Human Resources / management / Women in business

Top 5 Principles for Changing Your Work Habits


Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

~Laozi

Your work habits define your work ethic. When bad work habits start to kick in, you are held back from becoming your most productive self. All of us have only have 24 hours and in that span of time, everything needs to be accomplished.Image

I am certain that there are things you are already doing well (and you don’t need to change) but there is always room for improvement. Understanding principles is one thing, transforming them into work habits is another. If you don’t change your habits, then you’ll be fighting against years of performing the same tasks and decreasing your efficiency and productivity.

Different studies have shown (and seem to agree) that, on the average, it takes 21 days before you can change a habit. Challenging your work habits can be done in the first few days. During this period, you will feel uncomfortable. This is normal. In fact this is GOOD. Its when we are uncomfortable that we grow.

Here are some principles to help you kick bad habits and start anew:

1.      Know Yourself. Knowing yourself will help you determine which habits are preventing you from being productive. You may already be aware that you procrastinate on big projects and focus on smaller tasks on your to-do list. To do this, keep track of what you do for an entire week. Hard as it may seem, list down what you do and how much time you spend on your tasks. By the end of the week, you will have a very good idea on where you spend your time and better be able to evaluate which habits need to go.

2.      One small habit at a time. You have 21 days. Your first week is already done. On the second week, identify which habits are easier for you squelch. Start small but dream big. Keep your eyes on your goal and take small steps moving forward. Make sure that you see the outcome first before moving on to the next.

3.      Seek help. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help. Help can be in the form of friends who will continually keep you straight or a variety of software solutions. Often, software is more reliable because it is programmed to do a specific set of tasks – every time, all the time. So it helps to keep you on track. For instance, during the first week, you can use a time tracker (like GetMyTime, first 30 days free!) to keep track of your activities. You can use to-do list apps like Remember the Milk to list down the habits that you need to change and Anti-Social to block yourself from updating your Facebook status.

4.      Reward yourself. When you set your goals and you are able to achieve them, reward yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. You’ve made progress on your most valuable commodity – yourself! And you should celebrate.

5.      Be proactive. Once you’ve started with changing your work habits, continue to evaluate yourself and identify more areas for improvement. As you go on with your journey towards acquiring better work habits, you will realize that eventually, you will be reaching your goals—one habit at a time.

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Anthony Codispoti is the founder of GetMyTime , a web-based time and expense tracking solution for small & medium-sized businesses. Founded in 2001, GetMyTime is the first web-based time tracking system to integrate with QuickBooks accounting software. A serial entrepreneur since he graduated from The Ohio State University in 1997, Anthony enjoys brainstorms, masterminds, and Chipotle.

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