox so that you don’t miss out on important or time-sensitive messages. Your team can also use a tool like Asana to communicate updates, progress and deadlines on projects.
Conquer procrastination and missing deadlines.
Do often find yourself procrastinating and putting off important tasks? You might even do it so often that you’re starting to miss deadlines. Consistently turning in your work late will not only give your employer a poor impression of your work ethic, but it can also cause you stress and force you to work overtime to keep up.
To conquer procrastination and meet your deadlines every time, create a schedule for yourself, and stick to it. When you have no schedule, you work on whatever you feel like working on, and you can end up spending too much time on unimportant tasks. But by creating a schedule for yourself, you can make sure your most important projects are prioritized.
Add small goals into your schedule to keep yourself on track. For instance, if you have a project due on Friday, carve three hours out of each day to spend on your project. You might include goals of completing your first draft on Tuesday, making your edits on Wednesday and adding the final touches on Thursday.
Stop comparing yourself to others.
When you compare yourself to your coworkers, not only does it give you a negative attitude and poor self-esteem, but it can affect the quality of your work too. You might think, “Well, Jack is better at this than me, so why should I even bother?” This bad habit will not get you ahead in the workplace, and it won’t let you grow as a person, either.
So, stop comparing yourself to others. Know that the ability of others doesn’t diminish what you have to offer. However, you can use those comparisons as motivation to improve what actually matters. For instance, if you actually are lacking in skills compared to your coworkers, do something about it. Ask your boss for guidance or extra training, or take some online courses in your free time to boost your skills.
Admitting to your bad work habits is the first step. With these tips, you can tackle your worst work habits head-on so that you can become more successful both in your professional life and your personal life.
Thomas Griffin is co-founder and president of OptinMonster. He is an expert software architect with a deep knowledge of building products for the mass market.