How to Break Bad Work Habits: 5 Best Practices

Human Beings, Creatures of Habit

All of us, as humans, have our daily routines when it comes to our work schedule. Human beings are creatures of habit. Eventually, as we get used to a working environment, we can unknowingly develop bad habits that fly under the radar. The lifetime rule of thumb is to not get too comfortable with routines that may help reinforce bad habits. You never know what curveball is going to be thrown at you next, so flexibility is key for maintaining productivity at work. Not many people give their complete and undivided attention to their career path. If you get an internal feeling of uncertainty, it’s probably because you have gotten too comfortable in your career and some changes need to be made. We all have bad work habits, some more than others. The key is to develop and maintain the willpower to overcome and break them. This blog will delve into finding that willpower and learning how to not become creatures of bad habits.

Find a Reason for Change

No one likes to be stuck in a rut. The first step is to admit that you have problems, and they need to be resolved. When it comes to breaking work habits, you need to ask yourself, “why am I making this change in the first place?” According to LinkedIn, “if the answer isn’t obvious, it’s going to be a difficult goal to achieve, and even harder to sustain”. The key is to create SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely. You want these changes to be realistic and manageable. At the end of the day, you are going to be doing all the work to make these changes successful. Find the positive in the negative. You’re making these changes for your own personal benefit. Alterations to strong work habits require you to keep yourself motivated throughout the duration of the change.

If Not Now, When?

Just the thought of a new change makes us cringe and feel scared. We tend to fall into the trap of procrastinating and thinking, “I will implement the change another day.” This is the biggest mistake we can make when it comes to professional development. At some point, we need to ask ourselves, “if not now, when?” Procrastination gets us nowhere. It’s a disease. One way of doing this is to write down your goals on a dry-erase board or sticky note and hang them near your desk at eye level. A reminder close at hand is something an employee cannot stop looking at when they work at their desk. This “in-your-face” method can help prevent procrastination of any kind and instill a sense of productivity and focus instead.

Obstacles are Inevitable

Work is seldom unicorns and rainbows. Obstacles are bound to come your way, especially when it comes to making changes. According to LinkedIn, it’s important to “know your bad habit triggers and be prepared for them.” For example, if your goal is to completely cut sugar out of your diet, make sure you have alternatives and distractions ready so that you don’t walk over to the vending machine every day. The same goes for work. It’s important to eliminate the distractions surrounding your workspace, especially sources of entertainment. Media options, such as movies, television, and music, can be a great way to relax your brain. However, getting off-topic from work can more easily lead to not meeting your deadlines. You may feel like you’re doing your best work in a noisy background. That may not always be the case. Sometimes, a quiet work environment can induce more focus and productivity rather than a noisy one. You have to test for yourself which tactics for focusing really work for your productivity levels.

Find People to Support You

The best way to feel encouraged to reach your goal is by spreading the word to people around you, like your teammates. This keeps you motivated to succeed and since you have people rooting for you in the background, you wouldn’t want to think of failing at all. Being a team player means everything when it comes to breaking bad habits. According to Indeed, “becoming more of a team player may come more naturally if your coworkers appreciate your work styles and display more positivity around the workplace.” Finding comfort in the people you work with can allow you to focus your energies on accomplishing your goals and making the necessary changes to your work ethic.

Manifest the End Goal

Now that you’ve made the decision to break the bad habit, what’s the purpose of breaking it? In other words, what is the end goal? A pay raise? Better outcomes for assignments? Increased productivity? The possibilities are endless! According to LinkedIn, “envisioning the benefits of breaking the bad habit will help you stick to your goal.” A great way to manifest this is to physically write this down on a vision board. A vision board allows you to be action-oriented and a go-getter for your goals. Vision boards make you see the bigger picture, which is professional growth and development.

Understanding Productivity Levels at Work with PxidaEX

There is no doubt that bad work habits are harmful to employee experience and overall productivity. It’s imperative for us to not get comfortable with them and break them instead. Lucky for us, PxidaEX is here to save the day! It’s a powerful tool to help your business interact with your employees to figure out where they need your support and where you need to step in. Sign up for a free trial today!