Inside: Adopt these ten good work habits to help you be more productive and successful at work.
When it comes to our work, most of us want to feel good about what we do and succeed at it.
We want to advance and excel. In school, we want to pass our classes with flying colors. At work, we want to earn that promotion – and all the perks and benefits that come with it.
But let’s be honest.
Succeeding at work isn’t always easy. Whether you work for a company or you’re your own boss, the barriers between you and where you want to be can feel overwhelming.
And while there’s no one secret to success, there are some highly effective tools you can implement to make your life easier, improve your performance, and ultimately make you more efficient with your work.
One of the most important tools is good work habits.
Good work habits can make a massive difference in your ability to focus and be productive. Ultimately those habits are helpful in every area of your life.
And all it takes to put them in place is a little intention and determination.
Why Do Good Work Habits Help?
By definition, a habit is “a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.”
They’re powerful things – and they hold the ability to really help you excel at work.
When something becomes a habit, it becomes easy. In some situations, habits can feel effortless.
By making our desired behaviors automatic, we alleviate stress, work more efficiently, and find ourselves with more energy and brainpower to spend on other, more important things.
By developing good working habits, you make work easier and less stressful. You’re more productive and make more progress on your to-do list.
And you have plenty of time and mental capacity to focus on solving hard problems, designing the perfect presentation, or otherwise meeting – and hopefully exceeding – the demands of your job.
10 Good Work Habits to Elevate Your Success
First, it’s helpful to define what success looks like in your life. Next, work on habits to help you get there.
Regardless of where you’re at, what you do, or what your goals might be, creating good working habits will help you to make more progress.
Not sure what habits are going to benefit you?
Here are a few of the best work habits that are going to help you be more successful:
#1: Be on time.
Time is limited, and you’ve got a lot to do. One of the best things you can do for yourself – and others – is to be timely and punctual.
By making a habit of being on time, you’ll make the most of the minutes in your day and check more off of your to-do list.
If making punctuality a habit is challenging for you, take advantage of the many tools at your disposal – including your cell phone.
Set reminders and alerts to ensure you’re in the right place at the right time. Even if you work from home, designating a start time and sticking to it is a helpful habit that will help you get more done.
#2: Take the initiative.
Make a habit of taking initiative and proactively volunteering for helping out or learning something new when you’re able.
You’ll make a reputation of yourself as someone who gets things done, and you’ll likely open doors for yourself that you didn’t know were possible.
That is not to say you should allow yourself to be taken advantage of though. It’s important to have clear boundaries and a healthy work-life balance.
#3: Stay organized.
Make organization a habit at work, and you’ll save yourself a ton of stress and embarrassment.
Whether you prefer a digital calendar, a paper planner, a collection of Post-It notes, or some other method or system to keep track of obligations, meetings, notes, and deadlines, the most important thing is that you have a way to stay on top of it all.
Keeping your tasks organized will help you to be more productive and prevent important work from slipping through the cracks.
#4: Learn something new.
Making learning a habit is one of the most beneficial things you can do for yourself. Read a chapter of a book, take an online course, watch a how-to video, or practice a new skill.
Learning something new on a regular basis will not only keep you mentally sharp, but it’s also a great way to expand your skill set, your options, and your perspective.
You might just discover a new passion or talent worth pursuing.
#5: Don’t procrastinate.
It’s easy to look at your to-do list and push off those nagging, not-so-fun tasks. But at the end of the day, they aren’t going anywhere.
Stop procrastinating on tasks that you know need to be completed.
By making a habit of being proactive about your to-do list and knocking out tasks as efficiently as you can, you’ll be surprised to see just how much more you’re able to accomplish – and how easy it feels.
#6: Set clear and specific goals.
Goal setting is a good work habit to get into because it keeps you focused on what really matters.
In a world where distraction is incredibly easy to find, keeping your goals front and center – and making them clear and specific – will keep you tracking in the right direction.
Look at your goals monthly, weekly, even daily – and set new ones as you crush the old ones to ensure you’re always making forward progress.
#7: Get good sleep.
A good night’s rest might not seem like a good work habit, but the two are more interconnected than you may realize.
Rest is critical for so many facets of our well-being – not just our physical health, but our mental health, too.
By making it a habit to get a full night’s rest, you’ll set yourself up for success by ensuring you can perform at your best.
#8: Keep distractions under control.
Mute your phone. Turn off the television. Put on noise-canceling headphones. Close your office door.
In a world filled with distractions, it can be a hard habit to build, but deliberately limiting distractions can be a smart way to help yourself succeed.
Distractions only do one thing – totally derail you from your goals. By making it a habit to proactively eliminate those distractions, you’ll be able to focus better and ultimately achieve more.
#9: Ask intentional questions.
Asking questions is beneficial for a few reasons. It shows you’re an engaged listener. It shows you want to learn more.
And, as long as you’re asking the right questions, it shows your ability to think critically.
By making it a habit to ask thoughtful, intentional questions, you’ll expand your knowledge and build meaningful connections with others.
#10: Take time off when you need it.
Burnout is a real thing, and it can happen to the most focused and motivated of us all.
Even if you love what you do, you can push yourself to the point where you’re simply exhausted – and when that happens, you need to step away.
Make mental health days and vacations a habit instead of a luxury, and you’ll be surprised to see just how much more energy and excitement you bring to the table when it comes to working.
What habits have helped YOU succeed at work? Leave a comment and let me know!
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I think simply trying to do the job right with attention to detail, accuracy, and timeliness has gotten me a long way.
Love it! All these things are so important. With my job it would be easy to take shortcuts but I always try to work as if my clients were watching me and do the best I can do for my own self worth and integrity. I think that really is the key to my business and the fact that I’ve had the same clients for many years.
I find that being open to learning something new everyday is extremely important in growing ones self and their talent.
Procrastination can be detrimental to having a successful day or even a successful career.
One single habit that helped me throughout my working life is that habit of going the extra mile working much more than what you are paid for.
Your 10 are spot on and I’ve shared with several who would benefit by taking them to heart. Another that might be worth mentioning, although it is implicit in many of the habits listed is to over-prepare for meetings and presentations. Sliding into a meeting having done nothing to prepare for it reflects on how one performs all of their work tasks. Conversely, by taking advantage of this opportunity when you are visible, you can show your employees, peers, and your boss how efficiently and effectively you conduct all of your business. Similarly, being unprepared for a presentation can kill your reputation, but being super prepared can make you a star!